Thursday, December 19, 2013

Evelyn's Dedication

Earlier in December, we finally had Evelyn dedicated.  It was a wonderful event to celebrate our baby (and about 10 other babies in our church) and focus on our family values.  Part of our homework before the dedication was to create a list of our family's top values.  These are things that we ask that our friends and family come alongside us in emphasizing with our children.  Admittedly, this time around was even more hectic than with Miles' and Vivienne's dedication, but we still took some time to talk it through, and here are our top five (in no particular order).

  • Vulnerability - I have been a huge fan of Brene Brown's writing on vulnerability and the human experience.  I hope that we are examples of how to be vulnerable with our children (apologizing when we make a mistake, admitting that we are not perfect, sharing our struggles and our strength, respecting one another, experiencing joy) and create an environment where the kids can feel safe being vulnerable and real and know that they are lovable no matter what.
  • Kindness - We want the kids to learn to be kind to one another and to others, to love other people like God loves us.
  • Generosity - We hope that our children will learn to be generous with their possessions, their time and their energy.  We haven't been great examples of this in the past few years because so much of our time and energy is pulled into having small children.  But as we create more margin in our lives, we hope to spend more time volunteering, especially as a family.
  • Integrity - We want all of our children to learn to have integrity, to be honest, to mean what they say, and to be known as people who are trustworthy.
  • Thankfulness - It seems so critical in life to be thankful for all the gifts and blessings that we receive every day... even the small things that go so easily unnoticed.  I know I have a much better attitude about life when I stop to thank God for everything I have and just marinate in the gratitude for a while.

 As a part of the dedication, we were also instructed to think of two habits we would like to practice.  For us, these were:
  • Quality family time, regular family meals, encouraging family discussions/interactions as part of the natural rhythm of our family
  • Prioritize our marriage and not let "us" become a background story to the kids
Evelyn with her Daddy at the dedication.  The lighting was terrible so it was hard to get a photo.

I'm so thankful for a church that encourages us to be intentional about our lives and our priorities.  I hope that we are able to focus on these things as a family, and that we reflect back on them frequently and reevaluate how to instill our children with the values that are important to us.

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