On Sunday, May 8, Mother's Day, we dedicated baby Joey to the Lord.
The dedication began with Joe reading this passage:
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with loveingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
When the wind has passed over it, it is no more.
And its place acknowledges it no longer.
But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him.
And his righteousness to children's children,
To those who keep His covenant
And remember His precepts to do them.
Psalm 103:1-5, 8, 10-18
In the midst of a sacred moment, God always seems to drop a bit of funny reality into our lives. If you look closely in the above picture, you'll see spit up all over baby Joe's face. Approximately five seconds before we walked onto stage he spit up all over the floor and my open-toed sandal. The instant after he spit up, they called us out onto stage. I used my hand to wipe his mouth off and walked out on stage with puke in my hand and on my feet. Clearly I wasn't as thorough in cleaning him up as I had previously thought.
If his expression looks a little intense, it's because he spent the entire dedication pooping. From the time we stepped puke-footed onto stage to the time we left he was busy filling his pants.
I would like to take a moment to draw attention to Joey's wardrobe: baby bow tie (made by me) and shiny black dress shoes. Impractical, silly, but completely adorable. The very kind of thing that makes my husband roll his eyes.
As for the girls, I have no idea what they were whispering about, but shortly after that conversation, they got very serious.
After Joe shared from Psalm 103, our good friend Chee Kin prayed for Joey. We were so touched and honored by what he prayed. He took some time to think and research and write a very thoughtful prayer.
At my request, Chee Kin sent me a written copy of what he prayed:
We bring before you baby Joseph and commit him and his parents to you.
We know in Genesis that the name Joseph means "may he add or increase.” Today, we pray you will add and increase in him over time:
· Wisdom, so that he will grow up wise and learn to trust in you with all his heart, leaning not on his own understanding, but that in all things acknowledging you
· Godliness, so that he will be attentive to your calling and leading like Samuel was growing up in the temple
· Courage and confidence in you, so that he can accomplish big things even as David the young shepherd was able to confront the mighty Goliath
· Obedience and loyalty to you and his parents, so that he will grow up to be a faithful and dedicated servant of yours just as Joshua never left the tent of the Lord even as Moses returned to the camp after speaking with you
· And finally love that will bear all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things that are of yours, Lord.
We pray that you will work through Trisha and Joe as your servants and shepherds in Joey’s life so that these things we prayed for will come to pass. And we pray for us as a body of Christ to surround the Pulls with support and encouragement.
Thank you Jesus, giver and sustainer of all life. And in your name we pray. Amen.
After Chee Kin prayed, I took over the microphone. Baby Joe is named after his father and his Uncle Andy, Joe's brother. I thought it would be special for both Joe and baby Joey to have Andy pray for baby Joey during the dedication. As a surprise to Joe, I had arranged for Andy, Joe's brother, to make an appearance during the dedication via video conference.
Andy magically popped up on the screen at the right time and prayed for baby Joe.
One of the things that we dislike about living far from family is that we miss opportunities to have them be a part of important moments in our lives. It was really special for us to have Andy included in our dedicating baby Joe to the Lord.
Thanks, Andy, for your prayers and for being a part of a special morning with us.
The girls got to wave goodbye to Uncle Andy before we left the stage.
There were four other families dedicating babies that day. After each took a turn individually, our pastor, Colin challenged us corporately and then prayed.
We're grateful for you baby Joe. You're a precious gift.
It is our prayer that the truths of Psalm 103 would penetrate your heart in deep, real ways in the years to come, and by God's grace, you would pursue Him with your whole heart and whole life.
Photo credit: Thanks to InShil Hartman for all the pictures.