It's officially Christmas week, which means it's time for me to get busy!! Gift buying can stress me out, but I'm kind of excited for my favorite stocking stuffer. I originally shared the following post in 2015 and started the tradition in 2012. It's been a blessing to reflect on the verses I've prayed and more so on the answers God has provided. Friend, I encourage you to consider this idea for loved ones in your family. I'd also recommend keeping a record for yourself...down the road it will be a reminder of God's faithfulness!
From 2015 - Christmas is getting closer every day...my little guys remind me of this every time they remove a ring from their chain and put an X on the calendar. They are getting excited and thankfully, I'm not getting stressed. Though it may happen, I've found myself filled with peace as I think about our traditional stocking stuffer.So this tradition is only on its third year, but I know it's one that won't grow old. It won't be the wrong size, the batteries won't die and it's not something that will go out of style. It's also not loaded with sugar and it doesn't cost a dime. What is this perfect gift you ask - it's what I've called, "Stocking Scriptures".
A few years back I was doing a Bible study about praying Scripture. I really hadn't intentionally done that, but this study taught me how powerful it was. Friend, "God's Word is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)
Isaiah 55:11 tells us this, "So is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."
Finally another important verse about Scripture - "This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the Word of God." (Luke 8:11) Jesus says this as He explains the parable of the four soils. God's Word is a seed that can take root in our hearts and produce a crop. Now granted the soil needs to be good and hearts need to be pure for it to grow, but if a seed is never planted the crop will not be harvested.
This study really prompted me to pray Scripture seriously and the timing of it led me to give it as a gift. Now as the month of December unfolds, I find myself reflecting on the year and thinking about where I want my kids, husband and self to be in the year to come. I think about the fruit I'd like to see and know God is able to grow, then I study God's Word to see if there is a Scripture that speaks to that quality or character trait.
Once I find a verse or passage for each of us, I type them up or write them out, and put them in our stockings. For example, my daughter struggled with pleasing people and being over-concerned with what others thought, so I prayed, "Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe." Proverbs 29:25
Another child was struggling with fear, so 2 Timothy 1:7 was a natural choice, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and discipline."
And for the child who has yet to confess Christ as Lord and Savior, "Therefore He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:25)
For my mom friends, be prepared - your little people are not very excited about a piece of paper when they compare it to the other goodies, but we know the value it has. And as they grow, they will understand as well. My older daughter still has her first 2 cards and each time she reads them, I believe good seeds are being planted.
I not only put the verses in the stockings, but I also print a couple of copies for myself...one's in my Bible and another posted by my treadmill. As I read the verses, I pray them and also hide them in my heart. It's a gift that keeps on giving!
This Christmas if you're struggling with what to give, I encourage you to pray about incorporating "Stocking Scriptures" into your holiday routine. It will bless those who receive and the one who gives!!