A charge to keep
There's a Latino woman who comes to our English as a Second Language class on Wednesday evenings and when I see her my heart smiles.
Happy Thursday friends.
We are over here finally finishing up cough drops and noticing the colors that make Ohio an amazing place to live.
No, I'm not going to say that "I'm glad I live in a world with Octobers in it," ( or will I...) but I will say that I'm glad that I grew up and my kids grew up in Ohio.
I love seeing this dear woman darken the door of the church because without a doubt, no holds barred she will come straight to me and kiss me on the cheek.
I don't just hope for it, I WAIT for it.
And every time it legit catches me in the throat for preciousness.
I'm telling you each time she comes and kisses me on the cheek it takes one horrible thing out of my memory, I just feel it.
That's me, your gal who could hug a telephone pole because I have forty spare hugs in my back pocket.
Love never ever gets waisted on me in physical form.
And in pumpkin Dunkin coffee form.
(regular cream no sugar please)
And so when the second trip out of state in two weeks to a youth summit was staring my cough in the face I didn't think I had what it takes to make the trip.
I shared this with my third who just happens to be one of my greatest prayer partners.
He just "gets" a real need, no matter how insignificant it seems to anyone else.
Caleb will take it as seriously as you do.
So I reached out to him to tell him that I was just so low all the way around that I didn't think I could make the trip to see him and his brother, and here was his text to me:
"If you come, I'll give you a lot of encouragement and love here!!"
He prayed me there, prayed for me with him at the teen meeting when he was crazy busy, and prayed me home.
He text me every day, sent scripture to lift my heart and stayed close to me when the other teens were enjoying snacks just for moral support.
This is something with my kids that I wasn't prepared for.
To see their faith run past mine giving mine a high-five as it does so.
So I thought it appropriate to send some blessing back his direction.
So this is for Caleb today.
I mean, I'm glad you're here and hope you will forgive me for taking this time with him, but the older I get the more I feel that my words need to bless the socks off my kids.
Just kidding there Caleb, you're always frozen. Keep those socks on.
Steal them back from your bother there at college.
Dear Caleb, Kleb, Klebbie, Chubbers Horatio Alberto Bell, or otherwise affectionately known as "Proverbs,"
I'm sorry you won the lottery for pet names in our house.
You have always been the peace-maker, the smiley, quiet, kind kid who hides stickers off of fruit under the table centerpiece.
I've finally found that cute instead of frustrating.
Thank you for phasing-out of your deep interest in taxidermy and filling our house with shells of dead animals. Your little keepsake down in the basement furnace room might not be here when you come home for Thanksgiving.
You know how things just disappear around our house.
We've been known to throw away a childhood or two.
Thank you for being our resident bird watcher with a few unknown facts about every kind of bird under the sun.
I have loved raising you.
You were easy-peasy from the very beginning.
I'm not sure how you got so fat and happy in Mongolia when the rest of us were slimming down, but we do owe a debt to that unnamed Russian baby cereal.
If you find later in life you have a craving for Borscht that may have a bit to do with that.
You were never one to be pushed, pulled or prodded into something and I'm so glad for that. Never let anyone push you into some wrong for their purposes.
Why God gave you the eyebrows and eyelashes that are the envy of every girl in our house I may never know, but I am grateful that you are always one to look a challenge in the eye. Keep doing that, okay?
"Somebody said that it couldn't be done," but you've never let that stop you from giving it a try.
I love your love for old music. For old hymns no one but you knows the tune of. I love that you can sing from your heart and mean every word.
I apologize for not giving-in to your wishes to begin your graduation ceremony singing "Willing to suffer grief or pain..." from the hymn "Ready." I just didn't think that was the way to kick things off.
You are our fella twice given to us. One at birth and then again after you almost smothered at home.
You were also given to us after the loss of a child, and you have been precious to us ever since.
I remind you of these things to remind you that your life has amazing PURPOSE! Don't just survive this life Caleb, live it for the Lord to the very fullest of your ability.
Demerits will come and go.
It's really okay.
I recognize that this may not be possible without a plethora of fruit snacks so I ask the Lord to give you hand-fulls of purpose- including fruit snacks.
He knows you like the Welch's blue box best.
He knows every thing you like.
I'm trusting him to help you with the "pile everything together on your plate before you eat it," thing you like to do.
God is able.
He also knows that you don't have a selfish bone in your body so you will need a double amount of fruit snacks because you give so many away.
Like when I brought you homemade stromboli and you gave some to a teen you hardly knew staying in your room for the youth conference who forgot to make time for dinner.
I know I sigh a bit at that, but I wouldn't change that in you and envy your ability to give without reserve.
I've seen the Lord use you as a channel to bless others and know that THAT is why you always seem to have "goodness" and "mercy" at your heels.
Thank you for loving God's word as you do.
The more you sink into his Word in the car, at work or quietly in your room the more you will know how good he is.
You will know what HE likes as well.
A wonderful life is filled with things that please your heavenly Father.
And along the way be sure to laugh a lot, especially at yourself.
As serious as you can be, remember to be "cool and creamy" sometimes and laugh because seriousness needs a balance like joy.
I know you aren't perfect, because none of us are.
But I am thankful that you understand the "Charge to keep" you have in this life just as Charles Wesley did:
"A charge to keep I have,
a God to glorify,
a never-dying soul to save,
and fit it for the sky.
Help me to watch and pray,
and still on Thee rely,
O let me not my trust betray,
but press to realms on high."
I love you so.