Behind the Lights: The Extraordinary Journey of a Mum and Her Family
Stock No: WW201243
Behind the Lights: The Extraordinary Journey of a Mum and Her Family  -     By: Helen Smallbone, With Lisa Stilwell

Behind the Lights: The Extraordinary Journey of a Mum and Her Family

K-LOVE Books / 2022 / Hardcover

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Product Description

How did an ordinary family produce two Grammy Award-winning artists---Rebecca St. James and King & Country? Helen Smallbone shares about her daughter's rise to fame; the family's move from Australia to America; the years of touring; Joel and Luke's success; the careers of her other children; and how a local church gave them hope! 256 pages, hardcover from K-Love.

Product Information

Title: Behind the Lights: The Extraordinary Journey of a Mum and Her Family
By: Helen Smallbone, With Lisa Stilwell
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: K-LOVE Books
Publication Date: 2022
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 X 0.75 (inches)
Weight: 1 pound
ISBN: 1954201249
ISBN-13: 9781954201248
Stock No: WW201243
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Publisher's Description

In this inspiring debut memoir, Helen Smallbone, mother of seven creative childrenⷕincluding Christian music artists for KING & COUNTRY and Rebecca St. Jamesⷕchronicles the family’s journey of faith across the ocean to go where God was leading. Written from a mother’s perspective, Helen shares stories of peaks, valleys, and a family trusting God for provision.


Helen Smallbone’s heartfelt story illustrates what it means to really let God lead, which almost always means living outside the box of how the world says to live. How did an ordinary Australian family produce two Grammy Award–winning artistsⷕRebecca St. James and for KING & COUNTRY? What happened to bring the Smallbones through closed doors and to new beginnings in the United States? In Behind the Lights, Helen shares not only these stories of her family but of the life lessons they all learned along the way.


In 1991 Helen and her husband, David, packed up their family and sixteen suitcases to move from Australia to the United States. Completely isolated from the support of family and friends, they relied on God to provide them with hope and direction. Helen watched her children join forces as Rebecca St. James’ career grew, soon followed by blossoming careers for the othersⷕas artists, entrepreneurs, filmmakersⷕand the rise of Joel and Luke’s for KING & COUNTRY on Christian music charts. Helen shares untold stories and insights into how her family worked and stuck together, constantly relying on their faith to guide the way. Helen’s journey includes:




  • Meeting her future husband with a cockatoo on her shoulder
  • The family’s move to the states in blind faith
  • The kindness of neighbors and the local church that gave them the encouragement they so desperately needed
  • Years of touring alongside Rebecca and the formation of for KING & COUNTRY
  • The ways God led and enabled her to homeschool and think about education differently
  • An inside look at the stories and dynamics of the entire Smallbone family


No matter where you are in life, Helen shows through her own experiences that what God has done in her life, He will do in yours, too.




“Make sure you’re buckled in, because it was quite a treacherous and miraculous journey as we, the Smallbone family, fumbled our way toward learning how to sing harmoniously in the lights and, even more importantly, behind them. We believe this book tells the story of all the lessons we were taught growing up with heart and courage. Behind the Lights truly demonstrates that life is a remarkable adventure.”

—Joel and Luke, for KING & COUNTRY


“Helen is a reflection of strength and relentless perseverance. The story of her life has encouraged me to never stop fighting for my family, my faith, and my joy. Her character is rooted deep in God’s truth, and her kindness for others is infectious. Behind the Lights reflects her raw authenticity of truth and always choosing what’s right over what is easy. You will be challenged in your faith, relationships with others, and living a life above reproach. The world will read Behind the Lights and be encouraged to see how Helen walks through hard things and yet comes out looking very different than most do on the other side.” 

—Heather Houle, cofounder of MUMlife


“Helen and her entire marvelous family have been dear friends of mine since we first met at the Sydney Opera House for a couple concerts back in the ’70s. They’re family to my husband Pelle and me! It is a joy to see how God has directed each one of them in life and in music ministry. Jesus has always been the focus, and for that, I salute and thank them.”

—Evie Karlsson, Dove Award–winning music artist

Author Bio

HELEN SMALLBONE is the co-founder of MUMlife Community and a podcast host with AccessMore. Her passion is encouraging mothers and families with the God-breathed wisdom she has gleaned over thirty-two years of active mothering. Born and raised in Australia, she dedicated her life to Christ as a young teen at the Billy Graham Crusade in Sydney. Now a mother to seven—five boys, bookended with girls—and grandmother to thirteen, she currently lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, David, and a small menagerie of animals.



LISA STILWELL is a veteran in Christian publishing with twenty-plus years of experience and is the owner of Loadstone Literary, a comprehensive freelance editorial service that provides book development, editing, and ghostwriting. She’s worked with best-selling authors such as Max Lucado, Charles Stanley, and Sarah Young. She is also the author of God’s Truth for Troubled Times and 100 Days of Faith Over Fear. When Lisa isn’t writing or editing, she loves to be outdoors hiking and kayaking.

Author/Artist Review

Author: Helen Smallbone
Submitted: February 24, 2022

    Tell us a little about yourself.  I was born in Australia in the mid-50's, the youngest with three older brothers and my father being a Methodist minister. Even though I grew up in the church, my faith became real in my mid-teens when I committed my life to Christ at a Sydney Billy Graham Crusade.

Trained as an Occupational Therapist, my greatest desire was to serve God and be a wife and mother. These desires started to be realized when I married the love of my life, David Smallbone, at the young age of 20. The ensuing years were busy with 6 children being born during the next 14 years.

In 1991, when pregnant with our 7th child, our world was turned upside down by a personal financial crisis. The answer appeared to be relocating to Nashville, TN for David to pursue a job of managing a Christian music artist.

However, new adventures were experienced as our family homeschooled and were forced to live by faith for the ensuing few years. Our family, now comprised of 5 boys and 2 girls, has continued to remain close working together in Christian music.

My husband David and I continue to live just outside Nashville on a small farm. I still love my role of wife and mother but also have a new hobby that comprises a petting zoo/menagerie which has approximately 13 different varieties of animals. We have now become U.S. citizens and have been blessed with a growing family of 13.5 grandchildren.

    What was your motivation behind this project?  Part of the reason I wanted to write this book is to encourage and challenge other families to live differently to get out of their box. I want others to have courage to seek His will rather than their own and to let Him use them however He wants in His bigger plan. His plans don't look like the world's definition of success, but they always include lasting, eternal purpose and value. They also include His presence, leading and guiding us into adventures and valleys we wouldn't necessarily choose for ourselves. Through them, I believe God wants more of us living counterculture to the world's ways. Sometimes it may even mean we go against a lot of the church's religious traditions. But in choosing His ways, we will live in the miraculous! I look back on my family's journey, and I see God's hand everywhere. I see His phenomena. I see His faithfulness in taking our simple Australian family and leading us to the other side of the world and doing things with us we would never have thought possible. Our lives are a living testimony of believing God's promises and trusting His timing and His ways even when circumstances didn't make sense and were not easy. He was always there. Our journey has been an amazing one we never would have planned for ourselves. There has been a lot of loss at one point we lost everything, yet God has redeemed every one of those losses beyond what we could have hoped for or imagined, which is why Ephesians 3:20 is one of my favorite verses: "Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think."

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  This book is a look back from this mum's viewpoint of my own family's transformation from living more in the world's way into God's way. It's filled with life lessons that, hopefully, you can apply to your own life and to your own journey. David and the kids would have their own perspectives, perhaps slightly different from mine, but I can only speak from what my experiences have been and the memories they bring, some good and some not so good. In some small ways, I wish I could go back and do some things differently, which I'll touch on. But in most ways, I wouldn't change a thing. What we've been through is what makes us who we are today and molds us into the instruments God has wanted us to be for bringing Him the glory in our lives that He deserves. What is exciting to me is I know and fully believe that the faithfulness and favor God has shown me, shown all of us, is the same faithfulness He shows to anyone who fully commits their life to Him. It is my hope that from our story, you will be inspired to step outside of your box and embrace God's plans for you without fear or hesitation. When you do, His peace will carry you no matter what you face, the same way it has carried me.

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