Celebrating With Purpose

(This post was written by Gina McClain, Director of Children’s Ministries)

Yesterday was my daughter’s birthday.  Turning 9 years old and soon to enter the 4th grade, she is growing faster and faster every year.  I’m watching her mature and I’m amazed at how God has shaped her heart.

Yesterday’s purpose was singular.  To demonstrate to Josie how special she is and how much we are grateful for what God has done through Josie the past 9 years. 

Now… not everything went perfectly yesterday.  I learned a lesson about Knox County schools and their nutritional policies (nix the cupcake celebration) and my youngest came down with the stomach bug in the middle of the day (nix the plan to pick her up early from school).  However, here is what went well:

  • When Josie arrived home from school she was met by her big brother and a couple of riddles to solve
  • Solving the riddles led her to the one thing she has asked for over and over and over and over again for the past 6 months… dwarf hamsters.  (Yes… we are now officially owners of 2 fish, 1 peppermint shrimp, some other various aquarium paraphernalia and two furry, cute, poop-wherever-they-want dwarf hamsters. *sigh*)
  • We ate Chic-fil-A for dinner  (Not sure why that was the restaurant of choice… but okay)
  • Sitting outside Maggie Moo’s we each took turns telling Josie the things we love most about her

Looking back on the day there is only one thing I want to add.  We do a good job of looking back and expressing gratitude for how she adds value to our lives.  But I’d love to build in a sense of purpose in her by looking ahead at how we envision her adding value to our family, to her friends, to her neighborhood and to her church in the coming year. 

I want to set the bar in Josie’s mind.  To help her see how God has equipped her with gifts and talents.  And how she can use those gifts and talents for His glory and His honor. 

Parents, celebrating our child’s birthday is an important event every year.  But let’s take advantage of the opportunity to build a sense of purpose in their lives.  Let’s be the one to paint a picture in their mind for how you we them growing.  Scripture states that Jesus grew in wisdom, maturity and favor with God and men (Luke 2:52)  And God desires that we grow as Christ grew.  As parents, we play a key role in helping our kids grow in that direction. 

We may have missed this opportunity yesterday.  But Kyle and I will find time this week to help focus her eyes ahead on how she can invest in God’s Kingdom as a 9 year old. 

What an amazing gift to be parents.