Thursday, June 9, 2016

Alegra's Bat Shema- Ceremony and Guests

 A father who loves his daughter wants to give her blessing on her life.  That was our goal with this celebration.  Many people have asked us what the purpose was or what was it all about if we aren't jewish.  The purpose was to give our daughter blessing.  She has expressed a desire to walk with the Lord and walk as He calls her, so we want to bless her in that as she grows, matures, and continues to strive after His heart.

It's a big deal really!   Scripture talks about blessings and cursings.  Sometimes those things just happen naturally as a person lives depending on the choices they make in life.  Sometimes we can vocally express blessing on another person because there is something strong and powerful about speaking life to another person.

So, here is how it looked for Alegra.  We would like to do this for all of our children.  We don't know if this is how it will look for all of them, but the concept will be the same, and hopefully the blessing will cover them in love, peace, and HIS presence.

 Jonathon likes to talk.  :)  After we did a slide show of Alegra as a baby through her years to now, Jonathon did a not so brief welcome.  :D  Brief is hard for him.  It was good  though and just what he was supposed to say to welcome all of our family and friends who came to support our daughter, Alegra Hope.

Now it's her turn!
 She shared why she wanted to do this and how she came to this decision in her walk of faith.
Then she shared some music.
She played the piano and sang "Blessed Assurance".

 And then she played the ukulele and played "Write Your Story".

We then chose to give her a ring to signify her father/Father's voice.  It has the Shema engraved around it, so when she looks at it. we want her to remember what Jonathon, her father's, voice says, but ultimately what her heavenly Father's voice says.  Above all, we want it to be written on her heart, but this is just to have as a visual reminder.

 She really loves her papa.  It was so evident as she watched him and listened to what he was sharing.  I admire him so much for having captured her heart.  I pray that continues with each of our children.

 It was a beautiful fit.

Onto the blessings!
Alegra had been talking a lot about her party and how excited she was for it.  I am one who wants to make sure they truely understand what it is all about.  It's not just a time to party with our friends.  This is a serious moment in her life.  So, earlier in the week, I said to her, "Alegra, what are you most looking forward to at your party".  She didn't hesitate with her response of, "The blessings".  Wow, I was really quite surprised that her heart was so desiring that.  It's special and she had the picture of what it was supposed to be for her.  

We wanted the grandparents to share something if they wanted to.  We were sad that Jonathon's mom had to miss this special time.  I know she wanted to give Alegra  a blessing as well.  My parents were ready even before they were asked.  I appreciate their willingness so much!  My Dad read the most beautiful blessing to his granddaughter.  So many people commented how that was their favorite part.  She is blessed to have them love her and bless her the way they do.

 Then the parents blessing.  I went first and of course cried through it.  Jonathon shared next and just shared from what was already in his heart.  He is such a good speaker and just let's the Spirit lead him in what he's to say.  What a blessed girl Alegra is.

 And Benaiah ran up on stage to give me a kleenex. :)

We then had a community  prayer where anyone could come up and lay hands on her to pray over her.  We are truly blessed for those who came up and for those who lifted her up right where they were sitting.  It's a little blurry, but you get the idea.

 We ended the ceremony with our friend, Maxine singing a song for Alegra to encourage her.  Thank you for participating in this special time!

Since Alegra loves photography and knew she wouldn't be able to take all the pictures at her party, we decided to make a game to have the guests help us out with pictures.  We got some great shots.  They were given the list below of things to capture on their phones or cameras.  

The following pictures were contributed by Kathy Edmonds, Leah Bender, Ellie Sivils, Betty Jo Rodgers, Maxine Aldrin, Deborah Murphy, Darlene Danberry. and Bev Coolman.

We are blessed with many, many people who love us and support us in what we do.  For that we are so very thankful!  Thank you to each of you who came and supported our daughter in this blessing!  We hope that you were encouraged, uplifted, and edified by what we were doing.