Today you are four years old. As I predictably ask every year, where has the time gone? When did that no-sleeping baby turn into an independent preschooler? When did we trade teething rings for baseball bats and sippy cups for monster trucks?
This has been a big year for you. You've had many interests from Hot Wheels and Monster Trucks to Superheros and Dinosaurs. Of course nothing could ever replace your love of sports. I predict that baseball will always be your passion. Call it maternal instinct if you will, but I would venture to guess that when I write this last letter to you on your eighteenth birthday, we will still be talking about baseball!
I'm so proud of your many accomplishments this past year. You can count as high as you wish. You can spell your name, you know pretty much every species of dinosaurs known to man. You know the Pledge of Allegiance, The Star Spangled Banner, and all the military branch songs....you're favorite is the Air Force. You're even sleeping much better for which I am so, so grateful!
You are the best big brother. Really, I was kinda shocked by this. You are so sweet, caring and protective of Ellie. You share your toys with her. You understand when Mommy and Daddy are busy taking care of her, and you are so eager to show her off.
I am most proud of your spiritual growth. You have come to love Bible stories. You talk about Jesus, King David, Jonah, Daniel, and Noah all the time. Sometimes you get a little confused and think the Red Sea was actually red, but hey, it's an easy assumption to make. You have learned to pray, and it is music to my ears. You ask questions, sometimes HARD ones, but seeing the gospel through your eyes reminds me to have childlike faith. See...I'm teaching you, and you're teaching me. One of the greatest things I'm learning from you is how to be generous. I know the Lord is going to use this for HIS glory. I pray that your whole life will be used for his glory.
"Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven." - Matthew 5:16
Eli, you are a light. Your joy is contagious, and your spirit radiates to those around you. Through the years you will discover that God has given you many talents and gifts. Don't take these things for granted. It is your responsibility to use these to benefit the Kingdom of Heaven. If you are a talented student, study for the glory of God. If you are good in sports, play for the Glory of God. If he blesses you with musical abilities, sing for the glory of God. Everything you do- - -do for the glory of God.
In addition to these talents, the Lord has put in your heart a deep passion. You may have a heart for children, or orphans, the special needs population or even missions. Don't ignore this passion, my son. Let it ignite a fire deep inside your soul because when your talents collide with your passions, that fire will become an inferno blazing for the glory of God. You will be unstoppable, and the Kingdom of Heaven will be impacted greatly.
Give all of yourself, your talents, your passion and one day your possessions to the Lord because you are a light. You will shine before man, but your God in Heaven will be glorified. You are special. God has a plan for you, and I can not wait to see how he uses you!
My job isn't, however, to sit idly by. My responsibility as your mother is to mold you into a man of faith, to shepard your heart, and to pray for your soul. Recently your daddy introduced me to one of his favorite songs:
While kneeling by her bedside in a cottage on the hill
My mother prayed her blessings on me there
She was talking there to Jesus while everything was still
And I heard my mother call my name in prayer.
Yes, I heard my mother call my name in prayer
She was pourin' out her heart to Jesus there
Then I gave my heart to Him and He saved my soul from sin
For He heard my mother call my name in prayer.
She was anxious for her boy to be just what he ought to be
And she asked the Lord to take him in His care
Just the words I can't remember but I know she prayed for me
For I heard my mother call my name in prayer
So I gave my heart to Jesus and I'm livin now for him
And someday I'll go and meet Him in the air
For He heard my mother praying and He saved my soul from sin
Yes, He heard my mother call my name in prayer...
Please know that I will always call your name in prayer. I will pray for your salvation. I will pray for your safety. I will pray for your teachers, coaches, and leaders. I will pray for your friends, your girlfriends, your future wife, and your children. I will pray for wisdom, strength, and integrity. I will pray for you during good times and in bad. I will pray as you rejoice and as you morn. I will pray above all, that you come to know the Lord as your Savior, and that he will bless you with a deep convition to use your talents and your passions for HIS glory.
I love you sweet Eli. You make your mommy so very proud. Happy Fourth Birthday!!