It has been my desire on my children’s birthday to write a blog celebrating his/her special day.  I am already two behind for the year (Elijah and Micah both had birthdays in February) but there is no time like the present.  So, without futher delay – Gabey.  Gabey Baby.  The Lord has been very gracious to give us so many wonderful sons (and of course, one sweet little gem of a daughter) – each unique in his own way.

I can remember April and I trying to figure out what we were going to name our son in late 1994 and we came across the following verse in our daily Bible reading, “The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.”  We read it again.  “I am Gabriel.  I stand in the presence of God…”.  We LOVED that name.

So a few months later, after 11 hours of labor and the use of a cool vacuum contraption with a suction cup on the end, Gabriel Ryan Kelley was extracted via air vacuum into the world.  And oh what a ride it has been!  🙂  In a great way.

Gabe brings a tremendous amount of laughter and joy to our home.  The highs are very high but on the flip side, the lows can be, well, pretty low.  But that’s okay – the Lord is using these things in all of our lives to knock off rough spots and press us to be more conformed to His image.

Gabe is a wonderful son.  He has a God given gift of being able to relate to folks of all ages in an endearing way.  He is genuine – not in the way that some folks use the word genuine.  Some folks like to talk about people and say how ‘real’ they are.  This typically means that they are foul-mouthed jerk faces who don’t consider others and ‘just say it like it is.’  Yeah, see where that gets you in life.  Anyway, I digress.  Blessedly, Gabe’s not ‘real’ in that sense.  He’s genuine in the sense that he really does take an interest in folks.  He is quick to think well – unlike me, I’m a ‘yeah, but’ kind of guy – but not Gabe.  He’s the kind of guy who sees faults in people and says, “Yeah, but what about these good things in his life.”  Gabe is also quick to see others who are being neglected and on the fringe and seeks to bring them in and include them.

He is also funny.  Really funny.  Too funny in fact which can be quite frustrating when you’re trying to be serious and you know by that twinkle in his eye that he’s thought of something he’s going to use later for a laugh. I think for most folks, to know him is to love him.

But all of that being said, Gabe has been granted, by the grace of God, to live up to the meaning of his name.  Gabriel means “devoted to God”.  Before he was born, it was our prayer then that this little one, growing in April’s womb, would one day come to know and love the Lord Jesus Christ.  And the Lord has answered that prayer – not in the superficial sense, walked an aisle, said a prayer, never step foot in a church but claims he’s a Christian type thing.  But in the true sense of what being a Christian means – understanding his sin and then seeking to extract it, fully leaning on Christ for forgiveness, wrestling for holiness of life (which brings up great questions from him), wanting to be with the people of God, desirous to worship Him and wanting to obey what His word says.

If you don’t know Gabe – I hope you get to meet him.  He’s not perfect – but he knows Who is.  So, my dear sweet boy, HAPPY 15TH BIRTHDAY!

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