- Walking and Talking“Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.” Psalm 57:8
PRAYER: “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.” Thank you for weather! Thank you for water. Thank you for sunshine and fresh air! Thank you for strollers and baby backpacks…all the modern conveniences we enjoy that make child care so much easier! Thank you for the seasons…for grass and flowers in the summer, brilliant leaves in the fall, swirling snow in winter, and raindrops in the springtime! Thank you that your mercy is so big it fills up the earth…it “is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.” My heart is fixed on you, O God! Please center Baby’s heart on you too, so that we’ll sing and give you praise all the days of our lives.
THOUGHT: Are you taking a daily walk? Walking is truly good for both you and Baby. If you’ve got the time, the two of you could go for a leisurely “exploring” walk during the days as well as a faster exercise walk with your husband later on in the evenings.
ACTIVITY: When you and Baby go walking, talk to him and tell him what you’re seeing. If the weather’s pleasant, let him touch some of the things you’re passing…the rough bark of a tree, or the smooth, metallic feel of a stop sign. Pick him up in your arms and let him investigate a picket fence. Pat the grass, slide his hand along the side of a car, or explore the texture of a flower or leaf. Listen with him to noises. Ask if he can hear the birds singing and tell him what kind they are if you know. Tell him about the weather, the temperature, the precipitation, the clouds, and how you like the weather. Let him get used to talking with you about what you’re experiencing together.
- Rolly-Polly“And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the tomb?” Mark 16:3
PRAYER: Dear Father, we remember the words of the little children’s song: “Rolled Away”: “…every burden of my heart rolled away. Every sin had to go ‘neath the crimson flow, hallelujah!” How glorious is your plan of salvation! Thank you for loving the world so much that you sent your one and only son to die for our sins so that whoever will believe in him will be saved! Thank you for raising Christ from the dead on the third day and rolling away the great stone that had sealed the tomb! Dear Lord, please roll away all the sins and burdens in our hearts and fill us with resurrection power!
THOUGHT: Theories change on whether infants should sleep on their backs or stomachs. Be aware of what doctors recommend currently and keep Baby safe.
ACTIVITY: Here’s a rolling practice game. Place Baby on your bed or a blanket on the floor on her stomach with her arms down at her sides, then gently roll her over onto her back, making sure you don’t hurt her arm as you turn her. When she’s on her back, say, “Well, Hi!” and look totally astonished to see her. After you’ve smiled and talked for a minute, say, “Well, time to roll over,” and gently reverse the process, rolling her onto her stomach. Repeat this game several times or as long as she seems happy and enjoys the process. Give her lots of kisses and hugs, hold her hands, stroke her hair, and see if you can get her to smile and laugh with you! When you’re finished, leave her on her stomach so she can practice. Maybe she’ll roll herself over sometime!
- Church Shoppers, Hoppers, and Finally— Members“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Colossians 1:12
PRAYER: Dear Father of light, thank you that we can be “saints in light.” Thank you for the promise that if we walk in the light as Jesus is in the light, we’ll have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus Christ, your Son, will cleanse us from all sin. Please bless Baby with a wonderful church experience. Help us to be faithful, loving, giving members of our community of faith. Thank you for making us a part of the family of God and letting us share with other believers in all your wonderful inheritance!
THOUGHT: Have you found a church “home” and “family” where Baby can begin to integrate into a larger spiritual community? In this day and age of scattered families, it is all the more critical for your family to be part of a wider fellowship where you can mutually share love, support, and encouragement. Fathers need the modeling of patient and faithful older men just as much as Baby needs the opportunity to observe and interact with other children and adults, and you need access to the hope and compassionate help of other women…older women who’ve weathered the trials of motherhood and have some wisdom to pass down as well as younger women who are facing the challenges of motherhood and in the learning stages just like you.
ACTIVITY: If you haven’t found a church home, why not make your activity for today trying to find one (or several to try out)! Many churches now have websites that give quite a bit of information, and you can still use the yellow pages or call around or ask your friends about their churches. Look for doctrinal soundness and warmth.
- A Shower of Kisses“And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.” Psalm 35:9
PRAYER: Dear Father, how we marvel that the great God of the universe would say, “Kiss the Son…Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” We bow at Jesus’ feet and kiss him with our hearts, not because we fear perishing in his anger, but because we are among those blessed ones who have put their trust in him. Thank you for the privilege of being your children and being able to “kiss” you as well as one another. Bless Baby, dear Lord. May she somehow sense how deeply she is loved and grow up secure in the fact that she is cherished by her family as well as everlastingly loved by her creator!
THOUGHT: It’s impossible to love a child “too much.” Spoiling only occurs when you don’t train her and discipline her, but never by loving her! When Aaron was born, I began a little game of kissing him at least once for each day he was old. I’m not sure if I kept that up past 100 days, but it’s a good practice to lavish children with affection.
ACTIVITY: Showering babies with affection is so good for them. Try kissing Baby’s head, arms, legs, back, and tummy. Perhaps tonight after she’s all cleaned up and ready for bed, try giving her a shower of kisses. Kiss every finger and every toe, both her cheeks, her knees and elbows, her hands and feet, the top of her head and the bottom of her feet, her ears and nose. Give her lots of happy smiles and joyful reminders of what a precious gift she is from the Lord—God’s good and perfect gift—and be sure to tell her just how much you love her.
- Picture Perfect“But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” Psalm 3:3
PRAYER: Dear God, our shield and defender, our glory and king…the one who lifts up our heads, thank you for every wonderful thing you do…even the events that seem strange to us or frustrate us. Thank you that you provide more than all we need, and that you know better than we do how to handle every single detail of life, even such little things as what kind of wallpaper will best suit our baby’s needs!
THOUGHT: When Aaron was born, we lived in an upper flat in a very old neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan. Our landlady had meticulously cleaned and decorated our apartment before we moved in and instructed us not to change anything! Therefore, our baby nursery had wallpaper with large black flowers on a white background. I lamented Baby’s fate at first, but then I read that babies are stimulated by pictures with large patterns! So, although I had always dreamed of a pink-and-blue-splashed room like Sleeping Beauty’s dress, I was reminded that God’s ways are “above” ours; even if we can’t understand God, we can trust that his plans are for our good.
ACTIVITY: Does Baby have a crib with a view? How about putting a cork board on the wall where he is most likely to be looking when he wakes, and from time to time change the picture, so he always has something to study. The board needs to be close enough for him to notice but far enough away that he can’t reach it. If you have an artistic streak, you could draw your own designs, or you could download pictures from the Internet or cut them from old magazines. Find simple pictures with bold lines and sharp color contrasts.
- Contagious Cheerfulness “He is on my right hand, that I should not be moved. Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope.” Acts 2:25-26
PRAYER: Lord, you uphold us with the right hand of your righteousness! As King David said so long ago, “My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long.” Thank you for being on our right hand to keep us from being moved. Our hearts do rejoice and our tongues are glad. Truly we rest in hope because we are your children.
THOUGHT: What a blessing to have a baby who is healthy and responsive! By now, hopefully, Baby is making eye contact and smiling when she sees you. Although a huge amount of Baby’s personality is the unique endowment by our creator and fully present at birth, your influence will also have a tremendous impact on Baby.
ACTIVITY: If Baby is naturally happy and cheerful—how about making this a day of special praise to the Lord for all the wonderful things you’ve seen developing in your child? Perhaps you can write out your praises and keep them tucked away to be read to Baby in the future. If Baby is not naturally cheerful and positive, how about starting a prayerful campaign to try to pass along a little infectious good cheer? Even if your circumstances are very difficult, ask the Lord for courage, and then start a smiling campaign. Smile and laugh with Baby, and see if you can help her become a more cheerful soul. Before long, she may start cheering you up, since good humor is good medicine for the soul. “Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5).
- Helping Baby Grow Stronger“Blessed be the LORD my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle.” Psalm 144:1 (ESV)
PRAYER: “O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” Your glory is above the heavens. Your fingers made the sun, the moon and stars…they are like a child’s playthings to you! How is it that you are so great, and yet you are mindful of us? Why do you love us and give us strength? Why do you take the time to teach our hands to war and our fingers to fight? I will never cease marveling that the great God who made everything cares about every minute detail in the universe! Not only do you call the stars by name, you notice the tiny sparrow when it falls. Wow! Thank you for loving this world, and thank you for loving each one of us!
THOUGHT: Just as God cares about every detail of our lives, we can reflect God’s love by actively trying to achieve our highest potential and encouraging Baby to do the same!
ACTIVITY: Roll up a big beach towel so it looks roughly the shape of a jellyroll. Lay Baby face down on the towel so that it supports his chest, tummy, and thighs, and place his face to one side or the other. Let him work on developing a sense of balance and strengthen his neck and leg muscles as you gently rock him back and forth from side to side and sing him a lullaby like “Rock of Ages.” When you’re finished singing and playing, leave Baby for a few minutes with the towel turned perpendicular to his body, supporting his chest but tucked under his arms. This position will help lift his head and chest off the floor and naturally encourage his to use his forearm and back muscles.