Thursday, July 28, 2011

Grandparenting: The Word Book

First birthdays come but once and like every other grandparent you want that inaugural gift to be an extra special one. I have an idea for you. The Word Book.  (Try to hold your applause in response to the incredibly original moniker.)
Shirley Cate is already full of words. It's genetic. It's hereditary. She comes from a long line of talkers. Like all of us, she needs to learn to listen, think, discern and then speak. It's a life-long quest. As Christians, our family also believes that above all, God's Word is of ultimate importance for it is the way He has chosen to speak to us about salvation through His Son and is a guide for all of life. For faith and practice as we say.

From their earliest days our babies are the recipients of the blessing of God's Word, the Bible. Their mamas and daddies read them the story book Bible, sing to them from the hymnal in the long hours of the night, and pray the words of the bible with them. Don't be reluctant to sing to your babies.
 At this point in their life your voice is the sweetest sound they know.
Fill your voice with words of life.

Deuteronomy 6 tells us "The commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you get up." In other words, talking the Bible is a way of life. It is a life-changing way of life.
"Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path." Psalm 119:105
"Your Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:11
"All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that every man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:16, 17

You need to plan ahead. Once baby and parents are situated at home, be on the look-out for a smallish sized scrapbook or baby-themed journal. I found this one at Dollar Tree some time ago and have had it stashed away.
Now you'll need a cute stick-on alphabet that you'll apply to the upper corners of the pages. Think about how some letters of the alphabet start more words than others. Make two pages of b's, c's, d's, p's, s's and t's. One page for k and q and if it were possible I'd skip x all together.

At the top of each page write either a bible verse or a line of a hymn that begins with that letter. Yes, this is an exercise for you, too, and gets you into the Bible or the hymnal.

Their books are either all bible verses or all lines from hymns. My unsolicited advice would be to write all of this down on paper before you transfer it to the book with an archival ink pen.

You also need to collect photos of the baby and parents.

 If this is your first grandchild you have millions from which to choose. A photo of their home, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and pets.

Once you've done that, and it takes a while, (I work on these little books off and on for several months I hate to tell you-----but it's so worth it!!!) then the fun begins! You thought only children enjoyed stickers. Well, think again. Everything begins with C: castle, Charlie, car, compass, Charlotte. Yes, indeed. Jesus is the source of every one of these blessings.

One suggestion I'd add is that you look for stickers on sale and tuck them away for a good work day. That is, unless you've got an unlimited supply of dollars for your unlimited supply of stickers. It takes a bunch. Of stickers and dollars.

Try to think of subjects that are especially important in babykin's family. This baby's daddy is a volunteer fireman so we need lots of hydrants, firefighters, firetrucks, fire hoses, fireplaces, etc.

And don't forget the birthday baby herself. Front and center on the S page.

As the years go by your grandpeeps will love bringing their books back out to look at.

Especially since when they're tiny they have to have total supervision while looking at the books. Otherwise they'll pull off whatever they can get their little fingers on since everything you picked out is so cute, colorful, and captivating!

After leafing through page after page there's just one thought that comes through.
"Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand has provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me."

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