Do you remember your favorite picture book as a child? I do, it was Henny Penny. If I close my eyes, I can still see that big black chicken running across the page squawking, “The sky is falling.” The repetition was music to my little ears. I still use the expression when an acorn unexpectedly falls from the hundred-year-old oak tree growing in my front yard.
Callie Grant understands the lasting impact a story with vivid illustrations can have on a child. After struggling to find books for her little girl that would reinforce a firm foundation with God, she founded the company Graham Blanchard, Inc., a Christian Publishing Company dedicated to helping parents teach their kids about God.
Graham Blanchard’s latest Learn, Absorb, and Praise™ books were released on Feb. 1, 2014.
- Jesus Saves Me is a Learn book, which pairs beautiful photography with scripture. The lesson here is that Jesus is our Good Shepherd.
- Close As a Breath is an Absorb book, that follows a young girl’s autumn day with her dad. The questions she asks along the way create teachable moments about the ever presence of God.
- Little Seed: A Life explains the life cycle of a seed which has everything inside itself to become what it was created to be and to create new life.
All are delightful little lessons for little people written by Callie Grant.
We are fortunate to have the opportunity to learn more about Callie today at Circles of Faith and hear about how faith, life, and community intersect for her.
COF: Tell us about your company and mission.
Thank you for that kind introduction! Graham Blanchard was created out of deep love for God, to give parents meaningful board books to teach their children about Him, and to create a community beneficial for expecting and new parents, just as they start to grapple with the new life in their hands and how to shepherd that new soul. The highest calling in life—the meaning of life itself—is to love God and love others. Young children are naturally already there, as Jesus pointed out so often! We want to help children along that path, as they navigate a world awash in alienation from God.
COF: Do you have a faith principle that is a guiding force in your life?
The guiding force of my life is voiced by King David in Psalm 63, "Oh God, You are my God. Earnestly I seek you…" In one particular season of my life, the truth of this passage struck me to the core. I think on it every day. The longing of my life is to stay in God’s presence and “sing in the shadow” of His wings.
COF: What do you do day-to-day? Work? Play? Family?
When my daughter was younger, much of my day was devoted to taking care of her and relishing those special moments when we were literally hunting for mud puddles or examining bugs on the driveway. I saw the world, and God, in a whole new way as a mom. But she is 10 now, and her needs for me have lessened quite a bit! She, my husband, and I all enjoy creative activities day-to-day through work and play—writing, reading, art, museums, math (my husband is a math whiz!). It’s always a good day when we do those kinds of things together.
COF: What community circles foster your faith?
We love our church family here in Austin—it is passionate about serving God, and Graham Blanchard adopted its mission: Love God and love people. Participating in the church’s family community service days extends that experience beyond the Sunday building out into the world. Our church community has also been very supportive of Graham Blanchard and prayed over it. They have been with our family through trying personal times. We are blessed by that community. But there’s a larger community important to my faith, as well, and that is the faithful who have written about God throughout the centuries. Along with the Bible, they are my mentors and teachers, and I am challenged by their words every day.
COF: How does community fit into Graham Blanchard?
For me on a personal level, Graham Blanchard is an enormously supportive community, cast around the world as a network of parents, pastors, teachers, and children who have been involved in the development of our Learn, Absorb, and Praise books, as well as our Website community. It’s a highly interactive and affirming experience. On the broader scale, our Website has become a place for Christian parents to come together for support, ideas, and free resources. We will continue to nurture that growing community.
COF: How do you experience the intersection of faith, life, and community? How does what you are doing foster this?
My faith and life are one. In my mind I know this. And whatever I do out in the world, I try to stay connected to the Spirit of Jesus, who taught that the only thing worth calling “life” is the unseen life, life in the Spirit. That’s the truest intersection of existence I can imagine, but it requires my persistence day-to-day to keep my focus there. That’s where Psalm 63 comes in. Prayer and quiet time are life blood for me, and I cannot live without them. I love the imagery of John Watson who writes, “Life in the soul is the tide of the Divine ocean flowing as it has opportunity through the narrow channels of human nature.”
COF: What is one thing you’d like our readers to know about you?
That I am the least worthy to know. Any goodness in me or what I do it is because of God’s holy love and grace. To Him be the glory and honor forever and ever.
To learn more about Graham Blanchcard, Inc. and Callie Grant check out: http://www.grahamblanchard.com