After a month’s hiatus, I’m back to blogging about our kids in reverse age order.
Liam Josiah is up next. He will be 10 in June. His middle name is after Josiah in the Old Testament who became King of Israel at the young age of 8. After a long line of “bad eggs,” as Liam likes to say, Josiah did great things to bring his people back to Yahweh. He had a heart for God and His Word, and after finding the long lost Book of the Law (the first 5 books of the OT), he repaired the temple and reformed the community of God. 2 Kings 23:25 says this about Josiah: “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.”
Like all our other kids, Liam’s other name is Irish. It is short for William and it means “helmet.” Yeh….we just liked it. But he is a “helmet-head” at times. 🙂
Liam has always had somewhat of a spiritual side that I am not quite sure how to explain yet. When he was two, we would regularly find him thumbing through our stacks of commentaries. There were no pictures. He knew where his books were. It never made any sense, but he did it. A lot. And believe this or don’t, but at times when I felt like Satan was picking a spiritual fight with me, he would do it by waking Liam in the middle of the night, and making him incoherent and out of control (not like him any other time—he otherwise slept really well, as did I). When I would finally realize what was going on, I would name it out loud and tell Satan he had no part in our home and he better leave my boy alone, and then it would stop. Like I said, believe it or not, but that’s what happened.
Liam is very sensitive. When he was about 4 he would cry during the sad parts of movies, especially if he saw that someone was being left out or unfairly treated. (I’m sure being a middle child for most of his life plays into that as well.) Even now, he loves to hug on me and be touching me, though you would never see it because he is in the 4th grade stage of needing to seem cool. I’m OK with that because I know I will get plenty of hugs when I get home. And I know I can count on having him snuggle up to me every morning at 6:30am. He finds me in my quiet time and gets his Bible and reads next to me. I would have never guessed at the beginning of the year when he and Erin signed up to read the Bible in a year with me, that HE would be the one still going strong and caught up! And I love our conversations when I take him to bed at night. Maybe he is just stalling, but he often brings up some deep theological question that he has been contemplating.
Now all of this sweetness is not to say he is a saint. He is still a fourth grade boy. He loves to pester (ie. terrorize) his siblings. He occasionally gets in trouble at school, though this has diminished quite a bit since his acceptance of Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit through baptism last November. He fusses about his clothes and his hair more than anyone else in the house—well, maybe with the exception of Maura. If you’ve seen his hair lately, you’ll realize that I am trying to let him express his identity…. uh, within limits. 🙂 He definitely has opinions and will fight to not wear something that he deems will make him not look cool to others. Like a coat. (He doesn’t say it that way, but I know.) On the other hand, he has also been known to bring his Bible to class to finish his daily reading during free reading time at school. I guess he hasn’t figured out yet that that isn’t cool.
He LOVES to build things. He goes down to the the basement and comes up with some contraption of wood and screws and wires and whatever else he can find down there. He uses Michael’s tools more than Michael does. He gets on my computer or Michael’s ipad and creates power point presentations. He and his dad have discussions about fonts. Yes, you read that right. He makes graphics or builds things for his Sunday School class, after finding what he sees as a problem, and then attempting to fix it. My brother David was here to visit a couple weeks ago, and he and Liam put our new play set together in the back yard. Don’t tell anyone, but I took Liam out of school for a day to build it with David. He was in heaven.
Liam is not afraid to try things, and is even a little intrigued by the things that might get him in trouble. He is the one I pray extra hard for his teen years because I am worried he will be the party guy. But even then if he goes through a rebellious streak, I still believe deep down he will always love his mama and his God and he will come to his senses.
A long time ago, I remember a skit that some people from our church did at the LCU chapel. It had Tom Funk in it who played Liam Gowin, the 20?? preacher of Lincoln Christian Church. I am reminded of Gene Appel, who was the son of the infamous Lincoln pastor/part-founder of Lincoln Christian University. There is a story told once of Gene as a college student, who somehow got on the top of the huge LCU chapel on the day before the big Ladies Day convention and hung a sign that said, “Weight Watchers Convention.” Yet Gene has gone on to pastor and allow God to do some amazing things through him at well-known churches such as Central Christian Church in Las Vegas and Willowcreek in Chicago.
I wonder what Liam will do when he grows up. Maybe he will use his craftsman skills, together with his spiritual bent, to reform and lead people back to God. I’m sure, whatever it is, it will be in some way I never imagined, especially as we parent him through the teen years. 🙂 But I am confident that God has a purpose for this son of ours, and we are going to do our best to help him find it.