Dear Son: To Andrew

Many, many thanks to you all for your prayers, comments, encouragement, blessings, and help as we welcomed our son, Andrew Christopher, into our family last week.  God was with us.  Everything went smoothly and we are home and settling into life with a newborn!

Our son is beautiful, healthy, and such a precious gift.  Here’s my letter to him, the last of the letters to my children.



Dear Andrew:

Your sister caught me crying over you last night.  She feared for me, worried that I physically hurt, worried that I was sad or scared about you.

Maybe one day this eight-year-old girl will be a mom watching her own newborn sleep and she’ll understand the tears.  I try to explain it to her now…how I’m crying because I’m happy.

But it’s so much more than that and she skips off to bed not really understanding, just content to know that mom is ‘okay.’Andrew

I blink these tears away or maybe they’ll slip down my cheek as I’m watching your baby facial expressions change, listening to you coo, stroking your tiny pink fingers and toes, running my hand softly over the outlines of your face or the fuzz (can’t really call it hair) on your tiny head, or watching your two deep-sea-blue eyes search the room and linger when you see my face.

I’m awestruck.  That’s what I am.  I’m overwhelmed at you, this tiny bundle of expectation, this incomparable gift of God given to your dad and me and to three wildly excited and proud big sisters.

How could God give me a gift so precious, so beautiful?

How could He trust me with the care of a son, a boy to teach about Godly manhood and character, courage, strength, passion for God and His Word and truth?

Already, you teach me with your days-old wisdom, and I’m learning a whole new world of diapering and outfits and caring for a baby boy.  But the lessons, the deep ones that will change who I am as a mom and as a woman, will continue for a long time.

You remind me of this grace, so abundant and undeserved, that God heaps on us.  It’s salvation plus…..the cross itself, the great miracle of mercy, plus a gift so valuable as you placed in the arms of imperfect me.

And isn’t God’s grace always this?  The once-for-all rescue for sinners in Christ’s sacrifice and then daily mercies that He lovingly gives us day after day after day….

So I worship.  All the time.  Worship becomes a middle-of-the-night event, a whispered prayer of tear-filled thanks to a God so mighty and so good.  You teach me how to breathe in and breathe out praise, how sometimes the most beautiful offerings of worship to God contain just three words: “Thank You, Lord.”

You teach me that I’m never on my own, and I’m so thankful for the reminder.  Maybe if you’d been another girl, a fourth daughter for me, I’d be tempted to think, “I’ve got this.  I can do this.  I know this…..I…..I…..I.

Now I am humbled.023

How can I be your mom?

Because God is with me.

How will I know how to train you and guide you?

Because God will give me wisdom, strength, all I need.

It’s a reminder I see even now, cradling your tiny feet in my hands and stroking your soft, pink baby toes.  All these months of knowing I was having a boy, I worried and fretted—how do I connect with him?  How do I relate to a boy?  How do I love him best?

And now I see it in your toes, God’s answer right to me.

You have my feet.

The way two of my toes on each foot connect together a little differently than most.  We’ve always called it “webbed” feet and none of your sisters inherited that from me.026

But you did.

Maybe that’s a little message from God to this nervous mom’s heart, that you are mine, specially chosen to be my son, and I have the privilege, the honor, the blessing to be your God-picked, God-designed, exact right mom for you.

Your dad and I hold you now in excited wonder, wanting so much to see who God designed you to be and what gifts and talents He’s placed in you.  We can’t wait to know you more and more.

And we are praying for you.

We’ve been praying all along, of course.  From the moment we knew you were coming, we held hands in a restaurant, celebrating our anniversary and praying over the news that you were coming.

We prayed about your name, wanting it to reflect God’s plan for you.

So you are Andrew Christopher….

Named for your dad, James Andrew, and named for the first disciple to follow Jesus.  In Scripture, Andrew is a pursuer of truth, first following John the Baptist, then following Jesus, and then bringing others, including Peter, to Christ, as well.

And Christopher, or “Christ-bearer…” one who brings Christ to others.

May it be so.  May your witness, your testimony for Him, your character, your love for God and His Word bring others to Christ and Christ to others.

We pray this verse of blessing over you:

This is what the Lord says:

Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord
(Jeremiah 9:23-24 NIV).

These are our prayers for you, our son.


Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King

Weekend Walk, 07/07/2012: When It’s H-O-T

Hiding the Word:

Ask anyone in my town, in my state, along my coastline.  It’s hot.

H-O-T.  Hot.

It’s the subject of everyone’s Facebook posts. What’s my status?  Sweltering, melting, sweaty, sticky.  Hot.

The weather monopolizes our conversation, dominating our small talk.  How are you doing?  And then we look, really look at the person and realize there’s no need to even ask.  They’re wiping their hand across their forehead, pushing away sticky strands of hair and catching droplets of sweat before they drip in our eyes.

And it’s all we can think about.  Forget how we’re feeling or how our jobs are going or how our kids are enjoying their summer.  All we know right now is that we’re just too plain hot.

But this morning I sat by the side of the local swimming pool while my daughters took swimming lessons.  Parents on benches against the wall fanned themselves, but the kids were dipped in coolness. They were comfortable, happy, relaxed and refreshed.

Even when they stepped out into the heat, my dripping wet girls were still cool from their time in the water.

Watching my daughters so refreshed despite the heat around them, I saw a reminder of God’s satisfying grace, His presence and the cooling comfort of His Word amidst the heat of our lives–the stress, the busyness, the fires of attack. He’s the Living Water, from which we drink deep and long, enjoying the true quenching of our up-to-now insatiable thirst.

In his famous sermon, Peter promised the crowd that “times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:20). We throw ourselves (belly-flopping or diving or jumping into a cannonball) into God and, totally immersed in His presence, we are refreshed and renewed.

So, this week, I’m meditating on a verse that reminds me that Christ is in me, my source of joy and hope and peace regardless of the heat of life:

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38 ESV).

Weekend Rerun:

His Sufficiency
Originally posted on May 2, 2011

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 2:9

I love sharing in this devotional ministry with you, hearing what God is teaching you and how it connects up with the verses and thoughts on my heart.  Journeying together with you these past few months has been a blessing to me.  But, To be honest, there are still some days I struggle with knowing what God has called me to do right here and now in my life.  Insecurities can do that to us, trap us in a pit of questions and uncertainty and prevent us from moving forward in obedience.

You see a great deal of the time I feel ill-equipped to sit across the computer from you and share from my quiet time moments.  I’m no bestselling author, conference speaker, or Greek scholar.  This is just simple me being real with you, a girl totally in love with God’s Word and how alive it is, how relevant for our lives, how powerful to change our hearts and minds.  These are the confessions of my heart, but maybe you’ve felt some of these insecurities in your life, too.

Have you ever felt a little insufficient?  A little overwhelmed by the task God’s given you and a little underwhelmed by your ability to perform it?  A little intimidated by the confident ministry of those around you?

Today, I’m thinking about insufficiency, mostly because that’s how I feel at this moment.  I’m sitting at my kitchen table after a hectic morning of running errands, forgetting something at the store, heading back to another store, returning all the library books and then finding one more book hidden in the car after I got home, and finally running late to pick up my daughter from school.

My youngest girl dug into the Easter candy that mysteriously moved from the inaccessible high counter where I had put it onto the very accessible  floor. (Do “Not Me” and “I Don’t Know” live at your house, too?)  There are candy wrappers dotted across the carpet.  Fortunately, she doesn’t actually like to eat the candy; she just enjoys unwrapping it, so next to the candy wrappers is the chocolate all lined up in a perfectly straight row.  (That chocolate is still good, right?  Because I totally just ate some.)

The laundry is spinning in the washer and dryer and the clean clothes are piling up on the sofa all fresh and warm and in desperate need of folding and putting away.

Meanwhile, I have not yet exercised this morning, but I am excusing myself because I’ve been coughing up my lungs themselves for the last few days.

So, sick, stressed, tired, forgetful, surrounded by mess, and feeling bad for not exercising, I have waved the white flag and retreated to the kitchen table for some time with God.  And I need it because I’m so insufficient for all this.

Fortunately for me, my favorite Gospel event is all about insufficiency!  Jesus had been teaching a crowd of people all day and healing the sick among them.

By the time evening came, the disciples were worried.  They told Jesus, “’This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.’  Jesus replied, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’”  Matthew 14:13-14 (NIV). 

The disciples certainly didn’t have enough food for a crowd of over 5000 people, but Andrew did find one little boy with a small lunch: “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” John 6:9 (NIV).

“How far will they go” indeed?!  This boy’s lunch was utterly insufficient.  It probably embarrassed Andrew to even mention it.  Yet, this little boy with a lunchbox willingly and in great faith gave 100% of what he had to Jesus.  Even though it was insufficient, he trusted that Jesus could use his offering.

Certainly, this boy could have worked in his own strength to catch some more fish or bake some more bread.  He could have collected small change from everyone in the crowd and trekked into town to order take-out.

Still, despite his best efforts and hard work, he would never have provided enough in his own strength.  Likewise, I can’t be enough in my own strength either. If I’m relying on my talent, skills, hard work, and ingenuity, I’ll just fail.  I can only give my all to Jesus and trust that He will multiply my offering.

Besides, it was the insufficiency of the boy’s gift that allowed Jesus to be glorified.  If that boy had somehow gathered enough food for the crowd, the story would have been about his ingenuity and generosity instead of Jesus’ compassion and miraculous power.

Even if every attendee had packed a little snack and the disciples had pooled the resources to form a buffet line, Christ would then be a master organizer or administrator—not a God of compassion who sees our need and provides for us in abundance through His great power. 

Our insufficient offerings give Jesus the opportunity to be glorified.

God never expects us to be sufficient in our strength and abilities.  If we are strong enough, together enough, talented enough, smart enough, or equipped enough in our own strength, there’s no room for God to show off in our lives and receive the glory He deserves.   The gifts we bring just become less about Him and more about us.  

And let me assure you that God is powerful in our weakness.  Sure, my day has been crazy and I don’t feel up to the task of managing it all, but after some time with God’s Word and some moments spent sharing with you, I can look around with new eyes and see Him at work. 

My beautiful girls have just bounced through the kitchen after playing outside on a bright and sunny day.  They were chased in by an “enormous, gigantic, ugly black spider” and now they are cuddling together all stretched out and relaxing, little blond curls and wisps of hair falling out of ponytail holders and hair clips.  My baby girl fell asleep peacefully for a nap, tired from all of her effort spent unwrapping chocolate and the house is quiet for these few moments.  A candle is burning.  The last load of laundry is spinning away.   One of the caterpillars we’ve been studying just emerged from her chrysalis and is waving her new wings back and forth, testing them out, feeling the weight of them. 

God is always sufficient in our insufficiency.


Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King