Thursday, April 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, Steven!

Today is Steven’s 19th birthday. I have struggled with what to write…as you all know, I’m no writer and I have difficulty putting what I want to say down on paper. Also, the things that we enjoy about Steven are not so easy to describe…they are attitudes, and gestures…things that show his heart to us, but not easy to put into words. But, I’ll try.

We used to be worried that Steven would be swept away by peer pressure - he loved his friends so much. But we see that his love for his friends has helped him to learn how to urge them on to greater godliness, to “call them on the carpet” if need be. We have seen that Steven is an exhorter, and we are thankful.

We used to be worried about Steven’s diligence to do what he ought…he really struggled with that in his early teen years, but also all through high school. But, Steven has risen to his calling, though and diligently studies “morning, noon, and night”. He is doing very well in college and has grown in his writing abilities. His English teacher has said that he is an “exceptional writer”. I have seen him working on a paper, it has taken great diligence on his part (I bet he would say, “blood, sweat and tears”).

We used to worry that Steven would be in rebellion - he has such strong ideas. It took him some time to learn how to speak them in a way that was respectful of authority. But, Steven treats his father and I with much deference and affection. His strong ideas continue to show his worldview which is one that glorifies God and we are thankful that he is so headstrong in this way!

Steven insisted on driving me and Shayna to a friend’s house a couple of evenings ago. We were invited to watch a movie, and finding out that we would be watching it on their laptop (their household is packed up in boxes ready to move) he offered to bring a television and DVD player and set it up for us. He did this and though they offered to bring us home, he insisted again, that I call him to pick us up. He remembers to get the doors for me, car doors as well as the regular kind and is always solicitous and gentle with me. Steven always remembers to hug and kiss me and I am so grateful for such small gestures! I think that one of the things that I will miss most when he goes off to “leave & cleave” one day is our conversations. Steven understands how important it is to me to “just talk” - I’m a quality time kind of person. He seems to understand that I need to talk things out, often to figure them out. He tells me his opinions, and what’s going on in his life, and he “calls me on the carpet” sometimes too.

Conrad and I are so thankful for the children that God has been pleased to bless us with. Each of them is unique and special…a real joy to us. Steven is not the least of these. Last year, I put the text of Psalm 1, but this year, I just want to put up a few verses:

1 The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother. Prov. 10:1

1 A wise son heeds his father's instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke. Prov. 13:1

15 My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad;
16 my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right. Prov. 23:15,16

The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him. Prov.23:24

Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart; then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt. Prov. 27:11

“4For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. 6If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
9This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance 10(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.
11Command and teach these things. 12Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (13Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.)15Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.
16Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
I Timothy 4:4-15

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