This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving! We are so excited to be spending the weekend with our family from both sides and I can't wait. Another wonderful part of our weekend is that we are dedicating our son.
We have been doing our dedications a little differently with our kids, our church does have baby/child dedications, but they are not laid out exactly how I wanted and our extended family never seems to be able to be there at the same time.
With Little A we had been talking and praying about dedicating her for a long time and had started to fill out the paper work to have her dedicated at the church, but it just didn't ever seem right.
So, one weekend we were up visiting my family and hubby's and we just asked them all to join us back at my parents house after lunch to pray over Little A and join with us as we commit to raising her for Christ.
It was exactly what I wanted (albeit a little thrown together and missing a few members of the family). It was intimate and personal and not at all scripted. My dad and Hubby's dad prayed blessings over Little A and us, there was no standing at the front of the church and taking turns with a few other families to pray and bless. It was just us and I loved it.
This weekend, since our families were all planning on being in the same place anyway, we asked them to all join us at my in-laws acreage for a lunch and dedication celebration on Sunday after church. It sounds like it will be a pretty full house since it will be both sides of our family and a few of Hubby's aunts and uncles are close by and are going to join in too.
One of the things that I am very excited about that will be happening at the celebration is that everyone will have an opportunity to write in E man's Blessing Book. ( I will actually have one out for Little A too since it was something I really wanted but forgot to do for her dedication) The kid's Blessing Books are little journals that we plan on filling with prayers, dreams, and visions that we, or others, have for our children.
Each of the Blessing Books start out with the full names of the kids and the dates of their births. The second page is about their names and what they mean. For example, Little A's name means lioness in Hebrew but it also is a musical term in other languages. Hubby and I both felt like we were given her name, there was never any doubt that God had told us what her name would be and it completely suits her.
E man is the same, his name was totally one that was chosen for him not by us. Hubby had his doubts about the name at first and kept looking for a different one but I knew E's name before I even knew I was having a boy. When I was pregnant with E man, everyone that prayed for me and the baby would pray that God would give the baby strength and that it would be strong and healthy, his name means "God's strengthens".
The rest of the book will be written in by us and our friends and family. I know that we won't fill the book this weekend but as the kids grow Hubby and I will add to them and write new prayers and blessings for them. When the kids graduate from High School we plan to give them their books as part of their graduation gift.
I am very excited about having a book that will be full of spiritual heritage and a reminder that we have decided to raise them for Christ with His guidance.
My Sister and Brother in Law just recently dedicated their son at our church, a picture of it was posted on a cousins Facebook page with a description of the event. A friend of the cousin questioned why Christians would dedicate their children since there is no biblical foundation for it.
An example of an infant/child dedication is the story of Hannah found in 1 Samuel 1.
Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.”As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!”
“Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to theLord. Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.”
“In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.”
“Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.
1 Samuel 1:10-18
This is exactly how I felt when I was trying to get pregnant. I was in anguish over having miscarried so many times, struggling to trust in God's plan and wanting so badly to have a child. When I did get pregnant with Little A my prayers and conversations with God were long and at times very heated. But I knew that He was in control and His plan would be for good. Over and over through the pregnancy we gave Little A back to God and right after delivery we prayed over her and praised God for our little blessing.
The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship theLord once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her plea, and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”
1 Samuel 1:19-20
When the child was weaned, Hannah took him to the Tabernacle in Shiloh. They brought along a three-year-old bull for the sacrifice and a basket of flour and some wine. After sacrificing the bull, they brought the boy to Eli. “Sir, do you remember me?” Hannah asked. “I am the woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord. I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they worshiped the Lord there.
1 Samuel 1:24-28
Hannah took her child to the Tabernacle and left him there with Eli. Can you imagine? It would be so difficult for Hannah to take this little boy that she had longed for and prayed for and give him back to God's service, leaving him in the care of someone else.
What we do is a symbolic gesture, we stand up in front of our family and friends or our church family and we make a promise to God to do all we can to raise our children His ways, not our own, with prayer and help from Him until our children can choose to follow on their own. What Hannah did was so much more than just a gesture, she literally gave her son back to God.
We are continually reminded that our children are God's children. That no matter how much we worry and fret about the little things, God has a plan for all of it, big and small, and he works it together for their good. He constantly reminds us that he loves them more than we can imagine (which is crazy to me since I can't imagine loving them any more).
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
So, I guess, all of this is me "standing" up before you, making my pledge to God saying that I will work diligently and prayerfully to raise my children in His word, in His way, praying for them, and trying to lead them by example with God's help.
Thanks for being there for me to walk along side of and know that I am not alone in my struggles.
May you be filled with joy and peace and may God open your eyes to the richness of blessings that he bestows upon you, so that you can be ever thankful.