Gleanings from a Book: “When God Made You” by Jane G. Meyer

Jane G. Meyer’s new book, “When God Made You” invites readers of all ages to look at each person in the world and consider what God was thinking when He made them. Every spread of this gleefully-worded book introduces a child from a different part of the world, and suggests what God had in mind when He created that child. Each “person recipe” in the book, just as in real life, is completely unique and brimming with the love and enthusiasm of our Creator.

“When God Made You” celebrates each person’s extraordinary qualities, looks, talents, and interests, recognizing each facet as a gift that has been poured into that person’s life by God Himself. The book also demonstrates to the reader that God does not just give those qualities to us to enjoy, but because He wants them to be used and shared. Every child in the book, upon being created, is issued a command: to plant, to sing, to paint, to lead… The book brings to life the reality that from the moment we are created, God has in His mind the work that He has set for us to do.

Throughout the book, Megan Elizabeth Gilbert’s whimsical illustrations bring to life the individual being described. Readers can see Makani, Hikaru, Bridgid, Carmelo, and all the others in their home environment, savoring their surroundings and beginning to act on the command that God has given for them to fulfill.The illustrator has carefully captured cultural details (down to the very fabric of the traditional clothing), and uses these characteristics to effectively embellish each spread. The reader can sense the joy God has in creating each person through the charming illustrations in this book.

The book both begins and ends with this important question: “What beautiful things was God thinking when He made you?” This question – actually, the book as a whole – naturally lends itself to a class discussion on individual uniqueness. God’s plan for each person, His delight in each of us, and His love for each person are clearly demonstrated in the pages of this book. This book will be an invaluable addition to any Orthodox Christian Sunday Church School library.


Here is more about the book itself:

Take a sneak peek into the book by taking a look at the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F5hoXb8-mM&feature=youtu.be or by flipping through a few digital pages here: https://issuu.com/ancientfaith/docs/when_god_made_you/13?e=0

Check out the “When God Made You” facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WhenGodMadeMe/

To add this book to your classroom collection, purchase a copy here: http://store.ancientfaith.com/when-god-made-you/

Here are some activities that you can do with your Sunday Church School class after reading this book:

Consider taking this challenge from “When God Made You” author Jane G. Meyer herself: “…If your kids are interested in either writing a profile about themselves, or drawing their own portrait, with your permission we’ll be collecting these images to post on the When God Made You facebook page,and maybe on a page here on my own website. And it doesn’t just have to be kids! Feel free to send me your own writing or illustration as well!!!” She posted that challenge in this blog about her book: http://www.janegmeyer.com/blog/when-god-made-you/

Encourage each student to celebrate someone else in their life. Allow time for them to write their version of God’s recipe for that person. What did God think of when He made the other person? Invite the students to write their version of the “recipe” on a recipe card such as this, printed on cardstock: http://www.antiochian.org/sites/default/files/when_god_made_you_recipe_card.pdf. After everyone has finished, read the recipes together and talk about what you’ve written, celebrating the great people who God has created and placed in your lives!

Help young children think about how uniquely God made them with these printable pages: http://cherigamble.com/2015/07/31/god-made-me-special-printables-for-young-children/

Find a suggested lesson plan on celebrating each person’s God-given uniqueness here: https://www.christian-horizons.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/God-Made-Me-Sunday-School-Lesson-Plan.pdf

Create silhouettes of your students’ heads, which they will fill with words or sketches of what makes them unique, as suggested here; then hang them on the walls of your classroom: http://www.trueaimeducation.com/creation-story-for-kids-day-6-animals-man/

Older students can respond to the book “When God Made You” with an artistic poster or journal page. Begin by having each student create a list: “I am” or “Me,” followed by all the things that God poured into them when He created them. The list should include things they can do well, things they enjoy, things about them that are unique. The students can then create a collage using these words (mounting them on colorful pieces of pictures cut from magazines, or some other background, if desired). Here is an example: http://mewithmyheadintheclouds.blogspot.com/2014/08/a-few-things.html

Look at what the Scriptures have to say about God creating us uniquely. For example, read Genesis 1: 27-28, Psalm 118:73-74, Psalm 138:13-16, Job 33:4, Isaiah 64:7, Jeremiah 1:4-5, Jeremiah 36:11, Romans 8:28-30, Romans 12:6-8, and Ephesians 2:10. Select one to focus on as a family and create a piece of wall art together featuring that Scripture. Find Scripture wall art ideas here: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/scripture-wall-art/

Older children and adults will be encouraged to read this blog post called “What God Says About Me.” The blog tells about the author(who has Down Syndrome)’s search through the scriptures and how learning what God says about His people brought her comfort. Read the blog at http://www1.cbn.com/devotions/what-god-says-about-me.

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