Today, we dedicated 13 kiddos at church. One was barely a month old (and SO very tiny). Others were wiggly toddlers. And a few were a little older and star-struck by being on stage.
If you know me, you also know that I do not like being on a stage. I prefer to be in the back of the room or even in the middle. There are a few things that make the stage so very worth it for me and dedicating babies is one of them.
Never, in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I would be back doing this again. Getting to be a part of watching parents acknowledge that their kiddos are not their own and watching a church agree to partner to help raise them to know and love Jesus just makes me weepy.
My campus pastor said it well when he reminded our parents today to not forget the little things because those are the big things. Things like baby dedication are small in the big scheme of what I do. We dedicate kids a couple of times a year and typically have a couple dozen participating. Compared to a regular Sunday morning, where we see hundreds of kiddos it can seem small.
But it's not.
As I was filling out certificates and writing in Bibles this weekend, I spent time praying for each of these kids. That they would love Jesus while they are still young and grasp just how much he loves them.
I prayed for their parents--that they would be surrounded by people who would encourage them and love them when they feel like they've failed. People who would stand up and remind them that this parenting thing IS bigger than them and they can't do it alone. People who would tell them over and over again that Jesus loves them as much as He loves their kids.
I very distinctly remember the day we dedicated each of my girls. I don't remember much about the kid pastors who facilitated it. Or the class that we took. Or even how many other parents were on stage with us. But I DO remember the moment of publicly acknowledging that God gave us this daughter and wanting desperately for others to pour into her (and me).
Maybe part of my weepy-ness is because school ended last Thursday and I now have a senior. I've been telling her I was not going to be that emotional parent posting each week about how much I was gonna miss her. But stinkin baby dedication this morning reminded me that the days are long, but the years are short.
And gave me one more prayer for the parents who dedicated their babies today...that when their kiddo is a senior, they would look back without regret on the way they led them and loved them and pointed them to Jesus.