More accurately we stood up on the stage (alter?) and promised that we as parents would DEDICATE OURSELVES to raising Levi in the church. Raising him to know God. And to hopefully someday on his own choose to follow Him as his personal savior. We made these vows to each other and to our pastor and congregation and of course to that happy clapping baby on my hip. And while a small part of my brain is always thinking "I hope we look alright" and "I hope none of my kids misbehave or vomit* on this stage". Mostly these dedication services remind me just what a privilege and an honor and HUGE responsibility it is to raise these little people that have been entrusted to us for a short time here on earth.
Looking at these pictures it's hard to believe that we would ever fail in our efforts to raise our children exactly how we promised we would. But we do. Often. We aren't always picture prefect. And tonight as I was reading the girls a bedtime story I was reminded just how much room for improvement there is in my parenting. I was reading from the children's Bible and our conversation went a little something like this...
Charlotte (interrupting my reading): The Bible also says we are supposed to obey our mom and dad.
Me: That's right!
Hannah: Mr. Michael (her favorite Sunday school teacher) says we are supposed to obey our mom and dad too.
Me: Uh huh.
Hannah: And I told Mr. Michael that one time you were screaming at us because no one was obeying. But I was obeying!
Me: You did?
Hannah: Yep. I told him you screamed. But it was just Charlotte and Isaiah that weren't obeying because I was. I obeyed. And you screamed at us.
Me: And what did Mr. Michael say?
Ok then. Wow. I may never be able to show my face in our new church again!
*Admittedly most of the time it's misbehavior I'm worried about and not vomit. However a mere twenty-four hours before these pictures were taken that adorable brunette three year old child was vomiting all over our already stained and pitiful twelve year old couch. Hence the fear of vomit. FYI - the couch was not salvageable. Our family's sanity was. And on a brighter note we've already found a newer, far less stained replacement couch thanks to CraigsList!