Entering the Teenage Years

28 11 2015

Caleb,

You’re a teenager!  (Though you’ve been eating like one for a while now.)  You are almost taller than me, but I am still faster and stronger and smarter.  And, I can drive and you can’t.  At least I have that.

Not only have you grown up physically, you’ve grown more mature.  Academically, you are (have always been) gifted.  I was super proud, perhaps a little too proud, to see you standing on the stage when they announced the first quarter Heads List recipients, and there were only six kids.  You, the only boy in the group, were among them.

Spiritually, I can see your faith turning into your faith, not my faith or Daddy’s faith, but one of your own.  This excites me and scares me.  You have conquered some feats I was a little hesitant about (ROP), and I see you wrestling with God sometimes as you try to make sense of the world around you.  As long as you always lean into God and not away from Him, these times of wrestling can lead to great peace and joy and wisdom.

Highlights from your twelfth year include:

  • Successfully completing the Rite of Passage, even on a weekend with pretty miserable weather.  (No pneumonia, thank you, Lord!)
  • Receiving a “real” phone with a “real” plan. Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, Happy Easter and Fourth of July for that one.
  • You made Honors Choir and had your first piano recital where you played the Star Wars theme song. I honestly thought you sounded better than some of the kids who had been playing longer than you.  But I am your mother, so I am automatically biased in your favor.
  • I love that you prefer to listen to K-Love or The Fish as your music of choice. I also like all the classical and movie soundtracks you listen to as well.
  • Lego Dimensions. (Even I admit, it is kind of cool.  But not quiet so cool as what you paid for it.)

Looking ahead:

  • Only one more year until you can start working at Publix. (You have no idea how excited I am about this!)
  • Only three more years until you can drive on your own. (I know I will eventually be excited about this once I get over the terror of my first-born driving on his own.)
  • You’ve got great teachers this year, and I am so, so grateful for how you enjoy and excel in school. That does a momma’s heart good.
  • You’ve got many more years until you’re a parent, but please stop practicing on your little brother so much. However, if that’s our main point of contention with you as you navigate the tumultuous waters of middle school and puberty, we are so very blessed!

And we are blessed by you, Caleb.  You have such a good, kind, generous heart.  You care about your work.  You always desire to do your best.  You are creative.  You are musical.  You have a good group of friends.  You make us proud, and you are a gift from God.

My prayer for you as enter the teen years . . .

  • Don’t get bogged down by things that don’t matter. Always remember what’s most important in any situation; it’s probably not what is most obvious.
  • Don’t let the stress of getting a certain grade weigh you down. Earning a B is not the end of the world.  (I promise, we won’t love you any less if a B ever makes its way onto your report card.)
  • Remember your little brother is 5 ½ years younger than you. He loves you and adores you and looks up to you in ways you don’t fully recognize yet.  That is a tremendous privilege, and with it comes tremendous power and responsibility.  Don’t abuse it.
  • Honor and respect the young women in your life, be they classmates, friends, or someday girlfriends. When you find yourself becoming “interested” in a young lady, read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, replacing the word love with the name of the girl.  If you can’t read it without questioning the fit of the girl to the scripture, keep it platonic.  (Actually, keep it platonic anyway.  You’re far too young.)
  • Always turn to God first. When you’re happy as well as frustrated, take all of your emotions to God.  Cry out to Him when life seems unfair and you’re hurting.  Thank Him when you are surprised with an unexpected gift.  Talk to Him when you’re bored.  Seek His counsel and wisdom when you are unsure.  Rest in His presence every night.

I love you with every fiber of my being.
Mommy