I just passed a pregnancy milestone, a few weeks ago. The 6 month mark. This is when my tummy pokes out. I don't just look like I had to much to eat for dinner, I officially look pregnant. Hard to believe this sweet little girl has been happily tucked in my tummy for 6 months already. I'm pretty sure this has been the fastest pregnancy for me of all 6 of my pregnancies. And the easiest. I have days that I am tired, but mostly I feel great. It has been a blessing. The sixth pregnancy is the charm, I suppose. I cannot believe that I am at this point already. And I cannot believe I've done this six times. This is a big week for me for many reasons. More on that later….
From the beach a week or so ago:
We are celebrating life and babies and family at the beach this week. The doors are all flung open and I am sitting in a cozy chair with my computer in my lap. From here I can see the sand and water and hear the waves crashing on the beach. We have had such a special week that we didn't want to go. So much so that Brian called the owner of the house and extended our trip for another few days.
Two months ago Brian and I thought over our spring plans. No Spring Break was in the works. Nothing. So we talked it over and he reserved this beach front house on Ocean Isle Beach. Right beside the house we rented with our family for Thanksgiving. So we knew it would be awesome. As the beach week approached, Brian and I had been talking over the most exciting part of the week for us, a secret, something special for one of our girls.
Everything about being at the beach has been amazing. The weather... Sunshiny and 70's and 80's. The house… literally sits on the beach. And it is just incredibly beautiful. It has more bedrooms than we could ever fill, a huge family sized shower, a heated pool. The front yard is 34,950 billon gallons of ocean.
Brian took the girls and I to Dockside Restaurant in Calabash tonight. While we were there, we decided to share with Evelyn the special event that we had been planning for weeks. Carlisle and Vivian left the table just for a moment. Brian told Evelyn that we had something very important to tell her.
She looked so innocent. So excited. So interested to hear.
He told her she was going to get baptized that night right before sunset.
SHE GASPED. And put her cute little hands over her mouth. All I could see were her eyes. They weld up with tears and she looked stared at Brian. Then she looked over at me with her hand still over her mouth as if to ask me if this were true.
I nodded and said, 'Evelyn today is YOUR day to be baptized.'
She jumped up and hugged Brian and said over and over 'Oh thank you thank you thank you.'
Brian told her to tell the other girls when she thought the time was right.
When the other girls got back to the table, she could barely contain herself. She told them she had something to tell them. She seemed to be holding it back. I think she was so excited that she couldn't even utter the words.
So she didn't.
They asked. She was happily pensive.
A few minutes later, we were walking out of the restaurant. She said, 'Girls. Tonight….I am getting baptized!'
She could have said I am taking you to Disney World right now. And they would have given her the same reaction. They hugged her and kissed her and told her how they were so very very happy for her.
These are moments I never want to forget. And I know I won't.
Eternal moments are moments you never forget. I don't think God would let me forget. They are significant now…and they transfer to heaven. They will be significant even then.
On the drive home they talked with excitement about baptism. They asked if we were going to do it right away, right when we got home.
We pulled in the driveway and we went immediately to the boardwalk leading out to the ocean. I had enough time to grab my camera.
I wanted a few pictures to remember the biggest day of her 6 years of life.
It was a bit torturous for her to take pictures. She kept running up to Brian and saying, 'Come on Daddy. Let's do it!! Come on Daddy!'
She was about to IMPLODE with excitement. She was so ready to be baptized and experience what she knew was to be one of the best moments of her life.
Jennie: Brian, please tell me word for word what happened out there.
The next section is what happened as they walked into the ocean…told by Brian
She said one last time, 'Can we go now Daddy?'
Brian: 'And I said YES.'
We walked out into the ocean. The waves were a little rough, crashing around us, so I picked her up. I asked her if she was cold and she said 'No.' And I started from scratch...
Brian: 'Do you know why we are out here?'
Evelyn: 'Yes, I am getting baptized.'
Brian: 'Who gets baptized?'
Brian: 'Why do Christians get baptized?'
Evelyn: 'Because they believe in Jesus.'
Brian: 'Right. And what did Jesus do?'
Evelyn: 'He's the SAVIOR OF THE WORLD.'
Brian: (nodding) 'What did Jesus do for you?'
Evelyn: 'He died on the cross for my sins.'
Brian: 'Do you have sins?'
Brian: 'And what does Jesus do to your sins?'
Evelyn: 'He washes my sins.'
Brian: 'And Christians get baptized in obedience with what the bible says. And we do that so the world can see that we are believers in Jesus.'
Brian: 'Ok Ev. I'm gonna dunk you under the water, so when I do that, you are going to hold your mouth and hold your nose.'
She immediately grabbed her mouth and nose and looked VERY expectant.
Brian: I laughed and said, 'not yet!'
Then I went down on my knees and said, 'Ok...Are you ready?'
And she said, 'YES!!' and she immediately grabbed her mouth and nose.
Brian: 'EVELYN ANNETTE EDWARDS, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.'
And then, I dunked her under. I held her there for an extra second to feel the gravity of it all.
She was smiling as she went down... and screaming as she came up.
'Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.'
'For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.'
'As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.'
Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again."
Jennie: 'I'm so proud of you Evelyn. And I love you. Will you tell me about your baptism Ev?'
Evelyn: 'When Daddy walked me out there I felt joy, and I felt scared and happy at the same time. It was a good scared. I just felt really good. I felt excited! I was excited to learn more about Jesus.'
Evelyn: 'When Daddy ducked me under there I felt like I was dreaming. I felt like I was in heaven.'
Jennie: 'What made it feel like heaven?'
Evelyn: 'I felt like a new girl and I felt Jesus.' (And she pats her little chest).
Jennie: 'What did y'all talk about when he was holding you?'
Evelyn: 'Daddy talked with me about baptism.'
Jennie: 'What did he say?'
Evelyn: 'He said, "Do you believe in Jesus Christ?' I said, 'Yes, I do.' Then he said, 'What did he do for us?' And I said, 'He died for our sins.'
Evelyn: 'After I got baptized, I felt joy. I ran and fell on the sand. I ran back to the water and jumped on Carlisle. I was amazed. It made me so happy because I felt Jesus. I almost couldn't speak a word!'
Jennie: 'You were so excited Evelyn. You were running and jumping in the waves. I'm so happy for you.'
Evelyn: 'I felt so much love from God that I cried.'
Jennie: 'Me too Ev.'
Evelyn: 'I wish I could do it again.'
Let him become your life, your Savior, your redeemer, your teacher, healer, deliverer, your strength, your peace, your all.
Allow him to transform your life from the inside out. And feel the need to jump and shout and sing for joy, like Evelyn when she experienced the FULLNESS of HIM!