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Archive for the ‘Brotherhood’ Category

Brothers come into the world welcomed, hugged, kissed and cared for greatly by their oldest brothers.  This adoration and nobleness quickly become territorial lessons in healthy boundary development – usually through first enacting unhealthy responses.

Brothers throw much about – angry words, carelessness and punches – as they find how they fit not only in the brotherhood, but in the family and then in the world.

As a mother watching the evolution of these boys to men and how their brotherhood fits into their growing-up world, well, I have put my faith in the goodness of God’s plan for each life, learning to live faith in a “substance of things hoped for, not seen” way.

My most memorable moment of 2011?

Watching my oldest son, a father-to-be any day, pull his soldier brother into a hug, before his soldier brother drove away.

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7).

Just a hug?

I don’t think so.

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Today, my artist celebrates his elevenses birthday.

Considering that this son often comments when he wants to eat at irregular intervals and I remind him we recently ate, “Yes, that was first breakfast. But what about second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, first supper, second supper.”

When my oldest son came home from college one day and commented, “You know, Mom, we’re a peculiar family” – well, he might have been thinking about moments like that, where Tolkien takes over our conversations.

It is possible he was thinking, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

I know that when he said that, I was thinking 1 Peter 2:9. My oldest son’s expression was bemused, wryly so. I opted for the most postive translation.

Caleb's Art

But back to my elevenses son, apparently born into a “peculiar” family, the heart of the brotherhood (not to be confused with the Center of the Brotherhood). When he was born, my joyful son asked, “What’s his spirit name, Mom?”

“Peace?” I asked, hopeful, frazzled at the wrestling and arguing between the 2nd and 3rd one at that time.

“No, Mama,” he said, 5 years old, leaning into the baby of the brotherhood. “He’s LLLOOOooovvvvve.”

And, he has been. He is our human resource guy – the one everyone loves, the one who manages to reach into the hearts of each brother without getting into their bubbles.

Outside the brotherhood, he is an artist, a guitar player, a soccer player, a basketball shooter, a wanderer into his own space, a prayer warrior when his friends hurt, a seeker of solitude with a saucy sense of humor.

His art delights me. He’ll go into his room, or sit at the kitchen table, drawing for hours, gifting me with them – and I am humbled by his giving, by his art, by his heart.

Sometimes he draws cartoon story lines. He drew 3 pictures for my office, which I cherish.

This elevenses boy, in this peculiar family, brings things outside that God put inside before he was fully formed. God gave him a heart for drawing, for making music, for building things – and God’s generosity humbles me more because these gifts He gave my son overflow and touch me, this mother’s heart that so struggles to be the mother I am called to be.

Caleb Art

My prayer for this elevenses son who expresses himself with the workmanship of his hands instead of words, I pray for your mind that guides your hands, that you seek to do the work of God, the work He gave them the gift to do, that your mind gives your hands honorable things to do.

I pray that your mind stay good and true, striving to learn more. . . more of the good things in life, the true things in life – and that your hands create testimonies of faith, hope and joy from your brand of peculiar humor and insight into life.

I pray for those hands that work with artist tools: hammers, pens, pencils, things that cut, things that create – that the heart of God is shown through that work. I pray your hands are blessed with strength, courage, follow through, attention to detail, care, comfort and health, evidence of the wear and tear of nobleness.

I pray that your hands reach for God in love, in praise, in worship, in thanksgiving and in times of reaching from the tops and bottoms of life, even 5th grade life.

I pray that your eyes discover the beauty of God around you – in the green eyes of a cat, to windowsill raindrop patterns, a blue sky, the cinnamon sprinkle of freckles, sidewalk rectangles, friendship smiles, bicycle spokes, the sound of wind in a fast run, castles on a hill, even the pentagons and hexagons of a soccer ball sitting on tufts of green grass, in turtles crossing roadways – that in your art, you meet God.

I pray that as your gift grows, your art praises God, calls to people in darkness, calling them into His marvelous light, in an elevenses way, a teen way, a young man way – a growing with you way.

I pray that your heart continue to find contentment in the gifts God put within you and that God send laborers across your path to help you unfold His plan in your life, to develop the gifts He gave you, and to encourage you in your journey to become the boy to man God created you to be.

Happy Birthday beloved, peculiar son nested amongst a peculiar family. I am so blessed God gave you to us.

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Brothers

A few years ago, when my youngest was 3 and the 4th was 5, we were snuggled up for bedtime prayers.  My 4th son said his prayers, and I turned to my youngest saying, “Time for your prayers.”

“Don’t wanna pray,” he answered.

“We need to thank Jesus for today,” I countered.

“Don’t like Jesus,” he rebutted. Liking Jesus was not his issue.  Bedtime prayers were just not something he wanted to do. Call it fatigue.  Call it laziness. Call it being 3.

The 5 year old riled up out of his blankets, “But _____, don’t you want to go to heaven when you die and be with Mom and Dad?  If you just say this prayer with me, then when you die, you’ll go to heaven and be with Mom and Dad.”

Well, we were definitely having a bedtime conversation. The conversation going on in my head was just as lively.

“Mom, you know that prayer!” my apparent little evangelist said, looking at me hopefully. “And, if you just say this prayer, you’ll go to heaven.”

“Where did you learn the prayer?” I asked, trying to pin-point where the prayer entered his life.

“At camp,” he answered.  He was so eager to evangelize his little brother who just, well, really was not interested at that time.  And, while I adore the camp they go to – the Christian-based camp with riflery, archery, swimming, prayer time, Jesus time, hiking, creating life-long friends and amazing home-made food, I did not want my sons dedicating their lives to Jesus due to parental separation anxiety, whether it is a heaven-bound separation or a grocery shopping separation.

I wanted them to make that decision because they crave the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, like my boys crave pizza or water after a grueling soccer practice, or with the determination to have – like when they want an iPod, a new game or a trip to Wal-Mart to spend their birthday money – but more enduring.

And, well, my little guy – he grew, and little by little his relationship with The Father grew, too.  In second grade, he would come home worried about one of his best friends who was being bullied.  His friend cried in the bathroom.  He prayed for him.

Last year, in a whole new school, with all new students, he was bullied. He told me he prayed for the little tyrant while he was in the bathroom.  Now, I realize you might see a pattern here – a lot of bathroom praying going on – but he was reaching out to the Father and Jesus because He knew they could hear him anywhere.

Wow!

This spring, he asked to be “Bap-a-tized.” We kept waiting for his earthly dad to be in town – and, yeah, God answered our prayers with an in-town job, keeping dad at home with us – which is where we like him. Sunday, my baby, who really is not a baby, is going to be Baptized.

Baptism Prayer for My Son:

You might not realize it yet, but you are deciding that the Joy of the Lord is your strength (Neh. 8:10)

That God will bring you contentment, fill you up immeasurably with streams of living water, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him”(John 7: 37-38).

And God will open your eyes to the gifts within you (1 Cor. 12).
Today you will take off the sunglasses blocking you from seeing the full Glory of God, crying like Moses to “Show me your Glory” (Exodus 33:18) and, like Moses, you will see the Lord pass before you and proclaim, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful, gracious, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression…” (Exodus 34:6-7).

Before you accepted Jesus as his liege Lord, you were unprotected.  But today, when you come up out of that water, symbolizing the spiritual baptism within, you will be given the full armor of God:

  • Belt of Truth
  • Breastplate of Righteousness
  • Soldier Shoes to carry the gospel of peace
  • Shield of faith (great for extinguishing the fiery arrows)
  • The Helmet of Salvation
  • The Sword of the Spirit (i.e. the Word of God)
  • A com·mu·ni·qué from God giving permission to come to him at all times, to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests, and assurance of His personal response (Ephesians 6: 10-18).

Today, precious son, you publicly receive a mighty inheritance.  You become a Son of the King. You were born into a remarkable brotherhood, the youngest of 5 brothers.  Today, you publicly join a bigger family, a bigger brotherhood that includes Peter, James and John, an amazing, miraculous brotherhood.  I am so proud of you!

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