Top Ten Reasons I am Thankful for Gabe
One year ago today (April 21st), Katie and I welcomed Gabe into our world. On his first birthday, I thought I’d come up with a list of why I’m thankful for my little man.
10.) He unconditionally loves me. It doesn’t matter if I have morning breath, am a grumpy jerk, or I accidentally let the dog leash smack him in the head leaving a welt, he still loves me. That feels good.
9.) He shows me love and affection. Gabe is a cuddler, especially when he is tired. He often crawls over to me and into my lap just to be held, and he even digs his head into my chest. He’s not too cool to show me affection.
8.) He is helpless. His helplessness is slowly going away, and that is the process of growing up, but for now, it is endearing. The fact that I am needed, and that someone else’s life is my responsibility is both humbling and precious.
7.) He forces me to die to myself. I think this is what God meant in Psalm 127:3, and it connects well with Luke 9:24. Gabe has forced us to trust and rely on God. Whether it was sleep training, his clubbed feet, teeth, or his stubborn desire to eat without a bib, Gabe has driven us to the Cross.
6.) He’s authentic and real. Though he is a sinner (Psalm 51:5), he hasn’t yet learned shame or the ability to hide his feelings. If he is happy, he’ll let you know. If he is mad, he’ll let you know. If he is sad, he’ll let you know. This is refreshing in a world full of people trying to hide and save face.
5.) He is an adventure. To him, life is an adventure. This adventure takes him up the stairs, through doors, behind cupboards, into the bathtub, and anywhere else that his curious little mind seeks to go. The adventures seem insignificant now, but this is only the beginning. I have no idea where Gabe will take me, but I know I will be along for the ride, and that excites me. Proverbs 16:9.
4.) He connects people. Once we had Gabe, we were instantly initiated into a fraternity of parents, and developed even deeper connections with friends and family. Gabe has been one of the best missional tools Katie and I have, allowing us to form connections with neighbors, employees at stores, and other parents in our community.
3.) He helps me understand the Gospel. At this point, his depravity looks pretty cute. His pride at climbing the stairs (Proverbs 16:18 has LITERALLY come true on our stairs), his anger at not getting what he wants, and his selfishness in not wanting to share all seem harmless now. But, these examples show me how my pride, and anger, and selfishness are not so cute, yet my heavenly Father loves me infinitely more than I love Gabe, to the point that he sacrificed his own Son.
2.) He has deepened my love for Katie. Gabe has allowed me to see a new side to my already wonderful wife. Through Gabe, God has shown me the way He has uniquely designed Katie to be the perfect wife for me and mother for Gabe. Being a mother to Gabe has given her life and joy and energy that flows over into our marriage, our home, and our ministry. Proverbs 31:25-29, speaks of Katie,
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.
1.) He has helped me to understand my Father’s love for me. This is, without a doubt, the greatest gift Gabe has given me. Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6 both speak of our adoption as sons of God, and by that adoption we can call God “daddy.” This revelation is astounding, and the implications are vast. I have only begun to understand what joy is found in understanding my adoption as God’s son, but it is life-changing, and I thank God that he used Gabe to show me this.