Monday, June 22, 2009

Weekend Recap: Birthday Party, Father's Day & Baptism

Oh, what a weekend! It was exhausting and exhilarating and beautiful and so full of such incredible love. I am, literally, hoarse today and need to take a break from talking and doing and just BE. It was just a great weekend.

First there was Katie's birthday party on Saturday morning.

It was blazing hot and of course we had planned an outdoor party. Dan's cousin, Juggling Jeff, put on a show for us. He is funny and entertaining and the kids loved heckling him, Katie especially. (She is a lippy six year old now! As opposed to the lippy five year old she once was...)
Jeff juggled balls and bowling pins and FIRE - even on a ball in the heat on a hill. Sheesh! What a guy!

I think Katie had a blast with everyone and loved being the center of attention.

Saturday night, I joined about 20 other baptizees and spoke at two church services. I was completely nervous and scared to do this, because it is very much out of my comfort zone. However, it turned out very well and I am so glad that I did it. I felt God's presence and courage while I was on the stage, and the best news is I didn't even throw up! Seriously, it felt great to share part of my story and to hear encouragement from others.

Sunday morning was a big Father's Day focus for Dan and the kids. We fed him breakfast in bed (our usual Sunday morning chocolate chip waffles), showered him with gifts, then left him alone to eat in peace. After breakfast, Katie begged to go on a bike ride so we obliged. It was hot but fun too. Dan escaped to take his own dad to a movie, and I worked on a project that made my dad feel closer too. That was nice. When the evening rolled around, the focus fell from Dan and onto me.

We headed to our church, Windsor Crossing, for my baptism. (Here's a link to the 2005 video.) It was flaming hot and the baptizees were all dressed in dark clothes to avoid the wet t-shirt peep show, but somehow I didn't mind too much. Despite the discomfort, I felt a huge outpouring of love. I had so many people there to support me: my husband and kids, in-laws, neighbors, friends from so many different walks of my life, and even one of my former pastors happened to be there to witness someone else's baptism. Dan and our friend Michael also walked beside me the entire way as my Water Witnesses. I was so humbled and honored to have about so many people there, boiling in the heat, just for me. Just to watch me take Christ's hand and dance. Does anyone out there know what an amazing, powerful, unbelieveable feeling that is? It's indescribable, y'all.
And then... And. Then. To step into that water with a heart that was trembling from fear (remember the judgment I wrote about?), but also trembling from excitement and love and humility and gratefulness... ah. The pastor told me to look at these people who were here to witness my journey, but that only made me more nervous. So I just closed my eyes and let my heart fill with peace. The Spirit calmed me, and my worries floated away as I was gently laid back and under the water, then lifted up into the light. Joy replaced all the other emotions in my heart, and I went straight to Dan to hug him and share our strength. It was, again, indescribable.
So I will let the photos do the rest of the talking. You'll see all the excitement and celebration that my church goes through for this celebration, and you'll see some of my friends and family in the photos too. I also slipped in some of the beautiful mementos and flowers that were gifted to me as a reminder of this day in my life. A special thank you to our friend Keith for taking the photos all day.

And, God? Thank you for such a vivid demonstration of your love for me. I am yours!
Note: You'll need to pause the music player on my blog sidebar before you watch this video.

video

11 comments:

Beth Mc said...

The video was amazing I got chills all over again. I am so honored to have been there to see it in person. You are so inspiring. I am so happy and proud of you.

Gina said...

Your post got me teary but the video REALLY made me cry! L even asked, "What's Wong, Mommy?" LOL. That is awesome...in the true meaning of the word. I wish we could have been there....it would have been much more inspiring and joy-filled than rushing to B's dad's, my dad's, and cutting the grass!! Seriously, congratulations. I promise, one day, we'll try out your church. :)

Michelle said...

As we love to say at our church "From Death to Life!"
Congratulations!! That video is such an AWESOME memento! :)

Jeff and Brandi said...

ok, I am crying watching that video. Again, we couldn't be happier for you. Walking with God is an amazing journey! We love you Elizabeth and are so excited for you and this amazing testimony of your love for God!

Catrina said...

HALLELUIA! I am so so very happy for you!

L4H said...

I am so happy and proud for you and humbled that you asked me to join you in the water. It was a great reminder of how I felt at my baptism 2 years ago. Again, thank you and congratulations!

scrappysue said...

i WANT that cupcake holder! gorgeous party pics!

Gretchen said...

Sounds like a fabulous time! Thank you for sharing the video!!!

Robin said...

wow ... wow

(That's me... speechless)

ExtraordinaryMommy said...

Congratulations my beautiful friend. What a gorgeous tribute to an inspiring, love filled, hopeful day. Wish we could have been there to join you! My favorite picture is Dan hugging you right after - you both wear your love for each other like a halo. Gorgeous.

And Happy belated Birthday Katie - Can't believe how she is growing!

Brina said...

I wanted to tell you again how much respect I have for what you did. The commitment of being Baptized is incredible to me. There are tears in my eyes and a smile on my face after watching the video. I love you <3

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