Monday, January 14, 2008

Try, Try, Try

Aiden made the decision to be baptized. He's read the Book of Mormon, and he has a basic understanding of the promises he would be making. He wants to do the right thing and to follow Jesus Christ. He and I were honored to have my dad, his Grandpa Holiday, drive out to southern California to perform this sacred ordinance, as he has done for Aiden's two older siblings as well.

I remember my baptism day well. We lived on the Delaware Riverbank in Beverly, NJ. I remember what I was wearing (a sweet, homemade pale yellow dress with bitty flowers and a tie at the neck). I remember my dad taking me into his library and interviewing me prior to practicing how the baptism would be performed. I remember the sense of anticipation, and feeling like a bundle of nerves. I shared my baptism day in 1981 with a boy in my Primary class named David Paoli, who always teased me by calling me "Jenna of the Jungle". (If only he knew how that name stuck and a variation of that is now my screen name on several sites!) I remember crying because of emotions and nerves, and how the bishop of our ward talked about it, but only with my permission, which I remember thinking was such a kind and considerate thing to do. But mostly, I remember how I felt that day driving home, looking out the van windows and thinking that all the world looked more vibrant and alive, and feeling new, and clean, and determined to stay that way.

Well, that didn't happen.

But one thing that I am grateful for, is that I have never lost my determination to want to feel that way, and that desire has kept me on the path of continual repentance and perserverance.

We had a friend taking pictures for us at Aiden's baptism. He captured this one candid moment that really struck me. Literally, the boy Aiden, my sweet little one, looking into the waters of his new life. He is young and pure, not baptized for a remission of sin, but for obedience's sake. Willing to trust in the Lord and do what he can to do as He has asked. As his mother, I like to believe that he will always be pure and innocent, but the wiser part knows better. He'll be on that same path with me, repenting and perservering, for the duration of his life, I hope.

Last night, as I rocked Conor before bed, we played his lullaby CD as we always do, and I sang along with my very favorite song to sing to my babies, "Jesus Once Was a Little Child". The verses end with

"Try to be like Him,

Try, try, try."

It occurred to me that those extra three 'try's' were not merely filler words to finish out a song, but a principle of truth that in our quest to become as Jesus Christ is, we really do have to keep trying over and over and over again. Thank goodness for do-overs and second chances. Thank goodness for the invitation.


Annette Lyon said...

Beautiful, Jenna. Absolutely beautiful. I love that song. There's almost nothing that hits me harder in my heart than watching one of my little ones enter those waters.

(And hey--I didn't realize we were so close in age! Assuming you were 8, then you're only a few months older than I am.)

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

What a sweet post! Congratulations Aiden. What a great day.

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

That was so beautifully expressed. I felt the spirit so strongly reading that. Thank you.

Ane said...

I love this post, I love that song too! Thanks for the reminding me what is most important! Congrats to your son and Aloha!

Luisa Perkins said...

So lovely, my dear.

I cannot believe Aiden is old enough to have been baptized. The years fly by, don't they?

david mcmahon said...

The only thing more important than the quest is (as you point out) the invitation.

God bless you all ....

anjmae said...

When Noah, my youngest boy, got baptized, I watched him walk slowly but surely into the ocean where his dad waited to baptize him. At that moment, I thought my heart would literally burst with happiness that he decided to make that commitment.
I am happy that you had such an amazing experience.

But, hey, am I OLDER than you?!?!? (sigh...)

Anonymous said...

beautiful post.

and you made me chuckle when i read, "Well, that didn't happen."

your song at the end of your post makes me think of one of my fav scriptures 3 Nep 27:27 (the last sentence of the scripture).

thanks for the reminder tonight,