On June 7, we had the opportunity to have our families gather around us as we dedicated our second born son to God. I'd like to share that experience with you, friends. We started out the dedication service by getting up on stage to introduce ourselves and our family. We also took an oath, fully explaining what we were doing in dedicating Grayson to God. That we were acknowledging that he is a gift from God, that we were dedicating ourselves to being the parents God intended us to be, that we would show Grayson (and Jayce) God's love through us.
Then our families joined us up on the stage and we read a blessing we had prepared for him:
Nine and a half months ago, you came into our lives, and our family of three became a family of four. If you had been able to understand some of our conversations the days before your birth, you would have heard about how nervous we were to have another baby. We knew we were prepared physically for you - diapers were bought, clothes were washed, pack 'n play set up. We had even picked a name for you - Grayson Nathaniel, after Daddy's cousin who was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident when Mommy was pregnant with you. We also picked Nathaniel because it means a gift from God - we knew you were that. The only thing we were unsure of was how we could possibly love another child as much as Jayce. But God knew that the moment you entered out lives, we would be filled with a love for you that runs so deep. As soon a s the doctors placed your large frame on Mommy's chest, we knew our hearts would never be the same - God had given us an ability to love you that we didn't know we had.
This is what we want for you - the ability to love. Knowing you are a big boy, it would be easy for you to fall into the mold of rough, tough, and bully-ish. But we want you to have a soft heart, with a true compassion for others. I Corinthians 13:4-8a says, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
Know this, Grayson: God is love. By saying we want you to have a loving heart is also saying that we want you to have a Godly heart. We desire for you to have a close personal relationship with God; make Him the center of your life.
Grayson, you have a rich heritage. You are so blessed to have many living examples of what a Godly life looks like. Look to your grandparents: these men and women of God exhibit what it means to have the relationship with Jesus that we want you to have. Use their lives as examples of how to live, how to persevere though adversity, how to love others, how to cling to God and make Him the center of your life.
So, today, we stand before our family and we pledge to raise you in this way: we want to be examples of God's love for you, we want to show you what it means to be in a close, personal relationship with God, we want to point you to God.
We love you, Grayson.
Love, Mommy and Daddy
After the service, we had some photos taken of the family. Thankfully, there was a professional photographer there that (hopefully) got a better shot than we did!
Jayce spent some time running around trying to get his wiggles out.
I'm adding some extra pictures because Grandma has requested them to help pass the time while she's at the hospital. He's Grayson's Elvis-esque, curled lip, wrinkled nose look. I think it's adorable.
And look. We finally got a decent family shot.