This weekend it was dedication Sunday at our church, and we were thankful to participate in honor of our sweet little Ellie girl!
At our church (Wheaton Bible) we 'dedicate' families instead of having infant baptism. We believe that each person must personally accept Jesus Christ as their Savior in order to be forgiven and to enter into a relationship with God. Infant baptism often suggests that a child is 'saved' at the point of baptism. But we believe that it is by God's grace that we come to him with knowledge of our sin, seeking forgiveness, and with a desire to make Him the Lord of our lives. So on dedication Sunday, we committed (again) to raising our children in a home that glorifies God, makes Him known, and hopefully brings them someday to a point of commitment to the Lord. As Pastor Rob explained, it's a commitment to do everything we can to ensure that our kids get safely home to their Heavenly Father.
Pastor Rob introduced Ellie Suzanne, who had spit up on her dress just as we took our place on stage (of course!). Robbie was fairly well behaved, although there were a few anxious moments when we thought he might send his toy train sailing across the stage, and also when Ellie got excited and started to kick her legs so hard I was sure her little ballerina slippers were going to pop off. We escaped public humiliation... this time. :)
After each family and child was introduced, Pastor Rob invited all of the relatives of the children being dedicated to stand where they were seated as he prayed over all of us.
Aunt Megan came out the night before and stayed over with us, and I am so thankful she was here to help us on Sunday morning!! I had underestimated how much work it would be to get everyone fed/dressed and have our little lunch party ready before walking out the door at 9am.
She saved the day. She also got me a Starbucks that morning. L.O.V.E. her for so many reasons!
My mom and Ellie... pretty in pink. This is my favorite picture from the day!
No party at our house is complete without CAKE! Thank you Flour Barrel for sweetening up our celebration. (I know it is not a big deal, but can I just tell you? I asked for a white cake with pink polka dots, and "Praise God for Ellie" on the top. This is what I got... not exactly what I had envisioned, but Rob reminded me that I'm not living in an Ace of Cakes world like I sometimes delusionaly think I am. Oh well, it tasted good.)
Ellie's pink roses on the table were a reminder for me of God's faithfulness to us in the form of Ellie's health. Early in the pregnancy, when we weren't certain about her health or growth and had cause for concern, I kept bouquets of pink flowers in the kitchen to remind me of God's perfect design in our little girl. It was my way of visually reminding myself of Psalm 139.
We are so thankful for Ellie - she is God's blessing to us and we are humbled that He chose us to be her parents. Ephesians 5:1-2 is the verse we gave to her for her dedication...
"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."
Ellie, we pray that you would be set aside for God's purposes; that you would desire to know God, love Him and imitate Him; that you would learn to love others well in the same way that Christ loves us; and that your life would be a fragrant offering to our loving Heavenly Father. We couldn't wish for anything better than this!