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Teaching Children Through a Heart of Broken Pieces

Updated: Mar 22, 2022

Guest Blog By Susan D Powers

I've always loved the popular quote, “Home is where the heart is,” until I wrote my children’s picture book, Special Shoes for My Little Feet. While writing my book, I began to see that the heart is connected to our family values. Now I use this quote: “Family is where the heart is.”

Our values begin when we are children living at home with our families, and whatever values we learn then go with us wherever we are. What we learn as children stays in our hearts, and that’s what we bring into our adult homes; reteaching and continuing them with our own families.

Along with the good, we all have some unsettling things from childhood that we would rather not think or talk about. Nevertheless, for better or for worse, those broken pieces in our hearts follow us right through the front door and make themselves at home. Without even knowing it, if not healed, we lead our children through life through the lens of our broken hearts.

My Story:

In 2010, my young granddaughter walked into my kitchen wearing my oversized high-heels, proclaiming, “I am Grandma!” One would think I would be overjoyed that my granddaughter wanted to be like me. But the truth is, I was not happy. Tears welled up because I had become aware of some pretty bad habits I had passed down to my boys. I still had not corrected those behaviors in myself. However, it caused me to look at what had broken and filled my heart and what I had so blindly passed down to my children. I knew I had to change—it was the only way to make it right with my children and shift our family legacy.

My Gift of Awareness:

More often than not, it takes something shocking us into awareness that gets us to wake up to change. That’s what happened to me when I saw my granddaughter stomping around the kitchen in my shoes. I think it was seeing her that woke me up to the little girl in me who felt broken inside. Though the shock of awareness was painful, I believe I was given a gift to begin healing myself and my family.

My Journey:

I began my long journey of healing with some pretty deep wounds. It was really confusing because I didn’t want to let go of my “story” about my past. Like it would somehow destroy who I thought myself to be if I let go of it. I felt frozen.

At the time, my husband (fiancé) noticed my struggle and said something confusing to me at first. He said, “I promise to never fully know you.” He explained that he will always love me no matter what my heart grows into and no matter who I choose to be.” He said, “The heart can shift and change if we let it, allowing us to heal and grow.”

It freed me up to let go and to discover and enjoy the potentially new me. It also gave me the courage to forgive myself; those in my past; and heal my relationships with family members in the present. It was the pivotal moment that allowed me to see new possibilities.

My Idea for Special Shoes for My Little Feet:

I never forgot my granddaughter stomping around in my over-sized shoes all these years later. It sparked an idea for a picture book about a little boy who discovers his importance by wearing his family’s shoes.

Although Special Shoes for My Little Feet is a picture book, it also focuses on family and the values we, as parents, hold so dear. The “special shoes” In the book are all the “good things” Gilbert’s family does for him. The legacy started with Gilbert’s grandparents, then passed down to Gilbert’s dad, and now to Gilbert.

My goal was to present a story in a way that gives any child being read the feeling that they too are important, like Gilbert. Also, parents can get creative with what their “special shoes” for their own children might look like. It is the book I wish I had to guide and connect with my own children.

Special Shoes for My Little Feet

It all starts with wonder…


and four pairs of Special Shoes for My Little Feet.

“What makes me so important?” Gilbert asks.

“Is it my red hair and blue eyes?

Maybe it’s my singing voice.

I don’t know, but I sure would like to find out.

But how?”

* * *

When every reason he can think of fails to give him an answer,

Gilbert turns to his family’s special shoes.

Incredibly, the shoes have amazing powers,

that transport him into past events—

where he experiences the memories of his parents and grandparents.

Join Gilbert on an adventure through his family legacy,

discovering the secret of the special shoes,

while learning what makes him so important.

Join us on March 22, 2022, at 6:30 pm MDT to hear more!

Where to connect with Susan:

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