Three years ago on a Wednesday morning, I started a very quick labor to meet our second child, and yesterday we celebrated his third birthday and dedication!
Rewind three years: I had gotten up for a 4:00a.m. pregnancy bathroom trip and my water broke! The night before, I had gone to bed with countable contractions and luckily had slept well, but as soon as my water broke I was in full on labor. As a military spouse, I needed to call the base labor and delivery to see if they had enough room for me to birth there, or else I would be routed to the nearest hospital.
As I waited on HOLD for 20 minutes with the base, my contractions quickened to 3-4 minutes apart and I couldn’t believe I was not on the way to the hospital. Eric was trying desperately to call our on-call child care for Eva at the same time. Thankfully the base dispatcher had taken me off hold and I told her, I don’t even think I’ll make it on base, (30 minute drive) before I have this baby! She told me to go ahead and go to a civilian hospital, Eric had just connected with our friends, and we quickly moved to the car.
I could barely speak as we dropped off Eva, (Thank you Branco’s) and drove another 15 minutes to the closest hospital. I called one of my friends VERY EARLY, and asked her if she could come take pictures. She did! (Thank you Tricia).
As we pulled in to the ER I felt my first push contraction. Eric walked me up to the ER desk and I said, “I just had my first push contraction, speed me up to L&D NOW”. He
plopped me gently lowered me, in a wheelchair and up I went.
Because I could walk, and speak a bit, the L&D nurses thought I wasn’t very close. I kept telling them over and over they needed to check me and that I had a push contraction. FINALLY, they checked me and said, “you’re a 9”! TOLD YOU! People started running and moving fast and I was finally able to push a few minutes later. In between every push the admittance woman asked me my name, my mother’s maiden name, my SSN…It was hysterical trying to get admitted and deliver a baby simultaneously. But, it was a GREAT distraction.
We had decided to wait to see if baby was a boy or girl and so I was SO excited for Eric to announce the gender! Then, just 2 hours after my baby wake up call, Eric announced we had a son!
I couldn’t believe he was a boy, this wriggly, warm little person was a boy! He was so sweet, and when he looked at me all wrapped up in his blanket, I could see dimples in his cheeks AND his chin.
We named him Malachi Piper. Malachi after the prophet in the Bible; his name means, “my messenger”. Our prayer is that he will be a message bearer to his generation. Piper is after a modern day pastor that both Eric and I admire, have been shaped by, and hope Malachi might aspire to learn from as well one day. If you haven’t heard or read John Piper we think you will learn much from his delivery of God’s word.
Eva came to meet her new baby “brover”. She said, “he is little”, and, “Oh! he has a fire truck shirt on”. It was the most precious thing.
So, this Saturday, we gathered with friends, family, and neighbors while we had a birthday party and dedicated Malachi to the Lord.
Eric and I loved the personalized nature of his dedication, and are thankful we had time to think about what we wanted to commit to, and write our own vows to him.
This is what Eric wrote for our guests:
“Our purpose this morning is to have a private dedication for Malachi, like what is often done in church with newborn babies. I want to communicate to you that we do not intend by this dedication to somehow bring Malachi to salvation; we believe that requires the work of God in Malachi’s heart when he is old enough to understand the full meaning of following Christ, when God brings him to confess with his mouth and believe in his heart that Jesus is Lord.
What Laura and I do want to do today is to make a public statement of our intention to train Malachi in God’s ways, to bring him up in the fear and admonition of the Lord, to lead him towards a lifelong commitment to loving and obeying God. We want this because we believe that Jesus is THE way and the truth and the life, and we want more than anything to pass this faith on to Evangeline and Malachi.
We wanted you all to be a part of this for two reasons. First, we want you to be aware of our intent as parents, so that you can hold us accountable to it, and so that you can encourage us when we need it. Please pray for us as often as you remember this event and think of our family, that Laura and I would depend on God each day to be godly parents and to faithfully continue in training up Eva and Malachi with all God’s strength.
Secondly, we know that you all will have varying degrees of impact on Malachi’s life. We know that it is only by the work of the Holy Spirit that God will soften Malachi’s heart, and we also know that God can use Malachi’s interaction with you, in big and small ways, to gradually call him into God’s kingdom. We want you to know how much we appreciate the ways that you can and will impress God’s truth into Malachi’s heart as he grows up.”
Then, our friend Ben, charged us with these questions:
“Do you accept Malachi into your loving care along with the responsibility to raise him up in the instruction and discipline of the Lord, to share with him the good news of Christ, to help him learn God’s ways, and to lead him in service to God and others?
Do you promise to remain faithful in love to Malachi, whatever the future may bring?
Do you promise before God and this community to fashion your lives so that Malachi may come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?
Do you promise to lead your family in worship at home and to pray for Malachi regularly?”
We answered, “We will with the help of God!” Eric and I are determined to give parenting our everything, we often fail, and feel like we might mess up our kids, but, we just pray that there would be grace from them, and they would hold onto our family moments that they can cherish.
We love our little Malachi and are thankful every day for him.