Sixteen years ago, right after two new baby girls were born into our family, my daughter’s mother-in-law (Ruth) initiated an idea that has become a tradition for the ladies and girls in our family.
Every spring, we get together for a luncheon that is loosely inspired by the Jewish festival of Purim and the bold, brave, and beautiful Queen Esther. Beforehand, each participant writes a short biography of a woman who served the Lord with bravery and boldness. The ladies read their stories aloud at the luncheon and then pass out a copy for each person to keep in her Bold, Brave, and Beautiful three-ring binder.
Ruth herself grew up on the mission field in Nigeria. Her sister returned there as a missionary, so Ruth’s nieces often wrote bios about their parents’ mission co-workers and Nigerians they had met as kids living in Africa.
The young girls of our family continue to hear the exciting adventures of not only Nigerian missionaries, but also ladies such as Gladys Aylward, Betty Stam, Elisabeth Elliot, and Lottie Moon. Another bio was about Bonnie Witherall, a young lady martyred for her faith in 2002. This story was particularly poignant since a couple of the mothers attended college with Bonnie. The little girls listened as their moms, with great emotion, shared memories.
We’ve encouraged the younger girls to draw pictures of some of the stories. Another time, one of the children made each of us bookmarks reminding us to pray for missionaries around the world.
The luncheons have provided a fun way to introduce the young girls to heroines of the faith who have served the Lord in a unique way—some well known and some who have dedicated their lives to serving the Lord behind the scenes. We end each luncheon with a prayer, dedicating ourselves to being bold, brave, and beautiful (on the inside) for the Lord.
Since that first gathering, more little girls have been born. As they’ve grown, they have researched and written about their own “bold, brave, and beautiful women” (and we’re all on our second binders).
Could you begin a tradition like this with your own children? If extended family members can’t join you, invite some friends from church. Do you know a missionary who would be excited to attend a luncheon and share stories from her own life?
How could you adjust this idea for the guys? The men and boys in your family could share stories of heroes of the faith, maybe at an annual camping trip or around a bonfire.
The psalmist reminds us: “One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.” (Psalm 145:4) Many in ministry remember that their interest in serving God was first kindled while listening to someone talk about his or her own experiences. The young girls in our family are getting a good opportunity to hear those stories of how God works mightily, and many of them have their own stories to tell already.