Rex’s slightly traumatic baptism day

Rex was baptized on Saturday.

I would love to tell you that it was a wonderful, peaceful day, that we saw doves and rainbows and frolicked in the meadow with the angels afterward. But if I’m being perfectly honest, it was a horrible day. From the moment my feet hit the floor of my dusty bedroom things just went wrong.

Because I’m so smart I wanted to keep the day simple so I did the obvious thing and scheduled a large luncheon where I offered to feed people. It was such a glaringly obvious mistake that a few of my girlfriends wisely insisted that I let them help me make food and not tempt the Lord by trying to independently feed the 5000 (okay, so it was like four other families but they all have a LOT of kids).

One of the keys to a successful baptism is having a warm baptismal font. There is nothing less inviting to the Spirit than ice cold water, especially if you’re dragging a seriously nervous eight-year-old in your wake. In order to make sure the water heater had time to provide moderately luke warm water we had to arrive at the chapel two hours early to prime the pump.

This might have been my saving grace. Let me tell you, Satan hates churches.

It was a crazy morning. I was preparing food, and fixing hair, and ironing shirts, and fixing hair, and writing talks, and fixing hair, and trying to get my five-year-old to stop dancing around and practice her song already. I had to continually feed my children first and second breakfast, snack and first lunch, all the while reminding Rex seventeen times to pack clean undies and a towel and clothes for the park. There were missing church shoes and malfunctioning printers, biting and kicking and more than a little yelling.

Jason was busy trying to de-shrub the backyard so the German-speaking neighbor could haul the mess away before we left, and I was stuck in the house with the kids and my to-do list. And of course, I started to stew. It was the most ridiculous thing in the world, I started to monologue in my brain about alllllll the work I was doing for the baptism. All the planning and the effort and the scheduling and what was my husband doing? Pulling weeds. The nerve.

Looking back it makes absolutely no sense that I reacted that way. What an absurd thought, where did it come from? (WHERE DO YOU THINK?) He was working his tail off and I couldn’t see the forest for the shrubs.

By the time we got out of the house, miraculously on schedule, I was mostly foaming at the mouth and kicking everything in my path. I probably should have tried to track down some of my monthly Prozac but I was too wound up to think of anything but anger, anger, anger. I lost my temper in the car, we argued all the way to church, and by the time we got there both of us were wondering what in the heck we were doing in the same family.

I’m embarrassed and ashamed to admit all this but I think it would be unfair to my posterity to pretend that Rex’s precious baptism day went off without a hitch. It was almost a disaster.

But you know what, the most amazing thing happened when we got to the church. Getting there two hours early was a little gift for our family. The moment we entered the doors the contention evaporated. It was like someone sprayed us down with a spiritual fire extinguisher as we walked inside. Looking back, I’m amazed at the change that took place once we entered the chapel doors.

The next two hours were mostly hassle-free. Jason and I had only mostly kind and loving words for one another, Rex was mostly excited and happy to be there, and June stood at the microphone and practiced her song ten times like a good little girl (although I think the microphone’s influence had more to do with it than the Spirit’s influence; she is so my kid).

And when I watched Jason enter those not totally freezing waters with my beautiful boy in hand, even Rex’s cute little, “Brrrrr! It’s c-c-c-cold!!” couldn’t detract from the Spirit.

In that moment, I had to laugh at myself. Moms. We work so hard to “create” something wonderful and magical and memorable and special. We polish shoes and sew dresses and give haircuts and write talks. And yes, all that is important and precious. But in the end it really just came down to Rex and Jason.

How dumb that I had tried so hard.  Covenants are so simple and so cool. I seriously love being a Mormon.

Our day wasn’t perfect and there were bumps and bruises beyond the baptism, but it was a good kind of memorable. The adversary might be real, but Jesus wins.

PS – This is Rex’s favorite youtube video and the song Junie sang.


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  1. A spiritual fire extinguisher…ha ha, that was so funny. I KNOW sometimes go totally whacko from what we intended or envisioned. But you are right, good lesson to keep things simple, and concentrate on only the main matter at hand. We mom’s always want everything so perfect. But you guys look great iin those pictures and I think I saw a little halo around Rex?? As for you….ha ha ha. love ya (your halo is there)

  2. This is spectacular are always. It so captured the chaos and then when you came to the peace about the covenant, I felt a calm chill. So inspired! You are fabulous, don’t ever stop blogging. Ever.

  3. Thanks, Annie. This is beautiful.

  4. I love you guys, congratulations REX! From the title I expected a panic d story about Rex almost drowning. So glad to hear its just you over-preforming and fighting with your husband about it- You get that from me;)
    Gabriels Baptism was also an exhausting production on the heels of a Massive Thanksgiving extravaganza- Dave got the vomit virus the night before and didn’t even go to the baptism:( But ya know what? Gabriel still got baptized and we still remember that happy parts an it all works out…

  5. Yes, you are right. Jesus. Always. Wins!

  6. I simply adore Rex. I could hear his cute little voice as I was reading. Love and miss you guys!

  7. I love the family picture!Especially Junie’s tongue 😛 Congratulations!