This day was a very special day for our family. There was a lot of prayer and preparation that went into Bennett's dedication celebration. Through our church program, we were guided to reflect on what it means to raise a child in a Christ-centered home. We were asked to ponder not on what he was going to do when he got older (like play baseball or get good grades), but think more deeply about who he was going to be one day. It really made us stop and think (and tear up too) about how WE were responsible for how Bennett is molded and shaped throughout his life. He watches what WE do, listens to what WE say, learns to treat others how WE do. Of course we've always known this, but it hit us hard with the exercises we went through leading up to the big day.
Going through this dedication was a huge step in my faith as well....helping me to see that there is so much more to being like Jesus than just lending a hand or being kind to people. God blessed Michael and I with a life-changing responsibility when we became parents- and that is to be disciples so that we can make a disciple. We want to share God's love and teach his grace by example so that Bennett may become the man we hope he will some day.
We wrote a letter to Bennett for this day and shared it back at our house with our closest friends and family members. I expressed to everyone, after I read the letter (through my sobbing tears), how much they all meant to Michael and I. We whole-hardheartedly mean that. Raising a baby with no family close by has been a challenge to say the least. Our Greenville family has been a blessed gift from God and we would not have made it without you all. God sure knows what he's doing when he places you somewhere specific and also in a specific career.
To Reyes: Thank you for your many babysitting services (free babysitting services I might add)
|Reyes and Adriel|
|Bennett and Olivia|
To Mann: Thank you for holding Bennett (even though it's never for very long. Every bit counts to a tired Momma)
To Sarah: Thank you for Baby Zit advice, sewing lessons so I could make Bennett's first stocking, and just your overall calmness towards motherhood. And thank you also for being such an inspiration on great parenting. Owen is a wonderful little boy and great big brother.
|Bennett, Owen, and Lincoln (Sarah's little boys)|
To Anne: Thank you for the best PJs ever. I don't think he owns any other pair that has fit him as long as the racecar ones..seriously...4 months- 9 plus months. You've got skills woman. Your purchase saves us money!
To Jen: Thank you for coming to our rescue when we need you. Being able to be at my Uncle David's funeral meant the entire world to me- and you made that possible.
To Kira: Thank you for giving my hair a break and letting Benn play with yours. It means a lot, really. And the pictures you take of him are always perfect.
Kira Lynn Bowers took all the pictures of the day. She is just starting a photography business and does a great job! Check out her Facebook page: Reflections by Kira Lynn Photography! Thank you so much Kira for your beautiful pictures. I love you and your generosity.
To Chelsea: What can I say? Thank you for standing in whether I think I need you or I don't. Thanks for folding my laundry and playing with him (at the same time). Thanks for loving Bennett as your own and hitting the bubbles button repeatedly on our road trip to Florida. Thanks for being a wonderful Godmother.
To our families: to the furthest ones away, to the closest ones.... we are so thankful that we have you. Nothing is better than family. Even if we can't come over whenever we want or are able to call you to meet you for lunch with Bennett, the support and love from afar is overwhelming. The weekend would not have been possible nor as special without all you there!
|Most of my family|
|Grandma Sue and Grandpa Danny|
Daddy- thank you for bringing flowers to liven up the house for the day. They're actually STILL alive! Can you believe it?
Mom- thanks for putting so much thought into Bennett's dedication gifts. You know me so well and I can't wait to wear the baby ring around my neck, just as you did with ours.
Aunt Brenda- thank you for showing up a day early to help prep, bake, and do your "thang!"
Uncle Bruce- thank you for coming and presenting a lovely ham! Boneless is for rookies though. ;o)
|Great Uncle Bruce and Aunt Brenda|
Pam- thank you for finding me a dress slip VERY last minute! Whew! Thank you also for the delicious lasagna. There's nothing like getting to sit down as ENTIRE family over a yummy meal!
Mike- thank you for hauling the dogs back AGAIN to Greenville in that pretty truck of yours...you're a gem! It was wonderful to have our entire family back together again for the day.
|Nana and Papa Thompson|
Grandma- Thank you for the gift of family. Generations are such a blessing. Watching you with Bennett brings me so much joy. I love you so much and it makes my heart warm to see him light up so much around you too.
Stevie- Thank you for making the trip to Greenville. I appreciate it so much. I know it's hard to juggle school right now, but by making time for family you show your compassion and heart. I'm so proud to be your sister. Oh- and thank you for shaving. :o)
|The one and only, Uncle Stevie|
We had a beautiful day. Bennett's Godparents were there, "Aunt" Chelsea (one of my best friends) and Stephen, my brother (Bennett's only uncle). Pam and I decided on a beautiful cake and had it made by Kathy and Co. It was marble with chocolate-chip filling! Delicious! If you've never had one of their cakes, you MUST try them! They did Michael and I's wedding and grooms cake as well!
We got to take pictures on our new church pew! It was the perfect place for a photo opp!
|Bennett, Olivia, and Lincoln|
The ceremony was very nice, but oh how I wish it could have been more intimate. There was so much more I wanted to say. There were twelve other babies being dedicated besides Bennett! For our next child (if we are blessed with one), I would love to do a private ceremony at the house.
|Explaining why we chose Ephesians 1:18-19|
I am so happy though that there are that many other families deciding to raise their children in a Christ-centered home as well. We got to read his life verse and also explain the reason we picked it for him.
His life verse is:
" I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparable great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength.'"
He looked like a little cherub in his outfit. We got it at The Grey Goose here in Greenville. My favorite part of the outfit were the Italian leather shoes. I wish he would have liked them more though. :o) It took me, Michael, and Chelsea to get them on him. Boys will be boys! I hope this outfit gets passed down through many generations!
|Big shoes troubles...|
We had an assortment of flavored Puffs set out on the table for the kiddos to munch on. Puffs are Bennett's favorite snack. Some of the adults indulged too!
|Puffs! Benn's favorite!|
Also on the the table was Bennett's "I Love the Lord" box. His guests had the opportunity to write a message to him that would help him in his walk with the Lord throughout his life.
|"I love the Lord" box|
It was a perfect day. Our sweet baby was dedicated to the Lord and we spent the afternoon nestled in our new house with everyone who loves him.
|Bennett's little gang|
It could not have been much better. The only downfall was that he did go to bed with a 103.4 fever that night... :( Those darn teeth....
|Sweet Mama Lovin'|
We love you sweet baby Bennett!