Dedicated to the One I Love

Time goes faster with each additional child.  It seems like just yesterday that I was pregnant with Miriam!  Then one day I woke up and Miriam was no longer a newborn, Sarah was sleeping in a toddler bed and potty trained, and Rachel was on the verge of being a “tween”.  YIKES!  How did this happen?

With all of this living, I almost forgot to schedule Miriam’s baby dedication.  The church that we attend is gearing up for major renovations and services will be condensed during this time, which means no baby dedications for a while.  Somehow this didn’t connect with me until about a month ago.  I almost had a mini-panic attack when I thought that Miriam could be almost a year-old before having the baby dedication.  Don’t get me wrong, it really wouldn’t matter in the long run, but it seemed better to do it before she hit the “stranger danger” phase of development.

For us, baby dedications are a public declaration/dedication of commitment to raising your child in a Christian home and to seek a “blessing” from the church.  For me, this public declaration is very comforting, because it makes the commitment of raising a child-up in the church a “community” effort.  Our family has really benefited from having others to lean on in our church community.  We live  far away from our family, and this community has been an extended family for us.

I must say that my thoughts regarding raising my children in the church has evolved with each child.  I guess with each additional child your confidence grows.  When Rachel was born, I was so nervous about everything and worried about bringing her up in the right church. Her baby dedication was done at a church that we hadn’t officially joined yet but had been attending for a while.  When hadn’t officially transferred our “letter from a sister church”, but we were still able to participate in a significant way.  She was 6 weeks old when her baby dedication was done, and she was part of a group of other babies that were all being dedicated on that day.    Bryan and I were so tired the morning of the service.  It was my first “Mother’s Day”, and Rachel had barely slept the night before!  She made up for it by sleeping through the entire baby dedication!  I will never forget how sweet this church was to us.

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My mom had bought Rachel’s dedication dress before she was even born!  It was beautiful – it was a lacy christening/baptismal style dress.  Never mind that our Baptist church did neither of those traditions, the dress was gorgeous!

 

Rachel still sleeping at the end of the church service. Why wouldn't she sleep like that at home?!?

Rachel still sleeping at the end of the church service. Why wouldn’t she sleep like that at home?!?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you know, we are down in Texas and are part of a different church, and when Sarah Amelia came along, it was time to start planning another baby dedication.  Unlike the service in Kentucky, South Main Baptist does dedications with each family at a time.  I was excited about Sarah Amelia’s big day but a little sad that it might be our last one.  Nevertheless, it was very special!  I considered re-using Rachel’s dedication dress (or one of the many lovely hand-me-downs from Rachel) but felt that was short-changing Sarah in some way.  I could just see it now – “Mom, where is the dress that I wore for my baby dedication?”  Oh wait – this was Rachel’s too?”.  Wow, that would not be cool..  I wanted to do something pretty and traditional but steered away from the super fancy style.  As long as we had a sweet little bonnet, we were good.  After much searching, I found a dress that was appropriate for church and had a bonnet!  The dedication was wonderful and affirming, and Sarah behaved perfectly (and was awake!).

I was so proud of little family and my sweet little girls!

was so proud of little family and my sweet little girls!

My sweet and lovely Sarah Amelia!

My sweet and lovely Sarah Amelia!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I said, Miriam’s dedication almost fell through the cracks, but we managed to get it in before she became a toddler – LOL!  It’s funny how even the smallest things can come full circle.  I briefly considered making Miriam’s dress using leftover lace from my wedding, but quickly realized that was more stress than I could handle.  Bryan thought that I should use one of Rachel or Sarah’s old dresses (again – we have a bunch of lovely dresses that would have worked), but again, it just seemed a little unfair to my sweet 3rd child.  I went dress shopping with Miriam and Sarah while Rachel was in gymnastics practice, which wasn’t a great idea.  After walking past every possible tempting toy filled store window in our local mall, I convinced Sarah that we should keep walking until we found the right store.  We had zero luck finding a regular dress with a bonnet.  I guess bonnets are out of style in the winter, so we walked to the other side of the mall.  Sarah played with a baby display in the store while I desperately searched.  There were lovely baptismal style dresses but no regular church dresses with bonnets.  So I purchased a very fluffy and lovely dress that was possibly a little too much, but it had the look I wanted!

All this talk about dresses is not meant to overshadow the real importance of these big moments for my babies.  To say that Miriam’s dedication was a wonderful experience for us would be an understatement.   I could see how much Bryan adores his daughters and how unbelievably devoted he is to them (and me, haha) and felt like the luckiest person in the world.  I know that is bragging, but it truly how I felt.    As we waited, Miriam became a little fussy and Sarah was getting squirmy, but that was ok.   Then, just before  walking in front of the congregation, Miriam feel asleep and slept through the entire introduction!  Rachel had been ringing handbells beforehand and joined us near the pulpit.  I couldn’t help but to think back to Rachel’s baby dedication and how she slept through the whole thing.    When I looked over at her and the two younger girls I almost cried, because I couldn’t believe my good fortune.  It was a moment of clarity that I am thankful to have experienced.  I typically hesitate to say “blessing” because I feel that it is used too loosely these days, but I can honestly say I felt a “blessing” from my entire being!  My sweet and precious family – a gift and a blessing that God allows me to experience!  Since moving to Texas, we’ve expanded from a family of 3 to a family of 5 and are so thankful to have the amazing support of a warm church family.  We are so excited to continue on this walk with our girls and are very fortunate that God led us to this loving church.

Sleeping beauty (take 1, 2006)

Sleeping beauty (take 1, 2006)

Sleeping beauty

           Sleeping beauty (2015)

the girls!

the girls!

Our first family of 5 picture (with us all willingly in the picture)!

Our first family of 5 picture (with us all willingly in the picture)!

6 thoughts on “Dedicated to the One I Love

  1. Ruth, this is marvelous! You and Bryan are indeed blessed with your beautiful daughters and with one another…and we are blessed that you are part of our family!!! Much love to all!.

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