The Macs

Thursday, May 17, 2012

griffin's dedication





(photos by Ian Johnson)

Four years ago on Mother's Day we dedicated Cora. Two years ago on Mother's Day we dedicated Levi. And this year on Mother's Day we dedicated little Griffin. This is what we wrote about Griffin for the dedication:

In Welsh the name Griffin means “strong in faith”. We chose Jeremiah 9:23-24 for Griffin. It is our prayer that Griffin would grow up to be a man of strength because he understands and knows our Heavenly Father. We naturally want our boys to be strong and smart, but we are praying that Griffin would have the kind of strength that only comes from Him...the kind of strength that points others to Him.

Griffin’s middle name is James after Joel’s brother, James. James has a passion for people and for others to know Jesus. As we pray for Griffin to understand and know God, we pray that his life will also overflow with a passion for the things that concern our Heavenly Father...just like his Uncle James.

Griffin has such a sweet personality, he thinks his big brother is awesome, and he resembles his sister Cora in so many ways. Griffin is a blessing to our family and we are so grateful that the Lord has entrusted him to us.

My feelings this year on Griffin's dedication day were very similar to my feelings two years ago when we dedicated Levi. Although we have dedicated Griffin to the Lord since the day he was born, there is a certain heaviness that comes as we stand up in front of our church body to publicly give back to God, what He has so graciously given us in the gift of our son, Griffin. Don't get me wrong. I know God is sovereign over my kids. I know that He loves them way more than I do...His plan for their lives is far greater than my plans for them. But if I'm honest, there is a certain heaviness in that too. Knowing that I have to hold my kids loosely in my hands. And knowing what it is like to have to let go. They are His. God has given us the amazing gift and responsibility to raise them. But sometimes I want to hold on too tight. If you ask me if I trust God, I would say yes. But the reality is that I still struggle. I still have to make a daily choice to trust God fully...especially when it comes to my kids.

And then I think about my purpose and calling as a mom. I get overwhelmed when I think of the huge responsibility I have in teaching and training these boys in God's Word. I want them to come to understand and know God. I want them to love God and serve Him with all of their hearts for all of their days. Last week in Bible study we were talking about our call as Christians to persevere...to remain steadfast, to build up our faith, to keep learning, to keep praying. Persevering can seem overwhelming at times. Thankfully we are not called to persevere in our own power, but in the persevering powers of God, who is "able to keep us from falling" (Jude 24). I think I can apply that to being a mom too. I am called...along with Joel...to bring my boys up in the training and instruction of the Lord. This seems like an overwhelming task, but it is a job that I don't have to do (and can't do!) in my own power, but in the persevering powers of God.

I smiled today at our last BSF for the year when I saw that the home training sheet was about the privilege of being a parent. I guess it is something the Lord is trying impress on my heart right now! There was one paragraph on seeking God's perspective in parenting and I love what these two parents had to say,

"The first thing I did when I opened my eyes each morning was to thank God that He knew everything the hours of that day held for me and then to ask Him to help me fulfill the purpose of that one day."

"I tried to think consciously of God's presence flowing through me to my children. Through me, God's own arm loved my child, protecting him, restraining him, teaching him. Through me, God's voice was speaking to my child in wisdom, in pleasure, in admonition. What a difference it made in my reactions to rely on God's power instead of resorting to my human instincts!"
(BSF International, The Acts of the Apostles 2011)

I love being a mom, but I know I don't have the strength within myself to be the kind of mom my boys need without the power of God. I am so thankful for His power at work within me!

Attention, Israel!
God, our God! God the one and only!
Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that's in you, love him with all you've got!
Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (The Message)

8 Comments:

Blogger Lyssa at Living Simple in the South said...

Beautiful Jes! You should write a book someday, you have such a great way of humbly encouraging! WE dedicated Weston and Ally together this past fall and it is such a special day, glad we were able to see a window into your day! LOVE LOVE LOVE your thoughts on how it can be overwhelming at time raising our children in the ways of the Lord, I read power of a praying parent last year and the thing I most took away was just to pray, cover them in prayer over every circumstance you worry about...even if it seems like something God wouldnt care about!
PS...you looked so cute, as did your whole family :)

May 17, 2012 at 7:52 AM  
Blogger Meggie said...

I love everything you wrote about... and I too am guilty of wanting to hold on too tight and struggling with trusting God with my babies. You are a great example and I appreciate you sharing your heart. Your family looked beautiful on Griffin's dedication day!

May 17, 2012 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I just started following your blog and I LOVE it. Your well written words and advice really help me. And the fact the you open your heart and share openly inspire me. Thanks so much for the encouragment.

May 17, 2012 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger Auntie EM said...

I really like Griffin's dedication. I continue to be in awe at your faith and trust in God. After losing my husband, mother and father in a short 7 month period of time 3 years ago, I wondered if I had enough faith, hope and trust to move forward. But low and behold, He sent me tender mercies when my only son and his wife had their baby boy only one year after the last of those 3 amazing people passed away. My 3 kids live with me so I get to see my grandson (who turns 2on Sunday) every single day. The Lord called my 3 family members back home but He sent me those 3 children to be part of my every day life. Thank you for sharing a little bit of your family with strangers. I am only one of many who are glad we found your blog and admire you and your family so very much. Hold on as tight as you can and continue to trust the Lord. He knew what was best for your beautiful Cora and He knows what is best for you. He is aware and knows of your heartache and how much you miss her but she is safe in His arms for now. I hope you have a wonderful happy day today.

May 17, 2012 at 10:19 AM  
Anonymous Annabel said...

I bet your Mom and Dad were very proud to have both baby Griffin and Webb dedicated! You all looked so cute and happy. Thanks for sharing, Jess. Your words always inspire and encourage.

May 17, 2012 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Meghan said...

What an amazing post. I have goosebumps. You encourage me so much Jess. You were a topic at my own bible study this week. I often think of you as we answer questions about our weekly sermons at church. The strength that you have and the honor you bring to Him despite all of the hardships you've endured makes me feel so lucky to have stumbled onto your blog last summer. Thank you as always for your honesty and encouraging words. Your children are so lucky to have you as their Momma!

May 17, 2012 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger Beki - TheRustedChain said...

This is so sweet.
Baby dedications get me every time.

May 18, 2012 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Nguyen Family said...

I just started following your blog and am totally inspired by your passion for not only your children, your husband, your family as a whole but also your love for our God. You are an inspiration for other moms, like myself. I, too, can totally relate to wanting to hold on to our children and at times forget that they really do belong to our Heavenly Father. They really are his and I struggle with that as well. As a Mom, I want to squeeze tight and NEVER let go. One of my mommy friends recently recommended the following book to me: Learning to Let Go by Carol Kuykendall. I have yet to read it but it is all about just that... learning to let go of our babies and trust that God will lead the way.
Just thought I'd share. Thanks for blogging and allowing others (like me) to follow. Blessings!

May 23, 2012 at 11:28 PM  

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