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Why I Wrote God’s Gift of Family

My name is Brenda, and I am the author of God’s Gift of Family. But I’m also a mother of five, a wife, and the founder of Run Hard. Rest Well., a nonprofit that seeks to restore the biblical rhythm of balance between work and rest.

My husband, Tim, and I have five children—three of whom came to us through the miracle of adoption. As parents of children with significant medical needs and other special needs, Tim and I had a hard time finding an “I love you” book that represented our unique blended family.

Most children’s books show only one type of family—families of one race, families with no special or medical needs, families who were created only by birth. I wanted a book that reflected families of all shapes and sizes.

I wrote God’s Gift of Family because it was the picture book my family needed when my kids were younger. Our family was created by God, even though it was formed through birth and adoption. But birth and adoption aren’t the only ways to create families—other families are built through fostering, guardianship, or marriage. Every family is different, but every family is created by God.

That’s the central message behind every part of God’s Gift of Family. Each word was carefully selected to reflect families that were created in any way, and the illustrated family features children who look different from one another, but whose love runs deep and wide!

I hope that many families are able to read this book with their children, and that every family feels appreciated, valued, and loved after reading. My children are nearly grown, but it’s been my son Josh’s dream to see this book get published.

We adopted Josh when he was six months old. He was born with sickle cell anemia and was diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 10. He had over four hundred blood transfusions, developed a rare liver disease, and entered hospice care when he was nineteen.

But God still has big plans for Josh, because it’s been six years since he entered hospice! Since then, Josh set out on a mission to pass out one million red diamonds. Whenever Josh meets someone new, he gives them a red diamond and explains the meaning behind it:

It’s red because love matters. Love makes a difference.
It’s a diamond because God does amazing things under heat and pressure.

Josh has passed out over 700,000 red diamonds—and with each one, he’s encouraged someone and shared a little of God's love with them.

As you read God’s Gift of Family, look for a red diamond in each picture! For younger children, it’s a fun seek-and-find activity during reading time; for older children, you can talk about what it looks like to love other people. Maybe you'd like to hand out your own red diamonds!

I pray your family—whatever you look like and however you were created—loves God’s Gift of Family. I hope this book reminds you that you and your family were created by the God of the universe, and that He loves you very much.


Read a free preview of God’s Gift of Family!

Read free preview

Written by

Brenda Jank

Brenda Jank is the founder of Run Hard. Rest Well. As the mother of five, three of whom were adopted, she knows that joy is a precious gift. Brenda and her husband, Tim, have lived and served at Camp Lutherhaven in Indiana for twenty–five years.

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