“In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge.”
PRAYER: Oh, Lord, thank you for being my salvation, my glory, my strength, and my refuge. Truly you are all I need and want…and more than I can even imagine! I love you!
THOUGHT: As you end this year, I want to share something I learned from Jim Turner’s wonderful seminar on Creating Intimacy in Marriage. It’s the AWE principle: keep a spirit of awe in your home. In all you do, may you shower your spouse and children with Affection, Warmth, and Encouragement. Isn’t this just what our precious Lord does for us? He is our haven of salvation, our glory, strength, and refuge. Try to be like him. Try it…you’ll like it. Try it, and your family will love it!
ACTIVITY: Almost one year old! Are you planning a special outing or birthday party for Baby? How about a special event called “Queen (or King) for a Day”? This can be done either by yourself, with your husband too, or with a good friend. Over the course of a relaxed day, try videotaping a minute of each of Baby’s normal activities (or snapping pictures). Ideally, you could include such things sleeping, waking from sleep, being rocked back to sleep, nursing, eating, playing alone or various games with a parent, bathing, walking, swinging, exercising, reading, or whatever routines are part of Baby’s normal day. Be sure to include shots of all family members, favorite toys, views of your home, yard, and car (if you own one), what it looks like out in your neighborhood, your church or other places where you go each week, etc. If you own your own video camera, and Daddy is game, you could take a free day and work on it as a couple. That would be ideal, because then both Mom and Dad could be featured with Baby in your keepsake.
“Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.” Isaiah 44:24
PRAYER: Dear Father, after an entire year of cherishing my new baby, I have such a deeper appreciation for what it means to be able to call you “Father.” Having a child of my own to love and care for makes me understand your perfection…your love, your patience, your protection, your unending desire for my growth and goodness. Thank you for being my father! Thank you for loving me and my family. May each member of our family experience Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith, so that we, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height… and to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that we might be filled with all the fullness of God! (Ephesians 3:17-19)
THOUGHT: I see that as the book ends, I’m wanting to stuff in all the last minutes bits of wisdom I can think of! When I edited this last piece, my husband and I were attending the Internal Medicine Review and Update at Harvard, and in one of the lectures, the point was made that “Happy moms make for happy children.” This is so simple, but so profound, and I can’t emphasis enough the importance of the mother’s happiness in providing for a stable home environment and being a blessing to your Baby! Marriage is tremendously hard work, and relationships are extremely challenging, but always remember that God created us as social beings and the “messes are worth making!” Never give up working on your marriage and home.
ACTIVITY: Wondering what to get Baby for a birthday present? What about a bird feeder? There are few things any more exciting to babies than little creatures that move and make interesting noises, and birds are among the most graceful and melodious of creatures, so of course they are thrilling to watch! Also, birds outside are relatively carefree…almost “pets without problems.” Consider buying a book with pictures of birds or setting up a bird feeder outside your favorite picture window. Learn about birds yourself, and share Baby’s excitement over these delicate marvels of God’s creativity!
“O magnify the Lord with me, let us exalt his name together!” Psalm. 34:3
PRAYER: Oh, Father, what can we say? Thank you for this amazing, crazy, impossibly hard and impossibly wonderful year! Life will never be the same. Thank you for all we’ve learned, for all the times you’ve rescued us, for everything…both the pains and the joys. Thank you for your faithfulness. Truly, you are the beginning and the ending. Thank you that with every ending, there is a new beginning. Baby will never be an infant again, but now he will enter the Wonderful World of One and a new chapter in our family’s life. Thank you for giving us this incredible privilege. Truly, you are good. We worship you because you are the great “Amen.” Amen, and amen!
THOUGHT: Have you had a wonderful year? One of the best and hardest in your life? May you be blessed as you go on in your adventure of “training up your child in the way he should go,” and may you find that as a result, when your baby grows up he will not depart from God’s way of truth and goodness! May he be a blessed child and a blessing to all those around him! Amen.
ACTIVITY: Have you given Baby a punch ball yet? A punch ball attached by a sturdy rubber band to Baby’s arm (not too tightly…recheck every little bit) can make a great toy that can’t escape during outdoor play. A helium balloon serves much of the same purpose, but a punch ball is sturdier and can withstand hitting the ground or being rolled upon. But…say…I’m getting ahead of myself. Are you ready for the next book, or are you ready for a break? Love to you from me!
Suggested Reading and Resource List:
Baby Minds: Brain-Building Games Your Baby Will Love, by Linda Acredolo, Ph.D., and Susan Goodwyn, Ph.D.
Baby Play:100 Fun-Filled Activities to Maximize Your Baby’s Potential, by Dr. Wendy S. Masi and Dr. Roni Cohen Leiderman
How to Have a Smarter Baby, by Dr. Susan Ludington-Hoe
Teach Your Baby, by Dr. Genevieve Painter
What’s Going on in There?, by Lise Eliot, Ph.D.
What to Expect the First Year, by Arlene Eisenbery, Heidi E. Murkoff, and Sandee E. Hathaway
Babies starring in these daily devotional are from the hearts of:
Daniel and Brianna
Seth and Bethany
Daniel and Melissa
Paul and Andrea
Gene and Andrea
Aaron and Carleen
Michael and Grace
Jonathan and Gerlinde
Jessica and Samuel
Jonathan and Juli
Lara and Andrew
Chris and Phil
Lydia and Zack
Marissa Rose and
Thank you, thank you, to each of you for your help and contributions, especially Daniel and Brianna, who never grew impatient and were always ready to help!