Twenty-four years ago today, my one and only male-child-by-birth arrived. Twenty-four years ago today, the baby whose birth caused me to both laugh and cry and kept me up all night long looking at him and loving him and breathing him in was born. (See last year’s post here)
Today is Rocky’s birthday.
Happy Birthday, Rocky, intense and strong-willed man. Happy Birthday, beautiful son I love, and most delightfully perplexing child of all. Happy day to Jovan’s husband (I was raising you for her) and to Averi’s daddy (who knew you were so anointed for this role?). You are strength and conviction, committed and true. You are right and decided, responsible and thorough. I love you so, admire your wholeheartedness and believe in you and the things God is calling you to like there is no tomorrow.
Before you came, I had such opinions about having a son. I only wanted a son if he would be just like this or just like that, but I could never have imagined or dreamed you up. Sure I’d have said, “Make sure he gets his father’s dimples,” and I am glad you have them. But I’d never have asked that you be as stubborn or as opinionated as me, yet you are. But you? You were the perfect combination of orneriness and goodness, of determination and playfulness. If ever my limits were stretched by your naughtiness or ceasless ability to argue (also inherited from me, I fear), they’d be expanded again as you cuddled next to me with your little mullet, blankie in hand and curl into my little brown baby boy again.
How could I help but bless you? How could I not bless the day you were born? I do bless it!
So, today, as we honor you and the blessed day of your birth, I am praying these things for you. These are presents you cannot buy, but they are truly what I wish for you and what I will shake heaven’s gates to see you get.
- I pray that you will be the man God intended when He created you for your wife and all your children to come. You have been given such a place of honor as Jovan’s husband and Averi’s daddy. You hold so much of the preciousness of their lives in your hands – you have the place of impact on their hearts like no other. In these times, when Satan works to rip every marriage of covenant and to turn the hearts of children and their father’s away from one another, you’ll need to be the man. You will need to stand strong and battle to guard the love and unity. Be strong and courageous, Rock, and be the man you were created to be.
- I pray that your voice will be heard. Sunday, as you led worship in The River, I was so impressed at how you communicate a song’s truth. That is different than just singing it. I know you know that. It is what has set you apart and given you a place of leading people into God’s presence through worship. But I know, oh how I know, there is more. There is so much more. There is an amazing power to communicate the deep truths of God, almost ready to be birthed. You stand at the precipice, you defer to others more seasoned. And that is OK for now, but know – the time to speak, the time to speak out with boldness – is coming. Don’t let your youthfulness cause you consternation in this. Live it. Then speak it when He says to. And for the ears of the people to hear, for the hearts to receive…
- I pray that you will ever remain boyish, adventuresome, and playful. Among your greatest of charms is that you are still excited by a paintball outing, that you ask for “toys” for birthdays and at Christmas, and that game-nights at your house are the most popular gatherings in town (X-box and poker and whatever else). I love that you work responsibly in ministry, are a loving husband and amazing daddy, yet still the little brother in the family, looking for ways to infuse fun into all our gatherings. This is most evidenced by the fact that all dogs and nieces and nephews start running in happy circles when you arrive. They know you are the one who truly “gets” them.
- I pray you will receive the love and belief the people who know you best have in you. I know you sometimes doubt yourself and are most critical of your shortcomings. I defy Satan to cripple your life in that way. I pray that God will bind the enemy on your behalf and you will always hear His voice saying, “Rocky-here is the way, walk in it…”
- I don’t pray that you will always be a “vocational” worship leader or a pastor, though you were born into a heritage of that calling and have been blessed to walk this path so young. But I do pray you will always be a worshipper. I pray that the song of the Lord will continue to grow in your heart until it cannot be contained and you are forced to pen the songs of heaven. I pray that you will always minister to the Lord (with your song, your voice, your heart, your all), no matter where you are or what else you may ever do. Worship Him, always, my sweet boy. You were made to praise Him.
I love you, my Rock-man. I am so full of anticipation about the life God is leading you in and watching closely as you become more like Jesus. You are the Psalms 112 man-because that is what you always wanted, and that is God’s intent for you. You are beautifully and wonderfully made – I know this very well.
Happy Birthday, o son I so adore…Love, Mom
NOTE TO SELF: Worship time with Rocky.
pictured: Rocky and the fam a couple of weeks ago