First of all, God blessed me with the best ever family to be born in and then blessed me with the best family to be married to and, then, just when you thought it could not get any better, He blessed me with the best family to give birth to. Each and every child that grew under my heart, received a piece of my heart when they left me. God in His magnificent plan for life enlarges our hearts to love each and every child with the same amount of love. (A beautiful picture of His love.)
Ben was born to us during a rough patch and was definitely a surprise! But we pulled it together and welcomed this new one with just as much excitement as the others. We didn't even have a name picked out when he was born so we voted - seriously, his brothers' elementary school classes voted on his name. We thought all along he was a girl (that was the day before the "serious" ultrasounds they have today) and really did not think he looked like a Kari or a Lauren when he was born, so we went with Ben or Luke. I am kinda glad Ben won out because it fits him. The main thing I remember was praying that God would give me nerves of steel on the day I brought him home - him being the fourth boy and all.
Several years ago, I claimed the verse Psalm 91:11 for him - the angel one - and it has comforted me throughout the many "exciting" escapades we have endured with the child. It has been a wild ride.
This past September I turned 50, but I don't think it had the impact on me that this youngest child turning 20 has had. When your youngest turns twenty, the turbulent preteen and tense teen years have passed and the young man emerges ready to face the world with confidence. It is the extreme test of your parenting, God's leading, and the child's faith all rolled into one.
I am confident that Ben is ready to accept his role in this world and that He knows God's plan for his life is the best plan and not his own. "Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it." Psalm 37 4-5
Happy birthday, Ben! It was a blessing beyond measure to sing that tonight to you.