Dear Son: Happy Birthday to you, J!
Today, you turn the big ten. 10 years old! Double digits. Goodness gracious.
Mom and Dad love you so much. It’s difficult and perhaps impossible to fully articulate the depths of our love for you and your sisters. We are so blessed to be your parents and I am so proud and blessed to your father. I am so proud of who you are and who you are growing to be. While I am proud of your accomplishments and how you seek to honor your parents, I am simply proud of you: The person that you are and not just what you do. Your love for God and your desire to serve Him with your life – even at such a young age – brings so much joy. Your sisters love you. Your grandparents love you. And of course, God loves you. His love for you is vast and deep.
My hope is that through our love for you, we can give you a glimpse of God’s love for you.
Yet, you are part of an imperfect family with imperfect parents – including and especially your father. You know this very well. You’ve seen me be impatient, not be fully present, lose my temper, be moody, and the list goes on. You’ve seen me at my best and seen glimpses of my worst. In other words, you’ve seen be get angry and scream at you for nothing you’ve done, fiddle with my smartphone while I’m talking with you, forget things and details you’ve shared with me, and sometimes, even forget my promises. You also are not perfect but I don’t have to list them here…because…well…it’s your birthday. 🙂 What I want you to know – and to know deeply and clearly – is that despite our imperfections and selfishness, we are a family where:
We say “I’m sorry”.
We ask for forgiveness and forgive.
We reconcile and harbor no record of wrongs.
We shower each other with love and affection.
We laugh, play, and pray.
We cheer each other on.
We love one another with words and affections.
We believe and trust in God.
As clear as it is that you are in an imperfect family, it is as clear that you are in a family where God’s grace is our cornerstone and foundation.
Don’t worry…We have a nice gift for you but this – a home where God is honored, pursued, and glorified – is our ongoing gift for you (and your sisters) and we pray that you will commit this gift to your wife and children some day.
You are truly blessed because so many have poured into your life and will continue to do so. Because you have been blessed, may you learn and be compelled to live a life of blessing to God and to the nations.
I love you.
PS: Remember this? One of my favorite games with you. I’m sorry I choked you.