Birthday Gifts

54.  David is 5

One of the most amazing things to watch this past year is how God has grown my second son’s spiritual gift of mercy.  From the time David was a very small baby I noticed that he had an ability to produce joy where and when it was needed most.  I know every baby makes the elderly smile, but it seemed as if his chubby legs toddled toward the lonely and left a trail of joy.  From toddlerhood I have called him my Barnabus, my encourager.  Those who meet him now often don’t see this side of his personality through the karate-kicking warrior persona which earned him his name.  It is true that David’s hugs usually leave the recipient on their backs and he rarely plays a game that doesn’t involve some form of battle, but between the typical boy ferocity, this year has been marked with some of the sweetest memories of my son growing in mercy.  He has developed a love for babies, which necessitates multiple trips to the one year old nursery each Sunday.  He even used the last of his birthday money to buy a new toy for that nursery, which he enthusiastically presented to them this morning.  He sat on the floor amidst blinking, bobbling babies and demonstrated the various noises produced by the phone’s buttons.  This year he also developed a love for one baby in particular and makes him movies in which David retells Bible stories is his own unique way.  The most precious memory of this year, though, occurred in our neighborhood nursing home.  Like any child, David would never choose to postpone a Sunday afternoon trip to the park in order to visit some place that, admittedly, smells bad.  Once we are inside, however, David forgets about the rest of our family.  He skips ahead greeting every wheelchair in his path.  He isn’t afraid to hold hands, talk, or ask questions.  On a recent trip we were talking to disoriented resident who responded to my “How are you today” with a list of complaints.  “I’m sick!  Nobody cares… they left here… no body loves me.”  David’s eyes grew big and his pounced on the old woman’s hand.  “I love you!  And Jesus loves you!”  and then, quite without prelude he tilted his head back and began to sing.  “Jesus loves you, this I know….”  Soon his siblings joined in and the resident sat there, holding his hand and bobbing her head to
their singing.  I am ashamed to admit that my first reaction was embarrassment.  I glanced around to see if any nurses were watching and wondering who the crazy kids were with, but then, I realized- this is a gift.  This thing that David does- the way he feels around babies and lonely old ladies, this is an actual, spiritual gift.  God is so generous that He has given my son,
who can’t even read yet, a spiritual gift that he can use to serve God in his own unique way!  How awesome is that?  And so, as David starts on another year, inaugurated with a Ben Ten Omnitrex alien toy, and an alien themed dinner with his two best friends, I look forward to the smiles God is going to paint through David in this coming year.

56.  Jujitsu

Dallas earned his first stripe after several months in the sport.  More importantly, though, he has come so far in controlling his emotions, thanks to the man-to-man conversations and encouragement from his coaches.

And since Oompa is one of the instructors, Elliana gets tojoin the for the last 15 minutes of class.

57.  Dallas is 7

lego heroica in the morning. half day of school. lego lunch with friends. lego cupcakes. lego cake.  a bonfire. oh.. and he had to fight everyon in his jujitsu class because it was his birthday.  Quite a day.

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