Having worked as director of student activities at Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham, Alabama Sophie Hudson has a heart for teenage girls. A byproduct of that passion is the “Grace Upon Grace Journaling Devotional,” an undated, 100-day devotional directed toward women and teens.
“Teenage girls right now battle perfectionism. They place a lot of expectations upon themselves. They are smart and they are driven and they’re involved. Their time is really precious,” Hudson said. “I thought, ‘Maybe that would be a relief to somebody, just to have a little moment every day where they remember to rest in the grace of God — that it’s not what we do for Him but what by His grace He does in and through us.’”
A place to answer questions
When parents started asking for recommendations of a good devotional, Hudson said she decided to write one of her own, patterning it after Chuck Swindoll’s, “Growing Strong Through the Seasons of Life.”
“At the end of every day’s devotion there was a place to answer questions. When I was that age, the devotional was great, but I really liked the processing that happened from the questions,” Hudson recalled. “One day, when I was working on ‘Giddy Up, Eunice,’ I thought, ‘I may want to write a devotional, but for teenage girls.’”
After publishing several other books, the idea led to “All in All,” Hudson’s first guided journal.
She tries not to be too topical, though she does include some thought-provoking issues ranging from broken hearts to thoughts about racism in “Grace Upon Grace.”
“I think there are times where we have to remember that we can get so wrapped up in our little bubbles — whatever our little bubbles happen to be — that sometimes we don’t realize when something that’s not so great has crept into that bubble or into our hearts,” Hudson explained.
‘A little salty to cut the sweet’
Though she has loved to write since she was young, she was adamant about never writing a book. She couldn’t imagine being a professional writer but always loved writing about “real life.” She has journaled since she was young, and majored in English in college.
When God impressed upon her His desire for her to write a book she dismissed the thought since she didn’t have any ideas.
But one day, while folding clothes, a phrase her grandfather used to say popped into her head: “A little salty to cut the sweet.” She immediately knew the book’s subject and stories to include.
Not knowing how to find a publisher, Hudson started writing with the idea of possibly self-publishing. Then out of the blue she received an email from a publishing house.
This led to a book proposal, a contract and eventually publishing her first two books, “A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet: Southern Stories of Faith, Family, and Fifteen Pounds of Bacon” and “Home Is Where My People Are: The Roads that Lead Us to Where We Belong.”
Both of the book covers credit Hudson as the “Author of the BooMama Blog,” which she began as a young mom as a creative outlet, and now is “read by tens of people every single day,” she joked.
“Not long after I started it, it was the thing that I was made to do in that it was never work. It was always so fun,” Hudson said. “I was an English teacher so I was busy teaching other people how to write. I started to write frequently and was updating the blog all of the time. This led to [writing] magazine articles.”
Throughout her books she discusses experiences she feels God wants her to share.
“The Lord teaches me a lot just through real life, everyday stuff,” Hudson said. “There’s something sweet about having a chance to sit down and put what you’ve experienced or what you’ve learned into words. That’s probably my favorite thing.
“Like when I’m on a walk or having a conversation with a friend, there’s just an epiphany in my head that lines up with the truth of who I know God to be.”
Lightening the load
Hudson now has six published books, as well as the blog and podcasts.
“I think more than anything, I hope I am a voice that’s encouraging, that finds joy in everyday stuff,” Hudson said. “I’m not a theologian. I’m not an intense Bible teacher. But I am a person who loves to see the Lord at work in just our regular old everyday life.
“I also love to laugh. I think the Lord gives us opportunities to experience a lot of joy day to day. If I don’t do anything else in my writing, I want to point out that joy and hopefully make people feel a little bit better.
“The world’s heavy. I always say, I’m not going to change the world, but maybe I can lighten the load a little bit.”
For more visit www.boomama.net.