He listens to rap music.
He goes into detail about the football game he played in P.E. at school.
He can ride a roller coaster that flips over and over and beg to go again, and again, and again.
He can play in the waves ALL day and never wear out.
He’ll dress up like a big, pink Energizer bunny and let younger kids belt him in the head with a dodge ball.
He long legs take him across the field with his defensive duty to redirect the soccer ball like a leopard at top speed.
He asks his little sister to make him a bracelet from her Rainbow Loom...and wears it to middle school.
He can laugh at himself.
How could this mom love this son any more than she does already? But she does each day.
So what gift can a mom give her son on his 14th birthday other than a gift card to the local sports store or one for iTunes?
I can give these promises to rest in and hold tight to. Son,
~ Your parents will always love you. There have been too many times when your mom and dad’s tempers have been lost, patience disappeared and encouragement fallen between the cracks as you navigate on the road of your teenage years. But that does not mean we do not love you…or any less. We are not perfect parents. Plain and simple. We make mistakes on how we react and speak but you were not a mistake to us. We love you from the depths of our hearts because you have been in the depths of our souls since you were formed.
~ God created you with purpose and has a plan for you. “He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” (Ephesians 2:10 MSG)
I read a quote recently that said something like this,
“When we operate within the giftedness God gave us, he’s cheering us on shouting ‘You were made for this!’”
You were made for this, son! Made to be on this earth at this moment to use the gifts you’re discovering you have to bring joy to the lives of others. Your kindness and sincerity to everyone you meet is a reflection of Jesus.
~ You can make a holy difference in this world wherever you are.
Make a difference. Make an impact. I’m not saying how to because that’s for you to discover and talk to God about. You’ve already started making a difference so keep on at it! The world seems enormous but so is God’s power! It can seem overwhelming and you wonder if you can really make a holy difference to the smallest degree, but YOU CAN! And God wants you to. He wants you to trust Him and follow His lead. As you put one step in front of the other He’ll give you the ability to complete His mission…with endless energy, boundless strength.” (Eph. 1:19 MSG)
~ Your faith accompanied by God’s grace will take you far on this side of heaven.
Luke 17:6 says all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed. I read this about our faith and mustard seeds in my bible notes: “A tiny amount of genuine faith in God will take root and grow. Almost invisible at first, it will begin to spread, first under the ground and then visibly. Although each change will be gradual and imperceptible, soon this faith will have produced major results that will uproot and destroy competing loyalties.”
We pray that that seed will continue to grow and fulfill that promise, son. I pray this same prayer that your teenage friends will also learn – and believe - those same promises and that they’ll spread quicker than gossip. I pray asking all of you will stand firm and be confident in Christ and know He never breaks His promises. We pray you’ll hold onto God’s promises and guarantees forever, and know you are loved by dad, me and many others.
Happy 14th Birthday! We love you!