I Gather a Prayer for Ruby

IMG_3622

This baby.  Even minutes after delivery, she was perfect and beautiful, round and healthy (as you can see).  God only knows how many prayers were prayed for her during the last nine months…. and now she is here, making everyone giddy with joy and excitement.

A few months ago, when I began to pray for direction for my prayer for Ruby, I felt directed to the life and ministry of Samuel.  As I began to study and write the prayer, I felt the Holy Spirit moving right here at my computer.  I love the Massingale family dearly and believe in their ministry and role in the Kingdom of God.  I already know that Ruby is going to be a tremendous blessing to their family, an asset to their ministry team, and a force in the Kingdom of God.

This is my prayer for little Ruby.  I love you already.

_____________________________________________________

Dear Ruby,

May the prayers prayed for you be answered (I Samuel 1:20)

May you dwell in the presence of the Lord forever (I Samuel 1:22)

May you be on lend to the Lord as long as you live (I Samuel 1:28)

May you minister before the Lord from a young age  (I Samuel 2:18)

May you grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and also with man (I Samuel 2:26)

May the Lord call to you until you answer (I Samuel 3)

May you dwell in the right place, waiting on the Lord to speak (I Samuel 3:9)

May you hear when the Lord speaks (I Samuel 3:10)

May none of your words fall to the ground (I Samuel 3:19)

May you be established as a prophetess of the Lord (I Samuel 3:20)

May the Lord reveal himself to you by his word (I Samuel 3:21)

May your life and words lead people to return to the Lord will all their hearts, put away foreign gods, direct their hearts to the Lord, and serve him only. (I Samuel 7:3)

May you never cease to cry out to God for others (I Samuel 7:8)

May the Lord answer when you cry out (I Samuel 7:9)

May you set up memorials when the Lord helps you (I Samuel 7:12)

May you always build an altar to the Lord (I Samuel 7:17)

May you see clearly with spiritual eyes (I Samuel 9:19)

May the hearts of people be changed after an encounter with you (I Samuel 10:9)

May you never defraud, oppress or take anything from those you are sent to serve (I Samuel 12:5)

May your words and your life say to people, “Do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself.  Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and right way.  Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart.  For consider what great things he has done for you.” (I Samuel 12:20-24)

May you not judge on appearance, but see the heart as God sees the heart (I Samuel 16:7)

May you, through faith, conquer kingdoms, enforce justice, obtain promises, stop the mouths of lions, quench the power of fire, escape the edge of the sword, be made strong in weakness, be mighty in war, and put foreign armies to flight. (Hebrews 11:33-34)

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Gathering for a Shabby Chic Baby Shower

IMG_0560

My friend Heidi is having a baby girl in July.  We are so thrilled to meet little Ruby.  My friend Tasha and I began planning her shower a couple of months ago (with the help of Chellee, Andrea and Kathy as well!) and decided to go with a Shabby Chic theme to correspond with Ruby’s nursery.

We enlisted the help of my very artistic sister-in-law, Marty, and got to work.  We decided to do an outdoor afternoon tea under the trees.  My mom agreed to let us use her house, which is beautifully landscaped.  The result was lovely in every way.  I have to say it was probably my favorite shower of any kind I have attended.

IMG_0559The shower was truly a collaboration.  Marty and my mom had several tablecloths we were able to use.  We layered lace over solids, then topped the lace with vintage squares.  We brought a variety of our own plates in pinks and whites.  The tables were just long, portable tables and we rented the chairs from a local party supply store for $2 each.
IMG_0560 Mom let us use her collection of teacups. All of them are gorgeous. I brought my collection of mason jars to use as glasses for the iced tea and water. Tasha found the adorable striped straws at Hobby Lobby. Marty brought her vintage blue mason jars and we bought bunches of baby’s breath for a simple floral arrangement.
IMG_0562 IMG_0570 IMG_0572 We found these tags at JoAnn Fabrics. They are from the Martha Stewart line and they went with our theme so perfectly. We stapled the name tags to a tea bag and set a name tag on each plate.
IMG_0580 We bought the eyelet paper lanterns and the garland at JoAnn as well. They are also by Martha Stewart. We loved the look of fresh white against the backdrop of the trees.  Mom had a gorgeous pink begonia on her deck that we carried under the tree.  It was a beautiful addition to the shower.
IMG_0583 Six little girls attended the shower, so we set up a table just for them. It was so cute watching them pour their tea and act like little ladies.
IMG_0584 You can see here how we set up a seating area for Heidi to open her gifts. Thankfully we had perfect weather for the shower. It sprinkled lightly about 20 minutes before the shower and we were a little panicked, but thankfully it stopped just in time. It wasn’t too hot or cold and there was a light breeze under the shade of the tree.
IMG_0590 IMG_0594 We served hot tea, iced tea and ice water with lemon for the drinks. For food, we served simple finger foods. I made pinwheels out of spinach tortillas, garden vegetable cream cheese and ham. Andrea made delicious cucumber sandwiches. Tasha made little toothpicks with half of a strawberry and a slice of banana. Chellee brought mini-scones and little strawberry cookies. I didn’t get a photo, but at the end we served cupcakes in teacups. It was such a cute idea (thanks, Tasha!). We bought pretty teacups and plates at Goodwill, washed them well, and put our peach and tres leches cupcakes inside. The girls got mini cupcakes in mini teacups. As a thank you for attending the shower, everyone got to take their teacup home.
IMG_0595
Chellee looked so beautiful in her white dress.  I just had to snap a photo!
IMG_0598
Tasha worked so hard to make this special day possible for Heidi.
IMG_0599
Heidi and her mom.
IMG_0607
Heidi’s daughter, Lily, is so beautiful and excited about the arrival of her new little sister.
IMG_0619

IMG_0627
That’s me with Heidi!
IMG_0629
I love these ladies and had so much fun working with them to pull this shower off!  I have to mention again that we couldn’t have done it without Marty’s help and my mom’s yard!

_____________________________________________________________

What do you think of this shower?  Is there one idea we used that stands out as your favorite?  What’s your favorite baby or bridal shower you have attended?  Do you like planning and throwing showers?  Have you pulled off any great ideas for showers from Pinterest or elsewhere?  I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts! (You can get more party ideas by following me on Pinterest!)

sig Missed any posts?
What I Gather About Movement
I Gather a Letter of Love
A Gathering of Links XIII

I Gather a Prayer for Zion

IMG_0171

Our friends and neighbors, Norma and Fidelis, just had a beautiful baby boy.  His name is Zion.  My new practice is to write a prayer for any baby born to a friend of mine.  I base the prayer off of a name or something felt in prayer.  In this instance, my prayer is based off of Zion’s name.  And I have to tell you, I felt the power of God so strongly as I researched scripture for this prayer.  I can’t wait to see what ministry this precious baby boy turns out to have in the kingdom of God.  So, Zion Jude, this is the prayer I gathered for you.

__________________________________________________________________

May you be a holy foundation from which others may rise up (Psalms 2:6)

May the Lord forever sit enthroned upon your heart (Psalms 9:11)

May you always rejoice in the salvation of the Lord and recount all of his praises (Psalms 9:14)

May the salvation of many be birthed out of your ministry (Psalms 14:7)

May your life and ministry always be a support to other believers (Psalms 20:2)

May the great king dwell in your heart and bring joy to all the earth (Psalms 48:2)

May you always be glad (Psalms 48:11)

May God always shine forth out of you, the perfection of beauty (Psalms 50:2)

May the vows you make to God always be performed (Psalms 65:1)

May God’s residence be established in you (Psalms 76:2)

May God always choose you and love you (Psalms 78:68)

May you hear the judgments of God and be glad (Psalms 97:8)

May you forever declare the name of the Lord and his praise (Psalms 102:21)

May you trust in the Lord and not be moved (Psalms 125:1)

May you be glad in your maker and rejoice in your king (Psalms 149:2)

May the word of the Lord and the law be proclaimed from your mouth (Isaiah 2:3)

May you shout and sing for joy, recognizing the Holy One of Israel is in your midst (Isaiah 12:6)

May the fear of the Lord be your treasure (Isaiah 33:6)

May the voice of the Lord roar from you, that the heavens and the earth quake (Joel 3:16)

And finally, Zion…..

GO ON UP TO A HIGH MOUNTAIN, O ZION, HERALD OF GOOD NEWS; LIFT IT UP, FEAR NOT; SAY TO THE CITIES OF JUDAH, “BEHOLD YOUR GOD! BEHOLD THE LORD COMES WITH MIGHT, AND HIS ARM RULES FOR HIM; BEHOLD, HIS REWARD IS WITH HIM, AND HIS RECOMPENSE BEFORE HIM. HE WILL TEND HIS FLOCK LIKE A SHEPHERD; HE WILL GATHER THE LAMBS IN HIS ARMS; HE WILL CARRY THEM IN HIS BOSOM, AND GENTLY LEAD THOSE THAT ARE WITH YOUNG.” (Isaiah 40:9-11)

In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 

I Gather a Prayer for Claire

431240_10151416155311614_65783002_n

My dear friend Tasha recently gave birth to a perfect baby girl.  When I say perfect, I’m not exaggerating.  We joke that the Mexican blood in her gives her the most gorgeous complexion that my pasty babies never had a chance of achieving.  I was blessed to be at the hospital during the majority of Tasha’s labor and during the delivery.  She didn’t seem thrilled with my suggestion of being IN the delivery room (how dare she?), so I excitedly waited… and waited…. and waited in the waiting room.  I passed much of the time with Tasha’s Mexican grandmother, who also happens to be a spiritual inspiration.  We passed the time talking in both English and Spanish, discussing everything from her family to Cuba to God and the church.  Mostly, though, she prayed.  I could hear her nearly constant prayers for Tasha, her whispers of “Jesus” throughout the labor and delivery.  It was beautiful to witness.  I felt like I was on holy ground in that waiting room.

In the early morning hours, God led me to a scripture in Psalms.

The LORD is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. (Psalms 118:27)

That is how I felt during those early morning hours.  Even though I wasn’t in the room, I felt like God’s light was shining on us in that hospital.  I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the joyous miracle of life.  The occasion reminded me that joy truly does come in the morning, even after a long, dark night.  Claire was born.  She is perfect and I will always think of her as a light sent by God.

So, instead of showering her with blankets or clothes or bottles, I choose now to shower her with my love and with a prayer of blessing.  This prayer is for you, Claire.

Dear little Claire (or OB as I like to call you),

Your entrance into this world came like a blazing ray of light into what had been a dark time for some.  You truly are a gift of God.  You  bring light and life and joy to your family and everyone who surrounds you. This is my prayer for you.

May the light of God’s face shine upon you. (Psalms 4:6)

May the Lord alone light your lamp and light up any darkness that comes your way. (Psalms 18:28)

May the Lord be your light and salvation, coming to your rescue in every way. (Psalms 27:1)

May you ever walk before God in the light of life. (Psalms 56:13)

May his word be the lamp unto your feet and the light unto your path. (Psalms 119:105)

When you fall, may you quickly arise, having the Lord as your light. (Micah 7:8)

May you be a light to this world, a city set on a hill, hidden to none. (Matthew 5:14)

When others look at your light, may they always see the glory of your Father. (Matthew 5:16)

May you be wholly bright. (Luke 11:36)

May you help many others turn from darkness to light. (Acts 26:18)

May your light be a guide to the spiritually blind. (Romans 2:19)

May you never be unequally yoked with darkness. (2 Corinthians 6:14)

May you walk in the light, having fellowship with believers, bring cleansed from all sin. (I John 1:7)

May you always love your brothers and sisters in God’s kingdom. (I John 2:10)

And finally, dear Claire, …May you be blameless and innocent, a child of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as a light in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ we may be proud that we did not run in vain or labor in vain… (Philippians 2:15-16)

Lots of love,

Rachael