Happy 15th Birthday Elijah

Oh kid, this is not what fifteen was supposed to look like. I had high hopes we’d be able to celebrate you with some sort of restaurant excursion and movie in the theater. But instead, we’ll shelter in place, order food from your restaurant of choice, and reserve your birthday shopping spree (your request) for later this year.

You’ve handled the recent changes with so much maturity. I know you’ve missed youth group. I know you were disappointed that Alpha was canceled as well as your summer trip to Kansas City for year two of leadership training. You’re accepting each disappointment with calm understanding, looking to the future for the times when things will be different. You aren’t wallowing, rather you’re focused on finishing the school year well. Elijah, I’m proud of your resilience.

Before the chaos of this season started we wrapped up the 3rd quarter with parent/teacher conferences. Your teachers made a point to speak about your character. They spoke about how thoughtful you are when you offer input with classmates as well as assignments. Your speech teacher mentioned how impressed she has been with your willingness to share your faith openly in class and how attentive the other students were each time you gave a presentation.

Your creativity continues to impress us and it’s great to see you take the time to focus on developing your interests. You’ve invested in music, saving allowance, and gifts to purchase equipment and software which reveals your dedication. You’re spending time learning how to use everything now and it’s fun to see your previous discipline with saving to buy the right tools and current hard work pay off as your creativity expands.

Your interests go beyond music. You’re also exploring theology and apologetics. You don’t shy away from hard conversations with your friends and your willingness to listen and speak respectfully as they express their thoughts earns you the right to be heard in each discussion.

In one year you’ll be eligible to drive. In three years you’ll graduate from high school. As you race toward adulthood, we pray you will continue to press into your faith. You’re uniquely designed by God and we’re cheering you on as you pursue your calling. We’re so proud of you Elijah. Not just today, but every day. Happy 15th Birthday!

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