- Walking in the Sunshine“If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from every sin.”
1 John 1:7 (NIV)
PRAYER: Dear God, we bless you for sending Jesus to die for our sins, so that we can be saved by faith in him and go to be with you when we die. Please help Baby to believe and be saved as soon as possible. Thank you for giving us the light in which to walk. Help us to walk in the light of your love and enjoy happy fellowship as we walk with you. When I walk outside with Baby, help me to sense your presence and enjoy your fellowship too!
THOUGHT: A daily walk in pleasant weather is a wonderful thing for Baby and good exercise for you too! Sunshine and fresh air have a way of clearing our heads and reviving our spirits. Take a break every day you can, and let Baby experience a short outdoor adventure.
ACTIVITY: While walking, give Baby a chance to smell various flowers or interesting scents like fresh cut grass. Infants as young as eleven days old will sometimes smile at the smell of bananas or react negatively to unpleasant odors. Back home, let Baby enjoy the delight of such lovely scents as mild perfume, soap, lotions, savory meat, fresh fruit, cooking spices, sour pickles, or warm bread.
- Baby Talk and Parent Talk!“My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips.”
Psalm 63:5 (ESV)
PRAYER: Dear God, the awesome God who spoke the worlds into existence and will slay the wicked with the word of your mouth at the end of time…teach us to speak! May our mouths praise you with joyful lips as you satisfy our souls. As a mother, may the law of kindness be under my tongue, and as a child, may Baby learn to keep her tongue from evil and to speak truthfully. Help me to be a worthy example of speaking the truth…in love…with grace!
THOUGHT: Don’t feel strange about talking to your infant; her little computer brain is absorbing information and processing just as fast as it can, and she’ll learn volumes from your conversations.
ACTIVITY: Talk to Baby! Imitate her sounds. “Coo” and “ooh” at her. Let her hear you repeat what she says, and then make new sounds, like “ba, ba” and “mmm.” Sing high sounds and low sounds. Whistle and giggle and sing. Chirp like a bird and mew like a kitten. Talk to her often—baby talk, adult talk, animal talk—but always be cheerful, soothing, and kind. Tell her she’s getting stronger and that she’s growing up to be a “fine girl.” Express hearty pleasure in her progress. As you dress her, hold up each item of clothing and explain briefly what it’s called and how it functions.
- Learning to Lunzel“But let all those rejoice that put their trust in you; Let them ever shout for joy, because you defend them: Let those also who love your name be joyful in you.” Psalm 5:11 (NKJV)
PRAYER: Dear Father, we adore you because you are the Ancient of Days! You were from everlasting. You are immortal, invisible, and omnipotent, and you are our defender. We can rest and rejoice because we know you love us and are taking care of us in every situation.
THOUGHT: Thank God for holidays, weekends, and days of rest! From infancy until we die, humans love times of happily snuggling together. Are you a “Type A” compulsive? Learn to relax and cherish the luxury of just being with your baby. Such times of no-agenda togetherness lay a foundation for a love that produces closeness and openness. The happiest kids are those whose parents take time for them, and it doesn’t always have to be time doing something special! Even as adults, my kids still just love to sit and talk about “whatever.”
ACTIVITY: Do you know what it means to “lunzel”? In our family it means to rest and snuggle together…to relax and be happy. Refuse the mad whirl of constant activity. On some of those days when no one has to rush off to work and the entire day is sprawling before you in quiet luxury, enjoy some “stay-cations.” Stay home and lunzel with Baby, celebrating the love of God and home sweet home!
- A Secret to Successful Motherhood“Oh, send out your light and your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me unto your holy hill and to your tabernacle.”
Psalm 43:3 (NKJV)
PRAYER: Dear God who is himself the source of all light and the definition of truth, may we always walk in your light, and may the Bible—the Word of God—be the lamp to our feet and the light to guide us! May we faithfully lead Baby into your light and truth, and may she learn to imitate us inasmuch as we are imitators of our Lord Jesus Christ.
THOUGHT: My spiritual mother had six children who all turned out beautifully. When I asked her husband why they had such successful children, he responded without a moment’s hesitation: “Haven’t you ever noticed the holes Anita has worn in the floor beside our bed from praying all the time?” If there is one “secret” to success as a mother, I would say that this is it: “Pray without ceasing!”
ACTIVITY: In every situation, pray for Baby! Pray with Baby too… that she will—
- Learn to love God, her family, friends, neighbors, spiritual community, and the world that God so loves
- Be safe and content
- Be well cared for and won’t be exposed to more than will be good for her
- Take pleasure in exciting new surroundings and adventures
- Be empathetic but not overwhelmed by other children
- Grow up to walk in the light of God’s love and the truth of his Word
Day 33. A Happy Countenance“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
PRAYER: Dear Father, please shower us with grace. May our faces shine with the light of your presence and peace, and may we experience the reality that the joy of the Lord can be our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
THOUGHT: The significance of our “countenance” as a mother and wife can never be overestimated. Often we can’t control our circumstances, but we can control our response to them, and if we choose to be thankful and content, keeping a cheerful, positive attitude despite life’s challenges, we’ll be happier ourselves as well as inspiring joy in others.
ACTIVITY: Happy thoughts and laughter do a great deal to lift spirits—even tired ones—so take a few minutes to share these precious realities with Baby and see if he’ll respond to you:
* Smile at Baby. He’s a gift from God, and God loves you both!
*Beam with super wide eyes at Baby. He’s a treasure!
* Open your mouth wide and exclaim, “Wow! What a privilege to parent you!”
* Laugh with him. Jesus loves you both and will take care of you. How incredible!
* Blink your eyes. The Lord will bless and keep you, so you can rest in peace.
* Let your face shine, allowing Baby to bask in God’s radiance reflected in you.
PRAYER: Dear King of the Universe, who deserves our constant praise, thank you for creating us with the ability for speech! Thank you that we can learn to communicate with you and with one another! May I model kindness, gentleness, and grace as I teach Baby to speak, and may our family make joyful noises to you all the days of our lives!
THOUGHT: Learning to communicate verbally is one of the most critical skills we ever develop. A common dynamic that I remember from my own experiences—and I’m now hearing good-naturedly from my children’s generation—is wishing so much that Baby could talk…and then a couple of years later wondering if she’ll ever stop talking! Enjoy each stage, but always encourage earnest communication.
ACTIVITY: Practice speech patterns and sounds with Baby. Whenever you hear her make a new sound—repeat it to her and write it down. Keep a journal to track what Baby says and does. It will make you more aware of her new abilities so that you can reinforce them. When she makes a clicking sound, click back! See if you can get her to make the sound again. Try grunts, squeals, cries, sighs, gurgles, whimpers, hiccups, lip smacking, moans, pops, and screeches. See if you can help her learn to communicate better by enlarging her repertoire of sounds.
- Example and Imitation
“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.”
PRAYER: Dear God almighty, who is exalted above the clouds but willing to dwell with those who are humble, may we as a family be glad when it is time to assemble as a spiritual community. Help Baby learn to love your house and your people. You know how tired and bedraggled I feel many mornings just from a lack of sleep. Please help me to rejoice in the privilege of being able to worship in your house, and may all who enter in find refreshment there.
THOUGHT: There are so many good reasons for taking children to church regularly from infancy. It helps them grow strong spiritually and morally. It gives them a good environment for learning how to socialize with others and how to love and be part of a supportive community. Good habits are most easily established during the formative years and can profit the child for a lifetime. Make the effort to give your child a church home and family!
ACTIVITY: Evaluate your church life. How are you doing?
- Are you and Baby attending church regularly? If not, what can you do to make this possible?
- Are you involved in any type of care group that provides for Baby too? If not, explore your options and try to find a support group! It will enrich your own spiritual life and help establish good habits for Baby.