Baha’is see the young as the most precious treasure a community can possess. In them are the promise and guarantee of the future. Yet, in order for this promise to be realised, children need to receive spiritual nourishment, such as can be found in the children’s classes happening all around the world.
Baha’i-Inspired Journals & Baby Books Designed by Kami Ahmadi
I love hearing about creators who know of an artistic need, and are inspired to act and meet that need. Kami Ahmadi is one such creator and I am excited to hear about her journals and baby books:
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Both my husband and I were blessed with parents that endeavored to keep the Baha’i Faith a primary focus in their lives and made many sacrifices in the path of service. I believe that has been the most important influence in my life, and has also resulted in us living all over the world. My family left the United States to go pioneering to South Africa when I was six years old, where I lived into my early 20’s. My husband and I then went home front pioneering to rural Swaziland (now eSwatini) shortly after getting married. I also had the bounty of spending nine years in Haifa, at the Baha’i World Centre—two years as a junior youth while my parents served there, and again with my husband when we served together for a period of seven years. Both of our boys were born in Haifa. After leaving Israel we spent two years living in Hawaii, which really reinforced the idea of how much being immersed in all the natural beauty of God’s creation can truly feed your soul and inspire creativity.
I homeschooled both of my children, with my oldest now in college and my youngest entering high school. So education, and specifically how to integrate spiritual education into schooling, has always been a passion of mine, and has inspired much of what I have published.
Can you tell us a little bit about your journals and baby books?
The Growth and Gratitude Journal is a tool to create a daily habit of focusing on personal growth, being first inspired by an in depth reflection on a quote from the Baha’i Writings, then focusing on the discipline of bringing “thyself to account each day”, 1 combined with a daily gratitude practice. The journal also provides spaces for more long-term reflection on the growth unfolding in your life.
Make of Me a Shining Lamp is a Baha’i inspired pregnancy journal and baby book filled with spaces to record milestones, memories, thoughts, and photographs, with quotes and prayers for each stage of the journey. It is illustrated with sweet, nature based images, whereas Make of Me a Brilliant Star has the same written content, but is illustrated with simple, modern line drawings of families.
What inspired you to create them?
The Growth and Gratitude Journal was actually inspired by my book Meaningful Conversations With Our Children. Many parents who bought the book reached out to ask if I could create something similar for an adult audience.
The pregnancy and baby journals came out of a conversation with a close friend, who shared that she wished a Baha’i themed baby book had been available when she had her son, as well as to give as gifts at baby showers. In talking to a few other parents, there definitely seemed to be an interest in such a publication.
What was something you learned in the process of making them?
Not so much in the process, but after publishing them, I have valued the wonderful connections made with people who reached out after using these publications to share how they have impacted their lives in meaningful ways.
What do you hope people will take away with them after using the journals?
The intent behind the Growth and Gratitude Journal is to create a space in which a consistent practice of reflecting on our lives can be developed, hopefully leading to greater intention in our choices and actions. The gratitude component is in creating a space to recognize the moments in each day for which we can be grateful, this fuels a more positive outlook and helps to develop a more mindful awareness of these moments. Both of these practices are oriented in and inspired by first reflecting in a deep way on a quote from the Baha’i writings. The quote is not intended, in any way, to replace one’s own daily study of the writings, but rather to provide inspiration for this reflection and gratitude practice.
I love being able to add to the growing wealth of Baha’i inspired materials, and that was the intent behind the pregnancy journal and baby books, as they give Baha’i families the option of being able to record these memories in a way that includes Baha’i writings and milestones.
Who is their intended audience?
The Growth and Gratitude Journal is intended for older teens and adults.
Make of Me a Brilliant Star and Make of Me a Shining Lamp are both intended for couples having a baby, they cover pregnancy and first year of a baby’s life. They make wonderful gifts for an expectant couple.
Thank you, Kami, for taking the time to share this with us.
In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.