Dedication Sunday

Sometimes the responsibility of parenthood overwhelms me. It catches me by surprise. It quiets me. It humbles me. To know that I share the task of raising productive members of society who love God, respect people, are kind, responsible, walk with integrity, are compassionate, have a job, and overall succeed at life….that knowledge is heavy. And scary. And incredibly daunting….but doable.

What I care about, more than anything, is that my children know and understand the love of God. Every single night as I lay Zoe in her crib I pray, “That she will know you from a young age, love you with her whole heart, and serve you all of her life”. I have prayed that over Zoe since she was in my womb. I will pray that over every single child that I am blessed with. I wish that praying over her was the end of the process and that she would just magically believe in Him from that…but I know that’s not true. I have to model it. I have to practice what I preach. I have to be like Paul, who says, “follow me as I follow Christ”. Otherwise, who’s to blame her if she grows up and does her own thing? Certainly not me.

This past Sunday Brad and I, surrounded by our family and friends, participated in a Christian ritual that goes all the way back to Hannah in the Old Testament. Hannah is the wife that prayed and prayed for a child, she vowed that if she was blessed with one she would dedicate that child to the Lord. Well, God gave her what she asked for and she fulfilled her end of the bargain. Her son is Samuel, one of the prophets of Israel. Today there are a number of different ways that different denominations “dedicate” their young to the Lord, some baptize, some sprinkle with water, and some pray over the babies.

The way that I do it, and the way that I grew up watching it, goes something like this: The parents to vow to raise the child in the church, with the knowledge of the Lord, and in keeping with his teachings. Then there is a prayer of protection and blessing over the baby. There is no water, there is no baptism…that comes later. Like I said, different denominations all do it differently. There is nothing wrong with that…different strokes for different folks…

The whole week leading up to the dedication I would find myself sporadically in tears. This is a big deal. A really big deal. It’s a vow that I’m taking. While I live with the daily responsibility of raising my child in a God-fearing house…this time I’m saying it out loud. I, along with Brad, am taking my daughter up to the altar of my church, before God and man, and I am saying, “Here she is God, she’s yours. I am simply the vessel you’ve chosen to raise her. I will teach her about you. I’ll raise her according to you will. I’ll raise her according to your Word. And then, when you say it’s time, I’ll release her to You…and pray that she fulfills her role in your kingdom.”

Being a parent is a big deal. Being a parent who loves God and wants to raise her family in a godly manner is a big deal. It’s not easy. It takes more than we, as humans, have. But thank God that we’re not in this alone. He gives us what we need to perform the tasks that He sets in front of us. All it takes on our side is dedication, an obedient heart, and a healthy dose of humility.

It was an honor to dedicate our baby girl to the Lord. We were blessed to be surrounded by almost all of our family and a few very close friends. We were blessed to stand at the altar with our beautiful daughter.  We are blessed to be surrounded by so much love.  We are very very blessed. Everyday.

Here’s a few pictures of Zoe’s {and our} big day. Enjoy! Oh, btw, please excuse that Brad and I are both wearing purple and black. It was a matter of what fits {me} and what was ironed {Brad}, nothing more. The purplish background was a coincidence too…

A very proud/happy mommy and daddy

The dedication, surrounded by Zoe’s Papa, Grandmommy, Gammy and Bubba.

The Tate clan. Everybody except David and Brittany showed up.

The Harvin/Deichelbor clan minus Alexis and baby Quinnelle.

The Grandparents aka the people who spoil Zoe rotten…

Surrounded by some of our close friends.

Our playdate buddies. Lila was dedicated too.

And finally, my favorite picture. Zoe with her Papa, who traveled from Massachusetts {he’s a truck driver} to get here in time.


3 responses to “Dedication Sunday

  1. The purple and black definitely looks planned–ah, it’s the same shade of purple! It looks great, and I wouldn’t have thought a thing of it if you hadn’t said anything. Seriously, this is the most beautiful and inspiring post. I totally understand how daunting parenting a child with faith as your foundation can be–but that’s the rock we have to stand on, not feel crushed under! Congratulations on dedicating your little girl.

  2. Precious.

  3. Congratulations! I love that you are doing this! I cried through my children’s dedications too! Such an incredible thing to stand in front of your church body and pledge to raise your children to love and honor God.

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