Monday, October 27, 2014

Bedtime Blessings

(Dave, Dad, Mom, me)

We worked on one of my favorite memory verses in all five classes last week. All of my 90+ students wrote The Blessing Of Aaron for a grade as a memory verse and repeated it on their test. Found in Numbers 6:24-26, God commanded the first high priest of Israel to use these words to bless his chosen people:
"The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace."

We spoke of the human need for approval and how parents can have such an effect on the self-worth of their children. We talked of bedtime rituals and how moms and dads can make their kids feel important and ease their fears. I told them about how our folks tucked us in when we were small, prayed with us, and kissed us good-night. With that discussion as background, I gave each student a sheet of paper and had them pen a bedtime blessing to the child they will bring into the world in future years. The next several nights, I'll let some of them speak for me. Boys are in blue, girls in pink, and all are used with permission!

My son, you are a Johnesia by birth. That name comes with responsibility and leadership. With honor and dignity. There are those out there in the world that will try to bring you down. Pay no attention to them and keep moving forward. Keep your heart open to love and mind filled with focus. Don’t be afraid to come to me or your mother for help of any kind. I will always be your number one fan. In all you do, do it for a noble cause. Treat anyone you meet with respect, regardless if you like them or not. Be your own person. There’s only one you out there and the world needs him. God is your guide. Let Him show you want needs to be done or abstained from. “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
 Love, Dad (Josh Jonesia)

Dear sweet child: No matter what happened or what will happen, know that I, but most importantly, God, love you with all our hearts. You are the precious jewels of our womb. Strive to be your best, not the best. Know you are worth more than the biggest diamond, but also be humble and strive to treat others better than you treat yourself. Do not ever doubt yourself, and do not ever let anyone tell you that you cannot. That word does not exist in our hearts. Always trust in the Lord my child, for He will never fail you.
 (Clara Akwarandu)

I hope and pray that you will strive for excellence in everything you do. I hope you will actively seek God and be after God’s own heart like David (but maybe minus some of the stuff he did). I hope you will always work to make everyone proud and you will care about what really matters instead of trying to be popular. (Addie Symonds)

My dear precious baby: I love you so much that words cannot describe the fulfillment I get when I look into your eyes. Never doubt that Mommy loves and never question if God loves you, too. You were made beautiful, strong, and set apart in God’s eyes. My baby, never forget where your help comes from; remember God loves you and never stop dreaming. Goodnight baby, rest your head and prepare to beat the world tomorrow.
*sings a melodic hymn, then proceeds to turn off lights and close the door
song: I Love You Lord Today (Natalie Hamilton)

My Dear Sweet Angel,
 I want to tell you while you are young that though sometimes I may be disappointed in your choices, I will never, ever, stop loving you. I want you to not only learn from the mistakes I have made in my life, but that you also learn from your mistakes that will enable you to grow. I pray for you daily, that you would put others before yourself with a servant’s heart and always remember that Daddy and I love you so much and do everything in our power to protect you and keep you safe… even if that means disciplining you at times. I am so thankful for you each and everyday, and I am sorry if you think I say “I love you,” too much. You are a blessing from God and should never think otherwise. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for your life. I LOVE YOU!
Love, Mommy (Chloe Sims)

My precious gift from God: As you sleep tonight, think of all the things that you want to accomplish in life. Never let anyone tell you what you can’t do. Remember that your father and I love you and want to see the best for you. Remember that nothing is handed to you on a silver platter. You must work hard for it. Life isn’t easy, my daughter, but that doesn’t mean give up. I want you to know that every time I see you and when your father sees you, we see beauty. Yes, you are beautiful and NEVER forget that. When you are down, pray and talk to God or you can talk to me. When you are up and things are going great, talk to God. You are truly a blessing from the lord. I am thankful that you are in my life. Now as I kiss your forehead, let it keep all the evil spirits and all the bad dreams out your precious little mind. Sweet dreams, my little angel. I love you, Mommy. (Tiata Collier)

My dear son: You are great! I already know it because you are my son and most ultimately, you are made in God’s image. Remember, when someone messes with you, hit them with that famous “knockout combo.” I do not care if you become a doctor or a lawyer or ballplayer- whatever you do, I will support you always and forever. Remember, love is a great thing so when you find it, hold onto it, cherish it, and make sure the young lady deserve a great man like you'll be because only a Queen is fit for a King and that’s what you'll be.
 Pops (Xavier Simon)

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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