He's 14, goodness gracious!

Yes, it's true.  The baby boy is fourteen.  And like I say every year one of the Things reaches yet another milestone, I can hardly believe it.  These teenage years in the land of boy are proving to be challenging.  They really all are for one reason or another but life in boy-land is so different.  And as it should be.  True to form Thing 4 remains non-stop sun up to sun down.  Only now his sun up is a bit later, and his sun down is well after I am in bed.  This year has been full of change and growth in our young man and so worth documenting.  To begin with he accepted Jesus this past summer at JAM camp in Minnesota.  A monumental moment in his life for sure.  We've had a move, he earned a spot with a new soccer club, playing a year up, he's started home schooling and training for footie every week day morning, he has facial hair, and he is growing man muscles.  Like real muscles.  Oh and did I mention he has facial hair?  His voice is deepening as are his opinions and occasionally his attitude.  I'll take it though.  Because he is also more helpful around the house, he will take out the trash and hold the door for me and his sisters, he is concerned for our safety and well being and is so very tenderhearted with those younger than him.  So here we go.  Half way through his eighth grade year, almost a high schooler, a year of teenage-hood under his belt and only a few short years left in our nest.  Someone hold me close.  No really, hold me now.  Just yesterday he looked like this and was holding my hand and now I can rest my head on his shoulder when I hug him.

He still has those big blue eyes and now he uses them against me.  One look and I'm done.  Shhh, don't tell.  Ah, who am I kidding, he already knows.  This past year has been one of slowly letting go, allowing more independence and exploring and testing.  My Mama heart has done more praying then before, re-learning lessons with this man child and then working through them again.  Navigating communication and honesty and stumbling over mistakes again and again.  Friends have become more important as has time with them.  I knew it was coming.  And yet when I look at him, holding a pocket knife and talking about shooting guns and climbing trees and chopping firewood and digging and endurance adventures I realize that he is growing up.  As it should be.  Me, I am so grateful for every moment of this journey.  Some more than others, but nonetheless it has been and always will be a privilege to be his Mama.  

Thing 4, Let's enter this year of fourteen bolder and better than the last.  Dreaming big dreams and taking the baby steps every day to bring those to fruition.  I pray you learn something new and press in to the Lord, understanding His unique, one of a kind design for you and  your life.  I pray you share agency with Him in the plan.  I pray you listen more, not only to your Dad and I but to the world around you.  Take it all in.  Create.  Whatever that means to you, share your gift with others.  Help those in need.  Wherever and however.    Be you.  Don't try and be someone else or live someone else's story.   Yours is good enough and can only be lived by you.  I pray that you know you have a heavenly father that loves you significantly more than your Dad and I.  I pray that you always have the courage to admit when you've made a mistake.  That you know in your gut that being right isn't always the most important.  I pray that you know how to say I'm sorry and offer grace to those that don't deserve it.  I pray when you don't know where else to go, you run to the cross.  I hope you know how much your Dad and I love you.  I pray for big adventures which sometimes seem like small and little things.  I pray for boldness and steadfastness, for bravery to live like no one else and for a heart that remains tethered to Jesus.  He is the best and living for Him will take you on a journey like no other.  Happy, happy 14th birthday baby boy, Machu Pichu loves you.  

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