Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Reaching your Child's Heart with a Letter Journal

My son, Ezra, asked me about a small leather bound notebook he found on our bookshelf. Opening it up, I said, "this is the book I started writing for you when you were little. It's all about you." His eyes widened with curiosity. I began reading it to him and together we laughed at the silly stories and sweet memories in it's pages. He left my room that morning feeling a few inches taller and just a little more loved than when he walked in.

I started keeping a little notebook with letters to each of my babies when they were born. I wanted to remember the small things about their quirks and personalities that I feared I might forget someday. I wanted to speak life and encouragement into them before they were even old enough to read it. I wanted it to be a powerful tool to help them know themselves and understand my heart for them. I started with the goal of writing a few times a month, but sometimes months went by with no entries. The busy life of a mom with young children, didn't always lend itself to writing, but I tried to at least write in it each year on their birthday. I'm so thankful that I have these journals today to share with my children and continue writing in.

I don't know where I got the idea for a letter journal or if it came to me on my own, but the simplicity is that all you need is a sturdy small notebook and a few minutes once and a while to write. It doesn't have to be flowery or polished, or even super thought out. Just speaking your heart and telling stories is meaningful enough. Keeping the journals close by in a night stand or on your desk will help remind you to write in them. It's never too late to start a letter journal; I was reminded recently how even my teenage girls need their mom's encouraging and loving words.

Here's an excerpt from my journal to Ezra:

Dear Ezra,

My how time flies! You are 4 years old, but in so many ways you still want to be my little baby. You love to be held, carried, and cuddled. In fact, you may be the reason my back is sore-from carrying you around! Yet you are full of energy! I see you running around playing wildly enjoying your trucks, cars, and your new tricycle. I see your determination and leadership abilities blossoming. You love to sleep with your monkey and blanket and preferably in bed with mommy and daddy! You crave individual attention and sometimes that is hard to get in a family of 7 right? I hope that we give you all that you need. You are so funny with your baby brother Caleb. When he was a year old you said, "Could we take him back and get a different baby?" You like to do "school" and you write the letter "E" on everything. You love dad's jeep, but you sometimes ask if dad can get a blue truck instead. You are so much fun Ezra, and I can't wait to see how God is going to shape you and mold you and use you for his glory and kingdom here. We pray that you will love the Lord wholeheartedly and serve him your whole life. 

love, Mom
Carrying my little boy when he really was too big to be carried.
His younger brother's (who didn't get carried as much as a result) head by his foot.

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