When my blogging life started five months ago, I often found myself parked on our couch with laptop or notebook in lap as my kids carried on around me. This was the only doable solution if I wanted to be present with my kids and not hole myself away in a room, which never works well in my house. After the first few weeks of this new routine, my daughter began to pull out her own notebook and would nestle up close beside me and started writing, too. But, instead of blogging to an audience of many, she began writing to an audience of One. Thus, at the ripe age of 8, her prayer journal began.
She would let me peek at it once she was finished. Her words moved me more than any blog I could ever write. She asked God questions that were pressing on her mind such as, “How can you walk on water? Is it gravity?” or “How did you make weather? How did you make us? I just want to know.” She then moved on to praises such as, “Thank you so much for everything you do for me. Sometimes I don’t even realize that you do stuff for me.” And “I love you. You’re the best. I was wondering what I would do without you? I don’t know what I would do!” And, she always, always would include, “Can I have a baby sister?” (Bless her!)
A peek inside her journal. Shown with her permission.
Seeing her childlike faith and adoration spilt out onto the pages of her journal revealed an important truth to me – she’s ready to go deeper. Long gone are the days filled with The Jesus Storybook Bible and countless hours of Veggie Tales. Her faith has matured past animated talking vegetables and paraphrased Bible stories. She’s ready for more! And, because of the wonderful command to parents tucked inside of Deuteronomy 6 and 11, I knew it was my job to show her what going deeper looks like.
As Valentine’s Day approached this year, the Lord showed me a way to use this day to sow into her heart. This grand day of LOVE has the amazing potential to teach our children WHO loves comes from. Yet, we never use it for that purpose. Scripture tells us that Love comes from God 1 John 4:7. Why not shift our focus and make it about HIM instead of US?
Because I love a good party, especially when it involves giggly little girls, I proposed the idea to my girl about having a Jesus Loves Me Valentine party. She loved the idea! We texted a few friends’ mommies who caught our vision and they said they’d come in their Valentine best with Bibles in hand. I was giddy with excitement! I have never done Bible study with little girls. How would they react? Would they roll their eyes? Would they understand? I didn’t know these answers but it was a gamble that I was willing to take.
So, the day of the party came and I must say it will forever be a cherished memory of mine. My girl helped me with every detail. She thoughtfully planned out the seating arrangement which was based on who was friends with who and where she thought they'd feel most comfortable. We strung felt hearts from the chandelier and then she divided up the fruit evenly into cups and arranged the mini cupcakes and brownies onto a platter. This prep time with her was my favorite!
Simple decorations that cost only $1-$3
Once the party started, six sweet 8 year olds gathered around the table with me and did their very first “Bible study” – looking up and reading the verses on “Conversation Hearts” that I made (see printable at the bottom). It warmed my heart to watch them help one another find Zephaniah or pronounce words they didn’t know. I briefly explained each verse and they would add their insights as well. These verses about God’s love for them – His inexplicable, unexplainable, and undeserved love – filled both my home and their hearts. We talked about how He sings over us, how He goes before us, how He delights in us, how He fills us with joy in His presence, and how He will love us forever and ever. And then, we talked about how long forever is.
In addition to Bible study, I wanted to show them a way to go back home and continue growing in their faith. So, I made each one a “Praises & Prayers” jar, memory verse holder, and a Prayer Journal. These items are nothing fancy or expensive. Any non-crafty mama or grandmother can make these! Or, the girls may have loved them even more if I would have helped them make their own. Either way, I wanted to give them something special, something personal, that encourages ongoing conversations with the Lord and Bible study.
The Prayer Journal is a simple composition book from Walmart. I splurged an extra $1 and bought pretty ones with plastic durable covers and silver spines. Use stickers to personalize or find a friend who has a Cricut or Silhouette machine to make some for you!
We also had a craft that I thought of on a whim the night before and it was the biggest hit! I bought $2 wooden letters of their first initial and they painted away as they sang along to The Greatest Showman (their request). By the way, this age LOVES turquoise! They squealed with delight at the sight of the turquoise paint being squeezed out and they all called dibs on it.
After the letters dried, they took fine-tipped paint pens and wrote one word to describe each girl onto her letter. These letters with words of life written onto them will remind them how special they are to their friends.
The day ended with lots and lots of twirling and hide-and-seek. We all agreed that we need to plan a party for Easter and then for the Fourth of July and then… They kept going on and on. As I thought about it, I realized that we can turn any occasion into a way to point to Christ!
If you sense that your girl is ready to go deeper and grow in Christ, look for opportunities to share this wonderful experience with her. You will find that as you guide her in her walk with the Lord, your faith will grow, too.
P.S. Just before I was about to go live with this post, I had to drop something off at my daughter's classroom. I wasn't three steps into the room when one of the little girls who attended her party came running up to me and exclaimed, "Mrs. Rebecca! I've written in my prayer journal every night!" It made me smile big.
Give them a pen mamas and watch them go!
By Faith Kids - Conversation Hearts printable:
Join us next week as we share Raising Little Kids with Big Faith - Tools for Sowing Seeds of Faith into Your Children. This post will contain practical and fun ideas to spur both your girls and your boys onto a greater, more intimate relationship with the Lord as they grow in their knowledge of Him.
First, I am a child of God. And, like a child, I am always learning and growing. The more I know Him, the more I love Him. Second, I am a wife to a good man. Missions is his thing while teaching women to love God’s Word is mine. Third, I am a mama to three plus a sweet cockapoo who thinks he’s #4. My children are my ongoing sanctification. Fourth, I am a passionate advocate of all things healthy & natural and a dreamer/designer. Old friends call me Becky, newer ones call me Rebecca, and the most intimate ones call me Beck. You can just call me friend.
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