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Baby Blessing Readings

baby blessing readings

Mary Oliver, Upstream: Collected Essays

Teach the children. We don’t matter so much, but the children do. 

Show them daisies and the pale hepatica. 

Teach them the taste of sassafras and wintergreen. 

The lives of the blue sailors, mallow, sunbursts, the moccasin flowers. 

And the frisky ones—inkberry, lamb’s-quarters, blueberries. 

And the aromatic ones—rosemary, oregano. 

Give them peppermint to put in their pockets as they go to school. 

Give them the fields and the woods and the possibility of the world salvaged from the lords of profit. Stand them in the stream, head them upstream, rejoice as they learn to love this green space they live in, its sticks and leaves and then the silent, beautiful blossoms.

Attention is the beginning of devotion.

Untitled, Excerpts from Francis Thompson and William Blake
Know you what it is to be a child? ... It is to have a spirit yet streaming from the waters of
baptism; it is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief; it is to be so little
that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear; it is to turn pumpkins into coaches, and mice
into horses, lowness into loftiness, and nothing into everything, - for each child has a fairy god-
mother in his/her own soul; it is to live in a nutshell and count yourself the king/queen of
infinite space; it is: To see the World in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

By William Martin

Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples, and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.

Celtic Blessing
May the strength of the wind and the light of the sun,
The softness of the rain and the mystery of the moon
Reach you and fill you.
May beauty delight you and happiness uplift you,
May wonder fulfill you and love surround you.
May your step be steady and your arm be strong,
May your heart be peaceful and your word be true.
May you seek to learn, may you learn to live,
May you live to love, and may you love - always.

Speak to Us of Children, by Kahil Gibran

Your children are not your children
They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, But seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterdays.
You are bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer seeks the mark upon the path of the infinite,
And he bends you with His might that His arrow may go swift and far.
Let your blending in the archer’s hand be for goodness.
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
So He loves the bow that is stable.

Jewish Blessing
In every birth, blessed is the wonder.
In every creation, blessed is the new beginning.
In every child, blessed is life.
In every hope, blessed is the potential.
In every transition, blessed is the beginning.
In every existence, blessed are the possibilities.
In every love, blessed are the tears.
In every life, blessed is the love.
There are three names by which a person is called:
One which her father and mother call her,
And one which people call her,
And one which she earns for herself.
The best one of these is the one that she earns for herself.’

Omaha Native American Blessing
Sun, Moon, Stars, all you that move in the heavens, hear us!
Into your midst has come a new life.
Make his/her path smooth, that he/she may reach the brow of the first hill!
Winds, Clouds, Rain, Mist, all you that move in the air, hear us!
Into your midst has come a new life.
Make his/her path smooth, that he/she may reach the brow of the second hill!
Hills, Valleys, Rivers, Lakes, Trees, Grasses, all you of the earth, hear us!
Into your midst has come a new life.
Make his/her path smooth, that he/she may reach the brow of the third hill!
Birds, great and small, that fly in the air, Animals, great and small, that dwell in the forest, Insects that creep among the grasses and burrow in the ground, hear us!
Into your midst has come a new life.
Make his/her path smooth, that he/she may reach the brow of the fourth hill!
All you of the heavens, all you of the air, all you of the earth, hear us!
Into your midst has come a new life.
Make his/her path smooth, then shall he/she travel beyond the four hills!

The Art Of Parenthood By Wilfred Peterson

In practicing the art of parenthood, an ounce of example is worth a ton of preachment.
Our children are watching us live, and what we are shouts louder than anything we can say.
When we set an example of honesty, our children will be honest.
When we practice tolerance, they will be tolerant.
When we demonstrate good sportsmanship, they will be good sports.
When we meet life with laughter and a twinkle in our eye, they will develop a sense of humor.
When we are thankful for life's blessings, they will be thankful.
When we express friendliness, they will be friendly.
When we speak words of praise, they will praise others.
When we confront failure, defeat and misfortune with a gallant spirit, they will learn to live bravely.
When our lives affirm our faith in the enduring values of life, they will rise above doubt and skepticism.
When we surround them with the love and goodness of God, they will discover life's meaning.
When we set an example of heroic living, they will be heroes.
Don't just stand there pointing your finger to the heights you want your children to scale. Start climbing, and they will follow!

 

For a Mother-To-Be, by John o Donohue

Nothing could have prepared

Your heart to open like this.

From beyond the skies and the stars

This echo arrived inside of you

And started to pulse with life

Each beat a tiny act of growth,

Traversing all our ancient shapes,

On its way home to itself.

Once it began, you were no longer your own.

A new, more courageous you, offering itself

In a new way to a presence you can sense

But you have not seen or known.

It has made you feel alone

In a way you never knew before.

Everyone else sees only from the outside

What you feel and feed

With every fiber of your being.

Never have you traveled farther inward

Where words and thoughts become half-light

unable to reach the fund of brightness

Strengthening inside the night of your womb.

Like some primeval moon,

Your soul brightens

The tides of essence

That flow to your child.

You know your life has changed forever,

For in all the days and years to come,

Distance will never be able to cut you off

From the one you now carry

For nine months under your heart.

May you be blessed with quiet confidence

That destiny will guide you and mind you.

May the emerging spirit of your child

Imbibe encouragement and joy

From the continuous music of your heart,

So that it can grow with ease,

Expectant of wonder and welcome

When its form is fully filled

And it makes it journey out

To see you and settle at last

Relieved and glad in your arms.

For a New Father, by John o Donohue

As the shimmer of dawn transforms the night

Into a blush of color futured with delight,

The eyes of your new child awaken in you

A brightness that surprises your life.

Since the first stir of its secret becoming,

The echo of your child has lived inside you,

Strengthening through all its night of forming

Into a sure pulse of fostering music.

How quietly and gently that embryo-echo

Can womb in the bone of a man

And foster across the distance to the mother

A shadow-shelter around this fragile voyage.

Now as you behold your infant, you know

That this child has come from you and to you.

You feel the full force of a father's desire

To protect and shelter.

Perhaps for the first time,

There awakens in you

A sense of your own mortality.

May your heart rest in the grace of the gift

And you sense how you have been called

Inside the dream of this new destiny.

May you be gentle and loving,

Clear and sure.

May you trust in the unseen providence

That has chosen you all to be a family.

May you stand sure on our ground

And know that every grace you need

Will unfold before you

Like all the mornings of your life.

An Adoption Poem
Not flesh of my flesh,
nor bone of my bone
but very remarkably,
all my own.
And never forget,
for a single minute,
that you weren't born
under my heart,
but in it.

Make the Ordinary Come Alive

Kissed an Angel, an Adoption Poem, Author Unknown

Today I kissed an angel

I knew it from the start

The first time my angel smiled at me

I gave away my heart

Today I kissed an angel

This angel child of mine

Though not of my creation

My child by God’s design

Today I kissed an angel

My heart is dancing wild

A family, by a miracle

Blessed by this angel child.

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