baptism Today marks eight years since I got dunked. Life is very different now: I'm married, I don't live in a city anymore, I like my job, and I have to get two munchkins ready for church in addition to myself.

But much remains the same. I still hunger to know God as both my Creator and my friend. I desire to be mission-minded, to be Heaven-focused. I struggle to live in harmony with others, I stumble over many of the same blocks that challenged me in 2004.

I spent nine months preparing to get baptized but I believe God had been working on my heart years before that. I was very hedonistic and angry before Sept. 4, 2004. Baptism didn't wash all that away, but it offered me an opportunity to commit to a new beginning, with others who would hold me accountable. Baptism was an opportunity to study the Bible and to really question to the depths what being a Christian required. To me, living out this baptism means continuing to study and question those very same things.

A favorite hymn that my friends sang on the day of my baptism is "Be Thou My Vision." The beauty of the lyrics and music ceases to overwhelm me. "Thou and Thou only" is a line that always convicts me. Now that I have my own children whose hearts have beat inside of me, my desire is emboldened to have the heart of God as my own, as well.

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Every time I hear that song, it serves as a reminder of this baptismal call I am trying mightily to live out each day.