When Mike and I got married we each gave the other a journal of thoughts and prayers we had written for our future spouse for years before we knew we would ever be “Mike and Christine Trevino” (we didn’t know about the other person’s journal until we got into the wedding planning phase of our engagement). It was pretty powerful for each of us to read those journals on our honeymoon knowing how much we cared for each other before we even knew the other’s name. We cherish them. They are an incredible and unique part of our love story.
When we got pregnant with Elijah we wanted to somehow incorporate the same idea for him – so we started a journal for him that we each write in from time to time. We have even asked the members of our immediate families (including my 90+ year-old great uncles) to contribute messages. Noah of course has one as well, and we plan to continue this tradition for each child we are blessed with in the future.
We journal for the boys whenever something inspires us to do so and most definitely whenever we would normally buy them a card (birthdays, special holidays, faith milestones like Dedication, etc.). Some of the various entries include:
- Events that are going on in the story of our family.
- Lessons we are learning as mom/dad/husband/wife.
- Lessons we learn from our personal relationship with Christ.
- Milestones the child is hitting.
- A special moment or memory we have with the child.
- Prayers we pray for the child.
- Prayers we pray for ourselves as their parents.
These journals have taken on special meaning for Mike and I. It is a way for us to demonstrate honesty and authenticity to our children. We want our boys to know that even though we may fail them at times, and they may fail us, what will never ever change is our love for them and our prayer for real relationship with them. These journals are a very tangible way that we are passing down a heritage of faith in Christ and the heritage of our family to our boys.
We haven’t decided when we will present them with their journal. We’ve tossed around the idea of giving it at some coming-of-age-type birthday (13? 16? 18?), when they graduate from college or when they get married. At this point we’re not too worried about that minor detail. I have the sneaking suspicion that when it’s time, we will just know. For now we are just diligently filling pages.