Monday, October 30, 2006

Randall Lawrence — My Favorite Eldest Son

No parent can say how dear are their children. But we can try. Randall Lawrence is our first born. Yes his first name is mine as well and I couldn’t be more happy and proud. We call him Lawrence, and that name is for his Grandfather whom he never knew.

Lawrence is our 6,7,8,9,10, 11 year-old and I want to say a few bragging-dad words about him.

Lawrence has always loved drawing and this year he once again won local and state in the WCTU poster contest. (To his delight, the prizes were cash, which he saved.) When he was younger he drew more pictures than one could count: various battles, thousands of little soldier men, even a panorama of the living room. But our favorite was the subject that captivated his mind as early as 3 years old. That was the cross. For some reason he drew crosses — and often he would put Jesus on the cross. Who can know why this captured his imagination, but we wonder if it shouldn’t capture ours as well.

Lawrence loves to play basketball and we’ve played alot of round-the-world, 3-point shoot out and pick up ball with his friends. The other day he got some new ball shoes, so look out! One of our co-workers here calls him "Mr. Basketball". As you might guess, he enjoys the name. :)

This last year he had the itch to do outdoor work and a neighbor asked him to mow his lawn. He was 10 but we loved his intitiative so we said, "OK". I helped him some the first time or two but then it was, "I can do it OK, Dad."

Then we learned we could not use the school lawnmowers. Understandable.

"What if I took some of my savings and bought my own lawnmower, Dad?" What if, indeed. I got out my "father’s easy answer book" and looked for the section on ‘budding tycoons’. We decided to let him buy the lawnmower. This year he added a weed-eater to his arsenal.

We don’t exactly live in the suburbs, so finding lawns is a bit of a trick, but he has two and will get others — there are probably 20-30 houses within a mile or so and he has done some door knockin’. And he does other odd jobs to add to his savings. Best of all, as he earns he is learning the tithe, which is, as we try to teach him, God’s gift to help us remember from whence all gifts come.

Lawrence’s best qualities are his eagerness to work and save, desire to help his Mom (just yesterday: "You work too hard, Mom. I’m going to clean the house this afternoon."), and his gentle, quiet spirit. He has a spiritual openness that we covet and want to cultivate.

Raising kids is a high calling. I’m glad God trusted us with a son like Lawrence and we pray we will make good on that trust.

Comments:

  1. Jenny Says:

    Wow! It makes me really excited to watch our kids grow as I read your blog. The preschool years seem so sweet and fleeting–but what joy to think how fun the “tween” years and teenage years beyond will be, as well. The picture of you and Lawrence building the treehouse is priceless. God’s richest blessings on your wonderful family!

  2. Mother Says:

    I loved it. Lawrence is off to a good start. Remember your first summer mowing lawns, Randy? I think you were a little older. It was really a nice piece that you wrote about Lawrence. May God bless you as you continue on. You are doing well.

  3. Jay Wisler Says:

    You have been blessed. Very touching.

  4. Mary Ellen Says:

    He is one great kid, and so is that other one of you with the really cool name! :-) Can’t wait to see all four of you in just a week - our kids are counting the days…literally.

  5. Sarah Fry Says:

    Wow - that picture brings back happy memories! I just found your blog on the hobe sound blog log. I’ll look forward to looking in on your busy lives!

    We’re doing great - we just moved to Indiana so that David can continue studying in Chicago. We miss the south - it was a wonderful 4 years. During packing, I found the wonderful information you had put together for us about the house and the area when we moved to Mississippi. It was such a blessing.

    Trust all is well with you all. I’m anxious to read up and see what’s going on in your world.

    Blessings! Sarah Fry

  6. Randy Says:

    Thanks everyone for coming by — you can see I’m really burning up the blog world these days! Good to hear from you, Sarah. Glad you all made the move and are doing fine. We loved our years in the south, too, and we loved that Alta Woods neighborhood and that tree house! Hello to David — happy he can continue work up at TEDS. BTW, my sister and her family pastor in Kokomo at the PHC — you probably know them.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Loving 100

“Loving ‘100′”

Nothing in the world quite like tucking a 6-year old into bed, as any parent will tell you. Tonight when I carried our Elliot to bed and laid him down…

…I could see a slight smile on his face. He had been sleeping on our bed upstairs and though he is a deep sleeper, he was slightly awake as I tucked him in. So I kissed him good night, said "I love you" and then engaged in one of my favorite little games.

I said, "Who do you love most, Mommy or Daddy?" From under the covers he reached out his hand with two fingers meaning "both of you". This is his common answer and I love to hear it. Next I added other loved ones and ask him which he loves most. "What about Lawrence? Grandma Glazebrook? Grandma Huff?" He started to add fingers but he was too tired so he just said, "A hundred."

You know I smiled as I stepped away, and then I wondered about this business of "loving a hundred", Elliot’s way of saying, "Why wouldn’t I just love everyone and love them the same?" And why not?

Do you "love ‘100′"? Do I? Everyone is thirsty for this kind of love. We know it when we see it. It is a love that receives others as valuable, meaningful, cared for — seeking their benefit as one’s own. When you and I experience this love we feel enfolded in something almost other-worldly. And so it is.

Of course we know there are special loves for family members and other close relationships. But this matter of loving all as worthy of our care and concern — that is a mouthful. That is "loving ‘100′".

Lord, I know Your love when I see it but too seldom do others see it in me.
Would you help me, please?
‘We only have what we give away.’ Is that true?
I so need to ‘have’ Your love — I can’t live without it.
So, please help me to give it away.
And in the response Your touch brings in others may I see and know
that You are helping me to
"love ‘100′".

6 Responses to ““Loving ‘100′””

  1. Jay Says:

    I love the way our children teach us about God. What a precious avenue for the lesson. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Chris Says:

    That is something… Thanks!

  3. Mary Ellen Says:

    I over heard 5 year old Kaitlyn (a true lover of babies, she’s going to be a great Mommy someday) asking Michael who his favorite baby was as she named the baby girl Crockers hope to finally adopt on the 31st and another baby she just adores. She seemed so relieved when he told her, in all of his 8 year old wisdom, that she could love them both the same! I didn’t even have to say a word as he went on to explain how it was just like how they love Mommy and Daddy the same, etc. How much fun it is to hear things we’ve told him being repeated to her! A great post, very thought provoking.

  4. Doug Thompson Says:

    Beautiful!

  5. Randy Says:

    Thank you Jay, Chris, Mary and Doug. Always good to hear from you.

  6. Rebecca Hoard Says:

    I really enjoyed this post, Randy. Thank you so much. If you don’t mind, may I print it and put it in my devotional journal?

  7. Randy Says:

    Thanks, Rebecca, and of course you are welcome to print it and use it however. It sure was good to see you and the clan at Youth Challenge. Fine family you have there. Good to see Rob and Theresa also.
    Thanks again for the comment.