"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Friday, September 18, 2009

Another birthday...

Nicholas Christian Hershey

September 19, 1993

Today I welcome another 16 year old into my home. He's the middle child...and I guess that means in some ways it's not as shocking to me this time around. But, in light of his brother's departure to college this year, I guess I'm seeing it as not just a milestone, but as a reality check...all too soon he will be grown up and gone.

There were days when Nick was young I wondered if I'd survive his childhood...for years I didn't understand what made this cherub tick! From the day he was born, he has worn his thoughts, opinions and emotions on his sleeve...and it used to drive me crazy that he reacted OUT LOUD! Til the day I finally got wise and realized he might be the one I will have the least amount of trouble understanding because he hides NOTHING! Good, bad or ugly...it's out there for the world to see...but there's never any question about what he's going through, because he'll be the first to tell you.

I've come to realize what a blessing...albeit it often a challenge...that is. What's a kid to do when he's stuck between a clown and a princess!?!

"May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer."
Psalm 19:14

As my family has emerged through the years, I see now how God has his hand all over each one of us - shaping us by our circumstances, and drawing us closer to Him and to each other in the process. We had some really rough years early on in Nick's life. He doesn't really remember much about his dad living with us. That's rough for a kid of any age...but I marvel at the way he has acclimated to what has become normal to him. It just is what it is.

There are certainly memories of some pretty terrific fights between my boys through the years. I lost count of how many wrestling matches my livingroom floor has seen. I used to marvel how it was possible for them to be in a room together for less than 10 seconds before they were all over each other! Somewhere along the line they decided they kind of liked each other...and even though there are 3 years between them, they built a friendship that is still growing and emerging today...

This picture is priceless...I realize now how "fatherly" Alex sometimes acted towards Nick. They had a sort of unspoken understanding of each
other's struggles.

I think he's missing his big brother more today than he would dare let on!

Another priceless picture...I remember this day like yesterday...

A loving death grip!

A young man of many skills...some he has yet to realize and believe he can do. Both athletic and musical he could accel in either...should he so choose to do so! A great outdoorsman and lover of all things nature, something I saw in pure form this summer in the jungle of Africa. He loves to fix things and create things. Loves a good joke, a good action-filled movie and the company of a good friend. His heart is tender towards things that not all kids notice. Like his great grandma, and the old man who rides his bike back and forth on our street looking for cans to collect.

I wonder who the young man is that is growing inside him. I wonder what he will be and what he will do with his life. I realize that much of his personality today was there in his toddler years...that core of who he is has always been there...it's just maturing and refining. But how will it play out in his adult life? I pray he will use what he's been given for the glory of God...and the benefit of others. I see such promise in him...and not just because he's my son, but because God has made him in His own image and given him everything he needs for life and godliness...

My prayer for this young man is first and foremost that this would be his desire:

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all
your soul and with all your strength."
Deut. 6:5

"He has taught you, Oh man what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love
mercy and walk humbly with your God."
Micah 6:8

Happy Birthday, Nick...

you are a joy and a delight to your mother's heart!

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