On April 17, 2011

Samuel’s Birthday

So today is Samuel’s 1st Birthday. It seems like yesterday that he showed up. We weren’t ready for him to be here, but here he came nevertheless. (We hadn’t even settled on his name. So for the first 6 hours of his life, he was Baby Storment). His entire first year has been pretty topsy-turvy. We’ve moved 4 times, changed jobs and cities. We left a church community that we loved and came to one that we are growing to love.

A lot has happened in this last year. And we are so glad that Samuel has been around to be a part of it. This is a post I wrote on Samuel’s actual birth day. And it’s more true now than ever. Thanks for being here little buddy. Leslie and I are so proud to call you son.

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God’s continues to make babies, because God loves stories.” – Elie Wiesel

So yesterday morning at 5:18, Leslie gave birth to our 2nd baby. It’s a boy, named Samuel David. Actually, at the time he wasn’t named Samuel David, we decided to wait until we actually met the new little guy before naming him. Our thought process was that we might name him one thing and he come out looking like a Zebediah. We now know that is a mistake. Mainly because we forgot that all babies look like potted hams during their first few moments, and we didn’t want to name him Spam.

But within a few minutes, the proccessed meat season passed and Samuel started looking like the most beautiful baby boy ever. (He gets it from his mom). Leslie once again had a natural childbirth, and this time she actually beat the doctor getting there. Being in that room was so much like being in a war zone. There was crying and moaning and gnashing of teeth. And I think it was hard on Leslie too.

Eden is so great with him. She was the first person to get to come into the hospital room, and I can’t tell you how special that time was. She couldn’t get enough of her baby brother. She was wired up to be a caregiver, and all we’ve heard about for the past day from her is Samuel.

I did notice a distinct difference between holding Eden for the first time and holding Samuel. When Eden was born all I could think about what a princess she was. We would dance in the hospital room (and still do a few times a week). But with Samuel, I had a entirely different experience. As soon as they handed him to me, I started crying. It wasn’t planned, or expected. I had no idea that it would be so emotional, but immediately I was crushed by the weight of holding a person who will one day be a man.

I flashed on a million experiences that we haven’t had yet, but hopefully will. I want to teach him how to throw a football, and how to treat a girl. I want to teach to him how to shoot a jumpshot and respect people different than him. I want to teach him how to call the Hogs, and be a man who risks for the Lord.

In other words, I want God to use me to shape him to be the man he was created to be.

G.K. Chesterton once said that he learned more about God from watching children than from all the books in his library. And I’m starting to understand what he means by that. There is something about looking into the eyes of your son, eyes that are looking at you, and everything else, for the first time ever. There is so much potential in this little ball of wrinkled skin. Leslie and I have all these different dreams for what he could be, and the kind of life he could live. I know some of them will be realized and some of them won’t. But there is this overwhelming sense of hope that we have for what Samuel’s life could be.

And so this is what we’d like to say to him:

I want to tell you about why we named you Samuel. It’s from a story in Old Testament that was one of your dad’s favorite’s when he was a kid. It’s about a mom who wants a son so much that she promises God if He gives her a son, He will be His for all of his life. And he was. Samuel was the first person in the Bible to be taught how to hear the voice of God. God spoke to him, and He listened. With his life, Samuel lived in a time when people were tempted to give their ultimate allegiance to secondary things.  And he stood against that. His heart broke for the things that hurt God. And Samuel’s heart broke a lot.

But here’s the reason for your name, little guy. Samuel was both a prophet and a priest. In our world, it seems like we are presented with just a couple of options: to speak for what needs to change or to love people. But we hope you can do both well. There are things that have to change, and we have a hunch that God put you on this earth to do some of them. But your full name tells a story, about how God shows us how to look past what the labels that we give one another, and see His image in people.

But we also named you David. That’s important too. That’s your dad’s name. I’ll try my best to give you a name worth carrying on. But that’s not the only reaso we named you that. We did this so you would know that we already love you, not for anything you do, but because you are ours.

You are very loved little fella. Welcome to the family.

 

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  • Lauren Cunningham

    Oh, my what a huge blessing Samuel David is! You and your adorable family have already blessed me immeasurably, Jonathan. I can’t wait to see what the Lord does through our relationship in the years to come. You are such a fabulous daddy, my friend! I love the depiction of God that Eden and Samuel are getting to see and experience through your father-heart. You are loving them and admonishing them well in the Way of the Lord!

  • http://stormented.com Jonathan Storment

    Hey Lauren! So good to have you over today! Thanks for blessing little Samuel with your words and your presence. The whole Storment clan is glad that you and your family is in our lives!