On May 22nd, we had Cora dedicated at our church. It was a very significant event for us as a family, and I have put off writing about it because I haven't been sure I would be able to express adequately what it meant to us. And, if I'm honest, I'm afraid of silence. I used to get lots of comments on this blog after I was featured on other blogs, but things have gotten pretty quiet lately. It's probably because I was featured as a craft / decorating blog, and posts about my kids don't really interest those who don't know me. I totally get that. However, I can't cater just to those who don't know me. One of my main reasons for blogging is to keep a record of our lives for my children, and I want them to know how incredibly important Cora's dedication was to us.
So, despite my fears that people won't care, I have to stay true to my heart and my kids and write about something that matters to us...
We are thankful to go to a small church. We are not mega-church people at all. We want a church where we can know people and have everyone know us - where we can build lots of meaningful relationships. We just want to be driven by Jesus and not distracted by numbers. One of the benefits of having a small church is that it can be really personal. And that's exactly what Cora's dedication was.
In the past, our church has done mass dedications the way most churches do. However, they weren't really personal or meaningful. We didn't dedicate Cora as an infant because it didn't seem important to to stand up front and have her look cute for two minutes without giving any real thought to the reason we were there.
One day, our children's ministry director - and my good friend - Hope, shared with me that her kids' dedications were some of the most significant days of her life. I simply couldn't understand that. Brennan's dedication had been nice, but I would hardly count it as that significant.
As I talked with Hope about how I wish dedications at our church were more meaningful, she started plotting and scheming to make them just that. And before I knew it, she announced that the church was going to try something new: dedicating only one child in a given month.
The new method would require "homework" for the parents which included writing a letter to the child about who they wished the child would become. The point was not just to talk about worldly success, but to talk about our deepest prayers and aspirations for our child.
Writing this letter was the most significant part of Cora's dedication. It gave us an opportunity to be thoughtful about parenting and how we defined "success" in Cora's life. It was a chance to be intentional.
After we had finished our homework, Hope came to our house and videotaped us talking about Cora, and reading our letters. We probably shot 45 minutes of unedited video, which she is going to burn to CD for us to give to Cora someday. I cannot imagine what that would mean to me, to have something like that from my parents. It makes me cry and gives me goosebumps to think about it.
In the end, the video was pared down to about 3.5 minutes, which were shared with the congregation. Then we were called up front, Hope read some scripture, and our pastor, Jay, prayed for Cora. It was very, very sweet.
If you'd like to watch the video that was shared with the church, you can view it here.
The dedication is just a chance to acknowledge that our children belong to Jesus. We want nothing more in this whole world than for our kids to know, love, and serve God. It's really that simple. We are thankful to Hope and our church for an opportunity to proclaim that in a way that will hopefully impact others and leave a legacy for our kids.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.