...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice... Philippians 4: 8 - 9
There isn't a better verse in the Bible to describe how a parent wants to raise their little prince or princess. From the moment of birth, nearly every parent looks lovingly at their little one and knows they have received their very own little prince or princess straight from the Heavenly King; Jacqueline Johnson was no different as a young mother.
Jacqueline Johnson, along with Jeanna Stolle Young, has written a series of books titled the Princess Parables. Each book focuses on one of the parables found in the scriptures and told by Jesus; each story focuses on a different princess and two of those books, Princess Grace and the Little Lost Kitten and Princess Joy's Birthday Blessing, will be available from Zondervan in February, 2011.
Jacqueline Johnson spent over 20 years in the Panamanian jungle with her husband and two daughters as a missionary to the Kuna Indians on the border of Colombia. When she and her husband first arrived in the jungle, their oldest daughter was 2 years old. Within a year, her daughter was speaking three languages while Jackie and her husband were still struggling to learn Spanish.
The Examiner recently had the opportunity to talk with this inspiring mother of two and grandmother of seven about her role in writing the Princess Parables.
E: You were a missionary for many years. How long have you been back in the United States?
J: We came home in 1984. I had developed appendicitis and it ruptured; by the time I was transported out of the jungle I had suffered with a temperature of more than 105 degrees for more than 24 hours and they thought I would die. However, after surgery and 3 months of recovery, I was back in the jungle; still with a slight fever. I just couldn't recover in the tropics though, and we left for the U.S. in 1984. It took me more than 2 years to fully recover once we were stateside.
E: How did the idea for the Princess Parables develop?
J: As a young mother in the jungle, I would spend time in the hammock reading to my girls. I was always searching for books and stories that reinforced the character traits that I was working to instill in my children, but I couldn't find any! So I would adapt whatever stories and books I had access to. I would read them the way I wanted them to be. As my daughters matured and became adults they were always telling me I should write the stories. When I became a grandmother and started repeating the stories to my grandchildren, my daughters insisted that I put pen to paper.
E: And how does Jeanna Stolle Young fit into this story?
J: Well, I know you will be talking to her as well, but I met Jeanna when she and my daughter Christina were college friends. We developed a friendship and the books were a result of us getting together and praying over what God would have us to do. We wrote out a mission statement, developed story-lines for five books and submitted our ideas to five publishers. Zondervan wanted to see more and now we have two books coming out and we are just finishing up work on the fifth one!
E: Why are books like this so important for parents and children?
J: Bill Gothard has said "character is the inward motivation to do what is right according to the highest standards of behavior in every situation". The Bible also speaks to character being "written on the heart."
"Those who have no knowledge of the Law (right or wrong), act in accordance with it by the light of nature, they show that they have the law in themselves, for they demonstrate the effect of the law operating in their own hearts. Their own consciences endorse the existence of such a law, for there is something which condemns or excuses their actions".(Phillips Translation, Romans 2:15)
2 Corinthians 3:2,3 says "we are known and read by all men"
(whether we are a person of good or bad character by our actions). The law (right and wrong) is written on our hearts. The moral law or the Ten Commandments is the knowledge of right and wrong in our conscience. When demonstrated through our actions, which is best seen when we are under pressure, we see our true character revealed! The point is that godly character marks the life of a True Princess! God designed every female to be a princess, a child of the King.
The Examiner would like to thank Jacqueline Johnson for taking the time to discuss the Princess Parables and the reasons they were written. Parents can find the Princess Parable books online at Zondervan, Family Christian, and Berean Christian. They can also be purchased at Christian retailers like the ones listed here.
Eagles' Nest Bookstore
933 College View Dr
Redding, CA 96003-3046
Expressions of Faith
9495 Main St Upperlake
Upper Lake, CA 95485
The Lighthouse on the Ridge
5913 Clark Rd Ste F
Paradise, CA 95969-4852
Hanford Bible and Gifts
118 W 7th St
Hanford, CA 93230-4522
226 E Caldwell Ave
Visalia, CA 93277-7606