Once again, please indulge me. This post is not about food, or toxins, or any of the usual things. It is a celebration of my oldest baby, who SOMEHOW turns fifteen today.
I should say more often how proud I am of you, and the man you are becoming. I should say that you are strong and brave, and that you are smart and even show glimmers of wisdom sometimes. I should tell you that I am always amazed at how you are good at so many different things.
I ought to tell you that your laugh lights up my heart (and I wish it wasn’t so often reserved for just your friends). You are so funny, and I can’t help laughing at you, even when I’m the subject of your jokes!
And I should definitely tell you that, most of the time, I know you try very hard. Being fifteen (or fourteen or thirteen…) is not easy.
Instead I too often tell you what you need to do differently, what you have done wrong, and what you must not do. And I wouldn’t be a good parent if I didn’t sometimes say these things. I want to protect you. I want to teach you. And most importantly, I want to show you your need – our need – for a Savior.
But sometimes, I say all of those things because I am scared. I am so scared that the next few years will fly by, and then you will be gone. And I want to impart to you everything I can in these fast and fleeting days.
Yesterday we were dancing at my wedding. Tomorrow we’ll be dancing at yours. It just happens too, too fast.
Noah, your name, in Hebrew, often means “rest.” Peaceful rest. But did you know that the root of your name can also mean “wandering?” This is where you are in your teen years: Wandering, trying to find a place to come to rest.
The deepest prayer of my heart is that you will come to rest in the arms of Christ.
If I cannot teach you how to clean a bathroom or make you like liver, but can point you toward the Lord, I will rejoice. If you never feed the cat without being asked, or always love Skittles (terrible!), but love Jesus more, I will rejoice. And even if your wandering takes you in a direction I do not wish, if a relationship with your God is at the end of it, I will rejoice.
As you cross yet another bridge moving toward adulthood, do not forget the wisdom God has provided for us.
Proverbs 1:7a, Proverbs 3:7a – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. You (we) don’t know it all. But God does. Listen to Him.
Proverbs 6:20-22 – My son, observe the commandment of your father, and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; Bind them continually on your heart; Tie them around your neck. When you walk about, they will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk to you. God gave you parents for a reason. And God honors you for your honoring them.
Proverbs 9:8b-9, Proverbs 12:1 – Reprove a wise man and he will be still wiser. Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning. Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. We should be glad for correction, which steers us back to the right path, and learn from it.
Proverbs 10:22 – It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it. A life rich with God’s blessings leads to joy; A life full of riches, apart from God, cannot satisfy.
Oh! I could go on and on; God’s Word is a storehouse of wisdom and a guidebook for our lives. But I will quote just one more proverb to you. My son, if your heart is wise, my own heart also will be glad; And my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right (Proverbs 23:15).
Enjoy fifteen! I wish we could make it go slower than the previous years have . But no matter what, like the words to the song that played while we danced, know that I will always stand by you. You’ve heard me say it before, and it is true: You are the love of my life. My first love.
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