Deirdre Tolhurst

Author, Speaker, Blogger


Dear Child of Mine, An Heirloom Devotional for the Unborn Child.  Written in 2012-2013, this book was inspired by the Holy Spirit to be written for 'A generation, a people not yet created, that they may praise the Lord.' (Psalm 102:18 NIV). This is a book that will reach generations of families, a true heirloom, a glimpse into the heart of the Mom or Grandmother that reads it and writes in it.

I want you to imagine something.  Picture yourself rummaging around in your father's attic.  You have the task of cleaning up all of this 'stuff' because you are moving your dad to your own home, and are selling his.  After your mom died, he took a turn for the worse, and became almost a recluse.  You believe that being around his grandchildren and living in the country will help him with his loneliness.  So you are busy in the attic going through boxes and furniture, and all sorts of things, trying to decide what to take along and what to get rid of.  He has accumulated so much over the 51 years he and your mom were married!  You are hot, sweaty, and filthy from all the dust.  It would sure be nice to have air conditioning up here!  Maybe a fan would help.  But not wanting to spend any more time than you absolutely have to, you continue on.

Several hours have passed.  You are ready to call it a day and start again early tomorrow, when you notice a beautiful piece of furniture.  As you go to investigate, you hit your head on a joist.  "Ouch!" you all but scream into the empty space and quickly rub your head.  While walking to the beautiful buffet you saw before your mishap, your attention is drawn to a dusty old box, almost hidden beneath the rafters.  It has something written on it.  Getting closer, and squinting through the darkness in this part of the attic, you see that it is labeled 'Endearments'.  Now you're so curious you forget all about your head, gather up the box and bring it to the center of the attic, under the light, and you sit yourself down on an old stool, wondering what kind of endearments could be inside.

Wiping dirt and sweat off your forehead with one hand, you pull apart the flaps on the top, neatly tucked into each other.  You pull out an old baseball glove, stained with oil from days long gone by.  There are baseball cards too!  You rummage through old pictures, and a Boy Scout manual, and then see a book.  Pulling it out, you once again wipe the sweat from your brow.  You open the book, and inside you recognize your grandmother's handwriting. 

It is a devotional with lines filled with writing.  No longer caring about the heat, you settle in to read the words that were written over 75 years ago.  You read the first devotion:

Week 6, Day 1 - Trust. 

Dear Child of Mine,
I almost can't believe that I am pregnant!  I haven't been feeling quite myself, but I didn't realize why.  I am your mommy!  I have been very tired, and now I know why.  You are growing rapidly inside me and my hormones are rising, giving me an occasional headache.  I have mixed emotions.  I'm excited about being pregnant and a little scared of the next eight months too.  I will love you and I will take care of myself so you will be healthy.

Dear Father God,
I love You!  I am going to have a baby!  That makes me a little nervous.  I am excited, but I don't know what to expect.  Am I ready for this?  Will we have a healthy baby?  Will I be a good mom?  Will we be able to afford a baby?  Whom will he look like?  Will it hurt having a baby?

Father, I give these concerns over to You.  I lay them at the feet of Jesus because they are too much for me.  I know that You already know my child's name and face, and each day of his life.  I trust You to help me through the next eight months.  I love You and I am so glad I have You in my life to see me through.  In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

How beautiful the devotion is.  Then you read what your grandmother penned on the lines provided for that day.  "Lord, I feel exactly like what is written here.  I'm nervous about this whole thing.  I've heard so many stories of the pain and how much it costs to have a baby.  Johnny doesn't make that much, I mean with layoffs and all, we're lucky to make what we do!  But this life is a gift from You.  I must keep that in my mind.  You will always make a way where there is no way.  Help me to fight my fears and just leave it at the cross.  Thanks.  Just one more thing, Lord, will I have a boy or a girl? Oh well, whichever it is, I promise to love it and cherish it.  I will bring it up in the way of the Word. Wait until Johnny hears this news!"

Wow!  You flip through the pages, there are hundreds of pages with her writing on them.  You decide to stop your work for the day, and go downstairs and have a cool drink and just read.  You are amazed at all the emotions that spill out of her words.  On some pages you even read your grandfather's words!!  You cry at the words about sun showers and how the stars sang when the earth was created.  There are devotions about eyes, facial features, bones, hearing, the heart and brain, fingerprints, teeth, tongue, even friends, and wonderful things about God.  There is a synopsis at the beginning of each week telling what is happening to the baby and the mom at that time in her pregnancy!  What a find!  What a treasure!  You wish you had something like that when you had your own three children, but if you can find this book you will be sure to give it to them when they are expecting their own.  What an heirloom!  Seeing the prayers grandma prayed over daddy before he was born!  You pack up your things and head home filled with joy and a new found sense of love, a love you never knew before.  Surely, when you read this to your dad, he will begin to feel better!  You have uncovered a secret door to the past, a part of your family history that few people have the privilege of finding.

Well dear Reader, this is only a story about finding such a treasure, but the good news is, the book is real!  It is called Dear Child of Mine, An Heirloom Devotional for the Unborn Child.  The devotions are meant to be read aloud each day from Week 6, Day 1 through the time the baby is born.  It ends at Week 41, Day 2.  The baby can hear with it's spirit long before he can hear with his ears.  But Jesus is right there in the womb forming and shaping each little life He created!  It should be purchased as soon after finding out about the pregnancy as possible, because it is filled with prayers of love and awe.  The baby will hear each word, and later in life when he hears scripture, it will feel familiar. 

Dear Child of Mine will help the mom to pray each day, even if only for a few minutes.  Moms will come back to Jesus, moms will find Jesus.  Babies will live a happier life.
There is just something about a praying mom, and a child prayed for.  Grandmothers can read this as well, especially if they live far away.  Then they are in agreement over the life of the unborn baby.  It is a beautiful gift to give yourself or someone else.  A gift that will keep on giving for generations to come!

A Christmas I RememberWritten in 2011 as a poem for a friend, A Christmas I Remember is a true story about a Christmas Eve snowfall that happened when I was about eight years old.  My father, NY Daily News Crime Reporter Patrick Doyle, was working that Christmas Eve as he did most years. The only thing was, that this particular year, there was a huge snowstorm coming!  He called my mother and told her that he would be leaving early, about 10pm (he worked nights) to be able to get across the George Washington Bridge in case it got so bad out that the Port Authority of NY/NJ closed it.

I remember when he got home, I looked out my bedroom window (see cover of the book) and there he was, scarf blowing in the wind, shoveling the driveway and the sidewalk in front of our house! I didn't think Santa would be able to come that night, even Daddy is supposed to be asleep! For every two feet he shoveled, it was white again in moments!

The graphics designer used pictures of my real house, my father, my mother and baby brother, and myself.  You can read more about it and order it by going to the book page.

A Christmas I Remember comes in hard cover, soft cover, and coloring book.  This is the only place on the Internet that you can buy this book as the publisher is no longer active. 

You can purchase A Christmas I Remember by clicking on the Shop Books tag above.