My Dear Son

28 11 2012

My dear son,

Eldest.  Blessing.  Miracle.  Joy.  Delight.  Honor.

I can’t believe you are 10 today.  I’ve been pondering this day a while now, wondering what to write.  Let me start with this scripture I read a few days ago.  I immediately thought of you and some of the things you are going through.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.

In my distress I prayed to the Lord,
and the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear.
What can mere people do to me?
Yes, the Lord is for me, he will help me.
I look in triumph at those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people.
-Psalm 118:1, 5-8

I think of some of the conversations we’ve had lately, and I am blown away, excited, joyful, and yet my heart aches for you.  I can see the Spirit of God moving in you in a mighty and powerful way for one so young.  I see God pulling on your heart, desiring goodness for you.  I see you wanting to obey with everything that is in you.  I see you coming into a faith of your own—not your father’s or my faith, though I pray we have provided you with a firm foundation on which to stand on your own.  Not having grown up myself with the faith you have as a young child—you have no idea what this experience means to me.

I see your struggles, and my mommy-heart aches for you.  I wish I had the answers you seek:  Why am I here?  What does God want me to do?  Why doesn’t He answer me?  Does anyone think I’m special and important?

Take heart, precious son!  You are here for a grand purpose, though we may not know for years what that purpose is.  God did not bring you into this world without having a great and glorious master plan already prepared for your life.

Be strong and courageous, my child!  God wants you to love him first and foremost.  He wants you to love others just as much.  He wants you to pray for those who tease you or make fun of Blanky Bear.  He wants you to love, no matter what, no matter how difficult.  My heart rejoices as I see you try to live out God’s greatest commands.

Be at peace, young one!  God always listens to your prayers.  He always hears your cries of sadness.  He always knows your deepest longings and greatest struggles.  He always loves no matter what.  He always forgives with a doubt.  Even when you don’t hear him, and it seems like he’s on another planet, He is still there for you.  Always!

Smile and sing and rejoice, Caleb!  You are more special than you will ever know—not just to daddy and me and your family and friends.  You have no idea the lives you have touched and will touch.  You have no idea the plans God has in store for your future—a future brimming with hope, goodness, and greatness in Him.  I believe this with every fiber of my being.

Caleb - 10 years old

Caleb – 10 years old

To my lego-lover, deep-sleeper, joke-teller, recorder-player, popcorn-seller, avid-reader, craigslist-poster, Weird Al-lover, straight-A receiver, laundry-doer, special-helper, hospital-visitor, Cheerio treat-maker, cous cous-eater, and most precious delight of God . . .

My prayer for you is that you will always feel the presence of the Holy One dwell deep within you.  May your faith continue to mature.  May God’s will always be on your heart and in your mind.  May you always overcome your struggles with goodness, mercy, and grace.  May righteousness always be your guide.  May you always love God and always know beyond a shadow of a doubt how much He loves you.




Words I Fail to Say

13 10 2010

Hosea 2:19-20 is inscribed on my husband’s and my wedding bands: 

“I will betroth you to me forever;
I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
in love and compassion. 
I will betroth you in faithfulness,
and you will acknowledge the Lord.”

First and foremost, that is a promise of the way God loves us:  for eternity, justly, faithfully, righteously, compassionately.  Secondly, that is a description of the way my husband loves me and the way I love him, though I seem to fall far short of that ideal way too often.

After my husband and I had a long, hard, but ultimately good talk last night about some issues we are struggling with in our marriage, I knew I had to get my thoughts on paper, mainly to bless my husband, but as therapy for myself as well.

To my love,

These are words I need to say more often, every day, probably several times a day.  I have a hard time getting them out, though.

  1. I’m sorry.  I don’t think I can ever say that enough.  For all the things I have done over the past 12 years that have hurt you and laid you low, I’m so, so very sorry.
  2. I love you more than you will ever know.  Ever!  I know I definitely need to say this more.
  3. You are the only one I want.  Ever!  You are the only one I want to walk through the muck and mire of life with.  It’s not fun wading through all the crap, but you are the one I want by my side.
  4. I love you!  (Did I already say that?  I think I need to say it again.)
  5. You surpass all others in being a great dad, especially considering you were one who never really wanted kids.  I look at how you deal with our boys, how you love them, how you discipline them, how you play with them, how you train them, and I am continually blessed that they have you for a dad.  I am confident they will look back on their childhood and realize what an amazing role model you have been for them (and will continue to be throughout their lives).
  6. Your rock-solid faith continually inspires, amazes, and blesses me.  Even in the middle of the pit you feel yourself in at times, you still cling to Christ.  I pity those husbands that do not have your faith, and I hurt for those wives who do not have husbands of such deep, firm faith.
  7. I want to grow young with you.  I want to be 80 years old, holding your hand on a porch swing someday as we look out at the world around us.  I want to live a peaceful, content life with you at my side.
  8. I need to change.  I will always be in a state of needing to change.  I will only stop needing to change when I am face-to-face with Jesus.  I need your patience and lots of grace during this process.
  9. Ninakupenda Mapenzi!
  10. For those of you who don’t understand Swahili, #9 is worth repeating in English:  I love you, my love!