Is it possible that the life of a son could take a boy I once knew and mold him into the man I now love?
For this Mama, it all started way back when, in a silent hospital room, the place where our innocence left us with empty arms, the place where together we gave back our first two sons to the One whom they had always belonged.
That was the beginning, I think.
That was the day that his boy hands became man hands when they courageously held this broken Mama. That was the day when the boy I married held the weight of my shattered world in prayer, because he knew no other way to carry such loss, but only to carry it to the cross.
That was the day that any amount of respect that was lacking in this 23-year-old woman towards her 24-year-old man, was now found. That was the day that, in these eyes, began the making of my man.
This week marks eleven years of us... him and I and the road less traveled. A commitment of forever love. A commitment of no-matter-whats.
And an end of the summer Father-Son Camp Out brought me to that place of gratitude. A place that I've been finding more and more throughout these long days of summer.
Gratitude for a boy I once knew.
Gratitude for a man I now love.
Gratitude for a man who knows how to love deep.
A man who spends his Saturdays building tree houses with the adventurous 6 year old living under our farmhouse roof.
The man who teaches his son how to honor a woman through the way that he lives love towards his wife. The oldest son looked up at me this morning as he pulled another plate from the dishwasher and blurted it out with that little boy grin that never ceases to captivate his Mama,
"Papa really loves you Mama."
I smile and ask, "How do you know that buddy."
As he tucks that clean plate high into the cabinet above, "Because he tells me all the time."
What makes a boy into a man is when he realizes that the greatest view is the one that can be seen from his knees. That boy I once knew became a man in these eyes when I saw our son on his knees this afternoon praying that the Lord would help him in an area of struggle.
What makes a boy into a man is when he leads his wife into a perfect trust in the Lord, rather than a flailing trust in the sin-filled man. What makes a boy a man is a heart humble enough to know that in his own weakness, Christ is made strong.
What makes a boy into a man is when he realizes that to serve, far out weighs the contrary. When I saw him making chocolate chip pancakes this morning for the 9 Papas and 11 sons that spent the night on the farm last night, I just wanted to kiss him... like really, really! :)
What makes a boy into a man is most simply a life lived in such a way that the little boy who imitates his Papa's every move, is learning to love Jesus, because that's what his Papa does.
I wasn't there, and I didn't eat the food, and I didn't hear the conversation, but this is what I know... Today I saw my son glowing with excitement as he told about his night in a tent, in the barn, with his Papa.
And I'm starting to think that it just might be possible that the life of our son, is taking the boy I once knew, and molding him into the man I now love.