Wednesday, August 10

Spiritual Milestones

Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Written by Arabah (at

I have no idea when I became a Christian.

Let me be quick to say I do remember what happened, but I have no idea when it happened. I remember being on the school bus one day and Jesus showed up on the inside of me and told me He loved me. All the truth I had heard in church and Christian school became more than head knowledge. I understood with my heart and surrendered my life to His love.

However, I was young. It was simple. No one was with me. There was no crossing a river or erecting memorial stones, no lightening bolt experience.

So when I became an adult and God began to stir in my heart more than ever before, I started to wonder if what I had experienced as a child was genuine conversion.

I went to my mom for an adult perspective. “Mom, how did you know I was saved as a child? How did you know I was ready for baptism? What was I saying? Doing? What convinced you I had met Jesus?”

Her only response was, “I don’t remember.”

I felt like a piece of my history, my personal spiritual journey, was missing and I had no way of recovering it.

I decided then that I would do differently for my own children. I would not rely on my memory for when they came asking about their spiritual markers in childhood, because the chances were high that I wouldn’t remember much either. Instead, I would record them as they happened.

Once my oldest started showing signs of spiritual interest, I purchased a notebook, wrote “Spiritual Markers” on the front, wrote a letter on the inside cover, and began to record his spiritual journey from my perspective.

For example, when he was about 4, I wrote down a conversation we had about the scripture “Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” and “All who come to Him He will never turn away.” It struck me as special because my son asked many good questions and told me, “I want to come to Jesus.”

As we added children to our family, the “Spiritual Markers” notebook was replaced with a Classic Leather Bound Journal {I call it a “Heritage Book”} to include much more than spiritual markers.Each of my children has one of these and in it I record:

~How the Lord impressed us with the name they were to have and it’s meaning.

~Scriptures the Lord lays on my heart as I pray for them.

~Conversations we have that show spiritual interest and questions they ask.

~In the case of my oldest, his conversion experience, his baptism, and signs of fruit in his life following conversion, such as witnessing to a play mate and praying for a lost neighbor.

~Every day ways their lives are expressing a heart for the Lord.

~Letters from me and their dad. Their dad writes at least one letter each year, on their birthday. These letters share our hopes and dreams for them, how we see the Lord growing them, our belief in God’s good plans for them, and how they delight us.

~Blessings, often times straight from scriptures, such as “I am praying for you today, Sarah, that the Lord will bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you.”

~Any other note, compliment, photo, ect about them passed on to me from a teacher, friend, family member. I’m recording what others see in them as well.

Of course every entry is dated and there is no real regularity to the entries, just as something strikes me. In this way, I hope to fill in some of the gaps for my children as they grow and seek a mature perspective on spiritual events in their childhood.

I will know when the time is right to present them with their Heritage Book. Perhaps during adolescence, when they need something tangible and physical to look back on. Or perhaps at their high school graduation. Whenever it happens to be, I will know.

I am happy I started this when my children were very little, but it is never too late to start! I recommend a Leather Bound Journal such as this for the long lasting and special gift you will be giving your children.

After I am long gone, I pray the Heritage Books, pieced together with great love and affection, will be a gift that my children will cherish and even pass on to their own children.


Sherri said...

What a wonderful idea! I realized awhile back that I wanted to know your story, I never think to bring it up, I remember clearly my perspective of Andrea's, but what I remember about yours is daily you asked Jesus into your heart when you prayed before meals- this was about the same time as you wanted to buy your dad a red quartet, about 4 or so, so what does a child remember, when do these acts become deep down heart-felt, life changing events? A conversation to come, or a Drops sometime I hope.

Linds and Manda said...

Great idea. What a special gift to give them when they are older.