In my Q&A A Day Journal the prompt for October 12th is, "One word for today".
My response was "wonderful".
Just look at those sparkling eyes and that precious smile. Her spirit just radiates joy, anticipation, and sweet innocence.
And to see her all dressed in white . . . . she looks like an angel.
OUR little angel. I have been so proud of her as she prepared for this day. Listening attentively to the weeks of family home evening lessons that built up to this day. Happy and excited for her interview with the bishop. Never tiring of my temporal preparations (dress fittings, photos, hair practice sessions, etc.)
She woke up Saturday morning excited.
Family arrived in town on Friday so it had been building up to a pretty big day with a lot of attention on her. She soaked it all in.
The baptism program on Saturday was just sweet and perfect. She was getting baptized along with one other girl from church. This was our first time "sharing" a baptismal service with another family and I have to admit I was a little nervous about losing total control over the program (Scott & I kinda like to be in control). :) But it was perfect. The talks were both simple, short & sweet. The kids did a wonderful job on their musical number. It was just a wonderful, reverent meeting and I couldn't have been more pleased with how everything went.
When we entered the room that opens up to the baptismal font everyone sat down in chairs. Including Anna. And when they called her name she bolted to the baptismal font doors as fast as she could. No hesitation. No nervousness. No questioning. She was ready.
Scott did a wonderful job in his priesthood responsibilities. Seeing them standing together in the water definitely tugged at my heart I had several thoughts go through my mind: 1) Man, Scott is handsome. 2) I love the strength that comes from his priesthood authority - it is palpable. 3) Wow, flashback to my baptism - my baptism dress, and that fact that she is my mini-me. 4) Overall, when I looked at her I sensed a deep feeling of willingness, obedience, and child-like humility.
And then hearing the blessing that Scott gave her after confirming her a member of the church and giving her the gift of the Holy Ghost . . . just beautiful. We made sure to come home and write down the blessings and counsel that he gave.
Just before her confirmation we reminded her that when the blessing was done she needed to stand and shake the hands of all the men in the circle. (My dad, father-in-law Dennis, my brother Kent, and a member of the bishopric). And that Scott should get the last hug. Well, on her way around the circle she got to Scott third and he jokingly reminded her - no, you need to hug me last! She laughed and laughed and finished her hand-shaking and came back to Scott to give him a big hug and he kissed her on the cheek. Those two have such a fun, sweet relationship -- I just love watching it grow.
This was also my first time getting to help dress our freshly baptized child. Scott always took care of the boys. As I was drying Anna off and getting her dressed I asked her how she felt, "good. The water was warm." She had a smile on her face and I could tell that she was just so pleased with what she had experienced. I got her dressed and fixed her hair, and as we began to leave we came face to face with a full-length mirror. I stopped her for a second and said, "Look Anna. You, are, clean." Her sins are washed away and she was perfect in every way.
We are thankful for the family that came to be a part of this special day. I know it was a whirlwind of a weekend for most of them so we appreciate the time and sacrifices they made to be here.
Probably my favorite comment of the day came from Payton. He told me that if he could, he would be able to add lots of cotton balls to the Primary jar. See, they have a weekly practice in Primary in which the kids can share ways that they have felt Heavenly Father's love throughout the week. And then they add a cotton ball to a glass jar (when it is filled they all get a heart-shaped cookie). But they can only add one cotton ball each week. So back to his comment, I could add lots of cotton balls to the jar. I asked him, how so? How have you felt Heavenly Father's love? His answer, "I just felt really happy all day."
Oh. I love it. It makes me so happy to see my kids "get it" as they progress through the gospel and build their simple testimonies. Whether it's a big milestone of their own or as they witness the progress of their siblings, I'm so happy when they can recognize and feel the love of their Heavenly Father there.