Gifts, gifts and more gifts

December 30, 2017

I didn’t post a letter for your 8th birthday, Jude, although I drafted one. Knowing what’s best left private and what’s okay to share is tough for me. But these letters are for both of us. I’d like you to know my heart toward you, and the exercise of observing your life and thinking about it helps me too. While I write these–for a little while–you have all my thoughts and affections and my heart overflows in gratitude to God for the good gift he gave us in you. And with that gratitude comes a renewed desire to be a faithful mom to you by nurturing your body and soul.


But first, a recap! So much has happened in two years.

You lost a lot of teeth










And got glasses










You had lots of fun!

Hanging with the Compton clan in FL





Bowling on your 8th birthday






At the Jersey Shore with the Marines






Tigers’ game with the Dobbertins





Family Vacation






Baseball game in Dunedin




Thanksgiving in the mountains of NC







You started a new school















You tried baseball

Joined your brother’s soccer team









Even scoring a crazy 4 goals one Saturday morning
















Your sense of fashion improved. With help. Lots of help.





















You lost approximately 400 things. And then calculated your best odds of finding them.

You asked 6 billion questions and received less than half as many answers.

You read countless numbers of books. (kicking myself now for not recording them all)


You figured hundreds of math equations, winning 2nd place in a district wide voluntary online math competition.

You grew and grew and grew. You finally did outstrip your brother in height. I’m so tired of seeing your ankles peeping out of your pants, but I just can’t keep up with you! And you’re not the skinny thing you used to be either. Just last week when you and Asher both stepped on the scale, we realized you caught him there too. 79.4 was the identical weigh in.

You became the most supportive younger brother a guy could ask for. I’ve heard you bragging about Asher’s soccer skills, school successes, and piano achievements to your friends. You may be taller, but figuratively, you still look up to him 😉

Wild hair, winning smile. Quintessential Jude.

“Gift” is a word we’ve thrown around a lot these last two years. It’s one we use throughout the Christmas season. It’s how we describe the gospel, and it’s how we talk about you, Jude. It’s a word that has been turned into a participle and slapped onto your school file. Even the soundtrack to your birth announcement was Simple Gifts.

You came to us at a gift-y time of year, born just after Christmas. You were an angel baby too–another good gift. We had just celebrated the advent of God’s greatest gift when we welcomed you into our home, purposing in our hearts to adorn that most beautiful gift with our parenting so that in time you too would desire it.

Your heart still chases after lesser gifts.  And there are many to be had this time of year! Last birthday–your 8th–you finally received the much coveted privilege of staying up late with us one night a week. And as we expected, a chorus of questions and chatter now fill the family room every Friday night. Even as I write, I can hear you asking, “What do you want to talk about now?!” This Christmas brought the much sought after Ping Pong and Fooseball tables. And we think you’ll be pretty happy with the packages you’ll unwrap today too.

We give you all these things because we take so much delight in you and we want you to know it. But as your delight in each of these lesser gifts fades, we hope you’ll increasingly turn to the one gift that can fill your heart with unfading joy and gladness (Psalm 90:14)

We love you, boy! Happy 9th birthday!

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  • Amber Rodman December 30, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Awww, so well-written! Your kids have a great gift in you both as their parents, and in the memories you record for them.

    • Charisse Compton December 31, 2017 at 7:48 am

      Thanks, Amber!