It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since our little girl entered the world! But it is, and what a joyous year it has been.
Hannah’s definitely not a little baby anymore. She has taken to eating solids like a duck to water, can stand up confidently without holding on to anything, loves dancing and listening to music, loves reading books and is understanding more and more every day. Over the last week she’s even taken a couple of unassisted steps! I feel like I always have my camera at the ready, just in case she decides to take her first confident steps. They’re definitely not far away.
When Hannah was born, we weren’t sure what this first year would look like. Would she even still be around now? Would her surgeries have gone ahead successfully? Would she have other underlying health problems that we didn’t know about already? And how would we go as first time parents?
There is so much to celebrate. Hannah’s over halfway through her expected surgery plan, and she’s developing and growing just as well as any other 1 year old. And she’s done all this with that cheeky smile we’ve grown so fond of.
So we decided to go big to celebrate her birthday. Birthdays are generally great causes for celebration, but for Hannah it feels even more so. Her party included a jumping castle, lots of good food from the many nationalities present in South West Sydney where we live, and many many friends.
But we also wanted to give thanks to the greatest live giver, our Father in Heaven.
So we planned a combined baptism and first birthday party. It was a wonderful celebration of just what Christ Jesus has done for us, including Hannah, in his death and resurrection. Gus and I, along with Hannah’s godparents, were also able to publicly promise to raise Hannah knowing God’s great love for her, and teaching her his word.
Hannah’s godfather Eduard prayed a beautiful prayer that helped focus the day on what is most important to us.
You are majestic, you are all powerful, you are holy, you know all things, you are love, you are full of Grace and Mercy, you are just.
You are the creator of all the universe, and you are sovereign. What does that mean, not one sparrow falls to the ground unless you allow it to happen.
Paraphrasing the Psalmist:
You created Hannah Fleur’s inward parts. You knited her together in Sarah’s womb.
We praise you Lord for Hannah Fleur is Fearfully and Wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works. Our souls’ know it very well. Hannah’s frame was not hidden from you, when she was made in the secret place, when she was woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw Hannah’s unformed body. All the days ordained for Hannah were written in your book before one of them existed.
May, they be good-days.
We pray that:
She would grow up healthy and strong
That she might know you early in her life
That she might experience your Grace and forgiveness
That she might put you first in everything
That she will be a joyful and happy girl
That she will be beautiful as a child and as an adult not only outwardly but in her inner self
That she will value Godliness and holiness as opposed to the values of this world
For we know that one liveth long who liveth well for your praise and honour.
We pray for her Godparents; that we may in our lives and in our interaction with Hannah point her to Jesus.
We pray for her parents, that you will give them Godly wisdom to raise her up in the Grace and knowledge of you.
We pray for the Grandparents and relatives of Hannah. That she might know what family is like.
We pray for us as a church that we may be her fellowship knowing Jesus and letting Jesus be known.
This we ask in your name.
It is a paraphrase of Psalm 139, which is a beautiful testament to God’s creating and sustaining love. I’m thankful Eduard doesn’t mind me sharing his prayer with you, as I would like to remember it and continue to have it as my prayer as Hannah grows up.
Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. – Psalm 96:2