Posts tagged ‘Baby Shower Devotional’

How Good Books Aid in a Child’s Growth

In October I attended a baby shower. Shula gave this awesome devotional. 

I love the sweetness of a great story. 

I must confess, I recently was up until 3 in the morning finishing the 7th Harry Potter book.

Erich Fromm, in his book, The Art of Loving, speaks of a child’s basic need for milk and honey. 

“Milk is the symbol of the care a child receives for his physical needs, for his person. Honey symbolizes the sweetness of life, that special quality that gives the sparkle within a person” (Hunt, 25).

Good books are rich in honey! What makes a good book?

“Stories that make for wonder. Stories that stir one within with an understanding of the true nature of courage, of love, of beauty” (Hunt, 26).

Choice literature engages the imagination. In experiencing a life beyond our boundaries, we come away changed. Consequently, fine literature can impart a sweet wisdom to us.

C.S. Lewis was greatly influenced by the author, George MacDonald. Lewis felt that MacDonald’s works had “baptized” or “redeemed” his imagination (Guroian, 160). An enlarged imagination helped him comprehend God’s handiwork and love, aiding him in his faith.

Steve Jobs’ biography is slated to be released in a few days. Before he died, he was asked why he had authorized it to be written and he replied, “I wanted my kids to know me” (Cooper).

God, the greatest author of all the ages, has written a story. He has written the Bible that we might know Him – it is one of the ways that He has revealed Himself to mankind.

Within Scripture, God often employs stories and parables to help us see greater truths.

  • King David was confronted of his sin with Bathsheba through a story of a poor man and his dear lamb (NIV, 2 Sam. 12).
  • We are convicted to extend our compassion to others through the parable of “The Good Samaritan” (NIV, Luke 10: 25-37).

God is an author without equal. In Hebrews His Son, Jesus, is called the “author of our salvation”  and throughout Scriptures there is reference to those who believe having their names “written in the Lamb’s book of life” (NIV, Rev. 21:27).

Additionally, “all the days ordained for (us) were written in (His) book before one of them came to be” (NIV, Ps. 139:16).

In light of this divine writer of our days, author of our salvation, and keeper of the Lamb’s book of life, it is amazing how we struggle against His will. I think it is fitting that we put our full trust in Him and relinquish our will to His. Let Him be the grand author of our lives’ adventures.

I believe that a life penned by His kind intentions will be far richer that we can imagine.

Today we welcome and celebrate a new story – that of Baby Bethany. The Great Author has already appointed her days. Filling her life with good literature and, more importantly, God’s word will pass on rich blessing to her.

There is one more bit of honey that can be added to her life and that is family storytelling.

  • In your family, recount stories of the special day Bethany, Emily, and Casey were born.
  • Tell about your early courtship and marriage. Repeat these stories often.
  • Also, speak of how you became a Believer.
  • And, most importantly tell of God’s faithfulness in your life. Share stories of how His hand has led you through difficult times, protected you from harm, and has changed your life.

Scripture urges us to “taste and see” that the Lord is good (NIV, Ps. 34:8).  The Lord is the honey of life and He enriches our lives with sweet stories.

Related Posts . . . 3 Encouragements I Needed When My Children Were Young (a baby shower devotional) . . . Tips for Reading with Newborns to age 5  (growingbookbybook.com)

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Works Cited . . .

Cooper, Charles, “Biographer: Why Jobs finally opened up”. CBS News online.

Guroian, Vigen, Tending the Heart of Virtue. London: Oxford UP, 1998. Print.

Hunt, Gladys, Honey for a Child’s Heart.  Michigan: Zondervan Books, 1989. Print.

The NIV Study Bible.

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3 Encouragements I Needed When My Children Were Young

I was a co-hostess at a baby shower on Saturday morning. I gave the devotional. Below is what I shared. What encouragement did/do you need as a mom?

A Swedish proverb says 2 children are like none and 3 are like 17. I wonder what the Swedes would say it’s like having 4 children?

I would venture to say among other things messy, noisy, and demanding. But I only have two children and so am not qualified to speak on what that’s like. But I can speak from a mother’s perspective.

My two children are now 25 and 27 years old. The constant, day-to-day care of them is passed. However, I do remember some of my shortcomings and needs from their growing up years.

When my children were growing up, I didn’t have a circle of moms around me. I didn’t have Christian women as close friends. I parented with my husband and my books, including the Bible. And now looking back, I see that I really needed women in my life. I have them now and I am a little sad that I didn’t know you all back then.

My greatest need from women was encouragement. I needed encouragement in 3 ways.

First, I needed encouragement to keep on persevering in doing right. It was tiring to persistently, but loving, discipline my strong-willed child. It was tiring to consistently put my needs second because the little ones in my house needed me to care for them first. It was tiring to keep a happy spirit when I was so exhausted  from all those years of interrupted sleep.

Dr. Dobson spoke convincingly about the need for godly, loving discipline. I knew the Bible said in Galatians 6:9 “to not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.”

But the reward, the good thing, I would reap from being consistently noble and doing right seemed so far away. I could have benefited form hearing from an experienced mom to remember the long-view. They will grow up. I am now living that long-view. My children are in their mid 20’s and I am now seeing the good that’s come from my early parenting years. And on the other hand,  I am still waiting for some of that.

Second, I also needed encouragement that what I was doing was important. Dr. Lehman spoke about the valuable role of mothers in a child’s development. I knew that the Bible, Psalm 127 to be exact, said that children are a blessing. But after many, many, many, many hours of wiping bottoms, noses and spills, I came to doubt my importance. And sometimes I didn’t view my children as blessings, but as hindrances to a life where I could do “great” things.

I needed a mom to remind me of Ephesians 2:10. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Wiping those bottoms, noses and messes were good works that God meant for me to do at that period in my life. They were important!

Finally, I needed encouragement to maintain a close walk with God. As you all know, the to-do is a heartless taskmaster. It seems even harsher when the children are young. The scattered toys, the 330 loads of laundry, the needs of the children and the husband, the job demands, etc all fought for my time and energy. Too many times I let those demands stop me from pursuing an ongoing relationship with Christ.

I knew that Matthew 6:33 told me to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. As much as I wanted to, I didn’t love God with all my soul, heart and mind.

I could have benefited by a godly woman’s intervention, mentorship and prayers. Had I taken time every day to soak up God’s living Word, I would have been a better mom and woman. I would have had more strength to persevere, known what was truly important and lastly I would have been able to maintain that close connection with God.

Ladies, the reason we are having this shower today is to encourage the mommy-to-be. It is our hope that as we gather around her for the long haul, pray with and for her, share our stories, wisdom and tips, that she will find that encouragement she’ll need over the coming years to parent well, to know her place in God’s purpose and to grow increasingly closer to our loving Father and God.

Let me end with a Scripture for all of us: Galatians 6:10:

“So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good [[morally] to all people [not only being useful or profitable to them, but also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage]. Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith [those who belong to God's family with you, the believers].”

Related Post . . . How Good Books Aid in a Child’s Growth (A baby shower devotional)

Your Turn . . . What do you think is the greatest need for moms or moms-to-be? How would you meet it?

Or, What do you, as a mom, most need?

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Pie Record – 55 Pies in 52 Weeks

1. Raspberry Freeze Pie
2. Derby Pie
3. Apple Pie
4. Dark Chocolate Cream Pie
5. Strawberry Yogurt Pie
6. Toll House Pie
7. Tamale Pie
8. Turtle Pecan Pie
9. GF, DF Apple Crumble
10. Upside Down Apple Pie

Creative Endeavors – 55 in 52 Weeks

1. Planted Spring boxes.
2. Played Scrabble in Spanish.
3. Created Salt Clay Crosses.
4. Making Mother's Day gifts for the ladies in our church.
5. Copied 2 cards at a card party.
6. Wrote rough draft.
7. Cut a hardback book into a Kindle cover
8. Boiled cans of sweetened condensed milk to make dulce de leche twice.
9. & 10. Met 2 more times to make Mother's Day gifts for church ladies.
11. Hemmed pants - Hey, it involved a thread & needle.
12. Sewed a lime green felt piggy bank. Filling it with quarters. This is for Women' s Retreat 2015.
13. Made Chai ice cream & ginger cookies for India DInner Fundraiser. (Thanks, Gillian.)
14. Researched & prepped initial dragonfly project for CM at work. (Thanks Trudy for doing the rest!)
15. Built a table (with my daughter).
16. Decoupaged the table.
17. Assembled candy bar with specialized wrappers.
18. Baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
19. Decorated my daughter's Christmas Tree
20. Decorated a wreath
21. Made thumbprint snowman ornaments
22. Decorated my Christmas tree
23. Cooked up bottles of fudge and butterscotch sauce
24. Created a melted crayon picture
25. Baked Earl Grey Cookies
26. Created Sharpie art on my white mug
27. Made a candle in a tea cup
28. Whipped up some cream cheese mints
29. Hand sewed 6 heart shaped tea bags to hold Russian Morning #24.
30. Hand sewed 6 heart shaped tea bags to hold Masala Chai.
31. Baked Lemon Marshmallow cookies
32. Put together a mini teacup pincushion
33. Hand-tied a no-sew fleece baby blanket
34. Decoupaged eyeballs to bottom of glass
35. Glued together a teacup birdfeeder.
36. Designed a diaper bag name tag holder (for nursery at church).
37. Hand tied a no sew fleece baby blanket
38. Weaved 4 ribbon book markers
39. Made another teacup candle
40. Designed and helped assemble magnets for the Women's Annual Tea
41. Sewed 7 teabags for Earl Grey Tea
42. Chalkboard lids for cute jars

Book Record – 55 Books in 52 Weeks

1. Fearfully & Wonderfully Made by Dr. Paul Brand & Philip Yancey
2. Acts of Love: The Power of Encouragement by David Jeremiah
3. Plan B by Anne Lamott
4. The Mysterious Voyage of Captain Kidd by A.B.C. Whipple
5. The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars
6. Mister God, This is Anna by Fynn
7. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
8. The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
9. Johannes Kepler: Giant of Faith and Science by John Tiner
10.The Quest for Character by Charles Swindoll
11. Masters of Mystery: 56 Short Stories of Mystery, Intrigue, & Suspense (by different authors)
12. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
13. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
14. Secrets of the Vine for Women: Breaking Through to Abundance by Darlene Wilkinson
15. Out of Solitude by Henri Nouwen
16. Wholly Sanctified by A.B. Simpson
17. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
18. Teaching Kids Authentic Worship: How to Keep Them Close to God for LIFE by Kathleen Chapman
19. A Shorter Life of Christ by Donald Guthrie
20. Whole Prayer: Speaking and Listening to God by Walter Wangerin Jr.
21. Carpe Mañana by Leonard Sweet
22. Sadako and the Thousand Paper cranes by Eleanor Coerr
23. Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling
24. In His Steps by Chalres Sheldon
25. Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit Written & Compiled by Jack Canfield and Mark Hansen
26. Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
In My Father's House by Corrie ten Boom with C. C. Carlson
27. Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging by Brennan Manning
28. The King in the Window by Adam Gopnik
29. In the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado
30. Valhalla Rising by Clive Cussler
31. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
32. Unleashing Your Potential: Discovering Your God-Given Opportunities for Ministry by Frank Tillapaugh
33. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
34. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
35. The Telling by Ursella Le Guin (library)
36. The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov (library)
37. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan (library)
38. Traveling Light by Max Lucado
39. Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard
40. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhug h
41. The Accused by Nancy Rue
42. Daniel Boone: Wilderness Scout, A story of the greatest frontiersman by Stewart Edward White
43. Seven Guides to Effective Prayer by Colin Whittaker
44. Prayer: Life's Limitless Reach by Jack R. Taylor
45. The Magnitude of Prayer by Kermit R. Olsen
46. Prayer Changes Things by Charles L. Allen
47. How to Make Prayer Exciting! by Bill & Pam Malone
48. If God Already Knows, Why Pray? by Douglas F. Kelly
49. Praying Together by Rosalind Rinker

Stuff I’ve Written and When

Book of Braille Sculptures

By Elizabeth Symington

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