I haven’t always been very vocal about my faith. To be honest, I wasn’t vocal about it because I wasn’t very faithful. Growing up, Church wasn’t an option. My mom was very strict about making sure we were there EVERY SUNDAY. As I grew up I never felt at home at the church. Yes, I went to the same church every Sunday from the time I was born to when my mom decided it wasn’t worth the fight to drag me to church anymore. It’s not that I didn’t believe, Its that I didn’t understand. I have a hard time sitting still for a few seconds let alone an entire hour. Add in listening to someone drone on and on… I just couldn’t get myself to pay attention and would quickly lose interest. When Jake and I lived in the Chesterfield house, we went to a church not far that we actually enjoyed. Mainly in part that his mom worked for this church. The people were friendly and and I didn’t mind going. Unfortunately there wasn’t a lot to take away because as soon as it the pastor would speak my mind was in the clouds.
Fast forward to 2016…
A friend of mine asked me if I would photograph her daughter’s baptism so I agreed. The day of, I went to meet them at the church and during the service, I felt as though I was meant to be there that day. Even I think it’s crazy that I am saying this but, I felt immediately that I must keep going to this church. I had this strong feeling that I have to keep going back. That day when we came home I told my husband that we HAD to go to this church. He felt the same way. We had been searching for a church for awhile and I felt so strongly that I finally found the one.
The following Sunday, my husband and I with the kids in tow went to our first Sunday service. We knew right away that we found our Sunday place of worship and were absolutely thrilled.
Every week I feel as though each service was specifically for me. As if I am being spoken to directly.
I knew right away this is the place where we will dedicate both our children.
Why did we choose dedication vs baptism?
1st of all, it’s essentially the same thing.
2nd, we thought long and hard about our decision to have the kids dedicated and here is why.
We want to raise our kids in faith & love. We don’t want to choose for them if they want to live a life with God in their hearts. As much as we hope that is the case. We want our children to decide when they are ready to embrace God into their lives. Ultimately, we want them to come to the decision of being baptized on their own.
Since attending Kensington, I feel as though my faith in God and my relationship with him are growing stronger. I want my kids to feel this way themselves when we go to church. I don’t want to force it on them. I want THEM to want a relationship with God and it be on their own terms.
Following are the letters we wrote to the kids.
From the moment that we first looked at your precious face, we knew our lives would forever be changed. You have been such a blessing to our family in these past 3 years. We love your sweet nature, your infectious laugh and your ability to find the good and beauty in all things. You are an amazing big brother to your sister who absolutely adores you. We love watching you grow and seeing your personality develop – a personality that God knew from the start.
We hope that as you grow, you learn to celebrate the awesome gift of life – a daily reminder just how much God loves you. We can’t wait to see the adventure that unfolds in your life as you follow Jesus and grow into the man God created you to be. We promise to support you as you follow the dreams and passions that God has planted in your heart, no matter the cost. Showing you that if you trust in God and put your faith in him, all things are possible, and no obstacle too great to overcome through him.
There will be times in this life that are difficult, and as your parents we won’t always get it right, but our love for you will never diminish, only grow in its abundance and intensity.
As we dedicate you today we want to make you a few promises. First, we promise to live out our lives and faith openly in front of you, so that we can give you an honest, grace-filled example to follow. We promise to raise you in a community of friends and family, who love you with the same God-given love that we do. We believe that God has sent this village into our lives to sustain, challenge and encourage us and afford us the opportunity to do the same. We promise that as you grow and make mistakes of your own that we will have grace for you, as God has grace for us. You will hear us tell you often, “there is nothing you could do that could make us love you less.”
We are so thankful to God that you are our son, and are so blessed to be your parents. We love you so much Easton.
Mom, Dad, & Baby Vivienne
Today we stand here in front of our family and friends to dedicate your life to God. Not because we feel it’s the right thing to do, but because God gifted you to us and there for you are his. He gave you to us to love and guide you and we want you to know Jesus and follow Him more than anything else in the world. We pray that we are faithful examples in your life. You have been such a joyful blessing these past 9 months with your vivacious heart and beautiful smiles. Your brother adores you and we love watching you both becoming the best of friends. As your parents, we promise to pray daily for you, we dedicate our hearts to teaching you God’s way with everything we do and say.
We pray that you will personally develop a relationship with God, that you will trust Him and look to him for guidance through the obstacles of life. We hope you remember that He is always with you, even if there are times when we cannot be. We are excited to watch you grow into the person that God intended for you to be. We know that He has so much in store for you, His plans are so much greater than anything we could ever imagine. We thank God every day for choosing us to be your parents. We may fall short sometimes and make mistakes, but through God’s grace and the help and love of our families and friends who share this day we hope you choose a life with Him and continually embrace His perfect love.
May your smile bring light and joy to others, as it has done for us since the day you arrived. We love you so much.
Mom, Dad, & Your big brother Easton
Photo Cred: Janell Raymond Photography