“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. – John 3:16
Today I want to introduce you to someone I believe was a God-arranged meeting for me! Her name is Janis Cox. She is beautiful and talented and inspirational. She is a watercolor artist and an author, and her children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, is delightful.
I was struck as I read it, that the message of the book is one that all chronically ill and disabled individuals desperately need. Janis graciously agreed to be interviewed here on my little space.
I can’t wait for you to meet Janis Cox and little Tadeo Turtle!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Oh that could take a while. I am a senior so have many years behind me. I have been married for 42 years; we have 3 children; 6 grandchildren and one more on the way. We spend ½ of the year in a little village in Ontario, Canada and the other ½ in a large (for us) metropolis in Arizona. There are just as many people in our gated community as in our entire municipality back home. In numbers that means we have 10 people per square mile in our community in Canada and 3333 people per square mile in our community in the States.
I love sharing God’s word through writing and my watercolour paintings. I also like to tap dance.
What one message do you want people to come away from this book knowing?
I believe every one should know how much God loves them. The whole reason God sent Jesus was to tell of His love for us and show us the way back home. While we are here in this foreign land we need to know that He made us how He did for a reason.
Just as Tadeo had to learn that his shell was made for protection we need to learn that everything about us was made to bring us closer to God.
What inspired you to write and illustrate this book?
That’s a funny story. I journal every morning, usually thoughts from the Bible, or from my devotionals or non-fiction books. One day I started to write a poem. The words started to flow and I kept up with my pen. At the end I said: “What is this?”
At the time I was taking watercolour lessons from Joann Mathews. She encouraged me to illustrate my story. With her help, Tadeo came to life.
How much of yourself is hidden in little Tadeo?
My blog “He Cares for You” is based on 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you”. One of the first Scriptures I memorized was Philippians 4:6-8
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
I know that God has made each of us in a special way. So each of us is special to God.
How does your faith color your writing?
I am a late-bloomer follower of Jesus. Only 12 years ago did I finally understand who He is. At that moment I started writing in a journal as my faith journey began. I wrote 150 poems as I questioned and discovered who Jesus was. That led me to a writers conference in Canada called Write!Canada for editors and writers who are Christian. A whole new world opened up.
I write with God’s blessing. I read all that I can and learn all that I can. I pray to be wise in the ways of Jesus. I love writing about Him. Most of what I write is about my journey with Jesus.
What is one question you wish someone would ask you about your book, and please answer it?
My question would be: How did you come up with the name Tadeo?
This is definitely a God-filled answer. When I decided to publish the book I had the turtle named Tommy. After I sent the book to be printed my husband said, “Did you check the name Tommy Turtle?” Oh my, “no”. I was able with God’s grace to stop the printing. Then I prayed and God led me to a baby names site, where I found Tadeo – means, “praise” and is the short form for Thaddeus, one of Jesus’ disciples.
Can we look forward to more stories about Tadeo Turtle?
I have another book written but without pictures yet. Since I am both the author and illustrator I have to find time to paint. But yes Tadeo will have another book someday. I pray sooner but in God’s timing.
Did you have any idea that Tadeo could impact the disability community?
One author who is a friend and who is blind saw that possibility from the beginning. I didn’t really think of it that way. And until you mentioned it to me in our conversation I didn’t see the impact it could have.
I like the way you saw Tadeo’s shell as a blessing and how those with disabilities could approach their disabilities the same way.
I know that I suffer from allergies and have had to learn discipline to not eat the foods that will make me sick. I do thank God for that discipline and the perseverance that I have acquired through it. So yes I see that now.
I would love some help to know how to get this book into the hands of those with disabilities. That way children would learn that a disability is not being disabled but a blessing to be all that God intended for them to be.
Please consider purchasing Tadeo Turtle for yourself of a loved one. I promise, you won’t regret it!
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