Thursday, April 14, 2011

Child of God

Luke Michael, you are a Child of God.

"We are people created, chosen by God.  Then we're washed ever gently in mercy and love."
-from the Hymn "Baptized and Set Free" by Skogen-Soldner

Growing up, my mom always put the sign of the cross on my forehead before bed and recited the words from my baptism, "You are marked with the cross of Christ forever."  With those words, my sister and I were reminded daily of our baptisms.  We grew up with those words being as much a part of our day as the standard Lutheran table prayer "Come Lord Jesus." 

Besides playing school and store, we also played church on occasion.  Somewhere there are quite a few stuffed animals who are a bit "holier" than the rest, after being baptized with the garden hose one summer afternoon.  :)  Ahh - childhood memories! 

My sister and I have both continued the tradition with our own children at bedtime, and I love how it is a daily reminder of their place in God's family.

Luke Michael was baptized on Sunday, April 3rd in Strawberry Point at the same church I was baptized at 30 years ago (yikes!).  What a wonderful morning!  The choir sang "Borning Cry" and our family sang "The Lord is my Shepherd."   Luke was surrounded by family and friends, and he was an angel during the service.  By the time we took pictures, however, he was hungry and mad!  We chose Matt's brother Jared and his wife Leah to be Luke's sponsors, along with my sister, Karin.

My sister Karin has had a special bond with Luke since his birth.  I think he smiles at her more than anyone else, and whenever he sees Karin you can tell he recognizes her right away.  Luke is lucky to have such a special person in his life who will love him like a 2nd mother.

My sister-in-law Leah was one of the first people who voiced her complete confidence in our ability to raise Luke.  I will never forget her reaction when I said something about not being sure we could do it.  She just shook her head to dismiss my concerns and nonchalantly said something like, "You can do it.  You'll have so much fun with him."  Leah had worked with adults with disabilities for two summers and told us how much she enjoyed hanging out with the people who had Down syndrome.  She probably doesn't even remember that conversation, but it really affected me. Thank you Leah for your insight and encouragement.

My brother-in-law Jared is one of the most caring and nurturing people I know.  What a special godfather for Luke to have.  Jared always makes time for our kids and really listens and plays with them.  Luke will grow up loving his uncle Jared!

Luke's Family (missing GG Bill and Aunt Carrie)

After the baptism we went and relaxed with our family.  I picked up the camera and starting taking pictures when I saw Gwen and Colin playing outside.  Two bright spots against a bland backdrop of pre-spring colors.
There's something magical about Spring.  It is the perfect time of year for a baptism.  New life all around, sometimes visable, but mostly hidden.  Even the dullest day feels special in Spring!

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