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Blake's fifteen year old poem:

Blake is Fifteen

You've been fifteen for awhile now, it's true
It has taken me some time to gather these thoughts of you
Do you feel it? Sense that you've crossed,
or are crossing, an important line?
That we're now in a deeper, more important time?
Your childhood years firmly in the rear-view mirror
The desired destination of adulthood is now much nearer
But not yet . . . not yet.
Well, just a little while yet
We see it coming,
And it is a time that calls for joy, not a time to fret
We embrace this season, there's no need to fear it
With our eyes on the Lord as he continues to whet
the sharp blade of your spirit

Last year we made an important decision
All together, for you had your say
and played your part
Another sign of the times, by the way
Where once the decision would have been all ours
You were in this one from the start
We felt the Lord's call
To plant you at CCS
And see how you would grow
Not looking at it as just a place of refuge
But also as a place of mission
Where you could come to more completely know
The One who knows you so completely, who has stooped low
To make you great
A place to develop and cultivate your heart's soil
To break up the hard places,
And, yes, to work and toil
to plant the seeds of your future
And begin to outline the paths that you will take
Roads to be walked by a young man
Whose spirit is awake

You dove into CCS quite well, I'd say
Making new friends along the way
You're now in high school, it's a whole new game
(though you get to take algebra again -- yay)
You are making a name for yourself in a new place
And there's some of the class clown in you
At least that is what we're hearing
It's a trait hopefully not as irritating to the teachers
as it is endearing
True, the lesson might get delayed as you break out in song
But if you're having a good hair-day and the song's got a beat
how could that be wrong?
It's hard to argue with that logic
Even if for silence the teacher is pleading
Because a little song and dance
Might be just what the class is needing

By way of addition
to the story of "The Decision"
Let me admit that I had one condition
I wanted CCS sports in the mix
And I think I had in mind
That you could choose any sport, any sport at all
That is
as long as it was basketball

And, pardon the digression
but about our basketball games
I'm not saying another word
There are rumors out there
That some have heard
That you might, on occasion
Be beating me
. . . . quite badly
Well, those stories are certainly exaggerated
But, I can only say, sadly
That I'm experiencing some bad writers-block
on this particular stanza
So let's just move along, shall we?

Now where was I? Oh yes
I was writing of sports at CCS

In the choosing of a sport ultimately
you owned the decision
And in retrospect, with wise precision
You chose soccer, the beautiful game
A choice I quickly came to respect
A selection for which you have no regret
God placed you with a wise, Godly coach
And with friends and mentors
And with the skills that we've seen your whole life long
With the ball you're a technician, a distributor, an inventor
It was a joy to see you fit right in, and as a freshman make
A huge contribution
And become a key part of the solution
To see your team finally make the break
Into the tournament, to play for all the stakes
It was a great season
And think of what you gained in all this
A varsity letter, first team All District
The TAPPS state final,
Most importantly, a band of brothers
And, of course,
bleachers full of crazy mothers

It hasn't hurt that you have been growing
In wisdom and stature,
and both certainly show
You've been adding height, with no sign of slowing
Hey, where did our little guy go?
While it's taking some getting used to
This looking you in the eye
It wasn't unexpected
though a reminder
That the years certainly do fly

Which reminds me of one more thing
about our basketball games
All of a sudden you were physically matching me
(albeit, lighter, younger, swifter and more skillfull with the ball)
I had this moment of epiphany
"Hey, when did you get tall?"
As with a swat
You jumped up, stretched out
and . . .
(I can hardly say it)
blocked my shot
"Well, this is new" I thought
And I could tell you enjoyed that, quite a lot

In the midst of all this newness
We have new life, our little Arden
The first new-generation young sprout
In, God willing, an ever-growing garden
And there you are, vying for the title
of coolest uncle, ever
Well, since you're a rookie at this
Having been an uncle never
I can only tell you that the competition is intense
For instance, you're pitted against a couple of Wahlquist boys
And, if you want my two cents,
Don't underestimate
They are veterans at this
And won't go down without a fight
Not to mention your older brother
Who will claim it as his birthright
Just stay humble, stay hungry
Pick your spots and make your move
I'm pretty sure, regardless of the scoreboard
Arden is going to like your groove

At church the Lord is working
As he's brought, in his perfect time
A new start to the student ministry
A new day for 249
With a new student minister
and a new senior pastor as well
After a long time of hoping and seeking
We now see
And what the future holds, I cannot tell
But it looks exciting to me
God knows where he will take student ministry
And you along with it
But I think it will be an amazing time
A time for growth,
For becoming the man
That God has planned for you to be
As we seek to build his kingdom
I pray that you will see
New ways that you can serve
For in serving you will receive
May you help others who are hurting
to know, trust, and believe
In the one who fixes broken hearts
Makes the lame to walk
and sets the prisoner free

May the years ahead be blessed
And prepare you for what's to come after
I know there will come times of struggle
And times of stress
As well as times of fun and laughter
And that is OK
Because a young man needs some heat
to test his mettle
burning out the dross
May you see these years as an offering to the Lord
And like David as he stood at the threshing floor
say "I will give no offering which for me has no cost"
As you are growing into manhood
At an accelerating pace
May you grow in your faith and love for God
know his word, love his will, seek his face
May you respect and serve side by side with your leaders
As you soon become a leader in your own right
For there are younger ones who will look up to you
Lead them well, for they are precious in his sight
Seek God for your future
What you will be and what you will do
Work hard, pray hard, and play hard
at all he's put in front of you
Be a good teammate to your brothers
Listen well to your coach's voice
For just as in a game, in this game of life
There can be but a split second
to make a crucial choice

I am so proud of you
I know you are well set to win
Because you've been given so much
both externally and within
So run hard after victory
Keep your ears tuned to the call
You know where the goal is
So use all the gifts you've been graced with
and be inventive with the ball

Happy Birthday!
I love you Blake,

Cinco De Mayo, 2013