My name is Amanda Conley Hines and I would like to share a story with you. One afternoon I was watching the Oprah Winfrey show and a woman was sitting there heartbroken because her pre-teen son had committed suicide. Her child had been bullied and as a result his life was shattered. That woman’s pain was too hard for me to imagine. Since I am a parent, fear began to enter my mind. Could something like this happen to my children? I began to think about my own experiences with bullies and self-esteem issues. I could see how things could spiral out of control. As I became older my experiences turned into valuable knowledge. I learned that most of the time bullies themselves have low self-esteem. They try to hide behind the pain they inflict on others. I wanted my children to have this knowledge early. That’s when I began to pray and God turned my fear into determination…and thus this book was born.
“Grandma, why didn’t God make me a bird?” was written from my heart. The grandma character was influenced by my own great grandmother; who was an amazing woman. She loved God with her whole heart. The little girl, Kayla, was influenced by me and many others. Kayla’s character deals with bullying and self-esteem issues. The story comes alive when Kayla notices a blue bird and wonders what life would be like as a bird. Kayla doesn’t have many friends, but there are two things that Kayla finds joy in, God, and her talks with her grandma Annie.
Kayla decides to talk to her grandma about her wish to be a bird. Grandma Annie listens and lovingly explains to Kayla that she is already special. Kayla does not immediately understand, but her grandmother is kind and understanding. She explains to Kayla that being created in the image of God; makes you pretty special. Grandma Annie also explains to Kayla that her actions and reactions define her...she is not defined by other people. With this knowledge and a few other kind and loving words; she understands her own self-worth. And now dealing with difficult people and situations does not feel insurmountable.
I am not under the assumption that this book will save the world. My prayer is that this book will open a dialogue between parents and their children. Now that you have had a glimpse into my heart; I hope that you will help me spread the word about this book. And if there is truly a closing thought it is this… if God created you, then no one can take your uniqueness away.