My Dearest Bean,
Welcome to the world precious boy!
My goodness how your mama and daddy have longed for this day. And not just because you were 10 days overdue. They’ve been waiting and praying and hoping and loving on you for quite some time. Dear one, I wish I could tell you how deeply you are loved. Not only would your mama and daddy lay down their lives for you, but they have a community around them who would as well.
Bean, you have been born to a woman and man who love Jesus. They’ve committed to bring His love into your life the best way they know how. They aren’t always going to get it right and may feel like they get it wrong more often than not. As you get older you’ll probably feel like they don’t understand you and their rules are stupid and they’re just being over protective. They’ll embarrass you and maybe tell you to wash your hands well into your twenties. But they will always always always love you. They will never let a second go by without loving you. Have grace for them in the moments where they show their humanity. I know they are your parents but they’re also human and flawed.
I want to give you some secrets about the two people who are raising you. Your daddy is great. He’s generous and kind. He’s funny and sarcastic. He’s always willing to go out of his way to put others ahead of him. He’s got this drive and passion and talent for music that we’re all hoping you get. He’s probably going to get you hooked on great shoes, watches, Mississippi State football, Apple products, and eventually a good Scotch. He’s got this voracious appetite for life and learning. If something interests him he’ll want to know everything about it. He is a good man. He loves your mama. He will teach you to respect your elders, hold the door for the elderly and women, look someone in the eye when they’re speaking to you, and how to give a firm handshake. You’re a lucky boy to get to grow up with him as your father. I’d bet money he’ll be one of your best friends someday.
And your mama? Your mama is one of the most incredible women I have ever known. Bear with her for the first few years because Pinterest came out not too long ago and she pretty much loves it. Bean, she loves to laugh. Make her laugh often. Her eyes sparkle, she tilts her head back, her smile breaks out and pure enjoyment comes pouring out. She’s a pistol buddy. And if your stubbornness on your due date is any indication, I have a feeling you’re going to get some of her fire. It is one of my favorite things about her. She is someone you want in your corner. You more so than anyone, bean. Just a word of advice, if some boy tries to bully you on the playground, maybe don’t tell her every time, because she’ll probably kick his ass. Likewise if you ever bully anyone, she’ll kick your ass. One of the best things about your mama is her authentic love of Jesus. She won’t pretend or put on a religious front just to make other people comfortable. She truly loves Jesus. She strives to be the best wife, mama, and friend she can be. She’s learning how to be vulnerable around those she loves and trusts. Because who she is radiates beauty. Your mama is a rare gem. Someday when you’re looking for a wife, you’ll have a hard time finding a woman half as good as her. But don’t worry, we’ve already started looking. Your chances are pretty good. There’s a rumor Prince William and Kate’s baby is a girl so maybe royalty will work out for one of us!
Beloved, you have amazing parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and a community who wants nothing more than to see you flourish. Never be afraid or ashamed to reach out to us. We will always be for you. Sometimes the way we love might feel tough but its because we want you to have the best shot at the best life you can have. You will always have a family regardless of who we are.
As you grow my prayer for you is that first you find the depth of God’s love for you on your own. That you embrace all He has for you and the pure enjoyment of who you are to Him. Without this understanding life won’t ever make much sense. My second prayer for you is that you grow up to be a man of integrity and honor. Always do the right thing, whatever it costs you. Third, I pray that you will have love for those who can do nothing for you in return. It is easy to love people who love us back or offer us friendship but to love the unlovable is to know Christ in a completely different way. I pray you have eyes to see who the unlovable are and their needs. Finally, Bean, I pray that you will strive to make the world a better place when you leave it than when you’ve entered it. There is nothing to be gained from a life spent serving ourselves. Our world is full of broken people and you have a chance to bring light and hope to them. Be the man we know you are destined to be. A man of greatness, character, love, devotion, sacrifice, and joy.
We know you are destined for these things because they are being modeled for you in the form of your parents and family. You will be amazing whatever you decide to be. Follow your dreams. Figure out what you love to do, what makes you come alive, and DO IT! Your dad will make sure you chase your dreams and your mom will make sure you have a savings account to fall back on. But chase hard after them. Don’t let a day go by without doing something, anything you’re passionate about.
Above all remember how deeply and passionately you’re loved and valued.
You are wanted.
You are precious.
You are a prayer come true.
Happy Birthday Bean.
ps. I’ll just apologize now for the ridiculous amounts of documentation your life will have. No one has ever been more grateful for technology!!