To Read on the Journey

Friday, July 15, 2011


it's a tradition in our home to give blessings on birthdays.

the first blessing was on noah's first birthday, when after digging into his cake, his daddy and i {who by the way was very pregnant} blessed him before all our guests.  there the tradition began, and EVERY birthday since then you will find us concluding the celebrations with our blessings. 

our blessings usually include our delight for the individual; their character, growth in Christ, and recognizing obstacles they hurdled that year. it also includes speaking words of hope over their future.

words of affirmation {especially when spoken before others about you} nourish a life with truth. {i grew up malnutritioned in this area. my family will not :-) }.

words of hope spoken over a future sustained and directed many of our old testament leaders;  abraham, jacob {israel}, esther, david {to name just a few}.  the lack/withdrawal of a blessing destroyed individuals {for example esau, and the nation of edom}.  as parents michael and i expect that the powerful words of hope and future we speak over our childrens' lives will sustain and lead them into God's will for them.


yesterday, after emiie's 12 birthday dinner was polished off, seated at the table together, noah {who typically seems the least interested in participating in any of our traditions} asked, "are we going to do the blessings?" michael responded, "why don't you go first."  {giving blessings has grown from michael and i giving them to the children to all 5 of us giving them to each other}.  honestly neither of us expected noah to be ready.  getting him to talk usually involves some "pulling of teeth,"
but to our surprise noah said, "okay."  
looked at emilie, and began...

"emilie, you are the sweetest, kindest, most loving person i know.
you are outgoing and friendly. you walk up to people, befriend them, and talk with them. 
everybody likes you.  everybody wants to be friends with you.
you are so pretty, so beautiful. when i say you are beautiful it's not just on the outside, it's on the inside too. that beauty on the inside shines out of you and makes you even more beautiful."
he said a lot more.

i was in joyful tears, overwhelmed by my 13yr old son, and "scarce could take it in!" 

i was overwhelmed not only by the content of his words, but by the power and authority that noah spoke with. his words were intended to speak truth and hope into and over his sister {who at 12 is wrestling with self-doubt and insecurity}. noah's purpose was to BLESS his sister, who he adores. {yes, he adores his sister}.  and he did!!!
 noah & emilie- 2000


to learn more about giving a blessing, read "the gift of the blessing" by john trent & gary smalley.
i read it in 1996 {before i was married or had children}. it helped me understand my own need for blessing, and how necessary it was to give the gift of the blessing to my {future} family.

here is a link to an insightful post about giving the gift of the blessing.  


one more thing- i think it's important that you know we are a normal family.  we have good moments  and bad moments.  like all kids, mine argue, fight for their own way, and boss each other.  i blow up.  we learn grace and begin again numerous times though out each day.  

however, i am very intentional here in blogville to make sure that the words i speak about my children express high value of them. they read many of my posts. i know my words here {as well as in our day to day lives} have the power to uplift or hurt them, and i want all these word to bless them.

i wanted to lift any blog-fog and assure you my family is just as normal as yours {assuming your family IS normal}.


Jeanette said...

that is precious! every day I pray that bond between my children grows and grows, so that it will get to a point where they can lift each other up and bless each other. It sounds like your kids are so close - and that is really special.

{cuppakim} said...

what an encouraging post.

you and michael are raising incredible children who love the Lord - what a blessing to see that in a tangible way.

i am brought to literal tears reading those words. noah is turning into quite a man...and it sounds like God has used your husband to work mightily as an example.

i know that years of prayers have gone into that - how awesome that noah's blessing to emilie turned out to be a blessing itself for you and your family (and us readers as well)

~Stacy said...

You encourage me. Encouragement from the words(WORD)you speak on your blog, but also, and more importantly, the example that you and your family share of living out those words, His Word,in life.(Imperfectly like the rest of us, but honestly and passionately!)You encourage me to keep on keeping on with my desire to capture and enrapture my children's hearts in the Love of the Lord.I love you sweet sister. YOU are a blessing!

Linda Z said...

Beautiful, Denise... I am wiping the tears from my eyes. Thank you for reminding me how important blessing and words of affirmation are. You are amazing at blessing others with your words, too. It definitely must be one of your gifts. :)

Thea Nelson said...

I LOVE THIS, Denise. Early this morning I was reading of the blessings Jacob spoke over his children and thought of what a beautiful gift it is. I love your heart for what is to come, Denise. I love how stitched into your heart is the privilege of building into them for today, but tomorrow, too. I love you!

hannah singer said...

beautiful tradition! the sweetness that can be gleaned from brother/sister relationships just can't be beat.

praise jesus! xo

Midge said...

This brings tears to my eyes. I wish my sister and I had a bond like your children obviously do. :)

Leslie @ top of the page said...

love this. we have always had the tradition of doing "affirmations" on birthdays, but i LOVE the idea of speaking hope into their futures and how you are speaking a blessing over your kids. and thanks for that book title. sounds great!

Gina said...

we do birthday blessings too, one thing I want to start doing is write them down so the kids can keep them for later. it is so powerful!

deb colarossi said...

I don't even know what to say.
This is incredible.

Life changing.

Thank you.

I love you sweet girl. I'd say that out loud even :)

Kathy said...

Oh my. Such beautiful words of blessings spoken by a brother over his sister. True words that shine as true and important in the midst of normal.

Simply Sara said...

oh denise. you are lovely.
your family is lovely.
noah made me cry.
i love this.
we are going to copycat.

and i am glad you are normal.
super duper cool.
and normal.


Alana said...

I am in tears over this, what a blessing to all of you. And for a brother to speak these words to his sibling? You are doing something really right with your kiddos. I think I might need to read your blog more closely so I can learn from you! Awesome.

Lynn said...

I love this....all of it. Love the post, love the idea, love the sweet words of your son, and love the book. I had my hubby read this post. What a BLESSING (pun intended).