He is my rocket. My firecracker. My never-stops-moving, easily excitable, constantly curious, and very defiant Gabe. Gabriel, as the Hebrew calls him, strong man of God. Our choice of a name for him was very deliberate, as the stories of this archangel have brought a depth of understanding to some of the mysteries in the heavenly realms. And at the very young age of twenty months, he is already proving to have a very strong personality. He fights me on everything whether it be what he's eating or how he's treating his big brother, and the only time when he is semi-still is when he is strapped in his car seat.
I absolutely love and adore him. I could literally eat his cheeks. When I hear him say "bubble," which is one of his newest words, I just want to smother his face with kisses.
Even when he keeps me up at night and stresses me to the point where I have to get fitted for a night guard to keep me from clenching my teeth.
He stretches me as a mother in new ways that were never there with my calm, goal-oriented and focused first son. While I used to turn to God when I had reached my breaking point and felt as though I couldn't drag myself out of bed another day, now I begin my day with Him. Or at least I try to. I know that I cannot direct and streamline the endless energy of this little wonder without the help of the one who created him. He knows him. He was a glint in his Maker's eye before he was a tiny embryo in my belly, and I've been tuned, after trying and failing, to the fact that without His guidance I am simply a blind person floundering in the dark.
I pray. I pray that he will use every ounce of the stubbornness and spiritedness in him for God's glory. That these traits would make him a tenacious force for Christ, and not his reason for stumbling. And when he does stumble, that he will learn and grow and become stronger instead of bitter and defeated.
I pray. I pray because in doing so I am inviting the Maker of the universe and the Creator of my son to have an influence in my son's life, in the life of my family. Free will gives me the choice. To invite Him in or leave him out.
When I invite Him in I have peace. Not because I know the end of the story but because I know the One who's writing it.
So I leave my Gabriel at the feet of the One who made him, and I kneel at the foot of the cross asking for all his grace and mercy as I raise this boy who I hope will live to embody everything his name implies.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."