My Dear Sons...
Your infancy has been on my mind with the recent event of your sweet little cousin entering the world last week. If you have wondered why I have been caught staring at you for long periods of time, then this letter should explain everything. I can never say enough times how quickly you have grown! Your little fingers were wrapped around mine, and now my little fingers get lost in the palms of your big hands. Your eyes used to look to me for answers on this big world we live in, and now I find myself looking to you for answers that are new to me. Time has continued it's grand march, and it has taken you right along with it.
I hear all the time what beautiful creatures you are. Not just on the outside, but more importantly, on the inside. The compliments come from many and sometimes are only heard by a few. My heart swells each time though... No matter how many others are there to hear about how you stand out. You are young men now with hearts so big. People see that. People notice. I want you to know that. Your dad and I have told you, but I want you to really know. Your kind and generous spirits speak volumes to a world that needs more like you. I stare at you and sometimes just marvel at you. How did this happen? How did you grow up to be the kind that stand out the way you so obviously do?
It would be almost easy for me to take a lot of the credit. All of the days sitting around the wood stove talking about how Jesus cares about our character the most. "Anyone can be a rocket scientist, but not everyone can be well liked and respected for the person they are," I would say as your ears listened intently. At the time I wasn't sure you even understood what I was talking about. You were pretty young... This was pretty grown up stuff. You listened though. That's plain to see. It would probably be just as easy for your dad to take a lot of credit too. He has been only the best role model a dad can be. He is a hard worker and he ADORES his family. He has exemplified putting his family first and being there for you in all kinds of ways. He has coached you on soccer fields and baseball fields. He has taught you how to shoot a gun and how to hold a door open for a lady. He has made sure that you knew how to respect and admire those older and wiser. Yes... It could be that your dad and I have everything to do with what beautiful young men you are. But no, not really...
As I've looked back on the pages of your baby books and journals over the last week, I notice a common thread. The three of you have been covered in very specific prayers since the day we knew about your tiny life growing within me. We prayed about your physical growth and well being, of course. However, the bulk of the prayers were about your faith and character. We prayed that first and foremost you would be God loving boys who would grow to be God loving men. We knew that if you loved the Lord and if you feared Him in the way that we are supposed to fear Him, that you would be exceptional people.
Remembering back a few years, I think of times when I would go to my bedside and literally be on my knees over specific issues regarding each of you. I would dig out these journals of mine and pray those same exact prayers that I prayed while I was pregnant with you. Today, I do much the same. The journals are in a box somewhere. Someday we will feel settled enough again to un-pack everything. I don't need the journals to pray. All I need is a small space of quiet and a few minutes. God has listened all of these years.... This I know. He is the one who gets the glory for who you are and who you are still becoming.
I am well aware that the days of being knelt over my bedside while praying over your lives are not over. There will still be many. I want you to know though, that I will never stop making that my priority. Your spiritual wellness will always come first. For if you are well in Spirit, then every other part of you will be well also. No matter how many other things may creep into my days and try to steal me away from you, I will always be praying on your behalf. I have always considered that to be number one in importance as your mother. It will remain as such until my dying day.
So if you catch me staring, you know why. I am not staring at the dirt that you may have stuck to the side of your cheek. I am not wanting to lecture you on the clever schemes that you may be up to. I am not gazing at the boy-ish grin that you have so perfected. I am simply staring at you in amazement... Amazed at the glory of God that shines through you so vividly. A million times would not be enough to tell you how proud I am of each of you.
So that's what has been on my mind lately. I see little 'E' and I still see YOU... All wrapped up in your little "burrito bundles" ready to take on the world. You're a bit larger now, and burrito bundles are far behind us, but the world is still in front of you and ready to be changed by who you are. Continue being true. Keep being all that God has made of you, and never be fearful of where He may be taking you next. You will always have me praying you through every twist and turn.
I love you so much...