I Came from Joy! is a beautifully conceived, non-sectarian tool for developing a child’s inner, spiritual life—ideal for parents, teachers, youth group leaders, and religious educators. Written for children age 5–11, but adaptable for all ages, I Came from Joy! offers fun and uplifting exercises that teach children values such as kindness, love, concentration, happiness, discrimination, sharing, patience, security, and how to be a success.

This easy-to-use workbook features:

  • A complete curriculum for use at home, youth groups, schools, and Sunday schools
  • 26 lesson plans with all necessary materials
  • Reproducible picture pages for coloring, arts and crafts, and bulletin boards
  • Guidance on how to teach spiritual values to children
  • Take-home pages for sharing topics with parents
  • Lists of recommended children’s books and additional resources

Lorna Ann Knox

Lorna Ann Knox, BSN, teaches education workshops for educators and parents and is the director of the Ananda Sunday School in Portland, OR. She has lived in Europe, Asia, and many parts of the United States. She is married to a former teacher and home-schools their three children. Prior to working in the education field, Lorna was a registered nurse and health educator for 15 years. She is also a yoga instructor for children.

Lorna's motivating force behind her writing is the belief that "ones most valuable contribution to a child's learning and growing can be made by striving to practice the art of living with awareness and love, and allowing the children in our care to watch us and be a part of our efforts. If they can see us working at being a better person and by allowing them to see our joy grow as a result, they will want to follow."

Introduction

Using this Book

1. Concentration

2. Devotion

3. Discrimination

4. Energy

5. Forgiveness

6. God Remembrance

7. Gratitude

8. Happiness

9. Highmindedness

10. Humility

11. Humor

12. Introspection

13. Kindness

14. Love

15. Non-Injury

16. Openness

17. Patience

18. Peace of Mind

19. Security

20. Self-Control

21. Self-Expansion

22. Service

23. Sharing

24. Success

25. Willpower

26. Work

Appendix

Biographical Index

Sources

Resources

When I began to work with Lorna Knox, a teacher and home-schooling parent, I was immediately struck by her balance of confidence and humility, idealism and practicality, in her manner of dealing with children. Enthusiasm and creative ideas for teaching just bubbled out of Lorna.

Of course, the single most important influence on the character of our children is our example and the magnetism of who we are. But beyond that, how can we share our values with children? How do we motivate children to want to pray, meditate, and listen to their own “inner voices” of conscience and Higher Self?

These questions have occupied me and my colleagues on the Ananda Living Wisdom School (a small, private school in Northern California, dedicated to holistic, spiritual education) staff for twelve years. We knew that only a living curriculum—one that provides experiences of inspiration—was really meaningful to children. So we set out to learn to provide those experiences, and to provide them in a way that develops all sides of the child: body, feeling, will power, and intellect. Workshops and books grew out of our discoveries as well as the establishment of other Ananda Living Wisdom Schools.

I was thrilled when I first saw the ideas and illustrations for Lorna’s book, I Came from Joy!, because here was someone who independently had come to all the same conclusions about sharing spirituality with children that we had. Here was an original and beautiful example of a Living Wisdom curriculum that could be used in the classroom, in Sunday school, or even at home with an individual child.

Lorna’s delightful assortment of activities, art projects, handouts, and stories make it possible for children of all ages to explore spiritual qualities—love, joy, forgiveness, compassion, courage, patience, will power, kindness (26 qualities in all). Lorna offers her insights without dogmatism, in a spirit of love and respect, encouraging each child to learn at his or her own pace. I Came From Joy! reflects her understanding, based on years of working with children, that children are naturally attracted to spiritual values when presented in a joyful, nurturing way.

Without hesitation, I would recommend this wonderful book to parents and teachers alike. Use it with love and respect for each child, and you will be delighted by the results!

Blessings to you,

Susan Dermond
Director, Ananda Living Wisdom School
Beaverton, Oregon

Security

Our desire to protect our children is deeply rooted, with good cause. It helps us to fulfill our caretakers’ role. In that sincere desire
to protect, we can strap on protective padding until our little ones can’t move, or we can immobilize them with fearful warnings of life’s
dangers. But all that worry and fear will kill the joy life holds, for adult and child alike. We must do what we can with the knowledge
that when they are not within the safety of our arms, they are held in the arms of their Divine Mother and Father. Visualize your children
surrounded with light and lift them up, mentally, to the Christ center, the point between the eyebrows. Offer them into the Lord’s keeping
with gratitude and love. Practice this every day and you and your children will learn the security of God’s presence together.

Give Me Light!

It is not just marketing that makes all types of glow-in-the-dark toys popular. Light gives us power against darkness, whether
real or imagined. Inexpensive flashlights, such as the squeeze kind that come several to a package, can be used in a variety of
games. While the children are out of the room, have a helper scatter small cards around the classroom. Make your own cards with
uplifting thoughts or pictures, or purchase small Angel Cards(r) (see Appendix) or tokens. Don’t hide the cards under things,
they have to be visible by flashlight. Let each child have a flashlight and hunt for as many of the cards as they can find in
the dark. Count them, read them, share them, and then they will probably want to do it all over again. An alternative to the game
above would be to use plastic glow-in-the-dark stars, made for sticking to the ceiling. Charge the stars under a lamp and scatter
them around the room. They would be fun to find without flashlights. They also lose their glow after a short time, which would
challenge the children with a time limit.

Materials needed: flashlights for each child, small cards, or plastic glow-in-the-dark stars

 

Write it Down

Have the children sit on the floor at least arm’s length from one another. Light a candle on your altar or a small table, where everyone
can see it. Repeat the affirmation together several times while concentrating on the light of the candle. You may want to start with the
lights on and then turn the lights off. After they know the words well, show them how to "write " the words of the affirmation on the floor
with their finger. While sitting in the same spot, turn in a complete circle, writing the words on the floor until you have surrounded
yourself with the invisible affirmation. Then blow out the candle and repeat the affirmation several times in the dark. Encourage them to use the affirmation anytime they are worried. They can use the invisible writing technique on their pillow before going to sleep. Remind them that the Divine Light is shining within them and upon them, even in the dark.

Materials needed: candle

 

Draw a Dream

After looking at the affirmation picture with the children, give them blank paper to draw on. Suggest that they draw a balloon to go over the sleeping child’s head with pictures of what she is dreaming, or draw a beautiful quilt to go on the bed that would help make her feel safe and happy.

Materials needed: paper, crayons, markers

 

Use Music

Give Me a Light from I Came From Joy! music recording. A song with both power and sweetness. Good for singing in rounds.

Sing Out with Joy! from I Came From Joy! music recording

 

Tell Stories

Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. Monsters scare Max in his dreams until he learns to face them and take control. Then his nights are fun adventures.

Runaway Bunny, by Margaret Wise Brown. No matter where bunny goes, his mother is always with him, just as our Divine Mother is.

The Always Prayer Shawl, by Sheldon Oberman. Adam’s life changes in many ways as he grows up, immigrates to America, marries, raises children and grows old. Through it all though, he is always Adam and he prays with his always prayer shawl that belonged to his grandfather. He teaches his grandson that some things always change and some things never do. Discuss how our relationship with God is the only constant in the universe, and can always be depended upon.

Psalm Twenty-Three, illustrated by Tim Ladwig. The inspirational poem is realistically illustrated and set in a contemporary inner city setting. An African-American boy and his sister have a safe haven in their home filled with love, amidst the dangers and dark-ness of the city. A relevant and inspirational book for many, but not for the very young.


"Man struggles all his life to store up treasures for himself, to insure his property against loss and his health against the devastation of disease. He rests his faith in outward measures, and sees not that such faith is like asking a wave not to move! Security is his alone whose faith rests in the Lord. Most practical of men is he who offers his life to God, praying, "My safety is Thy responsibility, Lord." This does not mean we should not be conscientious. But after doing our very best, we should leave the worrying to God!"
—Swami Kriyananda, Affirmations for Self-Healing

"And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: "Give me a light that I may tread safely in the unknown." And he replied: "Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light, and safer than a known way." "
—Minnie Louise Haskins

"The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore."
—Psalms 121:7-8

"No coward soul is mine, No trembler in the world’s storm troubled sphere: I see heaven’s glories shine, And faith shines equal, arming me from fear."
—Emily Bronte

"At last, a workbook designed to awaken each child’s unique sense of the divine, as well as strengthen their relationship with God. Lorna Knox is a natural-born teacher who through her book I Came from Joy! brings the love and light of God to our children through her activities and spiritual affirmations."

Connie Bowen, author of I Believe in Me

"An inspirational as well as practical guide to helping children learn to live by true values. Lorna Knox has captured the essence of each value and made it meaningful for children through creative movement, art, music, and literature."

Carol Malnor, Performance Living Systems and author of The Sharing Nature with Children Teacher’s Guides

"I absolutely, with no hesitations, adore this book! It is a needed teaching tool with spiritual lessons that I strive to impart to my own daughter, as well as the students at my school."

Kathleen Benson, Director of Fair Oaks Village School, Sacramento, CA

"Finally, parents and teachers have access to a practical guide of fun, uplifting activities that will guide their children toward emotional and spiritual maturity."

John Gorman, parent and public school teacher