Blessing for a First Birthday

4 06 2012

We stood in a quiet circle around the room and waited.

He placed his hand on his daughter’s head, and he spoke over her ancient words — the very same ones the LORD spoke to Moses, that he might speak to Aaron and his sons, that they in turn might heap the riches of God’s gracious favor on His children.

y’barekká YHWH vyish’m’réka

May the LORD bless you and keep you, he began. And she looked up at her daddy as he added the prayer of his own heart.

May the LORD grant you a good year. May you be healthy and happy. May He help you learn well and grow up to be strong. May He make you obedient and joyful. May He protect you from any physical harm or illness. May He protect your heart from pain and may He protect your soul from spiritual attack.

ya’ér YHWH panáyv eléyka viyhunnéka

May the LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, he continued, God’s own blessing pouring over his firstborn and filling the room like the glory of the midday sun.

May the LORD reveal Himself to you, even in your earliest years. May you know even today that His presence holds the fullness of joy. May He make you His child. May you find yourself always under the shadow of the cross, your sins forgiven, Christ’s blood covering you with grace. May your life be utterly and completely His.

yissá’ YHWH panáyv eléyka vyasém l’ká shalóm

May the LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace, he said, and she played and squealed her joy, secure in the love of good parents who hold her in the safest possible place, before the throne of the living God.

May the LORD be your dearest friend throughout life. May He be kind to you and discipline you gently. May His presence be the source of your peace throughout life and a refuge in times of trial. Whatever happens, may you hold fast to Him, and be hidden under the shadow of His wing, knowing His love for you in Jesus Christ.

Now and always, may the Father bless you richly in His Son through His Holy Spirit. Amen.

Thus he blessed his firstborn, and we added our Amen to his.

And then we partied.

Naomi opened presents.

And basked in the loving attention of a room full of aunties, uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers singing happiness to her.

She blew out watched her daddy blow out the candle.

And tasted her first piece of cake. (She liked it.)

Then, after a quick bath, she played with new toys and colorful gift bags, and posed for pictures. And when I loaded these images onto my computer and saw this next shot, I realized for the thousand thousandth time what a gift children are.

We bless them in the Name of the Lord, and the Shalom, it’s multiplied back to us in countless gifts bestowed by our Father through these tiny, trusting hands. Gifts that teach us to fear, that keep us on our knees, that fill our hearts so full of love, we think they might explode.

Gifts that lead us to lay down our lives for the sake of another, and in so doing, to become more and more like Christ.

And the ancient words still speak, generation to generation. And God still responds,

“So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”

Amen. Grant it, Lord Jesus.

* * *

Giving thanks in community for (#493 – 504)

God’s faithfulness
a son become a husband become a father
yellow cake with chocolate icing
hard but good conversations
bottomless well of grace
one year with Naomi
babies
fajitas
Ruby Redbird Shiner Bock
laughter
the gospel


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25 responses

4 06 2012
SImplyDarlene

Oh my land! This is what all parents should be praying over their children. (Maybe I’ll cut and paste it from here?)

Smart parents to strip the kiddo before the cake. ;-)

Thanks for sharing this piece and these photos. What a gift.

Blessings.

4 06 2012
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Darlene. As soon as I heard the blessing I knew I wanted to share, and Luke didn’t mind at all. Certainly you may copy it! And, yes, I agree they’re smart, but the stripping down was a pretty easy call. Chocolate icing and a white dress don’t go too well together. :)

4 06 2012
Redemption's Beauty

I pray that my children will pray with this kind of awe and faith over their children one day. It is something I no longer take for granted, this relationship with their Heavenly Father. What a beautiful testimony of spiritual heritage in word and photos.

4 06 2012
jeannedamoff

Thanks so much. I add my amen to your prayer for your children. There’s no greater joy than watching them live their faith, that is certain. Blessings on you and yours. xo

4 06 2012
r.elliott

I love this…I have my first grandlove…and what a blessing to see the next generation launching out and raising little ones to have a love relationship with their Savior/Friend. sweet pictures….blessings~

4 06 2012
jeannedamoff

Thank you! Yes, it is unspeakable joy to watch them flourish in Christ. Love to you and your growing family.

4 06 2012
Alicia

Oh, I love this.. I want to re-do all of my five children’s first birthday parties and use this gorgeous prayer. Perhaps we’ll start a new tradition this year. THANK YOU for a glimpse into your family. Love this line -We bless them in the Name of the Lord, and the Shalom, it’s multiplied back to us in countless gifts bestowed by our Father through these tiny, trusting hands. Gifts that teach us to fear, that keep us on our knees, that fill our hearts so full of love, we think they might explode.– I can just echo it with a huge AMEN.
Blessings from Iowa today!

4 06 2012
jeannedamoff

Alicia, it makes my heart so glad to think of you praying this over your own dear children. Thanks for your kind words, and blessings on you and your five little loves.

4 06 2012
Kara

I love that he is blessing his child in this way. We have never done something this intentional in the blessing of our children. I love it. I love that it is a birthday thing. What a wonderful way to celebrate a child’s birthday!

4 06 2012
jeannedamoff

Thank you, Kara. I love it, too, and I confess that we never did anything quite like this either. It’s humbling and utterly delightful to see our children surpassing us in matters of faith and ministry.

4 06 2012
lschontos

When they are little, we long to freeze time and keep them just so – never knowing the joy awaiting us. To see our grown children with their spouses and little ones in moments like these. Pure joy.

4 06 2012
jeannedamoff

Yes! The joy grows exponentially, doesn’t it? Love to you, friend. xo

4 06 2012
Daniel Farrow

Amen!!! Such a great blessing, I want to save this so that I can pray the same thing over my children as they are born and as they grow up. :D

4 06 2012
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Daniel. I know Luke would be honored to think this blessing is being spoken over other precious children.

4 06 2012
Daniel Farrow

I meant that to be an honor to him as well as to the Lord. If you would be so kind, please tell him so for me. I don’t know him, but I can appreciate his heart for his children. That’s my heart too. You are blessed to have raised your kids with that legacy Jeanne. :)

4 06 2012
Dolly

what a treasure to see the love and faith multiplied here…prayed for our girl as I read it…thank you for sharing, and may He continue to bless you and yours :)

4 06 2012
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Dolly! It brings me much joy to imagine you and others praying this blessing over your own children as you read. What sweet prayers rising before the throne! Love to you and your girl.

4 06 2012
Diana Trautwein

This just takes my breath away – what a glorious idea! And these picture? Priceless. Thanks so much. (That son of yours should be a pastor, you know?)

4 06 2012
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Diana! It truly was a sweet time. As for Luke, he’s currently in seminary, and they hope to eventually enter the mission field. They’re trusting God to lead step by step. We’ll see where they end up! :)

6 06 2012
tonia

Beautiful! Oh to bless. To bless with intentional, spoken-out-loud words, to bless with our touch, our smiles. I love this. And happy birthday to the wee one!

6 06 2012
jeannedamoff

Thank you, Tonia Sparrow. Your genuine delight adds to the blessing. Love to you, friend. xo

8 06 2012
S. Etole

The love emanates from these photos and words. What a blessing for all of you.

8 06 2012
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Susan! I’m so glad the love shines through. We are truly grateful for these blessings. xo

22 06 2012
In the blessing… | Memoria.Arts

[...] – Blessing for a First Birthday, 4/06/12 [...]

6 07 2012
Deborah Carr

It is a wonder to me that this tiny little person can hold all the dreams and hopes and possibilities of grandparents, parents, and most of all, her Creator…all in that perfect, precious package wrapped with love. Blessed belated birthday, wee one. (I’m sorry to be so late in visiting…)

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