Sunday, March 24, 2013

5 years in a blink

Oh my sweet Wheeler Jackson. I can not believe it's been 5 years.
I remember in your first year, when you would cry day in and day out. Ear infection after ear infection, surgery after surgery, more ear infections... all while I was trying to keep up with your mischevious, spunky, into everything sister. Many older moms would tell me, "just wait, it will be gone before you know it". I used to laugh and think in my head, no way, this day feels so long, much less the years! Sure enough, wisdom trumps my ignorance. It is gone. I can't believe we now sit with a 5 year old boy. I remember when we found out you were a boy, your name was set. To carry on the legacy of 4 previous generations. Wheeler. I began to pray differently for you after finding out you were a boy. The two traits that kept surfacing in my prayers were gentleness and compassion. While I wanted very much you to grow into the design God had given you in your manhood, a warrior for him, I did not want you to do that at the expense of these two things.  Without these two things, the least of these are overlooked, people are hurt in your wake, and your impact is lessened. So I prayed fervently  for your heart to be gentle and compassionate to others, but yet also to be a leader.
Rather ironically, God has given me the gift on your birthday. Those two traits, personified, in you. You needed a big stage to really let them shine, and what better in a place that means so much to our family. The second your feet hit Kenyan soil, your dad said you were a different boy. Caring for others, helping them up, sharing your food and toys, passing out bubbles and lollipops with such joy in your heart, worried if anyone were missed. John said at one point a crowd of kids had surrounded you, checking out your light up shoes or sunglasses, and in the distance a boy fell down into the dirt like you had done shortly before. He said you made your way through the crowd and helped the boy off, dusted  his back, and asked if he were ok. This, my son, is my gift the Lord has given me. Gentleness, and compassion. I am only sad I did not get to watch how the story unfolded over there and I cannot wait until you get back and can share stories, pictures, and videos. One day, we will look back on this birthday and I will share with you about the bold and specific prayers I prayed for this trip and what it would do in your heart. And I will tell you about how my faithful God answered each one. But I sat in church today, tears streaming down my face, thinking of the gift God has given me in you.
As the years have gone by I have seen God develop your heart in different ways, always serving, most always sharing, and always glad to help out with your two-syllable joyful "su-re mommy!" What a blessing to have watched you learn to crawl, walk, talk, run, throw a ball, pump your swing, swing a bat, and break dance like no ones business :)
You are truly my inheritance from the Lord. 
Happy Birthday Wheeler, I hate I can't be with you today. Yet I am so thankful the man God is molding and shaping you into. 

until then,  
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