(click here to see full image as well as journaling and credits)
I love this kit by Stacey! I was so glad to be able to use it (it was PERFECT -as all her kits are - for me and these pictures).
I usually write each of my children a letter for their birthday. I write a little bit about how they are (like how MM still runs up and jumps into my arms after she wakes up from her nap). And I write a little bit about how I see them developing (like how MM is just now starting to understand about how Jesus really did come back from the dead). And I write a little bit about what I am praying for them (certain character traits, a godly husband, a deep love for the Lord). Sure, sometimes the letters (especially the praying part) may be the same, but that will just show them my resolve in consistently praying for them. :)
This once a year ritual has really helped me to take the time to focus on each child individually, and to think about what I truly love about them. What about them makes me smile? What about them makes me happy to be their mommy?
This is especially important (and HELPFUL) to me, the older my children get - when the questioning turns to what could be rebellion, and their sincerity turns into what could be manipulation. And especially in the business of life, it is very easy to forget what a blessing this child is. That God gave them to ME (and my beloved of course) to train up for Him. He gives us His BEST, and He gave me this child, so this child must be what is BEST for me (although I admit it is hard to see the other way around at times that I am what is best for my children, especially when I falter and yell at them).
So anyways, I just want to encourage you to take some time to write your child a letter and let them know how much you love them. I will read the letter to her on her birthday and then put it in her scrapbook (on an adjoining page).
And you don't have to do this JUST for the birthday (although that seems to be the best time for me to remember). Children LOVE to get mail. Write a short card to your child and send it off in the mail. You could even just slip it into the mailbox for them to get in the morning. Just something small to let them know how much you love them is SO BIG to them! My daughters still have birthday cards from years back, and each my husband and I wrote like two sentences each in them. But they love hearing it again and again how much we love them.