Kind, compassionate, a natural-born leader. I tell him constantly that he's the big brother to his siblings that I had dreamed about having when I was growing up. They count on him. They look up to him. They follow him. Come to think of it, most people do. And for good reason. He's laid back, considerate, fun-loving... always up for an adventure while being that kind of visionary who considers the angles and then enthusiastically wins us over.
I didn't realize until I was looking for a picture to put on the blog that Eli is constantly hamming it up in front of the camera -- but not just in front of the camera -- constantly. This man-child who persists that we be with people all the time.
"Mom, what this world needs is another Jonah," he tells me. I wait for him to say more. But he doesn't. He's more action than words. He shares his thoughts in short phrases, leaving us to regain our composure from a belly-laugh or to mull over something profound. To wonder.
I want to be more like you, Eli. I love your quiet strength, your hilarious sense of humor, your profound perspectives on people and your compassion for them. May you seek an ever-deepening intimacy with your King as you grow more and more into a mighty man of God. May God bless your servant leadership. May you know His voice and be ever more courageous, visionary, fun-loving, just, kind, and merciful as you set "an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity." Happy birthday, Son! We're proud of you! We all love you. But Jesus loves you more.
"Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity." (I Timothy 4:12)