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Love Does for Kids: SPU graduate pens popular children’s devotional

Lindsey Goff Viducich ’09 started rubbing shoulders with world-changers early.

lindsey goff viducich
Lindsey Goff Viducich

In 2001, at the age of 12, Viducich and her two brothers mailed letters to the leaders of every country in the world. In the letters, they asked to visit and interview the leaders about hope on camera. When her family received 29 positive responses, including invitations from the vice president of Bulgaria and the presidents of Switzerland and Israel, the five Goffs boarded a plane and traded traditional classrooms in San Diego for palaces and state houses around the world.

When she got to Seattle Pacific, Viducich channeled her enterprising spirit into work encouraging other students as a Student Ministry Coordinator. She devoted hours to mentoring students at coffee shops atop Queen Anne.

“Part of Lindsey’s gifting is to be totally present,” said Deb Nondorf, SPU’s minister of discipleship. “When she’s with you, she’s with you. People feel heard. They feel known. They feel seen.”

lindsey and her husband
Lindsey and her husband, Jon

Lindsey’s husband, Jon Viducich ’09, who met Lindsey as a fellow student leader in the residence halls, says he remembers telling Lindsey about a book he enjoyed. She listened intently to his reflections and affirmed his excitement. Years later, Jon discovered that Lindsey knew the author. He asked why she hadn’t told him that at the time, and she responded that it didn’t seem relevant, and she didn’t want to distract from his excitement.

“Isn’t that surprising, beautiful, and refreshing?” Jon said. “Like most folks I know, I’m quick to look for opportunities to boost my social status, and I love how Lindsey refuses to take that bait. The result is that she’s a trusted friend to people from all walks of life.”

After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in sociology and just a few credits shy of an art minor, Lindsey went on to earn a master’s in teaching at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. She’s taught preschool, kindergarten, and first grade, and is currently a second-grade teacher in San Diego.

lindsey and her dad sign books
Bob and Lindsey sign their books

Lindsey enjoys finding creative ways to teach children concepts both as a teacher and as a writer. She worked with her father, New York Times-bestselling author and speaker, Bob Goff, to write Love Does for Kids (Thomas Nelson), published last autumn, which is a devotional version of the bestseller Love Does (Thomas Nelson, 2012). The children’s version tells stories from her family to teach children about being loved by God and showing that love to others. Some of the tales include the time her mother allowed the three Goff children to “run away” and the dinner when the Goffs flung sloppy Joes at each other for “no manners night.”

More serious notes include the story of meeting heads of state around the world, and how Lindsey’s siblings supported her when one of her friends died in high school.

One of the challenges Lindsey faced was retelling family stories in a way that emphasized lessons children need to learn — not always the same lessons needed for adults.

“I want kids to have a clear idea of who God is and what he thinks of them,” she said.

For instance, in Love Does, Bob tells a story about an elderly driver named Lynn who, after totaling Bob’s Jeep, learns to depend on others.

“You can’t have a takeaway about dependence in a kid’s book,” Lindsey said with a laugh. “That’s how kids exist. They don’t need to relearn that.”

Lindsey instead focused the story on Lynn, who kept calling Bob daily asking for forgiveness. Although he continued to assure her she was forgiven, she continued to apologize.  So he sent her a large bouquet of flowers with a card that said, “It was nice running into you the other day. You don’t need to call anymore! Love, Bob.”

Lindsey expanded on this for a kids’ lesson.

“‘Show people that you forgive them’ is a good takeaway for kids,” Lindsey said. “And that’s what God did with us. He showed us through an action — by sending Jesus.”

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