Friday, February 22, 2013

blessings

Since the kids were babies we've had a bedtime routine. When they were little it consisted of baths and books. Story time and singing. Always a reading from the Jesus Storybook Bible. And then tucking in. And requests for water. And then tucking in. And one more potty break. And then tucking in. And tiptoes out to the living room and reports of tummy aches or deep questions about the universe. And then the threats of getting back in bed....


Our kids are a little older now (five and seven) and bedtime looks a little different. Brushing teeth and showers, reading from Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing while snuggling on the couch, and then tucking in and prayers.  

Since they were born, we have chosen to hug them tight, lay our hands on their heads, and bless them with these words:

Isabelle, the Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord make his face shine upon you
And be gracious to you
Jackson, The Lord turn his face towards you
And give you peace
Amen
(Numbers 6:24-26)

Growing up, this song was sung as a benediction every Sunday morning at my church by a beautiful choir. The same choir sang it to Jamy and I at our wedding after we made vows beginning our family.  It speaks of God's goodness, power, strength, and grace that is sufficient for our days.

There's something powerful in blessings. The Bible is full of blessings, over 600 in the Old Testament alone. Blessings publicly declared God's favor and endowed prosperity and success.  

There's something powerful in words. What our kids hear daily shapes their hearts: who they are and who they are created to be.Words of life, affirmation, and God's ultimate provision for them can lay the foundation for them to face the world with truth.  

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God and obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days...Deuteronomy 30:19

Sometimes in the quiet of night, when these are the last words Jamy and I speak over them, I can hear their little voice whispering the blessing too. We both say "amen," and my prayer is that these words would sink way down in their hearts and their dreams. 

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