Part of a new brand in the Zondervan family, The Plans I Have for YOU! is an illustrated 90-day devotional written by bestselling children’s book author Amy Parker and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton, teaching and inspiring kids to dream about their future, to focus on faith, love and joy and recognize that God has a plan and purpose for each and every one of us.
Part of a new brand in the Zondervan family, The Plans I Have for You journal prompts creative thinking and exploration of the talents and personalities that make us special, and then helps explore how God may use our unique traits to spread love and joy and make the world a better place.
The Plans I Have for You is a great way to teach your 8-12 year old that God cares deeply about you and every aspect of your life. Drawing from Biblical examples, the devotional reminds that God is faithful and He has a wonderful plan for you. Although I felt the devotional was geared toward the younger age, my 12 year old was very drawn to the journal.
Both products are visually stimulated and complement each other well. My daughter loves diary type books so for her, the journal was the bigger draw. However, I went deeper with the devotional and once she knew even more of the stories, she was impressed with the level of faith people took in the Bible when they didn’t know how it would end. I was interested in the message and visuals as well.
I highly recommend The Plans I Have for You. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
I received The Plans I Have for You devotional and journal, sold separately, from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I watch their little pudgy hands smack in excitement against the glass door. The two of them can hardly stand still, shifting their weight from foot to foot, as they wait for the big, yellow school bus that will be pulling up to our driveway. As the bus finally rumbles up the road, squeals of happiness start, as the twins catch a glimpse of big sister crossing the street and making her way up the drive. With a smile, she waves back to them and my heart swells with thankfulness.
This little scene is a small part of my everyday world, a clip that repeats everyday. It’s easily one of my favorite parts of being a mom. One could read it, and think, “Aww, how sweet.”, others might think, “So what? What’s the big deal about siblings being excited to see each other?”
For me, it’s a daily reminder to give thanks to God for fulfilling a dream that I thought would never happen.
After getting married, spending a year as newlyweds, my husband and I were elated to find ourselves pregnant. As first parents go, we took all the classes, prepared ourselves as much as we could and welcomed a healthy baby girl into the world in 2004.
We had always wanted more than one child, so when Miss O. was about 18 months old we started trying for a sibling for her. To our surprise, it wasn’t as easy this time around, but we did get pregnant in December of 2005. I purchased a “Big Sister” shirt for her to wear at her second birthday party in March to share the good news with family. We were ecstatic to share our news.
Two weeks before the party, at a routine doctor visit, we found out that our baby’s heart was no longer beating.
Shocked and saddened, we learned that possibly 1 in every 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage.
This loss would not be our last.
During the next four years, I was thankful for the women in my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. They listened to me, cried right along side of me, and prayed for me and my family. Some had experienced loss, others had not, but they all supported me the best way they could. One of them shared a Bible verse with me, Jeremiah 29:11, which reads, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I clung to that verse, a little tighter each time, with every loss.
In November of 2009, my husband and I were guarded, but excited to find ourselves pregnant for the seventh time. I spent the weeks leading up to the first ultrasound praying to God, asking Him to allow this little life to grow within in. Every time I felt afraid, I would repeat the verse from Jeremiah, and a feeling of peace would come over me. Even if the peace only lasted 5 minutes, I was thankful for those few minutes. At the first appointment, we were overjoyed to find that we were expecting two babies!
Over the next 8 months, I continued to pray, and my fellow MOPS moms were praying right along side of me. In July of 2010, the twins were welcomed to this world, full term and healthy. It seemed surreal after so many bad endings, to finally be experiencing such joy!
It was a long wait for them to join our family, filled with much heartache and sadness, but when I look at them, all I can do is praise God and give Him thanks.
Amy Garland is a stay at home mom of three, who’s adjusting to not working after being blessed with twins after years of secondary infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss. Her days are filled with many blessings AND cups of coffee. She muses about life over at her blog, Not The Path I Chose, when she has a few minutes to type.
Amy Garland blogs at notthepathIchose.blogspot.com.