NAME PLACES FOR YOUR TABLE
A wonderful way to encourage your precious children is to prepare NAME PLACES for them at the table. Of course, you won't have time to do this for every meal, but it is a wonderful thing to do on special occasions. I keep colored cardboard and paper on hand for this task.
I type the name and comment on the computer, print it off on colored paper and then paste in on a folded cardboard that can stand on its own when folded in half. There are lots of ways you can do this:
Type or write their name and underneath their name write an encouraging phrase that starts with the first letter of their name. Here's some examples that I have used with my children and grandchildren.
Resolute for God
Type, or write their name and underneath write a rhyming couplet. It doesn't take too long to think of these and they will really bless your family. Here are some examples I have written for the grandchildren over the years. As you can see, they are very simple rhymes.
A sweet little girl who loves to mother,
She loves her babies like no other!
A very fine boy who can read so well,
We all think that you are really swell!
The boy with the beautiful, big blue eyes,
There's no doubt about it, he'll take the prize!
A pure, chosen vessel for God's glory,
Your life is going to tell a wonderful story!
Industriously planning ways to make money,
But no matter how busy, she always looks sunny!
And some for our grown children:
A father of fun and loads of love,
A man who knows how to get a job done!
Wild and outrageous, but she is a true sage,
The best researcher on curriculums for any age!
One thing about Monique, she is not a prude!
But she can't go for one week without Indian food!
(Monique is our daughter-in-law.
Sometimes I move from character qualities to a bit of fun!
But it is quite true! They go to an Indian restaurant once a week, or have withdrawal!)
Born for a specific purpose and aim,
You'll change the world with your ingenious brain!
And don't forget your husband. I have written many for Colin over the years, e.g.
He has a great big, kind, and loving heart,
He likes things big and he likes them smart!
Are there any faithful left in the land?
Yes, he is one of God's mighty band!
Can you think of four rhyming lines? There is something about rhymes that helps your children to remember. You will also remember them and can recite them to your child when you are sitting with them or riding in the car. For example:
A beautiful girl who is a delight to the eyes,
From the hand of the Lord she is a special prize!
With her long golden curls and her soft white skin,
She radiates loveliness, which comes from within!
Here's a six-liner Name Place I wrote for Colin:
He came from a home always perfect and clean,
Not a speck of dust could ever be seen!
And then he got married—and what did he get?
Papers here, papers there, and more papers, I fret!
And in the middle of the night the bed is an office!
Perhaps we should call his home a "hoffice!"
These will take a little more thought to write, but worth it for a special occasion. These are Name Places your children will keep as memories.
I know a girl called Rashida Pops,
She's so cute, she really is tops,
Her smile is sweet,
She really is neat,
This girl who is top of the tops!
There's a lady with flowing red hair
Who always makes everyone stare!
She is so outrageous
And even dangerous
This girl with the flowing red hair!
There's a song floating up from the stairs,
Its melody takes away cares,
It brightens the day,
We want it to stay,
Serene's song floating up from the stairs!
I saw a wonderful and happy sight,
It was like a bird that is taking flight,
A mother skipping,
Her feet a-tripping,
A mother happy and filled with delight!
The Meaning of their Name
Leading many to righteousness
Pointed in the right direction toward God
A Scripture or Hymn
Sometimes I will write an appropriate Scripture under their name, or even the verse of a hymn that is appropriate to their character or ministers to what they are going through at the time.
Sometimes you may like to write a "Thank You" underneath their name, some character trait for which you are thankful or for something they have done for you, e.g.
Thank you for the privilege of being your mother!
Thank you for watering my garden every night!
Thank you for being my faithful and loving husband!
These are usually too long to use as a Name Place but you can write them on special paper and have them sitting on each plate for when the family comes to the table. During the meal, each one can read their Acrostic to everyone else.
Here are some examples of acrostics I wrote when the children were in their teens, e.g.
P Packed with potential!
E Eloquent in speech!
A Above average intelligence!
R Really talented (but needing discipline to develop her talents!)
L Losing her freckles!
S Super Salesman!
T Thinks he's neat!
E Ever paying traffic fines!
P Positively optimistic!
H Heavy footed!
E Eager snow skier, golfer, and tennis player!
N Naturally "cool"!
Sometimes I would make acrostics according to their character qualities and other times to what they were doing in their lives at the time.
Be creative as you write blessings to your family and make your children feel special.