Wednesday, January 28, 2015

{Motherhood} Spoken Blessings

Recently I've become increasingly aware of the power of words. Not just the written word, with which I've always had a love affair, but also the power of spoken words. Particularly the power of positive truth spoken directly to yourself or directly to someone else. Words have a way of affecting us like little else does, especially if we hear the same words or are presented with the same idea repeatedly. We begin to believe those words, live those words. They become a part of our psyche, sometimes almost impossible to shake {body image, anyone?}.

Not long ago I participated in a Bible study led by Priscilla Shirer, which was not really about blessings or words at all, but during a particular video segment she mentioned her habit of speaking Scripture in the form of a blessing over her three sons. I was intrigued. I had not ever really heard of this before. Memorizing Scripture, yes. Reciting Scripture, yes. Writing Scripture, yes. But using it as a blessing spoken over someone? It was a little foreign to me. The concept is that she would routinely, several times a day, like when dropping her kids off at school or before bedtime, repeat parts of Scripture to her boys that she wanted them to believe was especially true for their lives. She mentioned that though her oldest is still in elementary school, he and his younger brothers could all repeat this blessing to her because she'd said it so often to them. The idea was fascinating to me. I loved it. And I wanted to do it for my girls.

After a little bit of thought, and not really much direction, I settled on saying a Hebrew blessing from the book of Numbers to Maylin {this was before Hartlie was born} as I rocked her to sleep. It was a short verse: The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. {Numbers 6:24-26} It was a good blessing and I liked the cadence of the words, but after a while it didn't seem to be enough. I wanted more. This is not to imply that any part of God's Word is not "enough," because it absolutely is, all the time and in every circumstance. It's just that I wanted to put a bit more thought and effort into choosing what to say over my daughters. Especially after Hartlie was born, I began to desire a specific blessing for each of my girls, something that would be meaningful to them individually.

I began to really consider what truths I wanted Maylin and Hartlie to know and believe in their very core. I looked ahead to what their future might hold- to the teenage years, onto college, through marriage, and careers, and children, and potential heartbreak and probable tragedies. I thought about their individual personalities, the little quirks and nuances that set them apart from each other. I pondered the meaning of their names, and how amazingly through no fault of my own, the meanings of their names happen to fit right in with their personalities. I thought about what lies they might be faced with and what lies they might come to believe about themselves. And then I turned around and thought about my Lord, about His personality, His character traits, His promises. What about Him do I feel is essential for Maylin and Hartlie to know? And not just know, but believe as absolute, unshakable truth? Then I began to search the Bible, marking down meaningful verses, underlining certain phrases, making a list of passages I wanted to include. 

After some time, I landed on my spoken blessing for each of my girls. I finished Maylin's first, and have been saying it to her for many months. I speak it over her after our bedtime story, as we're either rocking or lying in the teepee, chest to chest and heart to heart. It's the final words I speak to her before she goes to sleep, and it's become such a routine that now when I begin speaking her blessing, she quiets down, her little body relaxes, and she listens. It's the final sleep cue.

I finished compiling Hartlie's blessing this week after waiting for her own personality to emerge. I will speak it to her for the first time tonight, as I'm giving her her final bottle with the lamp off, chest to chest and heart to heart.

An unexpected, but wonderful result of compiling and saying these blessings to my girls is that I have read and written and spoken them so often that I now have them memorized. And it's quite amazing how much these words, with which I started out intending to bless my daughters, have actually blessed me as well. I'm sharing them below.

For Maylin, my strong little warrior::

You are a woman of strength and dignity, a woman who speaks words of wisdom and kindness. You are confident and can joyfully laugh without fear of your future. {Proverbs 31:25-26} No weapon that Satan tries to use against you will ever succeed in doing you harm, for this is your inheritance as a daughter of God. {Isaiah 54:17} God is in the midst of you, my strong little warrior, surrounding you, you shall not be moved. God's help will rise at the break of day, as the morning dawns. {Psalm 46:5} Therefore, my strong little warrior, be strong in the Lord and in the full strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand firm against the schemes of Satan. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against forces of darkness and wickedness. {Ephesians 6:10-12} But you have already conquered all of these things through Christ who loves you. For I am convinced from the depths of my soul that nothing, neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor powers, nor things that are happening to you today, nor things that will happen to you in the future, nor depth nor height, nor anything that has been created can ever separate you from God's love in Jesus Christ. {Romans 8:37-39
This is my prayer and this is my blessing. I love you. Amen.

For Hartlie, my peaceful favored one::

You are a woman of strength and dignity, a woman who speaks words of wisdom and kindness. You are confident and can joyfully laugh without fear of your furture. {Proverbs 31:25-26} You are blessed, my little peacemaker , for you are a daugher of God. {Matthew 5:16} The Lord is your Keeper and He is a shade to the closest parts of you. Nothing under the sun will not smite you by day, nor will anything under the moon harm you by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil and will keep your soul. The Lord guards your every move from now through the rest of your life. {Psalm 121: 5-8} Therefore, my little peacemaker, let your light shine in front of all people in such a way that you illuminate your Father in heaven, so that you shine as a light in the darkness. {Matthew 5:16, Philippians 2:15} For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake and fall, but the Lord's lovingkindness will not be removed from you and His faithful promise of peace will not be shaken, for He has great compassion for you. {Isaiah 54:10}
This is my prayer and this is my blessing. I love you. Amen.

Note:: I also wrote a little bit more here about praying Scripture.

{I have taken a few liberties with the verses by paraphrasing my blessing, but I believe I have not compromised the integrity or meaning of each Scripture.}

No comments:

Post a Comment