It seems that all ideas worth their weight in gold are usually inherited from one person to the next, a network of those rowing a boat a little ways ahead of us who throw a bottle of wisdom into the water and hope it washes up on the banks to those in the trenches of a past stage already lived.
I need these bottle-throwers, these women rowing a bit ahead of me, while I attempt to raise up the next generation to love Him with a love so authentic they can’t help but be His light.
Somewhere along this parenting journey, a bottle washed up on my shore and I read it with full-attention.
“Use a Bible for two years while you study and read and make intentional notes about your favorite verses and wisdom you learn through study with one specific child in mind. Then present it to him or her on their tenth birthday.”
I immediately pictured my leather-bound, much-loved and creased Bible; a Bible that’s been laughed over and cried over. A Bible I’ve picked up in the throes of despair and a Bible I have picked up as I rejoice in the glory of His fruit. The book of truth, the lamp to my feet, the place I turn when I just don’t know.
Which is often, I confess.
And then I pictured it in the hands of Sarah – grabbing it in the throes of despair or in times of joy, turning to it to seek the truth, and searching for a lamp to her feet.
How comforting to know she will be greeted by God’s living words and notes left specifically for her in my own handwriting as well as her father’s, for he too will add his own messages.
When two years pass us by in the blink of an eye, I will start on one for Samuel and then one for Spencer.
When it is time to turn ten, when they reach double-digits and are “big stuff” and I weep over pink onesies and the frog pajamas, they will receive their special Bible along with their “life verse.”
A life-verse is a Bible verse or two that are significant to you; verses that have been a lighthouse or a source of water to your thirsty soul. I drink up Jeremiah 29:11 combined with Romans 8:28 and am always refreshed.
I know many choose to bestow this verse upon their children when they are much younger; however, we have chosen to wait because we want to select a verse that is meaningful to our child’s particular personality and his or her own struggles. Of course, there is no right or wrong way to select a life verse – do what you feel led by the spirit to do!
Their life verse will be written on the inside cover of their “new” Bible. Of course, this will be the life verse from us as parents – they will discover other “life verses” as they navigate through their own personal journeys.
Yes, we will continue to point them in the way they should go, knowing full-well that we are merely entrusted to raise them and we can’t control them. Knowing that we must do our part, our very best to point them north, while at the same time remembering to hand them over to the only one who can do this parenting thing perfectly.
Simply throw out a message in a bottle.
I’m joining today with Kristen at “We Are THAT Family” for Works for Me Wednesday and with Ann at “A Holy Experience” for “Walk With Him” Wednesday…Please visit these friends and relish in God’s glory…
Love this idea! My daughter turns 10 in a couple weeks and I tear up just thinking about it! This would have been a great gift for her. She loves the word! I do think I’ll present her with a life verse. That would mean a lot to her.
My oldest is already 10, but perhaps I can start this now and be ready for her 13th birthday. :) Thanks Natalie! :)
What a beautiful thought! I just love this idea, Natalie. I wish I could have done it for you when you were a child but you know, it’s not too late because you will always be “my cherished child.” I’ll get started. xoxoxo
Whoa, that is one of the best ideas I’ve heard in a long time. I’m going to do it! You got me all teary too…I mean, really…pink onesies and frog pajamas…*sniff-sniff!
That’s amazing. I know just what Bible I will pass down…thank you!
Hi, just over from Ann’s. I don’t usually leave notes, but I just wanted to let you know how much your post has meant to me today. My husband and I have been looking for a verse for my daughter for awhile now (she is 16 months). Your insights brought some clarity and some direction for their purpose. Thank you!
I happened upon this post while searching for a life verse for my 11 year old daughter and an upcoming purity retreat. I have to tell you that it caught my breath and I am still crying as I write. What a beautiful testament of faith and love for a mother to pass along. Thank you… I will return here again…
Thank you, Carol. So wonderful to meet you here – thank you for your kind words. I look forward to seeing you again!