Even if it’s a balmy – ahem, cough cough – 57 degrees in San Francisco this summer, here at be, mama. be, we still celebrate summer with the best of them! I’m delighted to have my sister-in-law, Melissa, sharing about her most unexpected and delightful of summers. Regardless of your own faith tradition, take the time to read through this dear one’s account of the past years, months and days. Enjoy!
When my husband and I got married in 2005, having children was not the first thing on either of our minds. However, when we did get the itch to add to our little family, we struggled, a lot. I suffered multiple miscarriages and dealt with the feelings of failure that I was unable to do my part in starting a family.
Then, in January of 2007, I was pregnant once again. I sat in my bathroom, staring at the positive result, wondering and praying if we might actually be able to carry the child this time. And I did! A healthy, albeit three-weeks early, baby boy was delivered; I stared at him and daydreamed about his life and his journey in this great big world.
Fast-forward to a couple of years ago: I enrolled him at a Christian preschool where I too was employed. He flourished and grew, academically and spiritually and emotionally, and frankly, got much smarter than I ever imagined a three (and then four and five) year old could be.
One of the core values at that school was Truth, teaching the stories that show the love and passion of Christ. He loved learning about these stories and being able to sing songs that helped him remember all of the books of the Bible.
The summers between preschool grades were fun. We played and explored Idaho Falls, taking trips wherever we could. We didn’t focus on school, but we just PLAYED. We ate watermelon and grilled hotdogs, and we tumbled around in the tall grass and came home with sunburns. We celebrated summer.
However, this summer, the summer after kindergarten, the THOUGHT of only playing and enjoying the rays of golden sunshine were not on my little man’s agenda. The last day of school he insisted that we go to the teacher store and get him some workbooks. So, off we went. He spent an hour roaming through the books and picked out six – yes 6! – that he wanted to do over the summer. He also insisted that he wanted to get baptized.
Baptized? He is only five (and ½, he insists), but he kept asking. Weeks went by, and we simply brushed it off and made excuses about him being too young. He didn’t really know what it meant and he didn’t understand the “why” of the ceremony. So eventually he took it upon himself to find our pastor, asking him himself. Our pastor then told us he was ready: He was what?! He told us that if Jared was ready, he felt comfortable doing it.
It only took a couple of days for my little guy to tell everyone he knew that he was going to be baptized in the river. He made invitations and he passed them out to the people that had been a part of his journey. He called the people he loved, sharing with them the joy and passion he felt in his heart. And his love overflowed to the people around him.
Just a couple weeks ago, on July 21st, he donned his swim trunks and we trekked out to the river. We were joined by people who have been a part of his journey, who have loved him, even with a faith different from our own. His decision was celebrated by family members from all over the west, and we were surrounded with love and joy.
A specially picked worship song was sung by dear friends, and Jared shivered and sang in the water as it lapped around his ankles. Then he walked out into the water with his dad and his grandfather beside him, and looked up at the radiating warmth of the sun as his body was submerged.
He arose a new creation. He was different.
And it was already seen in the smile that laced his cheeks and by the water that dripped off his body.
What a summer celebration, eh? Thank you, dear Melissa, for sharing your story, and would you be so kind as to leave her an encouraging comment? In the meantime, do YOU have a story to tell? Submit your Celebrating Summer story today!0