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A Tribute to My Firstborn, Joshua Sebastian

Today our firstborn, Joshua Sebastian, turns eleven years old. It is hard to believe eleven years have passed, and at the same time, it almost seems like Joshua has always been a part of our lives. God has used Joshua in so many ways to teach us so many things and to keep us always seeking Him!  These eleven years of parenting Joshua have been the most challenging, the most rewarding, the most joyful and the most intense years of our lives. 

Joshua was born with an intensely inquisitive mind, a driving curiosity to know how things work, a yearning for exploration and experimentation. This has been a wonderful thing to observe and facilitate, and also an extreme challenge, both to stay a step ahead of him and keep him “stimulated” and interested in life, as well as to deal with all the “experiments” that didn’t work…. 
God gave Joshua a strong personality, to lead, to dominate, to convince, to compete. I am believing that all of these qualities, honed and tempered with the fruits of the Spirit, will be powerfully useful for the Kingdom, in whatever capacity the Lord calls Joshua to. In the meantime, we are often overwhelmed with the “honing” and “tempering” aspects, which the Lord has given to US, as our responsibility! 
There are times we think it’s “working” and other times when we feel like hanging our heads, but then we step back and take a look at the big picture and see… YES! Joshua is growing in godly character! He is learning; something is sticking! I see him taking a younger sibling under his wing to explain something and I smile. I see him turning his eyes away from an evil thing {think billboards} and I am proud.  I see him choosing reading material carefully and I perceive his desire to please the Lord and be pure in heart. I see him striving to be like his daddy, and I am thankful that he has such a godly example to follow.  
I continue to pray for Joshua, that his heart would always be captured only by the Savior’s love; that he would love Jesus far above any other thing; that he would grow in diligence and humility and responsibility; that the Holy Spirit would ignite him with love for people and a desire to serve; that he would be an agent of Kingdom expansion on this earth -that the glory of the Lord would cover all the earth – in whatever capacity the Lord should call him to. 
Joshua, we love you with all of our hearts!  And, now for some pictures. Watch Joshua grow!



 Joshua at ONE year old

These two pictures were when we were still living in Japan, Joshua’s birth country.

This was right after we moved to the States, when Joshua was 14 months old.



Joshua at TWO years old


Joshua became a big brother at two years old!

 Joshua at THREE years old


Joshua at FOUR years old

First attempt at writing his name!


Joshua has always loved rocks!



Joshua at FIVE years old



Joshua at SIX years old

By this age, Joshua had developed an intense love for books and for reading. 
We often see him like this:



Joshua at SEVEN years old

At seven years old, Joshua became a missionary kid. 🙂 Leaving all his toys behind, he had to engineer his own toys, like this clothespin machine gun.

Joshua at EIGHT years old


Joshua at NINE years old

At nine years old, Joshua became a big brother for the fourth time! 
Here he is, holding Olivia and enjoying his favorite activity: reading!


Joshua at TEN years old

Oops – sideways pic. Sorry.  
Below, with his pet hamster.

Joshua at ELEVEN years old

For this picture, he chose Reese’s Chronological Bible. A good read. 🙂