Over the past few years, I’ve had this idea floating around in my head but have yet to put pen to paper and make it a reality. This year, I want to create it and make it filled with family meaning. I want to create a Family Faith Journal. This journal will contain:
- Faith Stories – the highs, lows, struggles & victories of our family’s faith walk
- Answered Prayers
- Calls for Obedience & their Outcomes
- Favorite Verses
I would love for it to contain not only our immediate family’s faith stories but those of our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, if we can gather them. I wish I could talk to my great grandfather who fled Spain and my grandmother who lived through The Great Depression and know how their faith played into the decisions that they made and why they decided to go where they did. Sadly, they have already passed away and so I cannot ask them. But how awesome would it be for my great, great grandchildren to not have to wonder but know and be encouraged by the faith of their own family. It would almost be like sitting at the feet of Adam and Eve and learning how God took care of them even when they royally goofed….I mean we see that in the Bible, but sometimes it just seems like a collection of stories that happened to other people a long time ago. The Family Faith Journal would allow my kids, grandkids and great, great, greats to know that the God of the Bible was alive and well in their family too. That he still moves in peoples’ lives in amazing ways and how he directly made a HUGE difference in our family.
No matter our faith background, each of us can grow closer as a family by sharing and retelling the great things that have happened in our lives.
For me, this is how it looks…well, at least for now, because I am ALWAYS tweaking and adding embellishments to my projects and revamping them along the way.
1. Retelling Our Faith Stories
Up to this point, this is the main method we have used in our house. We share with our kids how God has changed our lives from bringing my husband and I together to helping me see things differently…more about that here in a minute.
2. Celebrating Our Faith Stories
We LOVE to have a reason to CELEBRATE, so why not celebrate the anniversary of an awesome faith story? Many times, we can look back and see how God has moved in our lives and how what he has done has impacted our lives, but sometimes there is also a specific date we can point back to and say either this is when it started or this is when it ended. We mark the calendar and celebrate it like a holiday – a family faith holiday!
This month, I will celebrate a true miracle that happened three years ago. Now, some of you might think I’m a complete loon and that’s ok, because sometimes I do resemble that, but in this case, seeing is believing.
About five years ago, I started questioning everything about my faith. Why do we do this? What’s the point of that? Is that what I should be doing? I believed in God and that Jesus was his Son with my whole heart but was fleshing out my faith and figuring out what it should look like. In doing so, I didn’t want to read the Bible through the filtered lenses of how I was raised but for what it actually said. Now, granted every day I am learning and growing in my faith and understand it more than I did the day before, but three years ago, I was pleading with God to let me see it through his eyes and not mine.
Three months after having my 3rd child, we downsized our living quarters by 2/3. While I was trying to get the new house in order, my mom offered to watch the kids one day so I could get organized. In the chaos of the move and taking care of 3 little ones ages 3, 2.5, & 3 months, I hadn’t had a chance to read my Bible as much as I wanted and I was desperately craving a 15 minute fix. Sadly, even though I had the opportunity, I didn’t have my glasses. I couldn’t find them anywhere. I blamed it on a child playing hide & seek with an inanimate object and the object lost! Having astigmatisms in both eyes and being slightly near sighted, I would get severe headaches if I ever tried to read without my glasses. However, I was desperate to be in God’s word, so that morning, I was willing to risk a headache. I knew if I strained really hard, I could make out some words and since I would be reading a passage I had read before, I could figure out what was there. So, before I began reading, I started my prayer of wanting to see things through God’s eyes. I remember specifically asking that “the scales would fall from my eyes so I could see and understand his word as he meant it to be.” Amazingly, I was not only able to understand the passage in a way I had never thought about before, but I also was able to read it clearly WITHOUT straining my eyes! God gave me 15 minutes of clear vision and clear vision every day since! Yep, to this day, I have not had to use my glasses, which was wonderful because it took me two years to find them. My two older kids look at me & know the change. In this case for them, seeing is truly believing, so we celebrate this blessing.
This story among many others are the types of stories I want to pass on through the ages. God can and does still work in people’s lives! Not only the blessings but also helping us persevere through struggles. Nobody’s life in this world is without struggle and I want my children and their children to be encouraged when they are faced with the trials of life.
3. Journaling Our Faith Stories
One of the things I would love to be able to do is read my great grandparents handwritten notes and see how God weaved their lives together for an amazing purpose! I hope generations from now our greats will gain encouragement and a greater faith, by seeing and believing that God didn’t just work in the lives of the people in the Bible but in their own family as well!