To celebrate we asked Meg what she wanted. To be sure she had definite ideas of how she would observe this special time of her life. So between her ideas and ours, we had a weekend worthy of a daughter of the Lord!
It began on her actual birthday. She invited only her closest girlfriends and women who she looks at as friends and mentors. The theme of the party was actually planned by Gana and hidden from Meg until just moments before the party. Gana worked late into the nights and in all his free time building her a Hope Chest. The design and all the building and painting was done by Gana alone.
He presented it to her before the party. She was so surprised and happy. She's been wanting a Hope Chest for a while.
As the women gathered, they brought with them special contributions to the Hope Chest. Heirlooms, antiques, presents with prophetic meanings, crafts they'd made by hand. It was so moving as each lady presented Meg with a little piece of themselves that she can carry with her into her own womanhood.
|Meg and her Titi|
|Hadassah, one of Meg's oldest friends|
|Me and my grandmother, who presented Meg with her own wedding Bible and a handkerchief that my Grandfather had given her before they even met face-to-face. Yes, I cried.|
|A special gift from a grafted in Auntie.|
The food was also all of Meg's choosing--CHEESE! Of many varieties! Crispy fried goat cheese, homemade mozzarella sticks, port salut, blue, ricotta, several aged and stinky varieties. Fruit and nuts and baguettes. Sparkling cider with hibiscus flowers so we could toast pink!
On this day, men and boys were there to witness it as well as the women and girls. It was a small intimate group of those that Meg chose as her spiritual mentors and fellow-journeyers.
|Meg was dressed in a beautiful dress from India, thanks to Auntie Micha. Jewelry borrowed from Titi. And an antique hair piece given her by Nina, a dear friend whose grandmother was a famous actress in India. So special!|
Then three of Meg's brothers serenaded her One Direction style! What Makes You Beautiful, with a few lyrical changes to reflect Meg, her pink hair and how if she could see what God could see, she'd understand why the world needs her desperately! It was hilarious and sweet!!! Meg was properly embarrassed. Mission accomplished, boys.
Then her grandparents gave their blessing to Meg. Emee, Gana's mom, blessed Meg via YouTube (what a wonderful thing technology is!) and my parents spoke their generational and prophetic blessing over Meg's life. I am a fourth generation Spirit-filled pastor. So, Meg is the fifth! That's a lot of blessings that come from a Lord who is faithful to bless those who seek Him to a thousand generations!
|Papa washing Meg's feet.|
|Oh, our prophetic Nana!!! She challenged Meg not to ask the Lord to fulfill her dreams, but rather that Meg ask God how she might fulfill His dreams! AMEN!|
Meg gave a speech, thanking those who have poured into her life and asking those present to keep her accountable for following the Lord and all His ways.
My turn. Which meant get the ugly cry on. I can't believe my little girl has come to this place in her life. I thanked her, blessed her and laid out some of her new responsibilities and new privileges that come with growing into womanhood.
|When I started crying, of course, Meg started crying, too.|
Daddy's turn! I wish every little girl growing into womanhood could hear words from her father that Meg heard from hers. The world would be a very different place if they did. I'm sure of it.
Then we celebrated with Meg's celebration dinner of choice: Indian food and Russian cake!
Some people have questioned why we do so many Jewish things, such as observing Passover and Shabbat and seasons of fasting. And now we've undertaken to give our children Bar/Bat-Mitzvah. No, we are not Jewish and no we haven't converted. Rather, we are grafted in! (Romans 11) There has been such an amazing amount of blessing that has been poured out over our family through observing Hebrew and Biblical traditions. We don't do it from a place of legalism at all. It's all an overflow of grace!
So, I guess you could say we gave our daughter a Gentile-Charismatic-Prophetic-Family Centered Bat-Mitzvah!
We felt it was important because in our culture today we don't mark times and seasons and much to our demise. How many young people grow up and no one has ever declared them that they are men and women before God?! No one has ever affirmed them and launched them into their destinies and callings. Instead, so many young people wallow in doubt and second guess their place as a child full of promise. And these young people grow up into adults who still feel as if they are sitting at God's kiddie table at Thanksgiving.
The Bible talks about two groups of people: children and adults. There is no in-between stage called "teenager" where one is not accountable for their actions and are allowed to live in a self-centered way. We try not to even use the word "teenager" around here. Either you are a child or you are an adult. (Which is why we don't usually do "youth group" type groups and activities. Now that Meg is an adult, we expect her to participate in our faith--her faith!--as an adult and not as one who has a junior Holy Spirit.)
This last weekend we launched our daughter into being a full daughter of covenant. She is moving from discipline to guidance. Negotiating how to live her own life accountable before the Lord, seeking His face, following His ways, leading others to Him and finding ways to serve the Church and the world using her own unique gifts and talents. Our job is to help steward her experiences and keeping our faces fixed on Jesus together.