Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Birthday, Calvin

Twenty-four years ago this afternoon, God placed a precious gift in my arms and let me tell you, he changed my life. I grew up with sisters, which meant a house full of girls and to have this little boy handed to me was quite a surprise. Yes, this was back in the olden days when nobody knew the sex of their baby until after it was born, unless there was some kind of emergency and a test was warranted. So, after a mere seven hours of labor which I have affectionately compared as equal to Dave's curse of working till the day he dies, this little boy was placed in my arms, and after promptly proving that his plumbing worked properly, he looked up at me with his big, blue eyes and I knew I was whipped.

He still has that affect on me today.

Calvin has had a sweet spirit about him since the day he was born. He was very verbal and could talk your ear off at eighteen months old. He loved sports and played endless basketball games and baseball games with his father in our living room and front yard. That competitive spirit now translates into online challenges, through the electronic world of sports managing and XBOX, but it continues nonetheless. I can remember he used to insist on thirty minutes of Sports Center before school...or should I say, kindergarten. He loved the statistics and the sporting news, and would sit with his backpack on his back, shoes and coat on, with his knees pulled up to his chin and watch ESPN till it was time to leave for school...year after year after year.

At a very young age, Calvin displayed the work of the Holy Spirit in his life. He was fascinated by Bible stories and loved to retell them once he heard them. He was easily moved to repentance and memorized scripture with ease. He used to sit on my lap at church and point to the pastor and say, "I want to be him when I grow up."

Before he entered the world of school, I would take him to visit my grandmother at the retirement home she lived in, and Calvin had a tender heart for the elderly. There was one man who ate alone and Calvin would often wander over and talk with him, quoting him scripture or acting out the story of David and Goliath for him, or playing catch with an invisible ball. It made him sad that this man was alone and soon, Calvin became the lunch room entertainer with all his antics and activity. The residents lit up when he walked in. Such a tender heart...

Calvin also had a passion for the Word. When he was in elementary school, he loved his Bible classes, but he struggled with small motor skills, so drawing and writing were difficult for him. I can remember one day, when he was in first grade, it had rained at lunchtime so the kids had to stay in the classroom during recess. The teacher handed out paper and crayons and told the children to draw a picture for their parents. Normally, this would have been a prison sentence for Cal, but that day he could hardly wait to pull his picture from his backpack. It was a swirling, circling mess of black, yellow and orange. Scribbling was his specialty but on this particular day, there was significance behind the drawing. When I asked him to explain what the picture was, he said to me, "It's God pouring his wrath out on the earth (that was the black and orange scribbles) and then this yellow here is lightning because that's Jesus coming back to get his children right before the wrath destroys everything!" Such excitement on his face and two things came to my mind. First, his teacher must think we're psycho here at home and second, this little guy is listening to our dinner conversation with Grandpa a lot more than I realized!

Another time he came home from school, probably in second or third grade, and he was very serious. He wanted to talk with me. He said, "Mom, if Jesus is God, who was up in heaven watching over the world when Jesus died on the cross?" I pulled him into a hug and said, "This is a great question for daddy when he gets home!" Calvin had a spiritual depth at a very young age, an interest in God's Word, a heart for the lost, a compassion for the hurting and a love for his Savior.

What a joy it has been to watch this young man grow and mature and follow God's call into full-time ministry. Oh, I could go on and on with many, many stories, but I'll keep those to myself for the time being. I just wanted to let my readers know that this is a very precious day for me, because twenty-four years ago, God changed my life through this little gift we call Calvin.

Happy Birthday, Calvin. Dad and I love you very much and are so happy that you are moving back to Michigan. You have been a true blessing in our lives and it is an honor to have you serve alongside us at the new church. You are a man of truth and integrity, and your discernment is evidence of God's hand in your life. Now, enjoy your special day and then get back to packing! Love you, Mom


  1. Congratulations and Happy Birthday to both Mom and son! I haven't met Calvin, but I've read some of his blogs, and can tell he loves the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind and strength. What a blessing to have him choose to work beside you! Enjoy the day!

  2. thank you for the nice tribute mom, but I will say you forgot to mention that in high school I used to be an athlete!

  3. If that's what you want to call it, dear...

  4. Happy Birthday, Calvin! You are such a blessing to our family! We love you very much and can't wait to have you (and Mary :) move back to Michigan!

  5. I don't know Calvin personally but know who he is and just want to say it must truly be a blessing to you Kristen to have a child grow up so strong in the Lord. Of course he had some pretty good teachers with you and Dave for parents and a grandfather so wise as your father was.

  6. Look at the baby holding the baby!

  7. Just thought I'd let you know that California is still attached to the United States and when I read what anonymous wrote, I thought almost the same thing... :)

    Rejoicing with you in the blessings of family!