I love getting a new Bible. Reading through its smooth, unmarked pages trains me to read the Bible in fresh ways rather than merely reviewing my notes in the columns to teach myself what I already know (or at one time learned). I started making new notes in a new Bible when I had my son, Foster. I made highlights with him in mind. What verses did I not want him to miss? Which verses could I add some notes to in order to clarify for my boy what he could pull from those sacred pages?
Reading the Bible with my two-year-old son in mind became a new and exciting way to approach Scripture:
• 2 Timothy 1:7—May you know, Foster, that God didn’t give you a spirit of fear or timidity, but may you know that God gave you power, love and self-discipline.
• Romans 5:8—Foster, don’t miss this! This is the essence of our faith. It’s really good news! Because God knew you wouldn’t be perfect. He came to earth to live the perfect life you couldn’t. He died the death you deserved and then resurrected, proving: 1) He is God! and 2) He has the power to make dead things live! Foster, my boy, the wages of our sin is death, but because God demonstrated His love for us by sending Jesus, we can live again … with God … forever. Let’s have a conversation about this!
• Joshua 1:9—You have nothing to fear but the Lord, Foster. Nothing! God is with you, and because of His presence, you can be strong and courageous.
I hope to remind my boy that God speaks. And on every topic, God has things to say. Journaling reminds me to think about what God might be trying to say to him, which reminds me, as his mom, to pray. I long for God’s Word to transform him, so I pray for God’s words to break through. Prayers like “Heavenly Father, make Him love others … just like You do!” One night, after he asked to read Goodnight Moon yet again, I wrote in the column, “Heavenly Father, make him hungry for Your Word.”
I should rest in God’s love for my boy, but it’s tough because as a mom I tend to worry. I know I can’t transform my son. In fact, God doesn’t call me to transform his life. God calls me to love my boy fiercely and entrust God with the transformation.
As I read through the pages of God’s Word and pray prayers in the columns, I’m learning to let go of my worry—specifically, I put it in God’s hands. For those who put everything in God’s hands will see God’s hands in everything.
I’m reminded each time I pick up this Bible that God has a plan for my boy. Although he may have to learn these things the hard way, I’d rather see God’s hands in the trial rather than keep a closed fist of control. I’m learning to let go … of my son’s future … and also of my plans … and every other area of frustration or confusion that has led to a closed fist of control. I bought this journaling Bible for my son; I’m now realizing God intended to use it first for me. If I want my boy to change the world, I first need God to change me.
Please use my highlights to change my son so he can change the world for you. Make the power of your words come through and reach my boy more powerfully than the words of people. Help me, Lord, to receive your words first until the day my work as a mom is done. I give you control of His life and entrust Him into your care. Help me, Lord, become a praying mom and forgive me for all the ways I compare. I want so badly for my boy to love your Word, God. I want my kid to love and live out of your Word each day. Thank you for reminding me that I, too, am your child and that you feel the same way about me.