A puzzling invitation to a birthday party arrived in the mail. To my knowledge, the birthday girl had never been in my daughter’s class nor did she ever play with her. Turns out, the birthday girl’s wise mother was the adult guide for my daughter at a local VBS and loved her (who wouldn’t?). That momma was trying to cultivate a new friendship.
It didn’t work at first. Though the party was fun, there wasn’t enough time together to grow a friendship. But a seed was planted. Suspecting the girl’s mom had strong faith, I approached the mom at the end of the school year about bringing her daughter to a girls club at my house that summer. Rare, sweet words of fellowship followed and that mom unwittingly handed me a gem in the conversation. Daily she and her daughter were reading Dannah Gresh’s The One Year Mother-Daughter Devo (author of one my fave books on raising girls).
When both of my girls were in public school, we spent the last ten minutes before the bus came reading scripture or doing a devotion. After a year of straight scripture, I wanted to change it up and tried Gresh’s devotion. It added sharing and connecting together to our time in scripture.
Each day includes a focus verse and a longer passage of scripture called Bible Blast. It isn’t necessary to read the longer passage to understand the devotion but we always did to help keep scripture at the forefront of our conversation. While the grils were in school, we didn’t have time for the activities in Gresh’s book although sometimes we would revisit the ones that excited us in the evening. Still, the conversations that followed the devos were precious.
I loved how the book included crafts, recipes and the kind of random, amazing facts about creation that fascinate us and instil God-awe. Sometimes Gresh would bring up topics we hadn’t discussed in a while, like washing your face or boys, other times she would encourage moms to share about their lives, something I tend to forget to do. There are special sections each month too, like Language Lab (What is Testimony?), Meditation moment (focusing silently on a passage and sharing thoughts), and even a week of scripture focus on passages like the letters to the churches in Revelations.
If you have a daughter between the ages of 7 and 12, I guarantee this devotion book will create some sweet bonding and help you both to stay focused on God. Plus, you will both learn quite a few things along the way. And if you aren’t the type to stick to a devotion ritual daily never fear! It took us two years to get through the book and at one point we were doing the March devotions in July.
So, do you ever read devotions as a family ( we do, but no every day)? What do devotional books have you found that you loved? How have you dealt with the older kids who get so busy it is hard to wrestle them down for much of anything?
(and just so you know, I didn’t receive a free copy of this book to review it. I just like it. But if Dannah Gresh reads this and wants to send me a free copy, I’ll be happy to give it away to a sweet reader!)