On Saturday, Mike and I were honored to officiate Jenelle’s baby dedication for our friends Bryan and Andrea. It was the most gorgeous of fall days. Lots of friends and family were there to support Bryan and Andrea as they made a public commitment to raise Jenelle in a way that would honor God, and help equip her to one day make a decision to follow God for herself.
Preparing for Jenelle’s dedication made me think about a story very recently in the news, of Catherine Duchess of Cambridge (also known as Prince William’s wife). Having recently had a new baby – I had a different fascination with the royal wedding. Kate Middleton was born to regular people that no one in England knew, much less the rest of the world. When Michael and Carole Middleton looked into their daughter’s eyes as a newborn child I doubt they thought, “We better do a good job with this one – we’ve got the future queen of England on our hands.”
Though parents most certainly dream big dreams for their children, dreaming with certainty that your daughter will be the future Queen of England seems a bit over the top. I am most certain, however, that Michael and Carole purposed to raise Kate the best they knew how, and for all intents and purposes they seem to have done a good job. Why else would she be so willingly and warmly welcomed into the royal family of England and the hearts of people all across the globe?
With a newborn unable to sleep through the night, I couldn’t bring myself to watch the royal wedding live, but I did watch it later online. The most stunning moments to me were Michael and Kate’s walk down Westminster Abbey’s long aisle towards William. I cannot begin to imagine the thoughts that were racing through Michael’s mind. I can only assume amid the playback of scenes from his life with his daughter, there was an overwhelming sense of pride that he and his wife had raised Kate well and prepared her for that moment in her story, and that incredible moment in history.
Baby dedications to me are that special moment at the beginning of a child’s story that dreams with expectancy for the future. It’s where Mom and Dad take a a moment to declare . . . “This is the way we want to do this. We aren’t going to get it right all the time, but we are going to love God and we are going to try as hard as we can to raise this child to love God too.” That’s why we dedicated Elijah, and that’s why we will dedicate Noah.
None of us know who our kids will become or what they will accomplish now. That part of the story is only found out by living our lives one day at a time. I look at Elijah and Noah and am reminded that every day I have the responsibility to prepare them for their futures. Someday they will be men, who have jobs and families and influence of one kind or another. I don’t know any of the specifics yet, but I know they have possibility, and it’s our job to prepare them for whatever possibility becomes reality in their lives. Mike and I can’t do that on our own and possibly think we will do it well – which is why we need God’s help. He can see the future from the present and knows what my kids need today to prepare them for tomorrow – however glamorous or humble that tomorrow may be.
It’s exciting to think about, and puts a whole lot of my day to day world in it’s proper perspective. I owe it to my kids, and to the people that will some day be part of their lives to do this mom-job well.