January 31st is Charlotte’s spiritual birthday and April 10th is the anniversary of when she displayed that decision in front of our church through baptism.
A Spiritual Birthday.
We choose to celebrate the day she accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior. Every year on this day, we make a big deal out of it. We buy a birthday gift. We eat cookie cake. She shares her story of why she will live her life for Jesus.
And just so you know, none of it was my great idea. I stole it from my mother-in-law who did the same thing with her children. Trust me. All of my good kid ideas have come from someone else.
But anyways, I think it’s brilliant. You know why? I want my children’s faith to be the most important thing. The most important. So why not celebrate things that involve their faith?
We make a big deal out of being born. And now that I am a mom and have been through child birth, I still don’t know why I am the one buying the cake and celebrating this sweet child of mine instead of someone feeding ME cake and giving ME gifts for bringing life into the world! Anyone else?
And we make a big deal out of graduation. Seriously. I think I got more in terms of gifts when I graduated high school than for anything else I have done IN MY LIFE. And if you’re from a small town like me, there’s a good chance that you also celebrated middle school graduation. And it may have been three hours long because what’s a middle school graduation if there aren’t baby picture slideshows, 6 valedictorian and 4 salutatorian speeches.
Charlotte at preschool graduation.
We make a big deal out of dance and soccer and ballet.
We make a big deal out of learning to walk, learning to read, learning to drive.
So why wouldn’t I want to make a HUGE deal out of celebrating THE most important decision my child has and will ever make?
So yeah, we celebrate spiritual birthdays.
Celebrating What Matters Most
I asked different people to write a letter to Charlotte to give to her the day she made her decision public by being baptized. We read each of them to her when we got home that day. And now we pull out the box on the day we celebrate and we read them again. From her Sunday school teacher, from her grandparents, from her school teacher, from close family friends, and from her parents. They talk about what she was like at that age. They share where in her life she shines a bright light in loving and caring for others. It talks about how she told us for months that she had asked Jesus into her heart as her mommy tried to tell her she was too young until she cried one day asking what she had to do to get us to believe her.
Yeah, mom of the year award goes to me on that one. But that’s a story for a different blog post. (Which I’ve shared previously on my blog here.)
The first year on her spiritual birthday, I took all the sweet pictures my friend Sarah took of her baptism along with the special letters, and I made a Shutterfly book. You guys, it’s as close to scrapbooking as I’ll ever get. I didn’t even finish her baby book and she’s my first child! But this, THIS, I wanted to make important.
I want to make the important things important.
Why does so much of my time in life go to the unimportant things?
I stayed home to spend more time with my kids, yet I’ll set them in front of the TV to keep my house clean. Now I love a clean house, but I have a secret. Cleanliness is next to Godliness is not in the Bible.
I’ll get up at 4:25 in the morning to make it to a 5:00am workout and I’ll spend WAY too much time on social media. But if I’m not careful, I will convince myself in the evenings that I just didn’t have enough time that day to read the Bible.
I’ll get uptight about what reading level Charlotte is at or count how many classes before Walker can test for his next belt in karate, but slack on our family quiet time.
I’ll drool over social media posts of cute clothes and cute jewelry, but spend a lot less time considering where those items are made and the wages of those making them. And that’s why I love Noonday, but again, that’s a different blog post.
What I’m saying is that I completely miss the mark all the time when it comes to keeping the important things important.
But I am striving to be more intentional this year.
Am I being intentional?
I want to be more intentional. Intentional to have family conversations to verbalize where we place our value. Intentional to hang out with great friends who bring me back to these values when my “great ideas” start leading me elsewhere. Intentional to look at people ahead of me in this journey who I admire and ask them, how do you do it?
At the top of my calendar for the month of January it said, “Make Important Things Important.” Clearly, I need all the reminders I can get. I decided it needed to stay my goal for every month this year.
For the sake of my kids, I’m going to do my best to illustrate that for them. To celebrate their spiritual birthday over their soccer goal. To celebrate their character over their reading level. To celebrate their sharing and forgiveness over their dance routine and staying in bed all night.
And don’t get me wrong. We LOVE to celebrate our kids in ALL THE THINGS. You should see Cody’s dance moves for pooping in the potty and for eating all their vegetables.
I’m just staying that this year I want to do better at helping my kids prioritize the most important things above the good things. As a mom, that job falls heavily on me and their daddy.
Because how can we make Jesus the MOST important thing without making the most important things important?