Kensington Jane is one dearly loved little girl.
Eleven of us gathered around her last weekend. Her Papa and Nana arrived from Virginia. Her Aunt Julie and Uncle Mac from Washington D.C. Popsie flew in from Florida. Mees drove from San Antonio. Jillie and Haddie trekked down I-35. And then there was her Mommy, her Daddy and her big brother. It was a dedication weekend of sorts, something informal not at church, but in our home. Matt and I declared our ongoing commitment to raise Kensie in complete and utter dependence upon her Creator to help us show her His unfathomable love, that she may also come to love Jesus with her whole heart. Those who joined with us also care about the outcome of her faith and promised to pray for her and help us as parents to follow through with our pledge (‘cause we’re gonna need all the help we can get!).
These two were ready for the festivities to begin Friday evening! I can’t thank Ed and Ruth enough for taking them off my hands Friday morning so I could cook and get the last minute things in order. My mind would have been lost somewhere between the bowl of cooked mushrooms and the beaten egg and milk mixture. They’re cute, but don’t we all know they have a very keen way of knowing it’s a day Momma has lots to do, and they know how to add a bit of somethin’-somethin’ to the day…like A.T.T.I.T.U.D.E.
We had a scrumptious dinner of salpicon (I’ll have to post the recipe soon), guacamole, and chile con queso. My mouth still waters thinking about it. There are two things to note about that evening. First, my dad tucked Brennan into bed at 8 p.m. We didn’t see him emerge from the bedroom until a couple hours later. And secondly, at 2 a.m., we were awakened by panicked cries and the grossest aftermath of throwing up I have yet to deal with. I don’t have a sensitive gag reflux, but that night, boo-ya! It wasn’t the loveliest all-nighter I’ve pulled, but I did get to hold my boy throughout the ordeal.
Saturday we ventured to College Station for the Texas A&M vs. Arkansas football game. It seemed Brennan was doing well since he was once again, running all around, so with our rain gear in tow, we ventured to Aggieland. What a blast! There was only about a fifteen minute consistent rain, but other than that, we were able to enjoy the game. Brennan covered his ears much of the time, not liking the boisterous cheers or the regular cannon fires. But Kensie didn’t blink an eye. As long as she had the bucket of popcorn in front of her, she was one happy, crowd-lovin’ girl.
Jillie and Haddie met up with us later Saturday night for dinner at Mighty Fine. It’s an incredible gift to look down the table at the ten other people seated next to you, realizing they all made this trek to be there for you, for your family, for your little girl. The laughter and even the tears shared among this group are treasured. And note to self: for the sake of my self-esteem, there should be very few times in life when Jill and Mac should be together in my presence; they have too similar senses of humor for my liking, particularly when it’s at my expense <grin>.
And then we arrive to Sunday. I wish I had words to describe my overflow of joy and gratitude. Brennan and Kensie have been gifted a legacy of people who follow and love Jesus, and who are are on their knees regularly on his and her behalf. Some of our family couldn’t make it, but they called, sent emails and prayers. They were here and a part of this occasion, too.
In three different cars, we ventured to church, ready to be there on time (a miracle with 11 people!) and stand together in worship. Then bless his heart, Brennan threw up again all over Papa and Nana’s car half way there.
Love: Ed and Ruth’s graciousness at the now horrible stench and grossness all over their car. Love: Ruth’s gentle hands cleaning up my son with baby wipes. Love: My daddy and momma’s willingness to take Brennan home, clean him up and care for him. Love: for the rest of our guests to just go with the flow and not complain that they may get the sick cooties in forty-eight hours (which, another miracle: no one did!).
It took a good twenty minutes for me to not feel like a panicked wreck. Another thing to note about this weekend: Kensie didn’t like Mac. Wouldn’t go to him. Pulled away and shook her head. This is unprecedented! And Julie jumped for joy that it was the first baby that didn’t like him, and instead went directly into her arms. After much coaxing, Kensie finally went to my brother…for just enough time to capture this shot before she literally lunged to my arms.
We all made it home to a feast! Jillie made us a sausage and egg casserole. I made this and had a crepe bar.
If we’d let people, they would have taken naps right then and there, but we circled around our living room instead, to have a time of sharing and prayer for Kensie. The two older kiddos bounded up the stairs and played. Kensie scooted on the floor in between our feet playing with anything along the way. And the rest of us shared what God put on our hearts to pray for this precious gift of a girl.
I’d asked people to pray about a specific virtue or character trait for Kensie. They could write a prayer, just share, or give a symbolic gift that represented what the Lord led them to pray over her. I couldn’t wait to see what God came up with for His girl!
Strength, Dignity, and the Ability to Laugh at the Days to Come
Sense of Humor
A Pure Heart
It was wonderfully overwhelming! Flabbergasting in a most special way. And very humbling to see the outpouring of love from our family and the abundant grace of our God throughout the entire weekend! One blessing after another He has given to us by each person seated in that room.
What words do you have as one by one, each person shared their prayers on behalf of your little girl? What words do you have as you watch tears flow because the emotion and beauty of the moment is so pure and tender and too much to take? What words do you have as you fall before a God who can be the Only One to instill these God-originated, God-breathed, God-like traits into your little girl? What words do you have when you recognize how far you fall short in even trying to be an example to her of these virtues let alone teach her what they are? What words do you have as you look around the room and recognize how each have been faithful to Jesus in spite of so many obstacles that could bring them down and turn away? What words do you have when you realize that these intercessions do not fall on deaf ears, but they will linger in eternity and bring such pleasure to the One who listens and acts? What words do you have but to acclaim His goodness, His faithfulness?
My heart is still so tender thinking about that sacred weekend. Tears fall easily out of such gratitude and joy.
Oh, merciful Lord, you are so, so good! In that room represented so many stories of your faithfulness to us, your goodness, and even in this week, so many answered prayers that I don’t have time to share in this post. But OH, Lord, I can only pause in the middle of this post and say ‘thank you’. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Only You. Only You. We are so grateful for each person in that room who was there and for the ones who longed to be here but couldn’t. I am a blubbering mess, Jesus. Oh, You are so worthy of praise. Thank you for a treasured weekend of memories, laughter, shared tears, prayers that don’t fall deaf on your ears. You hear. You know. You see. And you were with us in every aspect of our weekend, and I thank you.
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord. They rejoice in your Name all day long; they celebrate your righteousness.