Инстаграм @brandonwalden The Treasured Tree
Writing retreat / Family vacation . One of the perks of having a family publishing business is that we can take a trip like this and the business pic up the tab. This is the view from my window for the past few hours while I work on one of the many #childrensbooks in my arsenal right now. . This home were staying in, just outside of Portland, sits on a 40acre vineyard. It’s definitely filled with inspiration. Views in every direction. Last night I told @stephaniewalden it will be mandatory for the home we build, buy or remodel to be surrounded in natural beauty. It’s such a gift. . We’re heading in to Portland later this afternoon to check out the city... and we’re headed to the Oregon coast tomorrow. But, if I’m honest, I’d be content right here looking out this window. 😊
Midnight in Redding, Ca. Thankful for the beauty with everything clothed in white. Clean slate tonight everyone. Tomorrow we wake to a fresh start. . Be grateful.
No filter: . Filters are like shadows. They hide or highlight what is really there. Our culture has emphasized the use of filters. However, in doing so, we’ve chosen to not show what is really there... and often we’ve chosen not to see what is really there. . We show what we see. How we see ourselves is what we show to the world. How we see God is how we show Him to others. How we see each other is how we treat each other. Good or bad, we all do it. . One of the most painful realizations of this is when we realize we’ve held someone in view of how we perceived them initially. This may have been because of how they presented themselves due to THEIR filters. This may have been because of how we perceived them due to OUR filters. In any case, people change. . Someone recently stated the age old quote, “You never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression.” They remarked about how our view of someone is usually determined by our first 3-4 encounters. However, would it be wonderful if we were given another chance? Wouldn’t it be more kind to allow each other 2nd, 3rd and 4th chances to re-introduce ourselves? . We’re all in process. And, although someone you may know used to wear a filter or shadow, it doesn’t mean they still do. It may be yours needing adjusting. Let’s allow room for growth in ourselves and with others. . No filter. (Please excuse me while I continually try and remove mine) . Be careful what you water, for it will surely grow. . 🙈
I can remember the night so vividly... • Sterling (9) and Elle (6) sat attentively in front of me at the dining room table of our home in Kansas City. I had just told them the story, The Key in The Closet, for the first time. I was winging it... making it up as I went along... and answering their questions as I spoke. Most of that story takes place in the castle with the Father (the King) and his son, the prince. (The same prince in Seeds and Trees) • I looked at my daughters and said softly, “Can I tell you a secret?” What kid turns down the opportunity to hear a secret, right? They leaned in as I whispered, “The prince in the story is me!” They both gasped, giggled and smiled. Then they exclaimed, “Daddy, you never told us you lived in a castle!” Oh to be that young and innocent again! • Elle is a pensive one. She asks the best questions and really takes things in. She leaned in and asked, “Daddy, what were you like when you were my age?” (Before I was introduced to shame, doubt, insignificance) Wow! I smiled and said, “Elle, when I was your age I thought I would change the world! I thought I’d love to be like some modern day Biblical character. Someone special like David, Noah, Joseph, or Moses.” • I wasn’t prepared for her next question... “Daddy, what were you like when you were Sterling’s age, or a teenager or before you got married to Mommy?” We then discussed the decline that my dreams had taken. I told her how I gradually began to doubt whether I was good enough. I told her how by the time I was first a daddy I had nearly completely given up on my dreams. That slow decline had taken nearly 25yrs to reach the bottom. But, I had given up on dreaming. • She then asked with a quieter, shaky voice... “Daddy, but what do you think now?” I breathed a huge sigh of relief and said, “Girls... Daddy is gonna change the world!” I think like that little 6yr old boy in the picture again. • It’s never too late to pursue your dreams. It’s never too late to pursue inner healing. It’s never too late to be a child again. • If you ever have a need along the way, feel free to reach out. My DM is always open. • Be careful what you water, for it will surely grow.
If any man understood the power of words, it was THIS man. May we all listen and learn from His words... #mlk • His words... infused with love. His words... gentle as doves. His words... abolished hate. His words... united race. His words... empowered others. His words... light was discovered. His words... broke chains. His words... freedom rang. His words... still remain. His words... death disdained. His words... still remembered. His words... no longer hindered. His words... let love prevail. His words... tore the veil. His words... drink your fill. His words... got him killed. • Every man dies. Not every man truly lives. We’re all better because this man truly lived. • His words... • Be careful what you water, for it will surely grow. • Image by the ridiculouslytalented @jer.collins • #martinlutherkingjr #martinlutherking #mlkday #powerofwords
What an honor today to stand on the same stage as many of my heroes in the faith. I had the absolute joy of sharing “Seeds and Trees” with about 150 of the 5-8th grade students at Sterling’s school chapel @bethel. Having the opportunity to share the story and an extended talk about the power of words, the power of belonging, being enough, being loved and accepted unconditionally was an honor. I may or may not have shed tears a few times in the process. This was such a pivotal season in my life as a child. So glad to be able to sow some green seeds in their hearts today. • Be careful what you water, for it will surely grow.
Bringing in the New Year like ::: • 1 star ⭐️ • A wise man once said, “If you’re not facing opposition you might be traveling in the wrong direction.” You are bound to face haters, cynics, and critical people when you step in to your truth and destiny. If you don’t brace yourself for it, you’ll likely get knocked over. • Seeds and Trees is a children’s book about the power of our words... it’s especially about how those words hurt and harm young children in their formative years. It was my best attempt to aid parents, teachers and therapists with simple language and a clear analogy that could be used with young children. • I’ve heard and received some many stories of break through in conversations with children! Many of those stories bring me to tears. Stories of foster kids who refuse to listen to any other book at night. Stories of children getting inspired to share this message with children at their school. Stories of parents realizing the impact some of their negative words have had in the hearts of their children. Stories of adults realizing they too still have many dark trees to uproot in their own hearts. • There’s so much brokenness in our society. So much abuse. So many words infused with hate and disregard for others hearts. There’s so much division. • Hurt people hurt people. ⬅️ (Read that again slowly) • Let’s make 2019 a year of healing in our own hearts so that we can help heal others. • Be careful what you water, for it will surely grow. • 💦🌱💦🌳
Blank page::: • One of the best things about a new year is the fact that we’re given a blank page. You can literally write ANYTHING on it. ANYTHING. • So... go ahead. • Quit that job and pursue the career you’ve always wanted. • Go back to school and get that degree to sharpen your skills. • Lose those 15lbs (or ____lbs) you’ve really wanted to. • Go ask that guy or girl out you’ve been eyeing. • Write that book. • Go on your dream vacation. • Pursue your dreams. • • • • You don’t need permission. You just need a willingness to try. You’re not too old. You’re not too young. There’s no time like right now. • Make this year the breakthrough year you’ve been wanting or waiting for. Close out this year with gratitude for what has come your way... good and bad. Then.. turn the page... pick up a pen and write “ANYTHING” on it. • Happy New Year! 🥂🎉🎊 • I’d love to hear what some of your dreams are for this coming year. Comment below with what you’ll write in the blank page you’ve just been given. • Be careful what you water, for it will surely grow. • 💦🌱💦🌳
Stephanie, Sterling & Elle singing “Silent Night”. Take a moment to listen if you want a little Christmas cheer and beauty added to your day. • Singing as a family is one of our favorite things. It’s one of our favorite gifts to give to others. Stephanie has been working on singing with the girls since Sterling was 2. Now, 10 years later, they can decide to put together something like this in a couple hours time. Listen to those girls singing 3 part harmony! 🎤🎼 • We hope it blesses your family! • 🎄 🎁 🎶
This is Royal... Laughing. . You know those baby laughing videos you watch when you just need a “pick me up”? It’s such a blessing to have one of those in our home. Ruby makes Royal laugh unlike anyone else in the house. It never gets old. 😂 . Enjoy . #babylaughing #sisters #royal #awaldenfamily #laughteristhebestmedicine #laughalittle #memories #fivedaughters #norcal #thisisredding #cutekids #wildandfreechildren
So... today we participated in a local bazaar at our church. It’s a huge citywide event. We sold our book (#SeedsandTrees), some handmade bags, seed necklaces and some other crafted items. One of the highlights was actually an impromptu meeting of a bit of rock star that many of you might not know of. A friend of ours pointed him out and I asked her to go give him a copy of my book. We had several people waiting at our booth that I didn’t want to ignore. But it made me think of something... . This guy... @brianheadwelch, knows all about sowing good seeds. He’s got such a cool story. He plays music in the rock band, Korn. They’re not necessarily known for their “uplifting” music. However, many years ago he had an encounter that transformed him and gave him a greater sense of purpose. Now before and after their concerts he goes around sowing good seeds through praying for folks who’ve attended the concerts. . It was an honor to meet him and give him a copy of the book. He was really encouraging about the work (calling it a masterpiece @thebraveunion ☺️). He then remarked about how he would read it tonight for the “little boy” in him... since we’re all children at heart anyway. The irony is that he suggested I not post this as he thought it would cause people to not want to buy the book for their kids. I smiled and said that it would likely have the opposite impact. 😉 He has the kindest eyes. . We all have a little boy or girl in us needing to be reminded that we belong, we’re good enough and that we’re loved unconditionally. I’m so grateful that Brian is out there telling young people, who may not hear that very often, that they are loved. . @brianheadwelch - You sow good seeds where most have abandoned the soil. . Be careful what you water, for it will surely grow. . 💦🌱💦🌳
We’re so excited to be a vendor at the Bethel Bazaar tomorrow! . If you are in Redding, please come by our table and say, “Hello.” We will have our first children’s book, Seeds and Trees, available to purchase. We’re matching whatever the current Amazon price is. So, don’t wait for shipping! Come get it in person and I’ll be signing them if you wish. . We will also have other crafted items by @stephaniewalden and the girls. (Kid’s purses, seed necklaces and positive word bracelets). Plus, we’re also really excited to have our throwback Walden Family Music album (I’ve got a song in my heart) available there in limited quantity. This album is perfect for families with littles (0-9yrs old). It features Stephanie and I, as well as Sterling and Elle, singing original songs birthed in family for family. It’ll wreck you. 😭 . The Bethel Bazaar is from 10am - 5pm and is expected to be crowded. So, get there early! Please come see us. . #bethelbazaar #bethelchurch #bethelredding #awaldenfamily #seedsandtrees #authorsofinstagram #kidlitauthor #picturebook #familyfun #familyof7 #fatherofdaughters #norcal #thisisredding
::: The partnership of parenting ::: . . . This is our eldest daughter, Sterling. Her name means precious and valuable... and that she is! She’s such a gift to our family and, honestly, everyone she comes in contact with. She lights up the room. . Sadly... yesterday wasn’t such a good day for her with an incident at school. 😌 We talked. We hugged. We listened. We prayed. @stephaniewalden and I did all we know to do to help her feel safe, loved, encouraged. However, she still went to bed sad and woke up sad. . So... I’m working this morning and Stephanie (my wife, best friend and parenting partner) calls me with the suggestion of surprising Sterling at lunch today. I had about 45min notice and quickly realized Stephanie was spot on with the suggestion. So I hopped up, gathered my things and raced off to meet her. . I met Sterling in the hallway of her school with her favorite juice drink from @asisjuicery and asked if I could join her for lunch. She smiled. The. Entire. Time. ☺️ . Husbands... listen to your wives. Their discerning hearts and emotions can lead you to connection with your children in ways your natural logic never will. I’m humbled I get to look like the good dad... when truthfully it is @stephaniewalden helping me be just that. . When we take a moment to step back from our own childhood hurts or selfish ambitions and ask ourselves, “What would I have wanted to have if I were my child right now?” Well, when you do that... this is the result! . Be careful what you water, for it will surely grow. . 💦🌱💦🌳
Many of you that know me also know that Seeds and Trees was never meant to be the first book I released. It just happened to be the first one I finished. 😂 In truth, it was always meant to be part of a series of 3 books. But not first. I’m so excited to say that I’m presently writing the “2nd” part of that series. We will be partnering with @thebraveunion again to complete all three books in the series. So, you can rest assured that the #illustrations will be stunning. ☺️ . Seeds and Trees was initially preceded by a book I was writing called, The Key in the Closet. While Seeds and Trees is a book about the power of words and encourages the stewarding of words and how they impact our thoughts. The Key in the Closet is more a book about identity and purpose. I’ve been diving in to the writing process the past few weeks and I’m finding so much joy in the creating process again. . But... this post was about book(s)... not just a book. Big news coming soon about a project we’re working on that will be announced in the weeks to come. When I was approached about doing this project I literally wept because of the immense honor I felt in being asked to play a part. I can’t wait to share it with you. . You never know what may come of a seed, friends. The project I just mentioned above would have NEVER come with releasing Seeds and Trees first. The smallest seeds can produce the largest trees... but they often require fire to produce the result. #sequioatrees require fire to open their seed cones and the fire also clears the brush to allow for the seed to germinate. 🔥The grind we went through over the past several years is starting to produce so much fruit and I’m so grateful. . Take heart friends and dreamers. There’s so much more. Don’t despise small beginnings. What started as an iPhone note that I thought was just for me is now producing an income to support our big family of 7... and it’s opening doors I would have never even thought to put my hand on. . Be careful what you water, for it will surely grow. . 💦🌱💦🌳 . . . . . #amwriting #childrensbookauthor #childrensbookillustration #authorsofinstagram #amazonbestseller #kidlitauthor #awaldenfamily #picturebooks
::: Royal ::: . Today we celebrate Royal and her 1st birthday. She’s already 1! Never in my life had I ever imagined being a father of 5 daughters. But, I can’t imagine a world in which they aren’t mine to father. . Royal brings so much light to our world. We’re so thankful for her and her sweet smile and how easy she is to make laugh. She’s full of joy and spreads it by just looking at you. . Happy birthday beautiful girl. . . . . . Photo credit /// @stephaniewalden . . . . #royal #happybirthday #fatherofdaughters #awaldenfamily #firstbirthday
My friend Mark’s Kickstarter campaign ::: @alphamaniagame . . Ok. Seriously. Every once in a while a friend has an idea that’s pure gold. This is one of those rare times and I truly believe this game will become a classic for families all over. Mark’s family has been playing this for nearly a decade. . . Introducing @alphamaniagame. This is the funniest card game I’ve ever played. Truly. It’s a blast! . . Here’s the thing. Mark and his family lost their home on the #CarrFire . This Kickstarter could breathe hope in their hearts unlike anything else right now. Would you please consider joining me and backing their #Kickstarter campaign? . . The game is family friendly. But also something a bunch of dudes will enjoy. It’s pure, clean family fun. Please go to Kickstarter and back @alphamaniagame. The link is in their profile. . . #kickstartergames #kickstartercampaign #alphamaniagame #familyfun #parenting #familygoals #gamesforchildren #gamesforchildren #carrfire #redding #norcal #norcalfires