Tag Archives: Church of the Nazarene Baby Dedication

Mom in the Middle

17 May

But Mary treasured up all these things
and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:19

 

Even though this past weekend was full of fun times and lots of Mimi/Mom love, the ultimate Mother’s Day celebration started in my heart a month ago when our entire family gathered in Baltimore for several days.

Our 2nd airport pick-up!

Our 2nd airport pick-up!

The anticipation mounted for days as groceries were purchased, meals were prepared, gifts were wrapped, and beds were made.  Two trips to the airport completed our guest list as Ryan and Brittany arrived from Seattle and my mom flew in from Indianapolis for what we considered a montage of celebration … Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day, and Baby Lillie’s dedication.   And celebrate we did!  Regardless of holiday or occasion, family love is the best, and this Mommy’s heart was a sponge, soaking up every morsel possible … to tuck away for the weeks and months ahead.

After picking Ryan and Brittany up on day one, we loaded my van and took an afternoon trip up north to my everyday world.  Ryan wanted to see his dad before the weekend, so a tour of Tim’s workplace followed by an evening visit and a sleepover at Mimi and Papaw’s house completed our very busy day.  The following morning, long after Papaw had left for work, the day began to buzz with the busyness of playtime, a yummy leisurely breakfast and a timely departure to once again head to the airport.  It was now time to pick up Mimi Wells!  As always, she arrives bearing gifts for the little ones.  For the rest of us, her very presence is our gift … what a privilege to have my mother with me to enjoy my precious family.

Homemade biscuits and gravy greeted us all for breakfast on Friday morning, taking advantage of the fact that Mimi Wells was among us!  Playground and a duck pond, a trip to the shopping mall, Papaw’s arrival, and Kim and Troy’s stromboli for dinner completed another family fun day!

Christmas & Birthday in April!!

Christmas, Birthdays and  Mother’s Day in April!!

Saturday was full and overflowing with excitement and anticipation!  Ryan and Brittany prepared the traditional Christmas breakfast of green chili breakfast burritos…and yes, I did say Christmas.  Since our northwest kids spent the not-so recent holiday with Brittany’s family in Spokane, we postponed our own family celebration until now.  We also had a few birthday gifts included in the mound of secrecy, celebrating Ryan and Cole’s March birthdays and Lillianne the end of April.  I believe there were even a couple Mother’s Day gifts, too!  Presents were appropriately wrapped in their unique festive wear, and then clustered underneath a creatively drawn and colored Christmas tree.  A potpourri of gifts were given and received … and great fun was had by all!!

Cousins and their kids...Jason, Jax, Lillie and Kim

Cousins and their kids…Jason, Jax, Lillie, and Kim

We suddenly had to switch gears, literally … and travel 30 minutes, which was half-way to Washington DC to meet up with my nephew and his family for lunch.  They were in town from Indianapolis to meet their newborn nephew, so they accepted our invitation for the cousins and kids to all see one another.  With 3 kids under the age of 4, what better place than a nearby playground to spend some extra time after lunch!  Even the big kids had fun playing on the swings, slides, and see saws!

Our family at Lillie's dedication

Our family at Lillie’s dedication

Sunday was a very special day for our family as we all stood beside Lillianne’s parents as they presented her to the Lord in dedication.  As I listened to the words of their Pastor, I was taken back in time to two separate occasions when Tim and I stood with our families with a tiny newborn in our arms.  So long ago, we too made promises to God that we would raise our two children up to know and love Jesus.  With tears in my eyes, I am reminded of those sacred moments every time we witness another baby dedication … and this time was no exception.  As our own little granddaughter, beautiful in her special dress, was held and prayed over that morning, joy filled my heart as I realized that her parents, we her family, and this church would truly do all we could to ensure that Lillie understands what it means to walk in the way of Jesus and to entrust her life to Him.

Grandma and Pop Arndt joined us on this special day, filling the dining room table to capacity as we all gathered for yet another tasty meal.  When the excitement of the day began to settle and the guests had all gone home, the realization hit that our time together was quickly coming to an end.  We migrated into the kitchen where we simply sat around talking, laughing, discussing, telling stories … just to be together, with no distractions.  Finally, extra suitcases were brought out so the Christmas and birthday gifts could be added to the take-home luggage.  Thank goodness for Southwest Airlines and their ‘bags fly free’ policy!!

As always, family time ALWAYS comes to an end too quickly.  With my van loaded with precious cargo, I headed back to the airport early Monday morning … only this time to say “until next time!”  To hold, hug, and kiss each of my loved ones … I longed to stay in that moment, but I knew that life was waiting for them on the other side of their flights.  I had to let go.

Mimi and her loves in Annapolis, MD

Mimi and her loves in Annapolis, MD

That day was nearly a month ago now.  As we all know, life doesn’t take a holiday nor does it slow down.  The calendar announced Mother’s Day last weekend … and we did celebrate.  A week ago this morning, I drove down to Baltimore, where Kim, the kids, and I spent the day at Dock City in Annapolis ~ walking along the water’s edge, touristy shopping in the many establishments, and tasting yummy treats throughout the day.  Then on Saturday, mother and daughter attended a ladies’ tea at Grace Pointe Nazarene, where Kim was the hostess of our Hawaiian-themed table.  After dinner out that evening with Papaw, Mimi came back home.  The fun weekend with my loves was a wonderful closure to a celebration that started back in April.   Having the privilege of us all being together for those few short days was a gift to my own heart that will last forever.

I am the Mom in the middle.  My heart swells with an inexpressible love, honor, and respect for my precious mother … and the deepest gratitude to her and Daddy for raising me in a home where I knew I was loved and most importantly, that Jesus loved me.  Then my heart is humbled and in awe of the miracles of life that have literally come from God, through me.  The deep deep love for my own two children will always grip the depth of my soul and keep me on my knees for them until I die.  And the loves of their life have wrapped themselves around my heart and have captured my affections.  And now there is Cole and Lillianne.  I am the Mom in the middle … what a blessed place to be.  I have great reason and cause for celebration!!

I’m beginning to realize that we should be celebrating Jesus and Christmas every day.  Jesus and Easter every day.  Moms and Mother’s Day every day.  Won’t you join me today in living a life of continual celebration of what really counts?

Until next time,
Debbie

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

If you would like to see the entire album I posted to Facebook on this wonderful family time, please click here … https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200291340340933.1073741829.1076414018&type=1&l=b1e084fd75

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ONE ~ A Very Hungry Caterpillar

29 Apr

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:15

Big brother Cole and his brand new sister

Big brother Cole and his brand new sister

Happy 1st Birthday to our precious granddaughter, Lillianne Hope!  It’s crazy to realize that one year ago today our world became a little brighter, happier, and lovelier!  I knew that my heart was already full and overflowing with love for Cole, but to add another beating heart … this one trimmed in flowers, lace, and frills has only intensified the reality of Mimi’s love.  And as our eyes meet from time to time when we are together, there is something special that pauses the hands of time for a few seconds as Mimi and Little Miss feels the sweet connection between our hearts … until she finally squirms and giggles out of the moment.  Just like her big brother, she has a soul that is uniquely her own, and words cannot express the gratitude that is mine to know that I have a part in praying for and pointing them to Jesus.

Tasty treats for the Very Hungry Caterpillar and the party guests!

Tasty treats for the Very Hungry Caterpillar and the party guests!

In celebration of this one year milestone, the little momma planned a party that entertained the young and old alike.  The children’s book, A Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, provided a great theme, fun games, creative décor, and if you are familiar with the story, a wonderful variety of tasty treats!!   As Lillie’s Mimi, I wanted to do my part in helping to make the birthday party a success … so Papaw and I had the best job of all ~ keeping the birthday girl and her big brother for a few days, allowing mom, dad, and friends time to bake, prepare, decorate, and set up without the distraction of two little people.   At the appointed time, we arrived with the guest of honor and her escort, both clothed in appropriate birthday party attire.  Within the next 2 hours, sugar levels reached their escalated highs, along with the shrill pitches of 8 tiny voices and excited giggles over the bright and shiny new toys they were all helping Lillie to unwrap!!

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party

Lillianne, the birthday girl!

Lillianne, the birthday girl!

Before all the noise had died down and the last party favor taken, Lillie and Mimi got to escape to the quiet recesses of the nursery.  As she often does as I hold her in my arms, she slipped her tiny little fingers in my mouth as I snuggled her close.  Her eyes twinkled as a slight grin formed around the bottle, and I had to look away in order to encourage her to not play, but rather to settle down for a nap.  It didn’t take long and her happy little eyes began to droop, leaving me smiling as I looked at her beautiful eyelashes, tiny features, and to feel her precious body relax against mine. I pray that it will be a very long time before she outgrows the need to sit in Mimi’s lap.

Lillie's dedication service at Grace Pointe Nazarene

Lillie’s dedication service at Grace Pointe Nazarene

As we all know, caterpillars turn into butterflies.  One year has so quickly gone by in the life of our little very hungry caterpillar.  Before long, Lillie will feel more and more confident to use her 8 teeth and more to eat and enjoy the variety of tastes of foods that will continue to help her to grow into our own very beautiful butterfly!  A week ago Sunday, as our entire family stood before God and the congregation at Grace Point Community Church of the Nazarene, Kim and Troy dedicated Lillianne to Jesus.  They testified to two things … first, their own faith in Jesus Christ and second, their desire that Lillie will understand from the earliest beginnings what it means to walk in the way of Jesus and to entrust her life to God. This was a sign of their prayer that Lillie will live and die a Christian.  As her Mimi, my prayer echoes theirs …

Won’t you join me today in celebrating life?  Whether you have a little person in your life that has a birthday, or you have a loved one who is literally knocking on death’s door, please join me today in the unique style of a Very Hungry Caterpillar, that a beautiful butterfly will soon emerge and be the fulfillment of God’s eternal plan.

Until next time,
Debbie

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little
children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God
like a little child will never enter it.”
And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
Mark 10:14-16

  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength.
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you
sit at home and when you walk along the road,
when you lie down and when you get up.
Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9