13 Things for 13 Years

Well yesterday was Andrew’s 13th birthday. In addition to being sort of a gateway to young adulthood in our culture, Andrew’s birthday is something of a reflection point for me since he was just one month old when we began our journey in Georgia. This post is dedicated to 13 memories I have of Andrew over the years God has entrusted him to us.

  1. I am grateful the Lord has given Andrew much grace to adapt to our mission here in Carrollton. His daily life is much affected by the number of neighborhood boys who want to play basketball with him in our driveway. Most days he demonstrates a lot of Jesus even when he’d rather stay inside.
  2. I appreciate how much Andrew is willing to play with little kids. This has been useful to Jesus many times. My favorite memory of this is hearing how he entertained a little Kurdish boy despite the language barrier on our mission surveyFor Limber trip to England a few years ago.
  3. Andrew introduced me to Phineas and Ferb, one of the greatest cartoons of all time. He looks as good as I do in a Perry the
    Platypus shirt.
  4. One of my favorite Andrew moments happened at the dentist. He was talking with the staff there about life and when they asked him about his favorite playmate, he said Annalise. My eyes still water many times when I think of it. He is a terrific big brother.
  5. Even though he is in many ways a typical guy, Andrew is much more sensitive to others (even animals) than I am. I have learned a lot from him by seeing him take on the burdens and hurts of other people and creatures.
  6. Andrew has always been a bit of an engineer. When he was a little over 1 he figured out how to open up the glove box in our van. The thing that struck me wasn’t that he figured it out – I suppose lots of kids would do that when prompted. The sIMG_0001urprising thing to be was that he wanted to figure it out and then stuck to it once he committed.
  7. Andrew has always loved super heroes, even as a little guy. I know that’s not uncommon, but I mean he REALLY love superheroes. He once read the Marvel Encyclopedia cover to cover in a little over a week. He even will tolerate the inferior DC superheroes like Green Lantern.
  8. He is 1-0 as a starting quarterback, including the wackiest play probably in the history of Upward Football. Even though he was nowhere near the best player on the team, his constant encouragement to his teammates could be heard by everyone at the field and he never gave up because he wasn’t thrown to when open.
  9. One time during a visit to Colonial Williamsburg, he was called onstage by Thomas Jefferson who handed him a feather pen and an actual sword, only to ask which was mightier. Not only did he correctly answer that the pen was mightier (which he was allowed to keep), but he didn’t stab anyone. Sometimes I wonder if they would have let him keep the sword if he got the answer wrong.
  10. Andrew not only likes sports, he is a student of them. He likes to understand what makes certain plays work in certain situations. That he has learned most of this from video games rather than TV commentators says more about how bad TV sports commentators are (with a few exceptions) than how great video games are.
  11. This is a silly memory but still dear to me. A few years ago we were going camping and needed a quick meal before we arrived. We went to Wendy’s and I got the Baconator and he got the “son of Baconator.”
  12. Andrew has some unusually astute insights into the Scriptures, and had them even when he was very young. It’s always fun and encouraging to see the way he approaches a passage and what he can get out of it that I miss.
  13. Since I travel a lot with work, I have been giving Andrew a little pep talk every time I leave about some of the big things about being a Christian man – serve others, set an example of obeying God with joy, be responsible with things God entrusted to you. God has been pleased to let me see him grow in each of these things over the years, and I’m excited to see where God will take him in the future.

Please join me in wishing Andrew a Happy Birthday and praying that God would continue to mold him like Jesus.