Vanessa Fortenberry

Children's Books

Author Profile

Vanessa  Fortenberry

A true Georgia Peach, Vanessa is a teacher- librarian, reading, and former music teacher. An inspiritional author and speaker, Vanessa penned the children’s verse story, Mama, I Want to See God. This story is the first book in the series, Families Growing in Faith. In addition to writing, Vanessa enjoys singing for the Lord and baking homemade goods for her loved ones. To learn more about Vanessa and her other writing endeavors, please visit her website: www.vanessafortenberry.com

Books

Mama, I Want to See God

Children's Books

Do I look like God? Where can I see Him? Wanting to connect more with God, a child asks his mother these questions and more in this rhyming verse book. In answer, Mother's tender and patient responses model God's love. The purity of children and the spiritually of all cultures radiate in this touching story.

Book Bubbles from Mama, I Want to See God

God's Beautiful Land

While I do not consider myself an outdoorsy kind of person, I enjoy my early morning walks during summer break. Strolling through my neighborhood fills my being with calmness and peace as I take in the morning sun and bright blue sky. Crickets chirping, birds singing, and on rare occasions catching sight of a rabbit huddled amongst the bushes fills my senses with God’s creatures and His beautiful land. I marvel at His creation.

Have You Heard?

Good friendships develop over time. It takes mutual interest, experiences, and shared communications during a set amount of time for a friendship to grow. Gradually, my friendship with God has developed through my Christian journey. Unlike my friends though, God knows everything about me; there are no secrets. Even through the good, the bad, and the ugly, God forgives me and loves me anyway. On the other hand, friends will sometimes abandon us when we do not meet their expectations. I count it a blessing to know that God’s unconditional love for me is timeless. The song says it all: “Have you heard about Jesus? He died on Calvary. He died for you and me, He died to set men free … He’s the greatest friend of all, have you heard?"

Writing for God

Some years ago, when God spoke to me regarding writing children’s books, I immediately said, “Yes.” Of course, I had plans of writing that great American romance novel. However, I tossed my plans to the wind and hit the road running, writing for God! I have never looked back and I love writing children’s stories. My prayer is for my words to minister to and enhance the lives of my readers. The process of writing Christian stories includes my reading and studying God's Word. It has helped me to grow closer to God and I feel I am indeed living my best years. Moreover, I pray through my studies, it helps me to become a better storyteller of Christian children’s books. Psalm 78:4 states: “We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the LORD, about his power and his mighty wonders.” Revealing who God is to children is my goal. God gave this mission to me and I’m doing it!

Never Alone

Throughout my life’s journey, I have often felt so alone and isolated. For a time, I had forgotten that as a child of God, I am never alone. Today, I feel so blessed because I understand without a doubt, that no matter the path my life may lead me, God is unchanging and promises that He will always be with me. I want children to know that God knows all about our struggles in life and He is our helper in every situation. Even when we face hurdles in life, such as hurt feelings, challenging school work, jealousy, worry, something we shouldn’t have done, etc.; we need not fear because God assures us He will never leave or abandon us. This is indeed good news! Thank you God. “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”’ ~ Hebrews 13:5

Created By God

Mama said, "God created the whole wide world and every living thing," During the summer, I rise early to go walking. As I stroll through my neighborhood, I enjoy the solitude. I get the opportunity to make note of repainted or renovated homes that I do not notice while driving. And, sometimes I pass a neighbor walking their dog. But, most of all, I notice the bright blue sky, the green grass, squirrels climbing trees, birds singing, and on occasion a rabbit from a nearby bush. On one glorious morning, I spotted a beautiful, faint Moon hovering on the horizon while the Sun beamed overhead in the sky. What a remarkable scene. It all reminds me of God’s unique and amazing creations!

God Lives In Us

Children have many questions about God. They want to know why they cannot see him, why they cannot visit him, and maybe they even want to know if He lives far away. God lives in each of us. God is only as far or as close as our heart and mind will take us. Teach your child that we visit God when we sing, about Him, pray to him, read His Word, and talk to Him. God dwells in each of us. Ask your child today what it means to have God “dwell or live in his or her heart.” “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” ~ 1 Corinthians 3:16

Pure In Heart

Children come into this world innocent and pure in heart. When our hearts are pure, we experience happiness, which means we are blessed. By nature, we are sinful. To keep our hearts clean day-by-day, we must acknowledge and confess our sins to God. I have found that when I struggle with life issues and do not allow God to do what He does best, I suffer. However, when I surrender my whole heart to Jesus and allow Him to work in me, I become closer to God. I am a child of God and you are too. Moreover, when God purifies our hearts, we become pure in heart. This cleansing moves us in a direction of living our lives so that we become more like God, which allows us to “see” Him. "Blesses are the pure in heart, for they will see God" ~ Matthew 5:8 (NIV)

God In You

Sometimes, I autograph my book with the words, “Allow your light to shine so others “see” God in you." The scripture, 1 John 4:12 teaches believers of the Word to know that God abides in us and if we abide in God or fellowship with Him, we will recognize His Spirit within us. How will we discern this? We will know because we will bear witness to God’s Spirit of love that He produces in us. We will extend this love to one another. Finally, others will see and feel the spirit of God in us by our words, deeds, and by the fragrance of love, we offer to others. Therefore, continue to live a life that honors God and through your love and reverence to Him, you will draw others to God.

God Is Your Friend

John 15:15 states, "God has called us friends!" The dictionary defines “friend” as a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection. God wants this type friendship with us. Scripture tells us that God knows us and loves us. It is now up to us to know God, to dwell in Him, and to exhibit our love for Him through our everyday living. The child asks, "Mama, can I be God's friend?" Like children, let us continue to seek God for the essential friendship that only He can and will provide.

A Gift of Love to God

This day, God gave the world a gift; the birth of His son, Jesus! "Love always comes from God. His light shines on you from above." What better gift to give to God today, "your love."

Great Things!

"Smell the sweet-scented flowers: red, yellow, purple, and blue. This is God's wonderful gift, and He gave it all to me and you." When I reflect on the goodness of the Lord, I can truly say, "God has done great things for me" (Luke 1:49).

Trust in God

Children automatically develop and grow physically. Unlike growing physically, we all grow spiritually or we all grow in our knowledge about God at different rates. However, we only grow in our knowledge about God when we study God’s Word and imitate Him. Remember the slogan, “What would Jesus do (WWJD)?” In order to know “what would Jesus do,” it’s most important to teach children "what Jesus did." We know that Jesus sought God in continuous prayer; embraced and loved people; restored broken lives by healing the sick, raising the dead, and forgiving people of their evil doings; challenged insincere people; taught God’s Word, which helped people to discover God and study His Word for themselves; served and worked on behalf of people in need, often sacrificing His own needs; and equipped leaders who continued His mission and work after His death. Scripture states, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ . . .” ~ Peter 3:18 (NIV)

Singing to God

The child asks, "Mama, can I sing to God?" The little girl singing to God, depicted on this page, reminds me of my childhood. I come from a musical family. And, when my mom and dad sang in the church choir on Sunday mornings, one could always spot a little head from the choir stand. Yes, that was my little head, singing along with the choir! I loved singing the old Anthems back then. Even now, you might hear on any 1st Sunday, the Sanctuary choir members and I at my church singing an Anthem. Of course, singing in the children's choir back in the day, I favored singing the old hymns, such as, "This is My Father’s House." Other than prayer, I cannot think of a better way to communicate with God,. Evidently, King David thought so to. The Bible says King David sang to God. So, sing your song to God today, knowing He is pleased when we rejoice in song!

God Hears Our Prayers

A child asks, "Mama, can I talk to God? Will He hear my prayers?" Do you remember when you were a child celebrating your birthday? Before blowing out the candles you made a wish. If you recall, you believed whole-heartedly that your silent wish would come true. Your belief was unshakable. But, did all of your wishes come true? Probably not. I know my desires didn't always come to pass. Going to God in prayer is similar to making a silent birthday wish. However, when we pray to God it is like having a conversation with a good friend who has your best interest at heart. God indeed hears our prayers. He loves us and cares for us so much that when we go to Him with our heartfelt prayer, He will consider all of our requests based on our faith and our needs. Teach your children to seek God in prayer!

God's Listens to Our Prayers

"Mama, can I talk to God? Will He hear my prayers." Ask children if they have ever made a wish while blowing out their candles on their birthday cake. When we blow out those candles, we whole-heartedly hope our silent wish will come true. Sometimes our wishes are fulfilled and sometimes not. Explain that going to God in prayer is similar to making a silent birthday wish. Teach children that praying to God is having a conversation with God. God loves us and cares for us so much that when we go to Him with our heartfelt prayer, He will consider all of our requests based on our needs and our faith or belief. Matthew 21:22 states, “You will receive whatever you ask for in prayer, if you believe.”

Dancing for God

The text says, "Mama, can I dance for God?" My minister says, "If you're gonna dance, dance for the Lord" The illustration in this excerpt depicts my grandson, who also happens to be the inspiration for this story. Anthony loves to dance! And, even more so, he loves to dance for the Lord. Twice within a few months, my minister called him up to the pulpit to dance with him. You see, my minister loves to dance for God, too. So, the two of them dance to the music, praising the Lord! Get your "groove on" and praise the Lord today.

Listening for Inspiration!

In 2010, I hit the road running, when I heard God's call to write Christian children's books. Even though ideas for stories continue to flow, I stay attuned to conversations about children, as well as world issues facing children and their families. One such conversation occurred in 2011, with my daughter-in-law. She shared with me that my grandson, Anthony (then seven years old), said to her, “Mama, I want to see God.” She talked about some concerns she had with my grandson’s statement. I assured her that all children naturally express a curiosity about seeing the unseen God. The next morning I sat at my computer and wrote the story, Mama, I Want to See God. Just think, had I not listened to my daughter-in-law's account of my grandson's desire to connect more with God, I could have overlooked the opportunity and the inspiration to write this story, for my grandson and my granddaughter; as well as for all children.

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