Years ago my sister introduced me to their friends, the Ropers. Kathryn was one of the first people who shared her knowledge of all things health and opened my eyes to a world that was foreign to me at the time. Through the years I have learned much from this family through stories my sister shares with me. They are a family that lives out the gospel, lives intentionally with their children, and is surrounded by people who love and respect them for the way they live their lives.
Today I’m sharing with you the words of Tracy Roper as he shares a heartfelt Christmas tradition in their family.
I can’t wait to begin this tradition in our own family this year. I can’t imagine a more special gift to receive.
“Many years ago, I was convicted that there was so much that I needed to do as a Father and as the spiritual leader of my home about being intentional with my words, my actions, my time, my resources, etc. Pulling from my own life and the lack of involvement or any positive influence from my father really led me to a place where I knew I could not leave the way my children viewed themselves and their place in our family and in this world to chance.
So many children grow up and never reach their full potential of what God truly wants them to be. I blame most of that on the father of the family and his lack of intentionality when it comes to, what I call, “Giving a blessing to your children.” A mom can try to do this, but to a child who does not receive this from their father, walks through their life feeling like something is missing.
I also believe that a child’s first image of our Heavenly Father comes from how they view their own earthly father. It was because of all of this that I began many years ago writing a blessing to each of my children for them to read and to have so that they could have in writing how I felt about them and what traits I saw in them that I felt were wonderful.
The most important thing that I think that is in that letter was the statement that I always make sure is in the letter – I make sure that they have in their blessing every time this statement, “ If I had the chance to choose you from millions and millions of children, I would choose you every time – God blessed me with the gift of you and I would not change anything about you – God gave me the desire of my heart when he gave me you.” Again, I try to say this in some form or another. Words are powerful and then to back those words up with behaviors that prove that, it is unbelievable!
The way that I do this every year is that I choose a very special type of parchment paper and a special pen – I hand write every letter. After writing the letter, I place it on the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve with their name on the letter. On Christmas day, I pull each child off to themselves and I read the letter to them. Then Kathryn places each of their letters in their box where she keeps their special things.
Words that come to mind when I think of this and other things are:
I never want to leave the development of my children to chance. God certainly does not do that with me, so why would I do that to my children? This has been a powerful event in my children’s lives. It is hard to see the results of this investment, but I am convinced that it has and will continue to make a difference in my children’s trajectory in their potential.”