Harnessing kids’ wit

Some days, you need a quick mood boost or a reminder to stop sweating the small stuff.

Some days, you need a quick mood boost or a reminder to stop sweating the small stuff.

Looking at the world through a child’s eyes can be liberating.

A Redmond mom named Barbara J. Koshar has co-authored an uplifting book based on chidren’s candid comments and passages from the Bible.

“Growing Toward God: Life Lessons Inspired by the Wonderful Words of Kids,” was co-written by Koshar and Doreen Wright Blomstrand and released last month by Kregel Publications.

Koshar met her collaborator six years ago at a writers’ conference. “Doreen had a few manuscripts with her, including a cute story about something her grandson had said,” Koshar explained. “An editor there liked it and I had also collected my kids’ funny sayings over the years.”

Koshar has three girls. Sara Guzzo is married and living in Arizona, Renae Koshar will soon graduate from Full Sail University and the baby of the family, Alex Koshar is a sixth grader at Norman Rockwell Elementary School.

“One of Alex’s sayings was published in a women’s magazine — and Art Linkletter and Bill Cosby used to be popular with things like ‘Kids Say the Darnedest Things,’” Koshar added. So harnessing kids’ wit and wisdom seemed like a viable book idea.

“I had never written a book before. I went to the library and Half Price Books and learned about the writing process and how to submit a proposal,” she added.

One of her chapters in the “Growing Toward God” book is called “Joy in the World.”

She said that Alex, at the age of two, begged her dad for jelly beans one morning. He said she couldn’t have the treats until after lunch and then asked her if she wanted toast or cereal for breakfast. Clever little Alex responded, “No, no, no, I don’t want toast or cereal. I want lunch!”

Koshar elaborated on people’s very common wish for instant gratification: “Happiness is temporal. It’s like getting jelly beans — or better yet, chocolate mocha truffles — before lunch. Melt-in-your-mouth richness that only lasts a moment. But joy is the hope we find in God.”

She then mentioned her brother, Jim, who died of systemic lupus.

“He had always inspired me. He never got what he wanted, a healthy body, but he had a real peace about him, a real acceptance to deal with difficult circumstances.”

The “Joy in the World” chapter concluded with Jim’s efforts to stay upbeat, even when he was in constant pain. He also read Psalms and The Book of Job and “seemed to know his future was in heaven,” when he died just before his 40th birthday, she said.

The corresponding verse from Scripture read, “(God) will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.” — Revelation 21:4.

Koshar has worn many hats besides that of a inspirational writer. She’s worked as an assistant to a mortgage loan officer and currently helps her husband, Tom, in his real estate business. She has volunteered at her children’s schools, recently took a missionary trip to Uganda with Alex — and has acted in TV commercials for the Discovery Health Channel, the Maytag Store, Amtrak and more.

She and Blomstrand plan to write another book, not necessarily based on kids’ sayings but “sometimes you hear bits of wisdom out of the blue.”

“Growing Toward God: Life Lessons Inspired by the Wonderful Words of Kids” is available at barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com, or you can ask any bookstore to order it for you, using ISBN 978-0-8254-4186-8.

Author photo by Tara Gimmer.