Every Christmas James and I give our children three gifts each. These three gifts represent the three gifts the wise men gave to Jesus. We give them a want, a need, and a spiritual growth gift. This year, for our girls, (ages 9 1/2 and 8), we gave them lockets for their spiritual growth gift. These lockets represent our prayer for them-that they would continue to guard and keep their heart pure and dedicated to Jesus. And James will, as their father and spiritual leader, spend the rest of his life praying and fighting for their hearts. We are also praying that one day they will find a prince who will do the same.
(We got this idea from this website here.)
I wanted to post the letters on this blog because they are so sweet! I know our girls will treasure these letters, as he hand wrote each one on special linen paper.
My beautiful Rilyn,
Your beauty is displayed through your strength! God has blessed you with strength to love others. I see it in your pursuit of your family, your friends, and even your enemies. You love being with people and you love the people you are with. I see it in the letters you right to your friends, the patience you have with your sister, the forgiveness you give to those who hurt you.
Your beauty is displayed through your mind! God has blessed you with a mind that loves to wonder and loves to learn. I see it every night when you fall asleep reading. I see it in all those conversations with your grandpa and oma about nature, and history, and science. Your love for fantasy and fairy tales is a great display of the wonder God has given you to ponder and think of things greater than ourselves and be in awe of the One greater than our imaginations dare to imagine.
Your beauty is displayed through your soul! God has blessed you with a kind, gentle, and enduring soul. I see it in your kind and gentle responses to the chaos that surrounds at school. I see it in the kindness you extend to strangers.
Finally, your beauty is displayed through your heart! A new heart given by the Creator of heaven and earth filled with the true and greatest beauty that is our Lord Jesus Christ. The bible says your heart is the wellspring, the source of all your strength, all your thoughts…all you are!
My prayer for you is that you would continue to guard and keep your heart pure and dedicated to our Lord Jesus Christ. I will spend the rest of my life praying and fighting for your heart. Your mother and I are also praying that one day you will find a prince who will do the same.
This gift is a symbol of that commitment and promise. I hope it serves as an encouragement…know that I am for you and I love you and remember the even better news that God is for you and loves you! So guard your heart, paying careful attention to your thoughts, your emotions, your desires, and your choices. Guard your heart by giving it along with all your thoughts, emotions, desires, and choices to Jesus…
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
You don’t need to guard your heart with selfishness keeping you from loving others and you don’t need to foolishly open your heart to chasing after this world that will never satisfy. But instead:
The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7
My beautiful Ella,
Your beauty is displayed through your strength! God has blessed you with strength to love others. I see it in your affection towards your family, your friends, and even your enemies. You love cuddling and hugging your friends and family. I see it in the sweet and creative ways you pray for and encourage others with gifts you make.
Your beauty is displayed through your mind! God has blessed you with a mind that loves to be creative and dream. I see it in all the creative games and crafts you create. I see in fantastic stories you tell and write. Your love to play make believe and dream up imaginary places and stories that end with happily ever after points to a mind that longs for the ONE who is our happily ever after.
Your beauty is displayed through your soul! God has blessed you with a passionate and loyal nature. I see it in your relationships with your teachers, your friends, and your family. I see it in your energy and spontaneity. You are such an exciting and fun young woman to be with and to play with and to live with. I feel it every time you jump on my lap or hop on my back and every time you give me a hug…even if it’s 10 hugs in a row before going to bed….(the rest of the letter is the same as Rilyn’s.) 🙂