I’ve had a love for writing my entire life. I remember in third or fourth grade when our class decided to throw our teacher a party. My job was to write a poem for her. How I wish I had a copy of that poem now! After raising four children, I wonder what it said. Certainly, it must have said that she was nice. Now, what word would I have used to rhyme with nice? Think like an eight-year-old! Mice? Rice? Dice?

Later that year I would become a published author, sixties style! I had written another poem that my teacher mimeographed and hung outside of our classroom to share with others. I wrote it after the year of the 1965 storm, when seven tornadoes blew through the city of Fridley and surrounding areas. At that time, there were no alarming sirens or tornado drills. My brother had been picking up baseball-size hail to show my dad when he got home from work. It was only minutes later that my dad tore into the house and rushed us all into the basement. He had been driving parallel to one of the tornados. We made it into the basement just in time.  Storms continued to roll through all evening, leaving devastation in their paths. The poem that was published by my third-grade teacher was about a storm. I realize now that I had been writing to calm my fears, even then.

So, when my girls gave me journals for my birthday this past year, I was delighted! Blank pages with pretty covers! These precious gifts are like gold to me as I contemplate the words that will fill each one. Certainly I will use them when I journal—one of my favorite pastimes—talking to God, searching his word for answers and encouragement. A perfect moment for me consists of a warm blanket, my open Bible, a pen, a journal, and an open heart.  Then I pray, listen, and write.

That’s when I heard that familiar voice. “Write your prayers for your children’s families in those new journals!”

I LOVE the idea!! Thanks, Lord!

It’s only been a few months, but I have been journaling. Birthdays. Tough days. Scriptures. Insights for children. Insights from children. Encouragement for mom and dad. Phrases spoken by little ones. I ask the Father what he would like to say, and I put it on the pages.  It seems I’ve only made a dent in the pages. But I’ll keep writing. This will be my labor of love for my daughters and their families.

One day, I envision my girls reading these pages as heaven opens up and pours God’s love upon them. They may remember a tough situation and in retrospect realize how God had carried them through. They will re-read Scripture that has been prayed over their families and decide to memorize them so they can continue the prayers. They will be reminded of the time five-year-old Joey wanted to be “a Power Ranger-the red one!” at his preschool graduation. Or when Lilly smelled her mother’s chest and proclaimed; “Mommy, you smell like home!” Profound.

My labor of love. Instantly I think about another labor of love—God’s Word. And I realize God’s love for me and how he has carried me through tough times.  His words have encouraged me always!

Thank you, God, for your Word. Thank you for your great ideas.  Thank you for your love! May you continue to inspire your daughters to seek you, find you, and follow you. May each one know you intimately and deeply. Amen.