Happy 6th birthday, Liam!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Dear Liam Worth,

You are six years old today! You've been patiently awaiting this day for months, and we are thrilled to celebrate you and what God is doing in your life this year.

Your biggest request for your birthday was a guided nature walk at the nature preserve near our house. (You also asked for a metronome and a camouflage watch.) You are delightfully quirky and loving nothing more than to pack your field guide and magnifying glass on a nature walk in hopes of discovering wild creatures. Your current favorites to spot are five-lined skinks. You're also a homebody. If we run more than one errand, you beg to return home to your nature encyclopedias and climbing tree.

Liam, you are a gifted and passionate learner. I knew you'd be an eager student when we started homeschooling in August, but I had no idea how your mind would come alive this year. Here was a recent conversation:

You: What animal do you want me to draw?
Me: How about an antelope?
You: What kind of antelope? An ibex? An oryx? A springbok? A deer?
Me: An ibex. (Not having a clue what that looks like.)
You: Ok. I'll draw an Alpine Ibex at the base of the European Alps.

You're a walking animal encyclopedia, and that is no exaggeration. You told me at the beginning of the school year, "I can teach you about animals. You can teach me about everything else." That's 100% true. You also love talking about ancient Greece, doing science experiments, practicing piano, learning Spanish, and reading through Exodus in your ESV Bible.

Your name means "protector" and it couldn't be truer of you. I've watched as you've stood outside the bathtub dripping wet with goosebumps covering your body, holding a towel for Lanie so she wouldn't be cold. I've seen you wedge your body against the crack under Brooks' door so that he doesn't wake up from his nap when I have to use the hair dryer. You sacrifice so much for those sweet,  mischievous siblings of yours and it baffles me. Sacrifice isn't a quality I readily see in other kids your age (or even in myself).

Most importantly, your heart for Jesus and your love for his Word is what I am most thankful for. A few weeks ago, we let you participate in the community group that meets every week at our house. I had a feeling you'd want to read the Scripture passage aloud and then get bored and head back downstairs to play with the other kids. Instead, you engaged in every bit of the discussion. You'd raise your hand and ask probing questions like, "Why does Jesus say, 'Let the dead bury their dead'?" and then share insights. You've told me multiple times since that you cannot wait for Tuesday nights so you can talk about Jesus with our group again. I often catch you reading from your Bible during rest time and you interject your dozens of memory verses into conversations.

You are truly evangelistic and your heart breaks for kids around the world who have never heard the gospel. Through your homeschool program, we've been focusing on India this month and the work God is doing there among kids. We decided to sponsor 4 kids to be able to attend Bible clubs and hear about Jesus, then Sonlight matched our gift so that 8 kids could attend. When I told you the news, you very confidently said, "Well, I don't know if we'll get to meet those kids in India, but we'll meet them in Heaven!"

Liam Worth, you are of great worth to us. I could go on for days about how our family wouldn't be what it is without you. A buddy of yours recently said of you, "You know why Liam is my favorite? Because he is kind and he knows cool things." I think that sums you up perfectly.

I love you dearly, son. Happiest birthday!


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