I’m so excited to introduce you to my sweet friend Amanda. She’s is passionate about helping families grow and serve the Lord together. And she’s been a great supporter of Prayers for Girls. Thank you, Amanda, for sharing your heart here. ~ Teri Lynne
Truth in the Tinsel by Amanda White
Every year, around Christmas my kids and I make a little ornament out of felt, a scrap of ribbon and one of those round clothespins. We try to make it look like a little Mary, mother of Jesus. We cut a dress, tie the ribbon around her head and draw little eyes and a mouth.
As we design her clothes we think about what it must have been like to have an angel interrupt your day so completely. We talk about how scared she must have been. We wonder how she was brave enough to say, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38 ESV)
I imagine Mary turning that statement into a prayer in the days and weeks and months to come. When her parents and Joseph and even her own mind told her she was crazy, I see her all alone praying with passion, “I am your servant, Lord! Let it be to me according to your word!”
Her simple statement wasn’t a holier-than-thou, doormat-do-whatever-you-want-to-me-statement. It was a declaration to walk with God no matter where He leads. Even though it wasn’t a “Dear God, Amen.” kinda prayer, I envision Mary’s statement as a prayer that led her through the next nine months, the next 30 years and the rest of her life.
I believe prayers continue longer than their original utterance. Pastor and author Mark Batterson says “prayers are prophetic”. I’ve seen that in my own life as the prayers of my parents, camp counselors and youth pastors extended far beyond curfew, camp and graduation.
I see it in the prayers of the Bible. When I feel my words spewing instead of seasoned with salt, I pray, “may the words of my mouth…be pleasing in your sight…” and feel the Holy Spirit’s response. When I feel far away from God and tired of all the things that have come between us, I pray, “create in me a clean heart, O God!” and He does.
So, when my kids and I are circled around the Bible and some craft supplies and we’re imagining what we would do if we were Mary, or if God might speak to us and what kind of plans He has for us, I am hoping they will take Mary’s declarative prayer as their own.
I want my daughter and son to come back to Mary’s words whenever they encounter the voice of the Lord, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord, let it be to me according to Your word.”
As we pray for our girls (and boys) let’s not forget those well-worn prayers. Pray them, knowing God’s Word is alive and active. And let’s teach our children to follow their model and pray them for themselves.
We make this Mary ornament each year as part of an Christmas devotional I wrote called Truth in the Tinsel: an Advent Experience for Little Hands. Each day you and your children will read a passage from the Christmas story in the Bible, make an ornament and talk about God’s big story and His best present of all, Jesus.
Isn’t Amanda wonderful? I’m so thankful for her friendship and the ways she helps us not-so-creative types share with our children about the wonder and power of our Creator. You can click on the banner below to order your own copy of Truth in the Tinsel. And if you’re super busy (because it’s really possible you are just like I am!), you can even order the printable ornaments for your children to color and use. The links are affiliate links and I will receive a commission if you purchase through them.
What is your favorite Advent resource?
Amanda likes to think up fun ways to tell her kids about Jesus and likes to share those ideas with others. Most of those ideas are on her blog, ohAmanda.com and the new ones she’s trying out usually show up on Instagram @oohamanda. Tens of thousands of families have used and enjoyed her family devotional books, Truth in the Tinsel: an Advent Experience for Little Hands and A Sense of the Resurrection: an Easter Experience for Families to celebrate Jesus throughout the year.