Last night we continued one of my very favorite Nelson traditions. Our youngest turns 15 this week and Pat and I took Mary Moore to a nice restaurant and then had her “ring celebration”. This tradition began with my grandmother on her 15th birthday and has continued through each generation and with each of our daughters.
As we sat down to dinner, I painted a picture of the woman Mary Moore was named after. We talked about her love of hats, jewelry and fashion. I told her about Mary’s love for Jesus and family and how she was petite. We celebrated all the ways Mary and Mary Moore were alike. When I finished, Pat engaged in His part of the celebration. He has used the 15th birthday to make promises and call upon our daughters to value purity. It is a beautiful experience to watch the man you love vow to protect, celebrate and cherish your daughter. Each time he has explained how the ring on her finger is there to remind her of how much she is loved while at the same time it is meant to help her remember how valuable her purity is. The ceremony concludes as Pat, with tears in his eyes, encourages her to wear the ring every day until the next man who promises to love, cherish and protect her gives her a ring to replace the heirloom ring.
Mary Moore received her heirloom ring with joy and a huge appreciation of responsibility. She was simultaneously solemn and ecstatic, and I soaked it all in. I was able to celebrate God’s goodness in gifting us with this special child. I felt pangs of finality over the end of 15th birthday celebrations, and I swooned over the strength, leadership and wisdom exemplified in my husband.
The purpose of the heirloom ring is to be a reminder. It is a reminder for M2 of whom she is named after. It is a reminder that her parents will always love, protect and support her and it is a reminder for her to guard and celebrate her heart, body and purity. Physical reminders like heirloom rings are incredibly valuable tools as we navigate through our chaotic lives.
I have always loved the passage in Joshua 4, where Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan and then under God’s instruction, told the Israelites to build a memorial with 12 stones. The purpose of the stones was to be a visible reminder of what had happened and how faithful God was and is.
In humility and love for each of you, I would encourage you to celebrate the values of your family and the bounty of God’s goodness with your own memorial stones. It doesn’t matter what object you choose or what you choose to celebrate. You each have so much to celebrate and so many good things to pass on to your children. Think about what you want them to embrace and give them a “stone” to hold on to. You are so special and you have learned so much. Celebrate your values and pass them on. Blessings to each of you. XO c
Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground. ’For the Lord your God dried up the river right before your eyes, and he kept it dry until you were all across, just as he did at the Red Sea[c] when he dried it up until we had all crossed over. He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.”
Joshua 4:21-24 (NLT)