Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Pocket Folder

by Jessica Kirkland

It was tucked away in a ragged, grey pocket folder. It also had friends. I stared at it through six cities, three colleges, and the birth of three babies, my now 5-year-old triplets. All the while, I asked God, “Are you sure you want me to be a writer?” As a matter of fact, I’ve asked Him that same question since I was 15 years old. How many times do we hear the whispers of purpose only to whisper back, “Really, God?”  See, I love a comfort zone and uncertainty has never been my favorite friend.  I don’t color outside of the lines, and usually when I come face-to-face with something new like technology, I never read the manual. So, how in the world did a girl like me find herself writing, creating, and releasing a children’s book app for iPad?
It all started with the pocket folder. I am sure that you have something similar. Maybe it’s a desk drawer, a secret journal you keep stashed away, a computer file, or a blog. Yet, everyone that dreams of writing has a proverbial “pocket folder.” You’ve probably toted it through cities, colleges, marriage, and childbirth, and you might have even shown the world, only to have “rejection” stamped all over it. Then, you took out your folder, and put your story back under lock and key.

In today’s global marketplace, pocket folder stories can find a home. Let me tell you a secret about “The Sounds of Night,” my Christian book app for kids. I was too afraid to even get it out of the folder. Then, one day I started researching e-books and listening to the success stories of new authors, just like me, finding their niches. I read about e-books for months and I asked God again; “Is an e-book for me? Are you sure you want me to be a writer?”
Then, one day my mother-in-law got an iPad and I noticed something; my children were enamored with it. Then, my own mother purchased one, and soon I followed. Suddenly, the television was out and the iPad was the most sought after piece of entertainment in my home. They played Angry Birds, built Cupcakes, and did Geometry. Their fingers slid over that touch-user interface in a way I never imagined. My four-year-olds were learning and having fun with one of the hottest pieces of technology: the iPad. Then, they wanted more.  As a Christian parent, I wanted them to have apps that taught them, entertained them, but also brought them closer to God. I started searching for Christian book apps and my search turned up completely dry. How could that be? For weeks, I typed in key words and looked for reviews on the Internet for good, Christian apps, and still nothing.
It was at that point that I decided the contents of the pocket folder must be unlocked, tweaked, and ultimately transformed into fun, interactive books that taught kids about God. Inadvertently, my kids love for the iPad coupled with a felt need in the Christian marketplace for quality, God-centered apps, was the catalyst for me entering the exciting world of children’s book apps. I removed my tattered, grey pocket folder from an even more tattered brown moving box, and took a giant leap of faith. Along the way, I have seen my God-given gifts, talents, and hobbies all funneled into one place: apps. If I listened to my distaste for manuals or my love/hate relationship with technology, I would never be here. Instead, I listened to the pocket folder, the dreams tucked away, and the One who gave them to me years ago.
Jessica Kirkland lives in Southeast Texas with her husband, Robb, and five-year-old triplets. She is an author and speaker whose greatest passion in life is to see young families grow deeper in their walk with God. When Jessica isn’t writing, you can find her cheering on her boys at the soccer field, or watching her little girl at the dance studio.  To find out more about her current writing projects, connect with her at: or on her personal blog:
We, at Southern Writers, would like to invite you to preview Jessica's app:  The Sounds of the Night

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