The Origin of the Gutsy Girls Picture Book Series
I usually say I wrote the Gutsy Girls series for my daughters.
I say there was a hole in bookshelves when it came to true stories of great Christian women who came before us, and I wanted to help fill it. I say a lot of Christian biographies for young readers are dry and picture book choices about Christian women are limited. I say I wanted to introduce readers to real women from history and all of this is true, but...recently, I realized I wrote Gutsy Girls for someone else too; I wrote it for me.
At the time, I had so many questions about Christian women who lead.
Were they lonely?
Who were their people?
How did they find their people?
Did they wrestle with owning their gifts?
Did they understand their gifts?
Was there a place for their giftings in churches and communities?
Did they notice the stained glass ceiling? What did they do about it?
I didn’t know who to ask so I started binging on biographies about Christian women, women I had never heard of, women like Gladys Aylward, a twenty-eight-year-old who wanted to be a missionary but was told she was too old and not smart and mission work in China was far too dangerous for a female. All this was told to a woman who eventually led 100 children over 100 miles in a war torn country, a woman who worked as a spy, a woman who built an orphanage, a woman who gained so much favor with political officials in China that they recruited her to help in prisons and to assist in ending foot binding.
Reading stories of Gladys and women like her (and eventually writing about their lives) made me feel less alone and helped me see that the female leaders I was learning about had commonalities. These women listened to God and then proceeded with passion, perseverance, and radical obedience.
Incredible how simple and yet complex this is. Incredible how these women's examples are still turning my world right around.