Baptism

Sunday (aside from being Mother’s Day) included church, as our Sundays do. As usual, I found myself with tears streaming down my face following worship, not wanting it to end, needing it not to end. The message was an explanation of the kinds of baptism.

I won’t go into all the details – but there are three kinds of baptism, two of them being spiritual and the other the physical baptism. The church we attend dedicates babies and baptizes, in a tank, the teens and adults when they are ready to “take the plunge” and symbolize the old life turning to the new. 

These types of messages always get me thinking, comparing the differences between the church I was raised in and the church we are attending these days. Honestly, I don’t have a strong opinion on what is right or wrong about either – both make sense to me. (And coincidentally, my dad posted a photo on Facebook the night before, comparing baptisms with donuts – my UMC roots are “sprinkles”!)

What I do know is that I’ve always understood my baptism, probably because I grew up in a church and was literally raised by it. I thought my baptism anniversary date was today (May 9), however, I must have things wrong because the Sundays in that year were the 8th and 15th. Time to find that baby book (because I’ve been living as though that’s been the date for YEARS). But anyways.

For me, my baptism was a sign of a dedication from my parents to bring me up in the church (little did they know that my dad would become a pastor a few years later), a deal I sealed when I was 13 and became a Christian. And since then, I’ve remembered it, renewing my faith during each baptism I’ve attended; remembering in services like the time my dad did a “bubble” service at a youth retreat (really cool moment – right after Wendy passed). And I’m not going to lie…I’ve even been mulling over a new baptism, one to symbolize the new me as an adult.

So it got me thinking…and confirmed…I’ve not shared the kids’ baptism photos here on the blog! Now, they might not remember these dates like I do, but I’ll be sure to remember. Maybe they’ll see this as their dedication and then in a few years decide to “get pickled” (if you go to NLC you know what I am talking about!) and let go of the old life for the new. Regardless, these were important days for me, symbols of our faith commitment, so worth sharing (especially as the girls’ one year is today).

Arianna – December 21, 2008 – Ford Memorial UMC

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What a ‘lil sweetie. She was dressed in a beautiful gown the my mom made out of her wedding dress, but in typical Pappy-baptism style, sweetie got soaked and changed into her Steelers onesie (like we Burghers do).

I was so glad that my best friend (Missy) and my brother (Jack) could stand with me. This was a tough time in my life, but you’d have no idea when you look at that smile. I was smiling so big because my family is so amazing to me and had me so supported that day. I knew that I’d made the right choices to raise my baby girl and that God had a plan. And woo-boy does He have one for me and that ‘lil lady. Things were (and DID) going to work out.

Evan – December 24, 2010 – Manorville UMC

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I’m not sure why we look so ’90s in this photo (hellllllooooo flash?!?!), but another amazing memory for us. Arianna and I had found our forever, Greg, and welcomed a baby brother a few years later. My cousins Jess and Dan, also with us through it all, stood with us on Christmas Eve. Evan was a week old.

That ‘lil snoozing baby boy has grown into my ‘lil prayer warrior, ensuring we pray before road trips and when we’re not feeling well.

Ava and Isla – May 10, 2015 – East Brady UMC

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Pappy may have got their names a wee-bit mixed up that day, but he got the main points right – asking Greg and I to raise these two ‘lil ladies up in faith and love. It may have taken us a few more months to find our current faith home, but they have always been covered in prayer since we saw those two pink lines (just like with their sister and brother).

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Each ones’ faith journey, like mine and Greg’s too, will be their own; however, these kids are definitely aware of God’s hand in their lives. And that? That’s worth remembering year after year.

 

 

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