A letter to my son

Dear Braxton,
On Sunday we are dedicating you at church. Daddy and I had dedicated ourselves to raising you to know God (and hopefully choose to love and follow God) from before you were born. I find myself re-dedicating myself again and again. Sunday is just a formal and public way to share what we already vowed before God and each other many times before. It is going to be really special because our whole family will be there, except Uncle Matt, Aunt Christina and Karsten who live far away.
You are already 8 1/2 months old. In the past few weeks you have gone from scooting on your butt to get places, but being generally not motivated to move, to now crawling everywhere, pulling yourself up to stand and cruising around anything that will support you. It is crazy to me how quickly you are developing. Daddy jokes that tomorrow you will ask for the keys to the car! Your personality is emerging more and more as well. It is amazing to me how at such a young age we can already tell how different you are from your sister. Not that we expected or hoped you would be the same, but it still is pretty remarkable how two people can be so noticeably different basically since birth. You are an observer. You like to be in the middle of the action, but are not incredibly “outspoken”. You like to take it all in. You love attention and interaction with others though. Sometimes I call you a “Mommy Addict” because I think you just can’t get enough of me. You will hug me and kiss me and bury your head in me in such a way that I swear you are trying to climb back inside me. And of coarse I really don’t mind. It is pretty incredible to be loved so much by someone so dependent on me, so innocent, so incapable of understanding the hurts, disappointments, expectations and fears of this world. Our family is your whole world. That is such a short-lived portion of our life. I revel in the dependency, vulnerability and beauty of this age. Sometimes I look at you and your sister and do a double take because I can’t believe that you are actually mine. All the years that I played house with my sisters and our dolls, all the lists I made of baby names from the time I was in elementary school (“Braxton” was not on any of those lists, but “Hayleigh” was), all the thoughts I had of my future family, and here you are…in the flesh…smiling at me…crying for me…holding on to me…wanting me…needing me. Other than my salvation and God giving me Daddy to be my husband, being your Mommy is the most wonderful gift I have ever received. I feel as though this was my calling in life. The desires of my heart are satisfied in you and your sister: my babies.
Hayleigh made me a Mommy and I felt an instant peace and satisfaction in life. As if this is what God had meant me for all along. When you came I became a Mommy all over again. I think I feel more “validated” in motherhood now that you are here as well. There is quotation from the movie Chariots of Fire that sums up how I feel in being your mommy: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” When I watch you and Hayleigh play, when I hold you next to my chest, when I peek in a see you asleep in your crib, I feel a wave of peace, joy and fulfillment rush over me. I know this is the greatest blessing, opportunity, privilege  and challenge that God has ever given to me.
That is why we chose to dedicate you. We are really more dedicating ourselves than you. We are saying that as much as I love to believe that you are mine, you really belong to God. He has entrusted your life to me while you are here on earth. I am a steward. That is an amazing and intimidating role. We dedicate ourselves as parents because we know that our responsibility and our deepest desire are one in the same: to raise you to know about God, to see God in everyday life, to see God mirrored in our lives. We cannot make our goal for you to have a relationship with God, although that is what Daddy and I both long for and pray for, because that is a choice that you have to make. We can only strive to be Godly parents who model what it means to follow, love, and obey God. In our short-comings we can try to point you to your perfect Heavenly Father. That is why we are dedicating you. We recognize the magnitude of raising a child. We feel the weight of it. It is as daunting as it is beautiful. By declaring our intentions, our desires, our goals in front of our family, friends and church body Daddy and I are saying publically what we promised to God and each other out loud and in the silence of our hearts many times before.
As you continue to grow and develop at warp speed, I will do my best to enjoy the big and small moments and as Mary did when Jesus was born “treasure up all these things and ponder them in (my) heart” Luke 2:19. I will pray that you come to know God and have a deep and personal relationship with Him. And I will work on my own relationship with God knowing that I can not give you or expect from you what I do not have myself. Being a Mom is the hardest, most rewarding, most challenging, most wonderful, most incredible task I have ever been given. Being a mom is something I am dumb founded at the magnitude of. Being your mom is something I thank God for everyday. I can’t wait to get to know you more and more as your personality continues to manifest itself. I hope that someday this will all make sense to you, and not just in an academic way, but that it will resonate with you. I pray that your gifts, talents, interests and God given personality will be used by God for his glory. And I continue to pray for myself and re-dedicate myself time and time again to being the Mommy that God has called me to be. I really believe, as cliché, as it sounds that this is my highest calling. I so long to do it “right”.  It is so easy to get caught up in the craziness of the every day. It is also very easy to get bogged down under the weight of my responsibilities to you and to God as your Mommy. This is another reason we are dedicating you, because there is no way I could do any of this without God. Not that dedicating you magically unleashes heavenly power onto my shoulders, but because it serves as a reminder of the truth that not only can I not do it alone, but I don’t have to. God loves you more than I could ever imagine and for some reason He entrusted you to my care. And I am grateful beyond words. I love you my sweet boy.
Love Mommy

photo credit Rachel Ann Photography

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