Thursday, March 15, 2012

dedication

Sommer's baby dedication was last Sunday.  We publicly committed to raise her in the way of the Lord, to pray for her, and to actively role model what it looks like to follow Jesus.

(Sommer)

Annike was dedicated in this same dress when she was four months old.

(Annike)

The dress is significant.  I was also dedicated in it when I was a few months old.  My mother made it for me out of the same material used for her wedding dress.  The dress was then passed to all of my girl cousins for their own baby dedications.

(Me - note that Sommer comes by her cheeks honestly)

Sommer was the ninth girl in the family to wear this dedication dress.  And while I sat in church holding my sleeping baby, newly dedicated, I was struck with tears over the significance of the history of this dress.   Over 30 years ago my parents made the decision to raise me to know the truth about Jesus Christ and committed to pray for me.  That truth has stay with me and today I choose to actively raise my own children to know and follow Jesus.  God willing, one day my daughters will stand in front of a church filled with people who love them and know them, promising to raise their own children to know the Lord. 
 
(Sommer)
What a privileged legacy my daughters have... of God-fearing Jesus-followers who pass down the knowledge and love of Christ to the best of their human abilities. I am humbled to be a link in this chain.

(Annike)

Dedication is only a symbol of all that Christian and I hope for our children.  One day each of my daughters will need to make an independent decision to follow Christ.  And that decision is, indeed, independent.  They have the choice not to make it.  While this possibility breaks my heart, I feel hope as I glance back at the legacy these children are coming from - a legacy of love, of prayer, of dedicating children to be raised to know their Savior, and of following after Jesus.

(Sommer)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

writing

For Opa's birthday, which happens to be today, Annike wrote her name for the very first time!! It is Uncle Ryan's birthday today too, but Annike only wrote her name once... sorry Ryan!  Opa is a little bit older and perhaps he has earned the honor of Annike's name in his card the most.


Can you see it?  Don't let the big fish next to the letter "A" throw you off.  The rest of her name is at the bottom.  The squiggly lines at the top are what she usually writes in cards and calls "writing".  She insists that I read it back to her, because after all, she can't read.  "Since you know how to write, isn't it time to learn to read?" I ask her.  This argument carries no weight.

I know that Annike has been capable of writing her name for a while now, but has simply not wanted to try.  Trying meant to her that she might fail.  It is a little heart-breaking to see such a young child so afraid of failing. The over-achiever in me wanted her to be an over-achiever and learn to write her name early (just being honest here, folks!)  But kids don't really work like that.


As her mother, my job is not to push her into things that I want her to do.  My job, instead, is to understand the little person that God created her to be, and help her become the best version of herself.  This has little to do with academics and a lot to do with shepherding her little personality.  In this case, it is understanding that she is a sit-back-and-observe kind of girl who will not perform on anyone else's agenda.  And when I put it that way, I think that is a pretty good personality trait to have.


So, the next time she writes her name will be, once again, on her timetable.  For all I know, it might be next year.  In the mean time I am going to shepherd, direct, and channel this special child of mine who is emerging out of toddler-hood into a little person.  The good stuff can't be rushed.

Monday, March 5, 2012

forgiveness

When I put my baby to bed, she screams her head off.  She is angry.  She gets sweaty and hot from all the crying.

After she wakes up, I peek over the edge of the crib and this is the look I get.


This is the face of forgiveness.
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