Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Miller's Dedication

Last Saturday we had the opportunity to dedicate Miller to the Lord. If you're not familiar with baby dedication, it's a ceremony similar to baptism, where parents promise to shepherd their child and lead them towards a life with Jesus. Our church recently started a new tradition, where baby dedication are held in the families' homes, rather than as a part of the regular weekly service. We dedicated the girls about a year ago, so this process was new to us. So we weren't quite sure what to expect, but hey- it was another chance to throw a party, so I wasn't complaining!

Truthfully, I actually wanted to keep the event as simple as possible...not at all my strong suit. We're adjusting well here, but life is still pretty hectic, so the thought of hosting a formal gathering for tons of family and friends was overwhelming. It's important to me to raise Miller in our family of faith, but the dedication doesn't make or break that...it's simply a nice maker of a larger promise.

So we ended up inviting just family (which was still over a dozen people) for a quick time of prayer, reflection and of course- the ceremonial eating of ice cream! (I said I'd keep it low key, I didn't say it wasn't still a celebration!)

And after just a little bit of stress over getting all of us- and the house- to look presentable, it ended up being the perfect day. Our pastor spoke, giving us encouragement and challenges, for the parenting road ahead of us. My mom cried as I read my note to Miller, and we all laughed at the faux-formality of it all as we stood barefoot in our living room holding our sleeping kid in front of a small crowd of his relatives, while his sisters ignored the speeches, preferring to try on my bracelets and pass out toys to everyone in attendance.

It was short, simple, meaningful, and lovely. (And the ice cream was delicious).

Some snapshots from our day...and my words to my boy:

Miller- you are easy to love. You look exactly like your father and act a lot like a puppy (I mean both of those things in a very good way.) You've transitioned into our family seamlessly (or as seamlessly as a newborn can, anyway) and we quickly fell in love with your smushy face, and sweet demeanor.
But though I don't know a ton about this parenting thing, I know enough to realize that you may not always be this accommodating. So just in case you aren't always quite so cuddly and (relatively) easy to please- I pray your father and I always love you not for how you are, but for what you are. I often find myself hoping you get the good traits of your dad, or worrying you may get the worst bits of me...and as the third child, you're bound to get a lot of comparisons to your older sisters. 
I have a lot of dreams for how you will turn out. I want you to be hardworking, and smart, and kind...I hope you have a good sense of humor, and I know your dad would love another Eagles fan in the family.  Part of our job as a parents is to encourage those traits in you. 
But the vow I make as your mom is to love you no matter what. Even when you're difficult. Even when you're nothing like me. And above all, I promise to remember, and teach you that the most significant and true part of you is what you are: a child of God. 
Your dad and I were specifically chosen and trusted to be your earthly parents and it is our biggest and most sincere prayer that you always know that you were wonderfully made by a loving Father. Your value lies in whose you are.  
How you are is already pretty great but what you are is perfect. 
We love you, Miller August Bowden. We love who, how, and what you are, and are eternally grateful that we get to call you ours. 

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