Another Teenager in the House

 Dearest Noah,

It is the evening of your 13th birthday. I can hardly believe that you are already a teenager. It feels like it was not lot very long ago that you were a chubby happy baby and now you are a very skinny tall young man. How has this happened? 

Noah, we are so very proud of you. You are a kind-hearted and gentle person. You are always thinking about others. Even when I asked you what kind of cake you wanted for your birthday, your first thought was about what everyone else would like. I had to make you tell me what you really wanted. I love that about you. It makes you a very good friend and a wonderful brother. When people ask who fights or fusses the most among the 4 of you, I have said, "Well, Noah gets along with everyone." And it's true- for the msot part. :) You do have your limits, like all of us do, but it takes a lot to reach your limits. 

You love to be outside- in the woods or playing disc golf or in the backyard playing football with your brothers. Or, you like to be messing around on your guitar. It's been a really fun journey to watch you grow and flourish with guitar over the past year. And lately, if you aren't outside or in the music studio, you are in the living room with your nose in a book. Who would have ever thought that would be the case?!? 

You are very witty. You tend to stay quiet most of the time, but when you do speak up it's because you have something funny or important to say. So, when you do speak up- you either have us in laughter or deep in thought. The other night in our family devotion, you noticed something in the scriptures that I had never thought of before and you really got us thinking and discussing. And the evening before that? Well, you were on a roll with witty remarks and you had a us all laughing. 

For your 13th birthday, we had a coming of age or rite of passage for you. What a priviledge is was to watch you walk across Winthrop's campus to find people who love you and want to help guide you on this journey towards manhood. Never forget that you are not alone in this journey. Not only do you have Dad and me and your brothers and sister, but you also have grandparents, mentors and friends who love you and are here to walk with you as you grow in godliness. 

Noah- you are deeply loved. I pray that you will always know this- that we think the best of you, that we see gifts in you, that we value your voice and your heart and your input. You are a gift to this family and to the body of Christ and to this world. We need you and we like you. :) Noah, I cannot wait to see all that God is going to do in you as you grow over these next several years- not only in stature (since you are already taller than me!), but also in maturity, wisdom and Christ-likeness. 

Happy 13th Birthday Noah! We love you, no matter what, forever and ever. 


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