Jared is following in the rather rude and audacious steps of his older siblings: he's GROWING UP!
We have maintained for years that we have YOUNG ADULTS and not Teens. Our children clearly know that they are adults in training...and at some point they actually begin to function as YOUNG adults. Take a minute to grasp this. It's not simply semantics. If your goal is to raise an adult in the years between 12 - 20 there are clear expectations, clear steps and goals to reach....if you are raising a "teen"....well no one really knows what a teen is. I certainly do not want my children to rise to the levels of the stereotypical teen....so we call them and expect them to be young adults. We never give them benefits/privileges without responsibility. We don't pamper their every whim. We expect them to begin to act and think as adults. We expect them to do "hard things" as they mature into the men and women God has called them to be.
Jared has blessed us greatly on his journey to adulthood. Sure he's still 16...but wow! He's taken great strides in his walk with God, his relationship with his authority (us), his relationship with his siblings and peers. This has been a tough move for Jared. The things he excelled in, the areas where he was exhibiting leadership, are not available here. The homeschool support group doesn't seem to have much for young adults. There is no Civil Air Patrol. There is no homeschool sports teams. There is no House of Faith. We are not comfortable with registering him with the DOD school for a variety of reasons. He understands and doesn't make a stink. We all continue to pray for more young adults to come into Jared's life. We pray for ministry opportunities, such as he had in TX, to manifest. We are praying about starting some ministry outreaches as a family. Jared David is our "ruler beloved". It's been fun to watch God take immature leadership material - often manifested itself in his younger years in ways we didn't condone - and move it towards maturity and effectiveness for the kingdom.
Jared has a rather quirky sense of humor that keeps me smiling, covering his tail, and, at times, cringing. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Jared has a heart for God that AMAZES me and HUMBLES me and CHALLENGES me. It's not about "discipline, routine and lists," but that boy has a routine that is shocking. He reminds me of stories of some of the "greats" in Christianity....I stand back and wonder where God is taking him. I wonder what God is going to do in his generation through this young man who is seeking to follow him wholeheartedly.
Jared has an interest in politics. We all know that he will be old enough to run for President in 2029. ::snort:: His plan at this point is to graduate, go back to TX, become a city councilman and get a degree, become a mayor, a governor and then we'll see.
Jared has been the youngest child in our family. Jared has been the middle child in our family. Jared is now the oldest child of those living at home. He's stepping up to the role and we honor him for that.
We'll have a celebration on Thursday night. Last night we opened gifts.
Happy Birthday, son. We look forward to watching you mature and grow in the upcoming years. (Now go clean your room. ::snort::)
JOSIAH & JAMIN ARE HOME!
Living all of life before the face of God...