Faith Friday – It takes a Village

For those of you who have followed Mr R’s birth story and the mess of humanity that was, it will come as no surprise that I am very fond of this kid; I destroyed and recreated part of myself in entering into motherhood with him. I might be his mom but I also believe he is my counterpart and equal.

So reaching a milestone in our family – 8 years old – was a big moment for us. Being LDS, we look forward to baptism, to become closer friends with Jesus and to get the gift of the holy ghost. With baptism we have a chance to show our obedience to the Father’s commandments just as Jesus Christ was baptized to follow a commandment. And the gift of the holy ghost offers two things I was very excited for R to learn to have and use: protection and a defined “gut” feeling about things.

While there were no splashy or crafty family meetings about the topic, no Pinterest boards on the topic or fancy invitations, there were many quiet conversations in the car, cleaning the house side by side, laying in bed beside him at night chatting about the day and life in general. He would ask questions about what faith is and who I thought God was and in turn share his ideas, thoughts and concerns with me. He, one night kneeling beside me in prayer, offered his testimony. I was humbled to hear him, to get to be in on this experience as I listened to my littles heart unfold. He offered love of God and love of family.

Short and sweet and full of goodness.

At this baptism, we wanted him to be surrounded by lots of love and light. So we called in the troops – friends, family and neighbors all came to embrace this boy and show him love. Such a happy moment for our family to see so many come to celebrate and share in our day with us.

Even one of our dear neighbors and friends, J, came to support R. I love these two kids and their friendship!
 We had a simple program where cousins Stephanie Farmer gave the talk on baptism and Ben Merrill gave the talk on the gift of the Holy Ghost. Both did such a great job, Steph had Miss S help hold the pictures and Ben likened the HG to a gift of a soccer ball.

I gave a short introduction of R.

Favorite scripture story: Daniel in the lion’s den. He likes that story because Daniel had the faith to prayer to God so that he wouldn’t be eaten and God answered his prayers.

Favorite thing we love about R: Curiosity about life. He is always wanting to know the answers to his questions and asking about the whys and hows. He especially loves animals and learning about them. Also, he is a peacemaker in our family, happy to help, to make us laugh, to play with his sister or to give up something to help another. Also, R loves people and to be surrounded by friends. When he was little, he used to run away from playmates at the park because he was shy and concerned, but now he loves to play and gathers friends around him.

Favorite song: Jesus Came to John the Baptist from the LDS Primary Songbook

As a family, we then stood and sang acapella Riley’s favorite song – Jesus Came to John the Baptist. Miss S and I sang the first verse (I love that instead of immersion Miss S always sang the word emergent), R joined in on the second verse and then Jed sang with all of us on the third verse. Apparently at the beginning of the third verse Jed and I both started in on the wrong words. R quickly stopped us, “No! That’s not right” and then all finished together and yes, we figured out the correct verse! It was sweet to sing with my littles and my love beside me and I cherished that R wanted to express himself and his feelings in this way.

  At R’s request, Jed baptized and confirmed him. The Gpas were witnesses.
While we were waiting for R and Jed to come back in after the baptism, we passed out papers and crayons. We asked those in attendance to write or draw something for R that he could keep to remember this day.  Here’s a small sampling of what some of them created:

                      

                                                                                                                         

There were many more drawings and cards that will be good to bind into a memory book. Being a lover of words and moments, it tickles me with so much delight to be able to have these for R to remember his day. 
Afterwards the Bishop gave some remarks, along with the Primary President and then we closed the meeting. We left the church then and headed back to our house for some italian sodas, waffles with strawberries, blueberries and whip cream and other various yummy treats that people had brought. 
Rosilene and Glenn Cook and DeeAnn and Lee Merrill
  The kids of course loved playing outside together while the adults were inside chatting away.
 Aunt Evelynn
 Cousin Mindy and dear friend Missy
 Aunt Tami and cousin Stephanie
 Family friend Kurt and Jed hanging out
 Uncle Robert and cousin Michelle (don’t mind the googley eye!)
Cousins Jared and Melissa with Aunt Nancy
So many thanks to those who sent cards, brought gifts, came to the baptism and to those who came to the house afterwards. We love and appreciate all of you and missed those of you who would have been here if you could have. They say it takes a village to raise a child. If that is true, we are so happy our village came with love and good intent and flooded into the baptism and our home to celebrate.  
Happy 8th birthday and baptism Mr R!

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