- The Delight of Dancing“Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!” Psalm 149:3 (ESV)
PRAYER: Dear Honorable One, the Ancient of Days, Thank you that you ordain times to weep and times to laugh, times to mourn and times to dance. Thank you that this is a time to dance for joy, because you have redeemed us from the hand of our enemy, Satan. May every song we sing and every dance we dance be done to praise and worship you—our most holy, glorious God!
THOUGHT: Do you love to dance? I grew up in a culture where dancing was considered “worldly,” and to this day I don’t feel comfortable dancing in public, but to dance for joy in our Lord with Baby in your arms is totally wholesome …and I believe scriptural! Many babies have a lot of natural rhythm and enjoy the closeness and delight of whirling around in mother’s (or other loved ones’) arms.
ACTIVITY: Waltzing with Baby can be very exhilarating for both of you! Babies love movement and changing visual images, and gently sweeping around your living room in time to music will bring joy to both of you. Just be sure to keep one hand securely around her body and the other supporting her head! If you can dance to worship music or carols about Christ—how wonderful! If you enjoy singing, I’m sure God and Baby will be doubly blessed by your praising God while you dance together!
- Tongue Tricks“Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.” Job 6:24
PRAYER: Oh, omnipotent God who spoke the worlds into existence and will someday destroy evil with the sword of your mouth, speak to us! Teach us when to hold our tongues and when to speak. Help me as a parent to speak the truth in love—with grace—and forgive me when I fail. May I be swift to hear, thoughtful before I speak, and slow to become angry. May Wisdom by my constant companion, so that all my ways are pleasantness and all my paths are peace.
THOUGHT: Has Baby discovered his tongue yet? If not, he will soon enough! Be ready for all the comical faces he’ll make as he masters this new challenge. Each stage is so fun— treasure it: “Yesterday is history; tomorrow is mystery; today is a gift…that’s why it’s called ‘the present’!”
ACTIVITY: Stick your tongue out and let Baby see it! Stick your tongue in and out and move your tongue all around in circles. While Baby is watching you (and your hands are freshly washed), touch his tongue with your finger. Try to touch your nose with your tongue, and then touch your nose with your finger and his nose with your finger. Say, “tongue” and point to your tongue in your open mouth. Say “tongue” and touch his tongue. Say, “nose” and point to your nose, and then say “nose” and touch his.
- Read and Refocus“Lead me in your truth, and teach me: for you are the God of my salvation; on you I wait all the day.” Psalm 25:5 (NIV)
PRAYER: Dear Father, Thank you for being the God of my salvation. Bless Baby. May she be among those who acknowledge you as God, and may our whole family serve you faithfully every day. Lead us in your truth and teach us so that we may be stalwart and faithful…“steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as we know that our labor is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58).
THOUGHT: Has Baby been “the belle of the ball” at various outings yet? Engaging with others is great for helping Baby develop social skills, but it’s also hard work! After a long outing, expect Baby to be tired and irritable after you return home. If she’s too tense to go to sleep, try some quiet activity, such as reading to her. It may help her relax and refocus her attention away from herself.
ACTIVITY: It’s never too early to read to Baby. If you have a daily devotional time (and I hope you do), consider developing a devotional time with Baby too. Or, if you have trouble finding an undisturbed period of time for your own quiet time right now, try read while she nurses, or read while she’s being held. Read to her while she’s resting in bed with you or enjoying a ride in a baby swing. Reading is a great way to bond with your child and refocus your hearts on God. Even this little devotional book could become the basis for a brief devotional and play time with Baby!
- As Good as it Gets…for Now“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
PRAYER: Father, thank you that you have good plans for our future, that you have created us in Christ Jesus unto good works, that you are conforming us to the image of Christ, and that you have loved us with an everlasting love. Thank you that you are not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and faith. I pray for the gift of salvation for all my children, and their children, and their children’s children…until your kingdom comes.
THOUGHT: “Be patient. God is not finished with me yet.” May we all extend grace and forgiveness—to others and ourselves! During times when it seems that nothing can calm Baby, a “time out” in a vibrating chair with a dangling toy and some cheery music might be “as good as it gets.” The world isn’t perfect yet, and sometimes “good enough” is all we can do. Relax and give yourself and Baby a break!
ACTIVITY: If absolutely nothing will pacify Baby, consider trying a short car ride sometime when he is really tired and cranky. The quiet purr of the engine and the gentle motion may put him right to sleep. If a nap is all he needs, try bringing him quietly into the house in his car seat, and let him nap right in his chair!
- Jealousy“You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.” Acts 2:28 (NIV)
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, who is the true vine of life, may Baby and I desire you, your nourishment, and your attention the way a nursing infant demands her mother! May we abide in you, drawing nourishment from you, setting our affection on you, and being filled always with the joy of your countenance!
THOUGHT: When Aaron reached this age, there were times when he’d spit out my nipple at start bawling if I didn’t give him my undivided attention while he nursed! Children are extremely different in their needs/demands for attention, but if you have a child who really thrives on intimacy, please do try to indulge her as much as you can! Remember, God longs for our undivided attention and is jealous of our love too. Welcome love and the desire for intimacy; don’t push it away!
ACTIVITY: There is probably nothing more special to Baby than the face of her mother. How about introducing her to the pictures of all your favorite people today? Do you have a photo album? Show her picture by picture, and tell her a little about each person. Baby’s little brain computer is absorbing more than adults can imagine, and every little bit of information that comes Baby’s way is processed and appreciated, even if she can’t translate it into English yet.
- Routines“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.” Proverbs 3:24 (NKJV)
PRAYER: Dear gracious heavenly Father, thank you for the safety of our home. Thank you for the shelter of your wings above us and your everlasting arms beneath us. Thank you that you are our shield and defender. Thank you that the angel of the Lord encamps round about those who fear God to keep them safe. May Baby always trust in you and learn to be unafraid so that his sleep can be sweet and his days peaceful even amidst the storms of life.
THOUGHT: Part of peace and security for an infant is having an orderly, dependable daily routine. As you work on trying to develop a healthy lifestyle, please consider including feeding times, resting times, a daily bath, at least one short time of your undivided attention to play and bond, and as real highpoint: a daily outing.
ACTIVITY: There are few things any more invigorating than a dose of fresh air and sunshine. May a daily walk become a lifelong good habit for both of you! Unless it’s uncomfortably cold, windy, or wet, why not take Baby out for a stroll if you have no other outing planned? He may even fall asleep, but that’s fine too! Just make sure you keep a hat on and protect him from direct sun, wind, or freezing air. Chilly is fine, but freezing air can hurt his fragile lungs.
- God’s Knitting“Listen to me you islands; hear this you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name.” Isaiah 49:1 (NIV)
PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank you that you know our name and our every thought. Thank you for creating us…for “knitting” Baby together in my womb and giving her hope. Thank you for being our God! I ask and trust you to call Baby’s name so that we might also be knit together into the body of Christ.
THOUGHT: Do you like to knit? I am always thrilled to consider how God works in us, just like someone patiently knitting a sweater. May you and Baby also have your hearts knit together in love. One very important way to do that is to have fun!
ACTIVITY: Peek-a-Boo: When Baby is awake and happy, place her in a baby swing and walk out of her view. Call to her and see if her head moves. Come and give her a kiss, and then go to a different spot, call her, and see if she looks for you. Try this several times from different areas of the room. Be sure to reward Baby with a friendly greeting and kiss each time you return whether or not she has been able to find you. Even if Baby can’t find you immediately or doesn’t seem to be responding today, playing such games will soon be rewarded. She knows your voice and will soon be able to find you no matter where you are!