Dedication #1: Homewood, AL
Dawson Memorial Baptist Church: Dr. Gary Fenton
October 17th, 2010
As you can tell from the title of this post, the boys were dedicated on October 17th AND 24th. Josh and I knew that we wanted to dedicate them at Dawson Baptist Church because it is where we have been attending church for the past few years. I also suggested that we dedicate them at Josh's home church (if it is even still called that now that he's been in Birmingham for 10 years haha) because it was very important to him growing up and it would be a good way to honor his parents (and let them show off their grandbabies, which they love to do!)
It was very humbling how many of our friends and family took time out of their week to come worship with us at Dawson on the 17th and what a wonderful service it was! Almost all of my extended family in Birmingham made it--including, but def not limited to the boys' great great aunt and uncle and their great and great great grandmothers; friends from church came, Paige's soon-to-be B-I-L, my sisters came in from Huntsville, TX and Auburn, AL, and my best friend, Joy, and her husband, Luke, even drove in from Atlanta that morning. It touched my heart to see all of these people who were so important in my life and now, the boys' lives.
The service started with the hand bell choir playing and then the children's choir sang. It was as if God had worked it out for that service to be particularly special and ornate just for us in celebration of these precious, precious gifts he'd given us!
Dr. Fenton gave a wonderful message. The most memorable line was when he quoted: "You can't stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop it from making a nest in your hair." Basically meaning, you can't help what thoughts come your way (especially worrisome in this case), but you can choose whether you let them settle in your head and you stew over them or not. One kind of crazy part of of the service was when he put a picture of traffic on the screen and there was a truck with "GAMBLE" across the front! Very doo-doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo-doo... and then, he was talking about cell phones and the picture he put up was all Verizon Wireless phones! (Where Joshy G. works!) Talk about a service tailor made for us and the boys :) Haha... Even though I know they didn't do it all on purpose, it was so neat to see those and know that God was celebrating with us and was surely getting our attention!
Another special part of the day was how excited about the service my friends and family were, especially my sister, Paige. She said that the service really spoke to her heart. Who out there doesn't LOVE for people they love to be spoken to, especially when they invited them to the service!? It was just perfect. Only thing that could have made it better was if a few other friends/family who live out of town and are constantly missed (ie: my BFF Eden in CA, the Jones family in FL, Aunt in NC, etc.) could have made it, but those were trips I wouldn't want them to take just to be there with us in person. They certainly were there in love and spirit!
Let me also brag on Dawson a bit. As my mom put it, they are a "well-oiled machine!" They have the whole dedication day down to an art, not only making it easy on the family, but making it very special for them, as well. Brooke G., the head of the preschool ministry, met with us and Dr. Fenton to make sure that he had the boys' names correct (which he already knew before meeting with us---meant a lot to me) and helped us with the details of the day. It could not have gone better! The boys were delightful, even giddy during the dedication. Then, some of the helpers from the nursery, who brought them up to us fed, dressed, and ready to go, took them back to downstairs for us to enjoy the rest of the service baby-free. Well. Oiled. Machine.
After the dedication, we had a few of our close friends and a lot of family over to my parents' house for a celebratory lunch. It was just a great day on the whole and touched my heart for everyone to be celebrating 2 of the MOST important people in my life as we made a public declaration of dedicating them to our precious, generous, and very gracious God.
I love how proud Josh looks as Dr. Fenton introduces JH to the congregation
H was clearly making himself very comfortable as he propped his foot on Dr. Fenton during dedication haha... Just loungin' while we talk about Jesus.
(sorry, a few of these next ones are from before the service)
LOVE this picture... unfortunately Joshy G didn't know Grace was taking a picture with him in it, so he didn't smile. We have got to get better about making SURE to get family pics. This is our only family pic from such an important day.
LOOOOOVE this one with my sweetness, Harrison.
We served lasagna, salad, and bread.
Oh, and we can't forget an Edgar's cake! YUM! I asked them to add almond to the icing to make a french vanilla almond taste (like our wedding cake, actually), but it was too overwhelming. I don't recommend anyone else doing it... nor will I be doing it again. Regardless, the cake was still delicious.
Fantastic pic of my sister Grace with some of our very favorites, Katie and Cullen Byington.
VERY PROUD PARENTS!
The pumpkins that Paige (top left: spooky castle), Grace (bottom: growling wolf), and I (spider on a web) carved the night before.
That is my Aunt Sharon, the boys' Great Aunt, sitting at the table with my Great Uncle Johnnie, the boys' Great-Great Uncle! Coming in the door is my Great Grandmother, Nannie, the boys' Great-Great Grandmother, and behind her is my Daddy, the boys' Grandfather, aka: Big Daddy. :)
The front two people are my Godparents, Susan and Michael Bayliss. Appropriately, they are two of the sweetest, most Godly people that I know. In the back are my Aunt Cynthia and Uncle Tim. They are so much fun and I enjoy spending time with them!
Here is my sister, Paige, aka: Aunt Podge looking foxy, as usual.
Dedication #2: Hendersonville, TN
Cornerstone Church: Pastor Maury Davis
October 24, 1010
(Right outside of Nashville. Where Daddy Josh grew up after moving there in elementary school from Shreveport, LA. His parent still live there.)
The next weekend was Vanderbilt Homecoming, which many of you know, is a tradition in the Gamble household. Josh and I started dating Summer 2004 and we have been to every single Vanderbilt Homecoming since then! This post isn't about that trip, just the dedications... I'll include that trip in my post about the rest of October. I will say, though, that, in a nut shell, Josh's mom went out of her way to make sure that the trip up was easy for us and she did such a great job. I can't thank her enough, and tried to do so every opportunity I could get. We'll definitely be going back up soon!
Back to the dedications... Since we knew we were going for that, I asked Josh's mom if: A. She'd be interested in us doing one up there at their church (she def was!) and B. She thought that they could get it scheduled on that Sunday that we'd be up there for Vanderbilt Homecoming. (Pastor Davis usually does dedications on Weds nights, but made an exception for us!) We got up that morning, did our regular thing w/ the boys, and prayed they'd take a good nap, since we were going to have to wake them up early in order to make it to the service in time. Josh's mom was really anxious about us making it on time, calling a few times to check on where we were (I think she was just anxious/excited), etc..., and usually her nervousness about our making it to church on time is unfounded because we can handle it and we always make it on time (she and F-I-L go ahead for Sunday School and we meet them there for the service), but this time, it was true... we were running late b/c we wanted the boys to get as much nap in as possible.... then, we got half-way to the church, and realize that we went off and forgot their dedication outfits---totally my fault. I think I was anxious about being late, so I went off and left them. We weren't actually *late*, but we weren't early, as we'd originally hoped we would be. When we were almost to the church, we got stuck in traffic b/c there had been a bad 3-car wreck right outside of the church. We finally got through that traffic after some prayers for the people involved and gratitude that it wasn't us, and got in the church in time to change the boys' clothes and diapers, go into the sanctuary for a minute or two, and then we were called to the stage! Whew.... Just in the nick of time! Later, Josh's mom said it was probably good that we had to turn around for the outfits, because it could've been us in that wreck. Funny how things have a way of working themselves out, huh? Praise the Lord for protecting us and our babies!
After the dedication, JH started to squeal a little bit, so Josh and I took the boys to the room for parents and babies w/ a tv screen showing the service. It was way better in there, b/c we weren't concerned about the boys making noises, etc. Pastor Davis did great job w/ the dedication and service! Afterward, we grabbed lunch at Cracker Barrel and headed back to start packing. I don't want to forget to say how much I appreciated my cousin, Laura, and her boyfriend, Warren, coming from Nashville to the dedication! They weren't able to make it to the one in Birmingham so it worked out perfectly that they could come to this one! I have really amazing and supportive family, if you didn't notice! On our way out of town, we stopped in Nashville to eat dinner, feed the boys, and spend a little time with Laura and Warren before driving the rest of the way to Birmingham.
Pastor Davis introducing us to the congregation and giving a little back story about how Josh grew up in that church, moved "far away" (LOL.... Um... Birmingham? ha ha) and that Regenia constantly blesses his family and so he wanted to make an exception and dedicate the boys for all of us.
GREAT picture of the proud Gigi and Papa watching their grandbabies, son, and D-I-L on stage.
It was a good service and I am very grateful that Pastor Davis did our family the favor of making a special exception for our baby boys. I know it also meant a lot to Josh and his parents, so that means a lot to me.