I've always wanted to be a shepherdess. I love sheep. One day, I actually realized how much work it would be to raise sheep and I thought, maybe it's better in my dreams. God has bless us with an even more amazing flock to raise - our children. They take a lot of work, hands on coaching, teaching, encouraging and guiding, and then they can actually interact with you, make you laugh and teach you things! Way better than sheep.
I made it a goal years ago to pray over my flock. I used to do it every morning, now it's every week or every other week. Every child has a Bible I use just for them and I keep them by my Bible and devotional I'm doing at the time. I keep highlighters and a pen right next to them and the children know not to use these.
There are two highlighters. I was marking them all with the same, skinny, yellow one and then realized that in Opal's Bible, the ink was just disappearing over time. This was an eye-opening revelation for me because I realized there was so much of how we raised not only Opal but all of our kids that we needed to do differently. They are different kids. They need different things. They even need to be prayed for in different ways. How much our little Opie needed to be trained up in the Lord in a different way was symbolized for me in the highlighters. She needed a different one. One that left a bolder, thicker, more yellow mark. One that would not fade away. That's how I needed to pray for her, teach her and love her, too.
The kids know these Bibles are special and that I pray scripture over them with these. I try to pick verses that deal with what we are trying to teach that child at the moment, so I pick a different verse for each child. I highlight the verse I pray for them and write the date next to it. I'm hoping by the time I pass these onto them, when they turn 18 or get married, I haven't decided completely yet, they will be so filled with yellow marks, there will be no doubt how much I've poured into their lives in prayer and relied on God to shape and mold them.
Each child also has a life verse. Some of these we picked when our babies were born and some we picked later. Here they are with some pictures of "then" and "now". Feel free to pray these same scriptures over our little one's lives!
Eben - I Corinthians 15:58 "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
Kivi - Colossians 1:10-12 "And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light."
Jasper - Colossians 2:6-7 "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."
Opal - Romans 12:9-13 "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality."
Berg - Ephesians 3:14-19 "For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
Pella - Psalm 19:7-11 "The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward."
Thank you, God for our little flock! Amen.