for all this

As a follow up to Tuesday’s acknowledgment that “Something’s Wrong,” it doesn’t take long to get lured into focusing upon all that is wrong; it’s too heavy and too much. Hence, I am thankful when something shocks me out of it. For example…

This past weekend we celebrated my youngest’s 16th birthday. It was sweet and celebratory, affirming and fun. But after three days of celebrating, this typically enthusiastic parent added “exhausted” to the list.

The reason we celebrate for three days, no less, is because of who Josh is… because of how God made him… because we remember when he was born… and because of how incredible much we have learned both from him and through him. Two years ago, I wrote about Josh’s birthday. It is wise to read again…


A long standing premise of the Intramuralist is to consistently advocate for a focus on all that is good and true and right. In fact, one of our cultural challenges it seems, is that both individually and corporately, we spend so much energy and attention on that which is not good and true and right… division… strife… evil… impurity… a lack of loyalty and/or faithfulness, etc. Such takes up way too much of our time, minds, and airwaves.

“… whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things…”

My now 14 year old son, Josh — that child born years ago with an extra special need, chromosome, and a wall missing in is heart — is one of the best, most effective ways God teaches me now in regard to all that is good and true and right.

As expected, no less, this joy-filled teen’s birthday included music and dancing, cake and cookies, and multiple friends and family. He received many day-brightening gifts, calls, texts, and visits that made his heart so obviously overflow with thanks. (It made this parent even need a nap.)

Yet the moment that seemed most “blog-worthy” was seemingly small in comparison. It was just a singular sentence — a comment Josh made before the festivities were in full swing; yet it was a moment that is still making me think…

Standing outside briefly before the sunrise, in between our daily repertoire of song and dance preceding the much anticipated school bus arrival, Josh stopped his singing, pausing for a moment of thanks. He wanted to give God thanks for the celebration of the day — and more.

And in the middle of that moment — in this conversation I felt deeply privileged to overhear — Josh stopped, leaned somewhat backwards, grinning from ear to ear, and pointing meekly to himself said:

“And God, thanks for all this.”

Thanks for all this.

There was no focus on what some may see as missing.
There was no ignoring of current circumstances.
There was no dismissal of having Down syndrome.
There was no wishing he was someone or something else.
There was no desire to be any different.
There was only a joy-laced expression of gratitude for who he is…

Thanks for all this.

Whatever is true… whatever is lovely… think about these things…