I’m so excited to welcome Sandee MacGregor to the blog today! I first heard about Sandee and her writing through mutual friends, and I look forward to meeting her in person soon!
She is the author of two top-selling devotionals, A Mother-Daughter Devotional and Shared Journal Experience for Psalm 119 and A Devotional for Mothers and Sons –Walking in Wisdom Through Proverbs (order here) which encourage and facilitate a deeper spiritual bond between a mother and her children through reading Scripture devotional segments together. And now, she is blessing us with her new, delightful children’s illustrated book for younger children, Can I Take It To Heaven?
Sandee, an educated and trained teacher, is an inspired writer and the creator and founder of the popular website Sovereign Radiance. Through her writing, website and YouTube channel, Sandee brings hope and encouragement to mothers with the truth of the gospel while reminding them they are not alone in their journey. She is a faithful follower of Christ, a wife to Duncan for over 27 years, and a mom to five beautiful children.
Read her beautiful post below, and click here to receive a free chapter of her devotional!
Guest post by Sandee…
I can’t pinpoint exactly what day the theme of my new book, Can I Take It To Heaven, arrived in my mind; however, I can tell you it was when my first two children were very young – over 23 years ago now! As soon as the idea had solidified, I wrote the book, but it remained on paper and on old hard drives, tucked away for many years because God had other plans for me. God’s timing is perfect; mine is time-sensitive, broken and demanding. Why did I desire to write children’s books only to put them away? As I reflect on that now, many years later, I see God building in me a freshly-inspired desire to write for His glory, not mine.
As believers, with any project, we must weigh the desires of our hearts. We must ask ourselves what our motives are. I was excited and determined to publish one of my books early on, but countless rejections from publishers left me doubting myself and feeling deflated. God was not saying no, but the door was also not open. It was time to sit at His feet and listen. So, honestly, somewhat reluctantly, I let the writing dream pause. God knew what I needed before I did!
I had a family to raise, a budding women’s ministry unfolding with a beautiful team of women, and a life to live right before me. Letting go of my desire to publish was quite freeing while simultaneously creating a sense of sadness. With a lot of prayer, I could walk into my life with a sense of newness and anticipation, trusting God for the future of my hopes and plans. I did not stop writing; it became more of an organic journey. I started moms’ groups and became involved in women’s ministry while raising young children and homeschooling. I was busy and overwhelmed, but occasionally, I would submit articles or photography to magazines. I continued to journal and eventually began blogging.
Three years ago, I sensed a tug on my heart to dig up the original work, start over, and see where it would go. I have gone through many drafts, which is typical for any writing project. It reminded me of how the idea for Can I Take It Heaven? had crystalized in my mind all those years ago, but this time, I had a little more experience and maturity behind it.
As a young girl, I owned a small white leather Bible that was very special to me. If I close my eyes, I can still smell the strong scent of leather and printed pages and feel the grainy yet soft texture of the binding that encased the Word of God. My dad recalls it well, but I can’t remember if I asked him whether or not I could take it with me to Heaven. I no longer have it with me, but I remember how it shaped that question: Can I take it to Heaven?
Like most people, I had and still have many questions about Heaven. The most secure answers are not man-made but come from God’s Word. I understood this well while growing up in a Christian home; I was taught Heaven was a real place! As followers of Christ, we know that is where we will go when we die; we will be with Jesus forever! I wholeheartedly believed this and still do. My hope is in Christ and Christ alone.
I recall when I was younger, as thunderstorms rolled in, my siblings and I would imagine and giggle that God must be rearranging his furniture. Child-like in perspective, yet we understood God as our Heavenly Father. It was our way of expressing the truth of Heaven.
In our home, Heaven was talked about with truth; it was real to all of us. Despite my early understanding of the reality of Heaven, it was and still is very difficult to understand. Yet, for me, it is a comfort beyond any earthly comfort. It is a place to long for because when we get there, we will finally be in the presence of Christ. I remember trying so hard to think about what eternity meant when I was younger, and it just never made sense! My all-too-human mind could not wrap itself around the concept. I’m sure I had many more questions about Heaven as a young girl, but the things I remember wondering about are:
What will it look like?
Who will I see?
Will my pets be there?
Will I get to play with my friends?
What will I do all day?
The Bible is very clear about the reality of Heaven. I learned this very early on. Whether you accepted Christ young, in adulthood or wondering about your faith, you’ll still have many questions about Heaven. I’m glad you do! That means you want answers, and diving into God’s Word provides everything we need to know.
My greatest hope for my new book, Can I Take It To Heaven?, is that it will ignite discussion about the reality of Heaven with your children or grandchildren and be a precious reminder that God wants you, nothing else but your heart! I pray that salvation will come to those who read this book and that lives will be changed for His glory by the work of the Holy Spirit!
Our world is merely a bite-size portion of Heaven, barely a glimpse of what will come! When we believe and receive the gift of salvation by grace through faith, we are saved, “ For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) We can be confident that we will walk with Jesus in Heaven because we are His children.
Our world also reminds us that this is not all there is, and thank goodness for that truth. In Heaven, there will be no more death, dying, or tears (Revelation 21:1-4). Too often, it seems like that is all we see around us in this world, and it’s a reminder that we need to long for Heaven and live as though we are guests here on Earth, simply passing through. As believers, we are merely sojourners on a path that heads directly toward Heaven.
I pray that Heaven will become a reality in the young hearts and minds of the children listening to the words in this book being read over them and that the adult reading it will also know the incredible love our Heavenly Father has for all (John 3:16).
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35 ESV)
“But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness.” (Isaiah 65:18)
Look for Sandee’s new book, Can I take it to heaven?, April 2024!