Debbie and Paul, aka “Nana” and “Bampa,” have a special bond with their granddaughter Reagan. Whenever she comes to visit, which thankfully for her grandparents is often, the 6-year-old shares tidbits of knowledge. Grandmother and 25-year Colorado Springs resident Deborah “Debbie” Denison Bailey has taken Reagan’s insights and turned them into a book of Christian meditations, “Divine Directions from the Car Seat.”
This supportive tome includes 31 meditations built upon Reagan’s musings, most amassed when she was between the ages of 3 and 5. In addition to the youngster’s thoughts, each devotional includes a key thought from Debbie, a line of scripture, a prayer and four questions for readers to contemplate. The book is intended to be a gift to her granddaughter as a legacy, Bailey said.
Bailey hadn’t intended to write a book, but rather to simply be a good grandma to her daughter’s child. When her husband was transferred from Germany back to the United States while in the Air Force, they arrived just in time for Reagan’s birth. They live in the Briargate area, close enough to babysit often, saying spending time with their only grandchild is “sacred time.”
Reagan, or “Little Debbie” as her family calls her, has equal parts thoughtful and adorable approaches to life. The girl switches swiftly between giving out wisdom, to asking “Nana, can you name all the My Little Ponies?”
One day, just before a nap, Reagan said earnestly, “Do you know Nana, Mommy broke my heart?” Bailey was initially alarmed, but Reagan explained her heart must only be cracked. As Reagan dozed, Bailey went right to her laptop and wrote, “Cracked, But Not Broken” a devotional focusing on her own mantra “The Lord is the healer of our hearts.”
The book took off from there. Each time her granddaughter would make a funny comment, Bailey would jot it down and then use it to develop a full devotional. It’s dedicated to Bailey’s mom, who always wanted to write a book.
In the meditation titled “Brave,” Bailey tells of grandmother and granddaughter enduring a long, loud thunderstorm — one of Reagan’s first. Bailey told her granddaughter how brave she was through the event, then afterward, it reminded her of how each of us finds our courage in times of difficulty. She wrote out “Brave” and included an associated question for further thought, asking “How would you describe your personal feelings of being brave?”
Bailey’s faith is important to her. She grew up singing in church choirs, but said the light really came on when she was in her 40s. So, she includes a portion of scripture with each meditation, intended to remind readers of God’s importance. “It felt like I was channeling God’s work,” she said, because the words just seemed to pour out onto the page.
Last week, Reagan burst into her grandparents’ home and ran right to Bampa’s chair to watch television. “I miss when she would run into my arms when she was younger, but we’re just happy for time spent with her,” said Bailey. As her granddaughter grows older, Bailey hopes she’ll continue to dole out her insights. The two may work on a second book, to be called, “Divine Directions from the Booster Seat.”
The book is being published by WestBow Press, an arm of Harper-Collins focusing on Christian content publishing. It’s already available on Amazon, and is scheduled to launch locally this week.