“Toddler Theology,” is a new book by Cathy Dudley of Troutville. Dudley wrote to book which she calls God inspired and for her grandchildren, Janey, Austin, Naomi, Cora Lou, Sawyer and Leo. “It is for all children. It is the story of Jesus and it applies to adults as well,” said Dudley.
Told in a simple friendly manner, the story is told by Jesus from heaven. The illustrations are great as well. Matt Ramsey, who is married to her daughter Sara, is also a Nashville musician and Buchanan native; he did linoleum prints for the illustrations. A mother of three, her other children and spouses are Amy and Chris Dudley-Borty and Matthew and Aimee Dudley.
“God still speaks to us today,” said Dudley. “It isn’t the burning bush, but I have seen it in circumstances in my life or through people I meet.”
She retired in 2003 as a physical therapist but still fills in. Her inspiration came after retirement from sitting on her lovely porch in the morning gazing at the Blue Ridge Parkway and reading scripture, doing devotions and praying. “I was listening,” she stated.
A member of Mill Creek Baptist Church, she had been to FAITH training classes. Eventually she claimed a scripture as her own, Psalm 25:4-5, that said, “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (She uses the Grandmother’s Bible for study.)
When her grandchildren were born, she began to look for children’s books that were of a Christian nature. She found the story of Jesus lacking. She wanted a message of the Gospel that children could understand. Thus began her journey. She desired to be more open to the will of God for her. After the FAITH training, she found that during the summer the words just flowed. “I could hardly stop, ” she said. The crucifixion was hard, but she accomplished the transition from sacrifice to promise very well. “Children understand tickets,” she noted. “I feel that is what God wanted me to say.”
The illustrations were paired with the story. Jesus is shaped like a human but without features. He could be like anyone. Each illustration had three choices and she chose the one per page that best fit the scheme of things. She had the book self published through Author House. It was hard to push the final send button, but faith guided her. Her hope is mainstream Christian bookseller Lifeway will pick it up for distribution.
In the meantime, she has presented a PowerPoint for Buchanan Presbyterian Sunday morning service, book signings and is looking for more events. “I did the children’s church and then spoke to the adults at Buchanan Presbyterian. Really this book crosses age groups, so don’t be fooled by the name. We are commanded to approach Jesus as little children.”
The books are on sale locally at Purgatory emporium in Buchanan at the Stull stall, Cahoon’s Florist in Fincastle, Ikenberry’s in Daleville, The Apple Barn in Troutville and Family Christian Store on Starkey Road in SW Roanoke County.
They can also be ordered online through Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com and through Author House.com. The cost varies from $8.99 to S13.99 depending on where the book is ordered.