A note for my 8-year-old

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Tonight, I watched you at science fair.  You were confident about sharing your project, but still a little shy.  I was proud of the way you shared with anyone who came up to see your project, and you answered questions about your presentation board and your tin can robot.

When you decided to give me your participation ribbon, your little lip quavered, and you said, “It’s really yours because you taught me all about robots.”  I was overwhelmed by joy at your tender and humble heart.

You see there’s a man that your Daddy and I want you to become–a man who’s not afraid of a challenge–a man of courage–a man who is tender and gentle, but is bold and passionate.  Sometimes, I wonder if these can coexist in a young boy’s heart, and then, I see flashes.  They’re immature.  They’re tempered by childishness and all the  worldly sins that your Daddy and I both so often commit too, but they’re there.  I am thankful.

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I watch you often with your brother.  He loves you more than you’ll ever know.  I love you more than you’ll ever know as I see you deciding to wear a shirt to match your little brother.  I see your kindness towards him and your love for him that day.

Then, sometimes on a day like today, I see you break his little heart.  You pushed him down because you didn’t want him to be in a doorway.  You immediately started yelling out an apology and wrapping your arms around him, telling him how sorry your were, how you weren’t thinking.  My heart broke a little in return.  I realized, that even in hurting his feelings, in hurting his pride, how great your love is for him.

Watch after Monkey.  He looks to you for how to respond to the world.  He looks to you for guidance.  He needs you, and one of my greatest joys as a parent has been to see your tender heart towards both Monkey and Owlet.  Guide them (and Rose too if she’ll let you).  If you’ll let me, I’ll teach you how to do it a little more gently.  We may have to learn it together.

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Sometimes, your keen sense of right and wrong leads you to be a little more aggressive in defending your positions than you perhaps should be.  I don’t want you to lose your sense of right and wrong.  You get that from your father on Earth and from your Father in Heaven.

Sometimes I worry about crushing that sense because I tend to say, “Stop yelling!”  “Don’t call people liars!”  “Please don’t cast blame!”  and of course, “You can’t hit someone just because they’ve wronged you.”

Behind your back though, with pride, I say, “If someone starts something with Firecracker, he’s going to finish it.”  I know you can take care of yourself far better than I imagine.

I watch Monkey.  He’s a follower.  Whatever someone else is doing, he’s prone to join in.  You don’t have that in you.  You are strong.  You are not a follower.  You aren’t going to do what other people do just because everyone is doing it or it’s the cool thing to do.  Already, you’ve seen that in life it’s cost you friends.  I am so happy that God gave that characteristic to you.

Use your since of right and wrong.  Use your passion for justice.  Use your moral integrity.  Use it to change the world.  What the world needs now are people who are willing to stick to act with integrity, and by doing so, rescue people from pain and suffering.  This will be what you one day use to lead your own family.  Don’t ever let that be taken from you.

When you pray, you often ask God to help you with your self-control.  I pray that with you.  God’s still working on my self-control too.  He will start a work in us that won’t be completed until he comes again.  You’re more self-controlled now than you used to be.  You’ll be more self-controlled next year than you are now.  It will come with time and practice.

bennett with chick

 

I know that you’re still working out your relationship with God.  You’re fearfully and wonderfully made.  I know you’ve said prayers.  I know that you’ve asked Jesus in your heart, but sometimes you still feel lost.  Faith isn’t a feeling.  I pray that some day you’ll know that with calm assurance.  I pray that faith will become the center of your life.

Over the past few months, I’ve watched the news and seen what happens in a world where there is no faith.  I can’t pass my faith on to you or give you my faith.  However, I see faith in your daily questions about life and your daily discussions about the world.  I believe in you and your childlike faith.  I will continue my job of preparing your heart to receive the seed and grow it against the darkness of the world and the darkness within all of our hearts.

I am so proud to be your mother, and so afraid that I don’t express it very well to you.  I feel as if I’ve been given a very great work to do, and that I don’t always do it well.  I hope you always know that I love you.  I hope you always feel that you can wrap your arms around me with hugs (even when they’re not so little anymore).  I hope that I provide a safe and nurturing nest for you to grow and mature in.

Most of all though, I hope you know that God loves you.

I hope you know that God has a plan for your life.

You are special.  You are loved.  Every day.

 

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5 thoughts on “A note for my 8-year-old

    1. Thank you! I accidentally named him a name that means “blessing,” and he’s been a great blessing in my life 🙂

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