In 1994, Easter Sunday fell on April 3rd. That afternoon, #1 Son chose to follow Jesus as a little boy in our home church of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Today, 4/3/2012, #1 Son turns 18 years old in the LORD.

Our family traditions have celebrated this date, a Spiritual Birthday, with donut holes (life without Jesus is like a donut…you have a hole in the middle of your heart), balloons (we lift His name on high in all things), and a gift (something round that reminds us that God’s love is round about His people.) At some point, the gift began to matter more than the donut holes.

Over the years, the gifts included:

A new Christian CD – we have come a long way from Sandi Patti and Phillips, Craig & Dean.

A matching silver Ring – found on Cape Cod, Baby Girl and I shared 2 matching rings where 3 bands were soldered together, 2 hands (1 representing her Daddy, and 1 representing me, to cover the heart (her heart) on the center band).

A Cactus Garden – One year was more prickly than others, so coming across a round cactus garden seemed the most appropriate gift.

A James Avery Bracelet – scripture to wear around her wrist.

A Crown of Thorns – one that fit the head of a little boy, because it’s what he asked for.

Pearl Earrings – we will not cast our pearls among swine…a reminder of the standard He has set for His Princess of the King.

My favorite part of this tradition is that the gift can not be opened until the receiver tells of the day of their decision to follow Christ. He/She names names (many of these precious servants of Christ are still involved in our lives), we claim the family of faith who provided the opportunity for little people to hear the gospel, and he/she shares the circumstances of their decision. But that’s not all.

He/she also shares (1) what they have learned about God over this last year, and (2) they state his/her spiritual goal to set forth for the next year.

He thinks it’s corny, but when I return home from “becoming a Grandmother land,” we will sit across a table.  I will order a salad and he will order a huge steak.  And we will share “great things He has done.”