A few years ago I read a book by Robin Jones Gunn called, Gentle Passages. It is full of small stories and ideas to help guide your daughter into womanhood. My favorite story is about a young girl that came over to Robin’s house and was frustrated because her parents wouldn’t let her go see a certain movie. Robin pulls a dirty paper plate out of the trash can and asks her if she’d like to eat some cake off of it. The girl is horrified. Robin then pulls out a piece of her nicest china and serves the little girl some cake. She reads 2 Timothy 2:20-21 to her:
In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. (NLT)
Robin explains that the girl’s parents only want her to stay pure and be a “clean plate” useful for the Master’s work. Robin then writes the verse with a Sharpie on the back of the china and gives it to the girl. That little girl kept the plate and used it on her birthday, her graduation and even her wedding day. What a gift!
So, for my daughter’s first birthday, I went to one of those Paint Your Own Pottery places and made a plate for my Lydia. I painted a flower pot with her name written in it. Then 3 flowers coming out of the pot. On those 3 flowers are words that come from the meanings of her name. (well, that’s what it’s supposed to be…I’ve still got to fill in the last 2 flowers…)
I did the words on flowers because these are the qualities and characteristics I want her to grow in her life. I want to see her develop into the name we’ve been speaking over her entire life.
Hopefully, this plate will be meaningful to Lydia. I plan to serve her birthday cake on it every year. I hope one day she eats her wedding cake off of it. I pray she will grow to be the woman that God has already planned for her to be.
*wiping away a tear*
[Update: Robin Jones Gunn has written a kids’ book called, Mrs. Rosey Posey and the Fine China Plate.” that tells this exact same story! My daughter loves it and it’s perfect to couple with a plate as a birthday gift for any age!]
Now, my really good idea with this is the PEN! Surely you didn’t think I really painted all those words on that plate?! I have this great pen that writes on already glazed & fired pottery. After I did the color on the plate and it was glazed & fired, I wrote all the words with this pen, put it in my oven for a half an hour and voila! it’s permanent! (I got the pen from the pottery store, but it’s made by Pebeo and called the Porcelaine150.)
So, you could go to the paintyourownpotterystore and make a plate (or a tile or anything!) for a wedding shower, birthday party, baby shower, graduation party, etc. then have all the guests sign it with this pen. Later you bake it and have a permanent reminder of your special event!
Handmade, memorable and totally cute–that works for me!