We’re having a riverside baptism for Ladybug Girl, where members of the church and our family and friends will gather on a farm and have a laid back event honoring seven precious children and committing to raise them to know God and what it means to follow Him. I was asked to write a 1-2 sentence blessing to be incorporated into the program.
How do you condense all your hopes and dreams for your precious child into a mere two sentences (one sentence is completely a joke for me–17 pages, no problem). How can you convey your heart–the one you wear on the outside when you have a child–and all of your deepest longings for them to understand your depth of love for them…can they ever grasp the incredible love of being a parent until they are a parent themselves?
I want her to live with the zest for life like I do now…it’s funny, what we want for our children is to get to the mature realizations that we now, as adult parents, understand and appreciate. It’s all of those things we learned by going through the dreaded teenage and young adult years. It’s hard to allow a child to go through situations that you know the answers to…to experience puppy love knowing her heart may be broken…to try being a skater because his friends are, knowing he isn’t, or making fun of a kid, not understanding that next week these same “friends” will make fun of her… in the struggle to find themselves in life, kids need to be able to experience all the emotions in life–the same emotions we went through that has strengthened us to be what we are today.
My desire for Ladybug Girl is not to limit her or protect her from pain (although it would be oh so nice!). Instead, I want her to embrace life. To be able to see through the drama and pain of teenager-dom and see that there is something she can learn through it all. I want her, above all, to always be teachable. So how can I do that? All I can do is walk with her on her journey. For a short time she’ll look to me to guide her. My goal during these childhood years is to show her security–in our home, in God’s love, in our relationship. These are constants to fall back on when she walks independently. Then, for a while, I’ll basically walk by her side where my input may or may not be acknowledged (but I will still be a constant). Then, it’s time for her to lead her own way. I will always be there for her, and my prayer is that I can help her see the roses in the world despite the thorns.
My blessing for her is written out today. Tomorrow it is in my heart, and every day for the rest of my life I will pour blessings on this incredible child God has placed in our family. I want her safe in the knowledge that we are family. What a precious word to encompass those who are bonded by love, not always blood, but always love and commitment to grow and learn together—there’s always more to life to embrace, and it’s so much sweeter when you share it.
“May you always see the world with open eyes and open arms, embracing the beauty of God’s creation with the joy you have today. We pray for wisdom and discernment as we walk with you, that we may encourage and promote a desire to continually learn and grow in God’s love.”