(We dedicated Magnolia to God at our church on Easter morning. Below is a letter Brian and I wrote to her in honor of the day.)
Dear Magnolia, we dedicate you to God, because God made you. You belong to Him. He knows everything about you and loves you perfectly. He brought you to life. The rest of your life is in His hands, so we accept that now. We ask God to be gracious to you with His gifts, and merciful in forgiving and finding you when you’re lost. We pray that God would teach you faith, hope, and love through the power of his Holy Spirit.
We learned from our Chinese sister in Christ that your name, Magnolia, translates to “Mulan” in Chinese, which means “virtue.” We pray that you would live and breathe virtue, thinking on things good, lovely, pure, and honorable. We dedicate you to God’s people, His church and holy bride, so that you might learn about God’s goodness. We pray that you might one day be a giving member of the Church, gladly passing on the goodness that you tasted and enjoyed.
We named you because of the beautiful flowers that grow on the Magnolia tree and because of the place where we first lived as a married couple. We lived in a little seaside village called Magnolia. Some say it was given this name because it was the northern-most place where Magnolia trees could still grow. The Magnolia trees had just sprung into bloom when you were born.
Despite the difficulties that surrounded your birth, and the frigid New England winter you’ve endured, you’ve grown strong and blossomed bright with joy already. You lighten our hearts and minds with your jubilant laughter and sweet smile. You delight in everyone you meet, making all of us feel loved. We’re so very thankful for you and can't wait to watch you grow into the woman God created you to be.
Mama and Papa