Oh, my darling boy. Ezra Lucas Knight Hester. It was 7 years ago that you surprised us by coming so quickly that you became the first of our children to be born at home. I must say, that that is just one of the many ways you have changed things in our home and in my heart.
If it weren't for you, I may have gone on, thinking that I knew a thing or two about parenting. But in His kindness, God saw fit to give me a beautiful, rough-and-tumble, blue-eyed, determined, out-of-the-box, mysterious, tenacious, free-spirited little boy to remind me that every good thing that has happened in the parenting department has been by His grace. Even when I find myself unsure of what to do or how to do it...I do know WHO I am following and trusting for it all. At seven years old, you can read pretty much anything-including your science textbook. You like roller blading, skateboarding, and pretty much anything else that requires lots of energy. We still have all the knives in a box up on a high shelf, even though you are not nearly as likely to get into them. You haven't lost your fascination with weapons, although you are learning to use them for more honorable pursuits....I think. ;-). You look up to your brother Caleb SO much. Which is interesting, because your mind works in a very similar way. You love being a big brother. Even though you have to fight other desires along the way... Protection truly is part of your nature. You will often read to Evelyn, and play with Elijah. You love cooking, Legos, the trampoline, and so many other things.
Your heart does not know many limits. This can be difficult and tricky to navigate at times....but it can also come in handy. I can ask you to do jobs that the average six year old would not even attempt, much less accomplish, as well as you do. I love taking you to Costco because you are such a gentleman to load the cart with the big flat of water.
There are so many things I want to say to you, Ezra. I want to remind you how much I love you, how much God loves you, how great His plans are for you. I want to remind you that your greatest accomplishment in this life will be to serve your Great King and Captain by loving Him and His people. I want to tell you to be bold and courageous. I want to tell you that this life is harder than you think....times will come ahead which will make you want to give up or give in. But the God we serve...He is always worth the battle. As long as there is breath in your lungs, you have a purpose and a mission.
Listen to what was said about the Ezra of the Bible:
"For Ezra had prepared and set his heart to seek the Law of the Lord [to inquire for it and of it, to require and yearn for it], and to do and teach in Israel its statutes and ordinances."
Under Ezra's leading and instruction, the people repented! They recognized that they were going the wrong way, and they wanted to stop and start going the way that God has asked of them. Ezra set an example-not of never sinning, but of being sorry over his sin-SO sorry, that he would not continue that way. God gave him faith to believe that there was a better way. He "set his heart to seek the Law of the Lord", which is really the Law of Love.
Right now, we are revisiting a family favorite series-the Chronicles of Narnia. It does not surprise me one bit, that as we read, every single moment for you, is about when Aslan will come on the scene. He is the picture of Jesus Christ, out Good Shepherd. It was said of Aslan that He is not "safe." But He is good.
This is what I want to tell you most. Following Jesus has been the grandest adventure I have ever been on. But it hasn't always been safe and it has certainly not always been easy. It takes a tenacious heart, one who is set upon the Law of the Lord. And when things are so difficult that you can't see up from down, and you find yourself where you never thought you could be....remember the face of Aslan. Remember how in The Magician's Nephew, one deep look into His face and his shining gold mane changed everything for all the years to come. This is how it is with Jesus. HE IS GOOD. Not safe. But good. The grandest adventure ever is following Him. I am forever humbled and overjoyed to be called your mama. I love you.
For the King! And the Kingdom!