Stacie, Caedmon and I arrived earlier this afternoon after 10 days in Fukuoka Japan with a team of 7 students from Breakthrough Church. Our travels were extremely adventurous and stretching. Our trip home lasted about 21 hours from start to finish and was made with a 10 month old who loves his own bed. I loved the look of the guy who realized he was stuck next to us on a 12 hour flight from Japan to the states. He kind of had a look that was somewhere between a deer caught in the headlights and a sad 8th grader who realized he had to sit next to the reject on the bus. Not to mention the Japanese man to my right who said, "stop doing that" when Caedmon was crying for a period of about 5 minutes. So, I must admit after this trip I will never get angry at the crying baby again.
All that said, Caedmon did exceptionally well. He hardly cried at all, laughed a ton, slept some and ate a little. We had another guy on the plane tell us that he thinks Caedmon might be the cutest baby he has every seen. I thoroughly agreed with his assessment.
So kudos Caedmon!!! You made the trek and had your first mission trip at 9 months old. The first of many more. May God burn in your heart a passion for the nations and his glory that consumes your life. May you one day look at pictures of yourself being held by Japanese college students and beam with joy. As you grow may you know that your mother and father care more about you loving Jesus and his kingdom than we care about our convenience, your convenience or the convenience of our church.
So now you've taken a total of 6 trips in your ten months of life. You've been to Michigan (2x), South Carolina, California, Tennessee, New York, California, and Japan! You've done great!! You've brought joy to so many people with your smile, many memories to our first year with you and much pleasure to my heart.
So in case you are wondering here is why we've chosen to take you on all these trips and involve you in the kingdom of God at such a young age!!
1. If you are going to love the kingdom we can't protect you from it!! You probably will won't know for a long time that your life is different from most kids. It is not normal to have a passport when you are 10 months old. The kingdom of God is messy, it is not convenient, it is a ride and it will stretch you. So as you grow we will involve you and your future siblings with the prayer that you will take hold of the kingdom at a young age.
2. It is good for our church and for other families. People need to know that you and other children are not a hinderence to the kingdom of God. You are a welcomed part of the kingdom. You are the future of the kingdom. So when you cried on this trip and it might have been hard, I prayed that God would show the students in our church that you are a welcomed part of our ministry and our family is a package deal. May many other children be involved in the kingdom because we involve you.
3. God is going to use your life... Did you know that your mom got to tell about Jesus to two young Japanese mothers because you were with us! We got to spend a whole day with 2 families on the other side of the planet and tell them about the love of Jesus and if you weren't there we wouldn't have had this opportunity. God is using your life already and he is going to use it more as you grow.
4. I like being with you!!! You make me laugh. Your little giggle brings me joy. You make your mother's life and my life more rich. You crack me up the way you look at people and engage them with the assumption that everybody is going to love you as much as we do!!
I am proud to call you my child. Even though my life is different with you, it is better because of you!! You are truly a blessing form the Lord. I want a bunch more of you in my home. I want you to know how much I love you, and how dear you are to my heart! May the Lord bless you and use your life and give you a deep love for his Son, for his kingdom, and for the world.