Charlotte’s Dedication Sunday

Monday, July 22, 2013

Well, I’ve finally recovered from the onslaught of family and friends we had last weekend and was finally able to sit down and sort through all of our pictures.  We dedicated Charlotte at church last weekend and had a little celebration afterward.  It was a really special weekend for us.

At our church, babies are dedicated rather than baptized.  I know not everyone is familiar with “dedication” vs. baptism, so here is a brief explanation… In dedication, we are bringing our child in front of the church and asking them to support us and pray for us as we raise our child in the Church.  The actual ceremony is similar to what you might see during a baptism—praying over the parents, praying over the baby, and asking the congregation to partner with us. The sprinkling {or dunking} of water is saved for when Charlotte is old enough to make that decision herself.

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There are many things that I pray for my daughter, but my greatest prayer is that she comes to know Jesus for herself.  We don’t want her to come to faith out of obligation or to uphold a tradition, but because she has encountered and accepted the gospel face-to-face…on her own convictions.  At that point she would be baptized to mark her acceptance of Jesus as her Savior.  This approach aligns with our beliefs and what we read in scripture, but we know that many churches and denominations have a different approach to this sacrament based on different interpretations of the Bible, and that is okay!

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That morning, after worship, Pastor Joel invited our family on stage and asked Tyler and I several questions regarding our commitment to raise Charlotte in the Christian faith. “We do.”

DSC_0287Church started at 9am, but Charlotte had been awake since 7, so I was pretty nervous by 9:30 that she was going to completely fall apart up there…

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She held it together and seemed completely enamored with all of the lights and people once we were on stage.

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As Joel was praying, we kept hearing people laugh so we peeked to see that Charlotte had taken hold of the mic stand with both hands and was shaking it all over so Joel had to keep moving his face to keep up.  It was so cute.

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The ceremony was over quickly but it was special for us to have our family and friends gathered together with our church around to support us.

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After church the woman sitting in front of us turned around and told us, “She is so confident!  That is no accident—she knows she is loved.”  I have no idea what she saw in Charlotte that made her say that, but as I have shared before, we pray specifically that she would grow up to be a confident girl… I was floored that this stranger noted that my little five month old was confident.

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We raced home after church because we invited FIFTY people over for an open house brunch to help us mark the occasion.  That is not an exaggeration—50 people really came! And our house is an old narrow two row house so I was REALLY banking on the whole “open house” concept to keep our walls from caving in.

IMG_5126[1]These pictures were set up in the front entry… The dress worn by Charlotte was made by my grandmother for my mom in…a year she wouldn’t appreciate me revealing.  The gown has since been worn by all of the girls in my family—my aunt, cousin, my sister and I, my nieces, and now Charlotte.  Our initials are all stitched in the hem of the dress with the year it was worn… It is so special to our family.

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I specifically did a brunch to make my life easier.  I did all make-ahead stuff life muffins, mini breakfast casseroles, pimento cheese sandwiches, melon, peach pies so that morning we really just needed to warm things and set them out.  I think it was a hit!  Thank you to my dear friend Jamie for manning the kitchen 25 weeks pregnant!

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IMG_5131[1]My small group was sweet enough to stop by—not too long until Julia has her own baby to eat her necklaces!  {Charlotte took a brief costume change to ensure she’s not the last person to wear that dress.}

I was so busy that morning, I really don’t have any other pictures of guests!  If anyone has any, please send them along—I would love to see them!  So many from mine and Tyler’s work came, friends from our neighborhood, friends from church… We are truly blessed to know so many awesome people who consider us friends.

Of course there was no shortage of pictures of Charlotte herself…there never are!

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DSC_0507The Woodwards…Charlotte is the 4th generation Woodward.  My great grandmother’s maiden name, and my grandmother’s, mine, and Charlotte’s middle name.  It’s a very exclusive club we’ve created…

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Of course a side-by-side of me at 9 months old wearing the same dress… I think Charlotte and I have similarities in our nose and mouth, but those expressive eyes are all Tyler!

DSC_0521bWhat a weekend baby girl—we are so proud of you, proud to share you, and so excited to see what plans God has for your future.

“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give him {her} to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord….” 1 Samuel 1:27-28

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