Last night I stood in the bathroom at church applying some lipstick and fixing my hair. I was nervous because I was getting my picture taken soon and wanted to look good. I was thinking about how one day you would look at those pictures. And I was wondering what you’d think about your mama. Would you think I was pretty? Would you be happy I had dressed up? Would it make your heart constrict to see how happy I was? Would you be able to tell I was bursting with pride?
We had your dedication service last night and I couldn’t help but ask myself those questions. I know you’re only seven months old and you haven’t even mastered eating baby food yet, but I could see so clearly the day you look back on the pictures from last night. I could see clearly a young man stepping out on his own two feet without his parents to hold his hands or strap him into his car seat.
the man of the hour
The auditorium at church was set up like party—cupcakes included! Pictures of the familes played on the big screens at the front. Our whole family came–Grandmama and Papa, Uncle Jason, Nora, Aunt Sheila, Aunt Micah, Aunt Catie, Grammy and Grandpa.
I was holding you as the pastor spoke. You were cooing, grabbing for my earrings and drooling as usual. I tried to memorize your little wriggly body while listening to the pastor remind me that you are a gift from God–given to me and Daddy to help train and ultimately lead back to our Heavenly Father.
It’s such a big job, Asa. I look at you and think about your wife, I think about you being a dad and a husband. I can’t imagine that I will get a hand in training you for those important roles. I think about the day you will stop and recognize Jesus as your Lord and your best friend. Who am I to lead you there?!
Soon it was your Daddy’s turn to speak. We got to share with our family five values we are committed to sharing with you. The first—reliance on God, is from your namesake.
Asa, we named you after a great king in the Bible. When he was faced with a battle, he called out to God, “LORD, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. O LORD, you are our God; do not let man prevail against you.” This is my prayer for you. That you will fully rely on God. That you will see in battles and in peace, a powerful God moving on your behalf.
me, reading your scripture
The second value is respect-–for others different than you, women, your family and God’s authority in your life. We want you to always put others first.
Next, we want you to walk in confidence. We want you to be confident of the amazing person you are. But not in a self-centered way. We want you to know that you can do all things because Jesus gives you strength.
Our hope is also that you will value church ministry. Your Daddy and I are pastors’ kids. You aren’t going to experience that but we still want you to value ministry. We’ve purposed in our heart to always take the extra step at church–to go to the extra service, be at the special event and give more than is asked. We don’t want church to be just another thing you do—we want it to the central interest of our family.
Finally, is the focus on family. We want our family to be the place that honors, celebrates and values you most of all. We vow to make our family a place that is a constant source of encouragement, strength and rest. We want to model the above values for you so you in turn will see them grow in your life.
After we shared these values with our family, we all got in a circle and prayed. Papa prayed first. But he couldn’t speak right away because tears were in voice and heart. He loves you so much. He prayed that God’s favor would be on you. Then Grandpa prayed. He prayed for special wisdom and understanding in your life. I’m sure you didn’t know what was going on but perhaps you felt the love radiating towards you and for the Lord because you were as happy as I’ve seen you. It was an incredibly intimate and amazing time to hear your grandfathers speak to God on your behalf.
Papa bought you a necklace—it’s a little anchor with a cross on top. At first glance it’s just a nautical charm for our little pirate. But the anchor reminds us of our trust in God and the cross of our future hope. And my prayer is that you will always remain anchored in God’s love and hope for you.
My precious boy, I have to admit that parenting a male is so much scarier to me than a girl. I feel like I’m handling something as delicate as fine china and more precious than gold. I pray God would give me the wisdom to fill you up on the inside and in turn lead you to Jesus, so he can complete your life.
I love you more than I can say. I’m honored and proud to be your mother. And I’m thankful and humbled that I’ve received you as a gift.