This is a difficult post to write. True, I can tell you the facts about the day, no problem. But when I think about Jack’s Baptism, and what I’d like to remember… things related to how we felt… well now… that’s a much more challenging task. A few friends who were there asked me that very question “How do you feel?” and I couldn’t answer. Oh, I did answer of course, but I knew that if I answered truthfully the poor soul that dared ask was in for a long, tearful explanation. Thinking that was not actually what they were after I answered with lamely insufficient things like “Wonderful.”
The week before his baptism I spent time making sure all of the physical preparations for the day had been taken care of. I shopped, I froze cookie dough and soup, I cleaned, I laundered, I laid things out, I dotted i’s and crossed t’s, all with the hope that his baptism day would be terribly peaceful. Performing these tasks allowed me time to myself and afforded my mind some space to ponder and to pray. More than once I was overcome with joy as I felt the love of my Father in Heaven pouring out his blessings upon me and upon our little family. The spirit was so strong and so near. I thought about Jack, such an amazing, loving, strong spirit in our home. I thought about my Corey, who was preparing so diligently to administer the ordinances. I thought about the Savior and His Gospel. I thought about our extended family, our friends, our home, years gone by and our lovely, lovely life together. I counted my blessings and let my heart rejoice in all I’ve been given!
I am so incredibly blessed! Now, my life is not without it’s trials and heartaches. I’d like to think in my 28 years I have had my fair share, but those things felt (as they so often do) very far away, and so terribly small in comparison to the abundant blessings I enjoy. There’s no life in this whole world I’d rather have than mine. (And I sincerely hope that everyone reading this, regardless of their struggles and heartaches, feels exactly the same way! I know many of you do!)
I feel inadequate in expressing it, but hopefully you can tell… my heart was, and still is, so full.
Would you like to see the pictures now???
Before the baptism, dressed in white with Dad:
Corey and Jack went alone together to the church to fill the font and set up the room. There was some debate as to whether Jack would go that early or not, but Corey is really glad that he did. They did the necessary items, recited the scripture Jack had memorized (Yep! He did it! He passed it off completely and beautifully to Corey and I the night before his Baptism!) changed into the baptism clothing, read scriptures and did lds.org activities. They took the opportunity to pray together before the whole thing began. Corey reports that he thought Jack, bouncing around with energy and excitement was extremely cute.
And those were by far the best shots of the day!!! From here things get pretty scary folks! Alaster wanted to be in this next one even though I was hoping for one with just Jack/Mom/Dad. (Aly, while very sweet and happy for Jack as always, may have also been showing a few signs throughout the day that it wasn’t so easy to have Jack so completely in the spotlight!)
Corey’s eyes closed first… now my turn… (and that’s a nice face Jack has)
What is Jack looking at like that in this one I wonder?!?…
After pictures it was off to the Primary room and time to begin! The program was pretty short and sweet. Some of the people Jack had asked to participate ended up being unavailable, so a few other dear friends stepped in. I gave the talk on Baptism, Gram on the Holy Ghost. Grampa said the closing prayer.
The water was unfortunately cold… and poor Jack is so thin! He gasped pretty loudly when he came up and I wondered what the deal was. Corey told me later what had happened. No worries though, Jack still had a great attitude about it!
My favorite part of the day was when Jack received the Holy Ghost. I had been praying about the kind of experience Jack would have on his baptism day. I had asked Heavenly Father repeatedly to bless Jack with the kind of experience that I had as a child. I basically don’t remember a SINGLE THING about my baptism day except for when my Grandpa laid his hands on my head and gave me the gift of the Holy Ghost. I remember feeling the spirit course through my whole body, filling me with warmth and light. It was a powerful and formative experience that I hoped Jack could also have. More than anything, I wanted him to feel the spirit strongly, and for him to recognize what it was that he was feeling. We had done our part as parents to describe the workings of the spirit to him, and the morning of his baptism I asked that the veil be thin and for angels to attend us.
Corey gave him the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and pronounced a beautiful blessing upon him. I certainly felt the spirit, but immediately following the ordinance I was unsure of what Jack had felt. Jack loves being the center of attention for some things, but in other things it makes him extremely uncomfortable… such was the case on baptism day. He expressed his discomfort in total nervous goofiness (is he my kid or what?!?) and avoidance (as in… “no I won’t hug everyone in the circle… not even Dad!… I’ll just run straight back to my chair! Thank you very much!).
But later… when we were alone… I got to ask him about how he felt, and I wasn’t disappointed with his answer. More on that later in the post 🙂
This next collage has a couple of things… A picture with Jack and Ethan (Ethan is Jack’s best friend at school, we were delighted to have his whole family come and support Jack! Ethan comes from a very Christian home with similar values to us!) and Jack with Sister Barnes who said the opening prayer, Brother Savage who led the music (I thought it was so cute that he asked Jeff when Sis. Larsen was unavailable!), and Sister Skousen who played the piano. Thanks guys! We sure love you!!!
It also shows you what I mean about him feeling uncomfortable…
After chatting with everyone who came, and eating some treats, we went to the foyer again for some family photos. We were so grateful that Casey and Kristine were able to travel from Chicago to come! And of course we were grateful for Uncle Tyler, Gram and Grampa as always.
We sure missed our family out west! They all sent their love and support to us though, and we know that they wanted to be there, and that they were thinking of us.
We love all of our extended family so much!!!
We tried so hard for a good one with us! Ed, if you got a good one, I need it! I love Jack extremely, and it had been a long afternoon so I will forgive these faces…
Corey… what was going on in this one?!?…
I ask you… is it so wrong for a girl to want good pictures on special days?
My short attempt at a “Brothers,” pic:
Honestly, those ones just make me laugh!
So back to how Jack felt…In the car on the way home I had a quick moment to ask him. He told me that he felt very good and that he had felt the spirit. I didn’t get a chance to have him elaborate on it just then, but I was happy to get that little glimpse before the day got crazy again.
Then the Monday after his baptism for FHE we had a lesson about journaling, and the importance of recording sacred experiences. My Grandma and Papa gave Jack a wonderful Baptism remembrance book, and at the end of the lesson Jack and I went to the kitchen to fill it out. The first few pages were all about recording the details of the day:
Towards the end there was a section where he could record how he felt. How sweet is this, people?
In case you didn’t quite understand… he felt : Very, very, very excited and happy, special (he also told me that he felt loved but that he wasn’t going to write that one!), official (he is an official member of the church now, and I guess he felt the “official”ness of that!), tingly (that one came when I was talking to him about how he felt when Dad gave him the Holy Ghost), like Heavenly Father was watching me (He added a “because he was!” when he said what he was going to write! I was very touched by that one. I am so glad he felt his Father near! How neat!), proud of myself for doing the right thing (sounds like the spirit confirming a good decision), and proud of memorizing scripture (again, he’s referring to THIS. He did work hard!) and finally… nervous. 🙂
Thanks Gram and Papa for the neat book! He’s anxious that I get it filled with pictures now!
Also of note was Jack’s prayer that evening. Corey and I are having a hard time remembering details… we know he thanked Him for being baptized, and he thanked Him for Daddy… but we can’t remember the rest. But we do remember it was a “take a peek at each other and silently say “ohhhh!” because it’s so sweet!” kind of prayer. You know what I mean, don’t you?
I also loved that quite unexpectedly, Jack thanked Corey for baptizing him… also very sweet… also can’t remember details like when or where it happened. Darn it!
And with those two incomplete stories I will end. 🙂
What a wonderful week, what a wonderful day, and what a wonderful boy! We are blessed far beyond what we deserve. Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow. Sorry this one took so long to get up!