Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Elaina's Baptism

Growing up, I attended various denominations and branches of Christian protestant churches. My family moved around the country a few times, and we always did a bit of church hopping before finding one my parents decided we should regularly attend. Presbyterian, Community, Baptist, Charismatic, and other various Non-Denominational churches.

When I married a Reformed man, I knew I would stir up a few controversial topics among my family and old friends. But I also knew that when it comes down to it, it really doesn't matter if our music is centuries old, or written last week. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter if our sermon is preached from a man wearing a robe or faded jeans. It doesn't matter if we use the King James version of the Bible, or the NIV. What matters is that we believe in one true triune God, and one Lord and Savior: Jesus Christ.

I never would have guessed I would end up attending a Reformed church that I love. The people there are some of the kindest, most generous, and most sincere people I have ever had the pleasure of befriending.

And we baptize our babies. Because we believe in the promises of God.

Elaina Halcyon Blakey was baptized on April 29. Thanks be to God.

"Elaina will spend the remainder of her life learning to be a Blakey. That’s a life-long project for anyone. More profoundly, she will spend her life growing into her name as a child of the heavenly Father, a sister of her Brother Jesus, walking with the Spirit of adoption. God is true. His Name sticks regardless. God calls her by baptism to be a true witness so that God’s truth will shine in her." -Dr. Leithart
Read the rest of Dr. Leithart's exhortation here or below.

"As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."

The little dress that Elaina wore was the same dress Chloë was baptized in. And it was one of my cute little dresses when I was a baby.

Exhortation by Peter Leithart, April 29, 2012

Matthew 28:18-20: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you. And lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age.
Baptism is a naming ceremony. Your daughter already has a name, and a meaningful one. Baptism adds another name because in baptism she becomes a member of a new family. She receives the family name of Father, Son, and Spirit. At the same time, God Himself takes on a new name, for here He promises to be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and now Elaina.
We Protestants don’t like to say that baptism works “automatically,” because in some respects it doesn’t. Baptism doesn’t guarantee eternal salvation. But in this respect – as a naming ceremony – baptism is automatic. Everyone who is baptized receives a new name, whether they want it or not.
Like everything else Elaina has, this name is a gift of sheer grace. Elaina didn’t choose you as her parents. She didn’t choose to live in Moscow, or to be an American, or to be born to members of this church. And she doesn’t choose to be given the family Name of the Triune God. God chooses her. Through this water He lays His mighty hand on her to declare to the world that she is a daughter of His love.
Names always come at the beginning. You didn’t hold off a few years to discover your daughter’s temperament so you could make sure to give her an appropriate name. You named her as soon as she was born. We name our children in hope that they will live up to their name.
God does the same. He doesn’t leave us wandering around trying to find our name. At the beginning, before we have shown our true colors, God risks placing His name on us and adopting us into His family.
Elaina will spend the remainder of her life learning to be a Blakey. That’s a life-long project for anyone. More profoundly, she will spend her life growing into her name as a child of the heavenly Father, a sister of her Brother Jesus, walking with the Spirit of adoption. God is true. His Name sticks regardless. God calls her by baptism to be a true witness so that God’s truth will shine in her.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Courage, Dear Heart.

For Rebecca.

Drinian’s hand shook on the tiller and a line of cold sweat ran down his face. The same idea was occurring to everyone on board. “We shall never get out, never get out,” moaned the rowers. “He’s steering us wrong. We’re going round and round in circles. We shall never get out.” The stranger, who had been lying in a huddled heap on the deck, sat up and burst out into a horrible screaming laugh.

“Never get out!” he yelled. “That’s it. Of course. We shall never get out. What a fool I was to have thought they would let me go as easily as that. No, no, we shall never get out.”

Lucy leant her head on the edge of the fighting top and whispered, “Aslan, Aslan, if ever you loved us at all, send us help now.” The darkness did not grow any less, but she began to feel a little—a very, very little—better. “After all, nothing has really happened to us yet,” she thought.

“Look!” cried Rynelf’s voice hoarsely from the bows. There was a tiny speck of light ahead, and while they watched a broad beam of light fell from it upon the ship. It did not alter the surrounding darkness, but the whole ship was lit up as if by searchlight. Caspian blinked, stared round, saw the faces of his companions all with wild, fixed expressions. Everyone was staring in the same direction: behind everyone lay his black, sharply-edged shadow.

Lucy looked along the beam and presently saw something in it. At first it looked like a cross, then it looked like an aeroplane, then it looked like a kite, and at last with a whirring of wings it was right overhead and was an albatross. It circled three times round the mast and then perched for an instant on the crest of the gilded dragon at the prow. It called out in a strong sweet voice what seemed to be words though no one understood them. After that it spread its wings, rose, and began to fly slowly ahead, bearing a little to starboard. Drinian steered after it not doubting that it offered good guidance. But no one except Lucy knew that as it circled the mast it had whispered to her, “Courage, dear heart,” and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan’s, and with the voice a delicious smell breathed in her face.

In a few moments the darkness turned into a greyness ahead, and then, almost before they dared to begin hoping, they had shot out into the sunlight and were in the warm, blue world again. And all at once everybody realized that there was nothing to be afraid of and never had been. They blinked their eyes and looked about them. The brightness of the ship herself astonished them: they had half expected to find that the darkness would cling to the white and the green and the gold in the form of some grime or scum. And then first one, and then another, began laughing.

-C. S. Lewis, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Chapter 12

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


I am so pleased to announce the launch of my very own Etsy store! I've always loved making jewelry, and now I can share it with the world! If you're interested in seeing more, head on over to etsy.com/shop/bessblakeydesign

Friday, May 6, 2016

Bryan and Juliette

I took this last week late one night. I'm realizing it is one of my favorite photos ever. I never cease to be amazed at what a great father this man is.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Juliette Margaret

We are so thrilled to announce the birth of our fourth daughter, Juliette Margaret Blakey. She came screaming into our world last night at 10:52 pm. After a bit of a scare and mad rush to the hospital awhile after dinner, we learned everything was actually fine, but that those contractions I'd been ignoring actually were labor, which I had a hard time believing. And then in almost no time, she was in our arms, 7 lbs, 3 oz, 20 1/2 inches long, and perfect and healthy and so wonderful. We are so thankful to God for His grace and goodness to us these last nine months, and are so overjoyed to have her here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Nine Years

This photos was taken 9 years ago today. I was so excited to marry this man, but honestly, I still had those tiny twinges of uncertainty. What if he's not actually perfect? But then I would remember the way he treated his mother and sisters, those in authority over him, and those at his service, and I knew he was a good man.

Truthfully, our marriage hasn't been perfect. We are two imperfect people, and we have had a few trials and tears along the way. But because he has shown me what it looks like to be humble and ask forgiveness (for both great and small offenses), our home is rich with joy and laughter.

He is gentle and strong, firm and gracious, patient and hard working, smart and just the right amount of nerdy. He does dishes, makes lunches, changes diapers, and gets up in the middle of the night to rearrange blankets for small people. He cares for me tenderly all the times I am sick or unwell. He reads to, dances with, sings with, teaches, plays with and tickles our children. He loves learning, exploring, and adventures, as well as quiet evenings at home. He laughs easily, forgives quickly, loves fiercely, and hates what is evil. He is faithful, wise, generous, thoughtful, kind, and a better man than I ever hoped for.

He is a good man.

Happy anniversary, Bryan. I am so thankful that God saw fit to make you my husband, and I look forward to growing old together. I love you so much.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Number Four!

Baby number four is due in April! We got this lovely little surprise a few weeks ago.

This morning we got our first look at our beautiful baby #4! She (chances seem likely that's it's a girl) is 8 weeks today, and about the size and shape of a gummy bear. Official due date is April 14. I can't wait to meet this little person in seven months!!!

The first thing I noticed was the beautiful little heart, flickering away on the ultrasound screen. What joy to hear the wonderful wumpa-wumpa of a strong hear beating about 162 times a minutes.

The little white ring is the yolk sac, and next to it is our tiny baby, laying on it's side. You can see the head, an arm, and there's even a tiny little butt.

Monday, August 31, 2015


Today I harvested some fruit and veggies, and grabbed a couple of eggs from the hen house. So amazing to have food just growing in my backyard!

Friday, August 21, 2015

I Must Speak

I must speak. Not because I think that I'm so important that my words will change anyone's mind; I know the internet is a lousy place for real discussion. But because truth is worth proclaiming, whoever the audience. And what I must say is this:

Abortion is the slaughter of an innocent child. Religion has nothing to do with that definition.

I know those that are pro-choice like to sadly smile and claim that no one really loves abortion, but a women must have the right to choose what happens to her body.

I call BS. We don't get to "do what's best for us" at the expense of others. Imagine if I left my young kids at home alone for the day and went out to get a manicure, sip fancy coffee, and do some shopping. My body, my choice, right? Or what if I didn't want them to suffer neglect while I was gone, so I just lined them up and killed them in a way that ensured their bodies were still good for medical research. Planned Parenthood would have us believe that would be the best choice for me to make.

Parents aren't free to cut their children's faces open and donate their brains (with monetary reimbursement, of course) simply because they don't want to be bothered with the responsibility of potty training, or middle-of-the-night drinks of water. But my body, my choice, right? I would argue that children are an inconvenience to a parent's body, whatever the stage of life. Perhaps less so with time, but the sacrifice of one's choices doesn't end when the umbilical cord is properly tied and cut.

Have you seen the sobering undercover videos? They are not meant to fear monger politicians into taking away women's rights. They are being shown to expose murder, and hopefully to save future lives. We now know that babies are being dismembered and sold for parts in a barbaric manner. But the real horror is that they are being killed in the first place.

Please don't get angry and claim that we would all be adopting children if we really cared. So many of us that are pro-life are using the resources we have to help orphans and widows in ways that we are able, and loving the kids that are in our lives at the same time. My heart aches for those women and children, and I have wept for a child murdered that we once invited to be a part of our family.

And so I say again, abortion is the slaughter of an innocent child. Size, reasoning ability, planned existence, lung capacity, or body fat percentage do not qualify if a child should live or die for someone else's convenience.