Thursday, February 13, 2014

New Twist, Old Tradition

Earlier this week we celebrated my oldest's 11th birthday...I can't believe J.D.'s 5 years from his driver's licence and 7 short years from graduation. We had a good time celebrating and remembering. And today I wanted to share a bit about a tradition that helps us remember.

When my son was born I wrote him a letter and shared about the day, our thoughts and emotions. And each year on his birthday I write him a letter. (I do this for the others as well.) I typically share about things they did, what they enjoy and how they interact with their siblings. I assure them of my love, but honestly admit struggles too. As the years have passed, the kids have added messages to their siblings and we've done some fill in the blanks - "When I grow up..., I like..., My favorite..."

Then at some point on their birthday we pull out the folder and start at the beginning..."The Day You Were Born" takes me back every single time. As do the birthday letters...we laugh as we recall stories and remember the things they did and said. With each passing year it's a tradition the kids enjoy more. This year before Joy's birthday, J.D. even asked if I had her letter written yet!

It's fun to remember and look back on the times that have passed, but this year I've added a new twist - at the end of the letter to my child, I write a prayer for them. It's specific and includes Scripture, and most importantly will someday be answered!

I pray this new twist is one my children will someday appreciate as well. Obviously they enjoy the funny stories, but I know one day we'll all value the prayers that will produce results. I think about 5 years down the road when we're reading this year's letter...I'm sure the stories will bring smiles, but I trust the prayer will bring tears.

God is faithful and will answer my prayers in His time and in His way and because of this new twist to an old tradition I look forward to Him building our faith through it all.

Friend, perhaps your baby is past 11 and you think it's too late to start this tradition, let me encourage you it's never too late!! Next month I'll turn 38 (can't believe how fast I'm growing up!!:) and though I've never received a prayer as a present, I think it would be the perfect gift. And the thought of reading it a few years down the road is quite exciting. It's important to be able to look back and remember the silly stories, but especially the powerful prayers!! This is a tradition that helps you do just that!!

If you have a tradition that does the same, I'd love to hear about it!! Please share!

Finally, this makes me think of a verse a friend recently shared with me - Exodus 16:32 says, "This is what the LORD has commanded: Fill a two-quart container with manna to preserve it for your descendants. Then later generations will be able to see the food I gave you in the wilderness when I set you free from Egypt." God is no longer giving us manna, but by writing and sharing our prayers we can show future generations what God can and will do!!


  1. Hey Jill, Again, I just love reading your posts; so many of them speak to my heart. I'd just read this in Exodus on Feb. 6 and also learning that the Ark contained a jar of manna. (I'm reading the Chrono. Bible with Wendy Pope for the 5th yr.). My children are grown and they have given me 3 grandchildren, AND you have given me the idea of writing out a prayer for them on birthdays, and even just any day-- what a blessing it would be. My legacy for them would be written and they could "preserve" just as the manna was for preservation. Keep on being inspired by God so that you encourage women such as me.
    Thanking God for you and your insight,
    Mema Jeanne

  2. Oh!!!! Jill, I meant to tell you that I have one of my mom's letters that she wrote to me on one of my birthdays-1998; it is pinned to the right of my computer at my desk. She died in 2010 at the age of 80 from myleofibrosis that finally turned into acute leukemia. I have all of the cards she sent to me --> you've given me the idea of putting them all together in a booklet. Thanks again!!!
    Mema Jeanne