Monday, January 2, 2012

Family Testimony Journals

One of my favorite things is starting a new year. 

Grace made this cute little pop-up card for me that made me smile:

  
And don't you think the new year is a great time to start thinking about traditions?

At a Power of Moms Retreat, Saren taught us to base family traditions on the qualities we want our children to develop.  Since the main goal my husband and I have for our children is to help them draw closer to the Lord, we decided to create a tradition of writing in Family Testimony Journals. This is something we can do during special holidays, birthdays, or meaningful family moments.

I found these nice, leather-bound journals at Target last year for about $10 each, and since they only had two in stock at a time, I went back three months in a row in order to get the six I needed for our family members.  


Then last night--and hopefully every New Year's Day from now on--we gathered around the kitchen table and wrote our testimonies of Christ in our journals.   (Except Spencer.  He had to go to bed early, but he did draw a picture in his journal back in April when we first started writing in these.)


We gave our children the following prompts:
  • How do you feel about the Lord?
  • What experiences this past year have helped you to know Christ better?
  • When have your prayers been answered?
  • What habits have you developed that strengthen your spirit?
  • How do you plan to be closer to God in the coming year?
When we finished, we read each other's entries.  It was one of the sweetest experiences I've had.  

Eric and I work so hard to help our children to know God, and we remind them each day that their testimonies have to come from within.  No one can live on borrowed light. 

This exercise has also been powerful for us, as the parents, because we can see how our own spirits are growing each year, and we can share that process with our children.

Family living is often chaotic.  The workload is heavy, the responsibility is huge, and the rewards aren't always immediate.  (Right now, I'm sitting in my pajamas, surrounded by toys, dishes, and little ones who are anxious to get outside.)

But when we take the time to be deliberate--to create traditions that really mean something and build the character and spirit of our children, it all feels worth it.

Do you have any spiritually-strengthening traditions in your family that you would like to share?  I'd love to hear them.

7 comments:

  1. What a tender tradition you've started. I love it. Hope you've had a wonderful Holiday April. I love you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Cath! I think of you so often and appreciate the strong, amazing woman you are. Love you back.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My daughter-in-law shared her family traditions for New Years with us and it was the most meaningful New Years of my life! After the stroke of midnight, the family toasts the New Year with non-alcoholic drinks in long-stem glasses. Then the family kneels together and a prayer of gratitude is given for all the blessings granted their family over the past year. After the prayer the father gives every member of the family a blessing. Since Dale was in Corona, Justin gave Lucy and I a blessing. It was the first time one of my sons has given me a blessing, and I was amazed and touched to hear the Lord speak through him and give me direction that 1) I needed and had been looking for and 2) set me on an urgent assignment which I wouldn't have hurried to do otherwise. It was a tender moment, thanks to the fabulous Javier family tradition!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beth, that is a BEAUTIFUL tradition! I love how it immediately turns the family's thoughts to the Lord. Thanks so much for sharing that. We miss you!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for sharing this sweet experience. I love the prompts. You're so great at getting specific. I love it! Thanks for the wonderful example. Happy 2012!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Happy 2012 to you, too, Rachelle! Miss you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Looove this idea! I'm going to try it with my family... my step kids are not permitted to be baptized by their Mom - but their testimonies are growing nevertheless! This the perfect way for them to capture how they feel and when they are 18 and can make their own decisions, they will have a journal like this !! Thanks for sharing. Beautiful blog:)

    ReplyDelete



Related Posts with Thumbnails