Gratitude and A Special Baptism

This Memorial Day Weekend has been unlike any other.

This beautiful patriotic post from Kristen Lamb, Memorial Day – To Those Who Give The Ultimate Sacrifice, set the tone for the weekend on Friday evening.

Then, well before the crack of dawn Saturday, Baby Girl woke us up with blood-curdling screams. Really, she was practically baying…it didn’t even sound human.

All this from cutting molars?

Then Hubby reminded me about the shots from Friday’s 12 month check-up. Oh, yeah..huh.  I was in the room for those shots but I was trying to black the experience out. Needless to say, the stress of the Possessed Child started Saturday off badly for Dear Hubby and I.

With a jam-packed schedule to get ready for Sunday’s momentous event – The Double Baptism – we were practically manic. Suddenly Sunday’s baptism was shrouded in worry. Was my sweet baby girl going to be headlined in the church bulletin as a colossal nuisance?

Baying Baby Girl Drowns Out Pastor
Double Baptism was Double The Volume

(This is the kind of crapola that runs through the fertile minds of creative writing mamas.)

That brings us to some Taboo Subjects…Politics and Religion. (Yep, I said the two words we’re warned to keep on the downlow. But, hey, since this is my blog, I’m going there.)

Before yesterday I was the only baptized member of the Hansen Clan. I never thought too much about it until my hubby decided to be baptized with our baby girl.

Note: For the uninitiated, the event of baptism is usually called “christening” as the child is accepted into the Christian Church or faith.

A little history:
My husband grew up going to the Church of Dinnertime Discussion. He was exposed to almost no organized religion as a child and had no real frame of reference for any of it. It shocked me at the first Christmas service we attended together to realize that he didn’t know the words to most of the Christmas hymns we sang.

Hanging out with an unchurched spouse has given me amazing insight into my own faith, how much it shaped the culture of my youth and how much of it I took for granted.

The baptism discussion really kicked up a notch when we bypassed family members as our daughter’s godparents, choosing some dear friends from the church instead – a close Danish-American friend as godmother and two of our daughter’s favorite men (who happen to be married to one another) as co-godfathers.

We’ve gained a lot of insight into the politics and religion of our own personal community as so many of our family, friends and congregational members weighed in and assigned their own meaning to our rather unorthodox variation of the baptismal event.

It was really my husband’s baptism that drew the most commentary. I had several people wonder: “When did he get so religious? Why was he choosing to do this now? What did all this mean?” To sum up the underlying theme to people’s questions: Was he putting on the Holy Rollerskates and jetting over to Born Again Land?

In a word, “No.” To all of the questions above. The beautiful thing about our country is that we are blessed with such boundless freedom to explore spirituality in any way we choose. We can be complete atheists or as fundamental as they come – and the beauty of those rights takes my breath away.

It has been a moving experience for me to watch my husband embark on his own faith journey and embrace the church we’ve chosen as a family. He’s walking a very personal road for the first time and taking time to smell the Earth and the flowers along the way. His baptism was a personal statement that said, “This is where I belong.”

To stand with him, holding our daughter between us, surrounded by the love of Baby Girl’s godparents and our church was a magic experience, filled with joy and tenderness.

So, for this Memorial Day, I just wanted to take a moment to express some gratitude:

  • That I live in a country where I can choose my faith, my spouse, my politics and my profession.
  • That I have the freedom to write about this gratitude and mention some taboo subjects that might get me jailed if I lived somewhere else.
  • That my daughter can grow up in a loving, non-judgmental environment and make her own decisions about all of the above when she’s ready.

Most of all, I feel gratitude to the men and women who put their time, their families and their lives on the line to ensure that I have the freedom to make such deeply personal choices.

The gifts you give our nation are priceless.

Here’s a short Memorial Day Mash-up of blogs I came across this weekend:

How are you spending your weekend? What thoughts crossed your mind over this Memorial Day holiday? Did you do anything special to recognize the people in our armed services?

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm ( Write on!
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13 Responses to Gratitude and A Special Baptism

  1. Julia Nelson says:

    Congratulations on your daughter’s christening.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Julia! She was just gorgeous in her little dress and she was up there just babbling away, looking like she was really listening avidly to our pastor and playing with the book he was reading from. He’s so funny, he looked down at her and said, “Quit upstaging me kid…we’re doing a sacrament here.” Everyone just cracked up.

      Then, of course, when he put the water on her head she screamed bloody murder till he handed her back to me. 🙂


  2. Laura Drake says:

    Amen to all that, Jenny.


  3. amyshojai says:

    Blessings to you and your family! I am SOOOO sharing this with my pastor. My husband is Moslem but makes a point of asking me each Sunday about the sermon…and attending the “important church days.” There are many paths to God.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Oh, Amy…I’m sooo happy to hear this post came across well. I was worried about it. I agree with Wayne Dyer who says, “Water is water, no matter what you call it.” I just can’t believe there’s only one way to talk to God – one tiny road for a concept so vast? It just doesn’t compute for me. You’ll have to let me know what your pastor says about the blog!


  4. Congratulations on Baby Girl’s Christening. I was hoping to see a picture of her in the beautiful dress that I know she wore….your posts are always so very special. Thank you for sharing!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Tiffany!

      We didn’t take any of the photos so I actually don’t have a digital one to put in – I’ll update the post when I have it. She totally upstaged the pastor and was sooooo cute!

      And awwwww on the special compliment…that makes my whole day. 🙂


  5. There’s more than one way to get to the heaven. We just need to keep an open mind.


  6. Thank you for sharing the special double baptism of your husband and baby girl. Lovely post.


  7. Pingback: Y is for Yes: DO Catch Your Kids On Video | Jenny Hansen's Blog

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