on sunday, we dedicated our little prince to the Lord. we were surrounded by our extended family and church family...and it was such a delightful day. the morning was filled with moment upon moment that filled my heart to overflowing. with gratitude for the blessing of my family. and with sheer joy. a bunch of precious things coming together to make it such a grand occasion.
in preparation for the day, we grabbed a few heirloom items from the boxes in ridley's closet and sorted through special family pieces: hand-knit sweater sets from my grandma may, baby blankets, old shoes, and dapper play suits from when ben was a little lad. we selected a blue romper for ridley to wear and paired it with a little sweater. a mix of the whitehouse past and ridley past. the romper was ben's when he was a baby. it barely fit, but it did the trick. serendipitous, nay, providential. we added a purple bow tie and the sweater to complete the ensemble. the bow tie only lasted a bit since mr. chewy droolypants used it as a plaything before church... but, ben donned a matching purple bow tie, so A+ for effort.
before we left for church, elinor grabbed a baby sweater from the pile and asked to wear it. so, she got in on the heirloom fun too. she pranced around all morning in her shrunken-looking sweater which actually looked like a little shrug cape on her. she could totally pull it off. and she was so proud of her fancy sweater. she wore that and a hat and her big girl underpants until it was time to shower and get dressed in her real clothes.
we sat with our family to start the service, ridley relaxing with papa and elinor sitting on BooBoo's Bible. she scribbled in the bulletin with the pew pencil. and when the children's choir sang a piece, she quietly hummed and sang along while she colored. it was the best. seeing her sitting tall on the Word of God, drawing figures in the notes section of the bulletin insert (you better believe i saved that work of art), and singing along in her hushed, tender voice. it was the kind of moment that you wait and hope for as a parent. it seems like yesterday, she was a tiny one being dedicated. and now, she is a little person. what a blessing to watch our little ones grow. and yes, they grow up SO incredibly fast.
after the intro music, we gathered at the front for the dedication. i held ridley and ben held elinor's hand as she stood next to us. when it was time for the prayer, pastor tim took ridley to hold him. ridley shot me a quick "who is this guy, are we okay here, mama?" look and i reassured him. he looked at pastor tim while he spoke and when tim asked the congregation to bow their heads in prayer, ridley folded into tim's chest and burrowed into his lapel. it couldn't have been a more perfect moment. it was otherworldly for sure. as if his infantile heart was responding to the importance of the moment, responding to his Heavenly Father. and while i don't want to gush and make too much out of what could be a fluke thing...i also want to acknowledge it and make a big deal of it because, i believe that God gave us that sweet moment. not a fluke thing. a Heavenly thing. bowing our baby's head in reverence. a reminder that this boy's life is a gift from above. that it is our job to bring him up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. that it is our duty to point him to Christ. that it is our responsibility to live lives of holiness before our God and our children. to discipline and instruct. to pray for them and with them. to usher them into corporate worship. but, ultimately, God will revivify ridley's heart. God will allow him to "comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God". God alone can bow our son's heart before Him. what a heavenly moment it was. what a tremendous reminder to us. may we be good stewards of this little life.
* and, something for the memory book: we have a new nickname for ridley: nicholas. pastor tim talked about nicholas ridley who was burned at the stake for his beliefs and got a little too fixated on the "nicholas" part during the dedication. he stumbled over ridley's name a couple of times and during the final prayer he called him "nicholas noble" and the congregation murmured "ridley" in response.
and so, our sweet little saint nick was dedicated to the Lord. and after the service, we all gathered back at the whitehouse abode for a celebratory lunch. PopPop made manly food for the occasion: burgers and such. and we even managed to get a few family photos! perfect. the afternoon was spent with the adults chatting and the cousins rolling and crawling and playing and napping. it was some kind of wonderful, i tell ya.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
p.s. a bonus pic of my proud parents with the grandkids because, it's the cutest.