Mountains and Marshmallows: A Letter From Sabrena Klausman

Dear Lewis,

When I was a kid, I used to beg my mom to buy the kid cereal; you know, the one chocked full of marshmallows. I was-still am, actually-crazy about those tasty morsels of sweetness. My reasoning for preferring the marshmallows was simple; the marshmallows were smooth and sweet, while the rest of the cereal was grainy and rough on my tongue. I remember informing my mom that I wish they would make a cereal that was only marshmallows.

Well, wouldn’t you know it? A few years later they made such a cereal. I am not ashamed to say I was first in line to buy this culinary delight. Boy, was I disappointed! It turns out that too much sweetness isn’t all that appetizing.

Eating straight sugar is gross.

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Why Every Father Should Be Scared To Pray

Dear Lewis,

This world is a dangerous place. Every second people are being killed in wars, uprisings, riots, and over stupid things – like energy drinks.

Before you were born your mom and I asked the question: “Do we really want to bring a child into this world?” I’m sure my parents had the same fears, and their parents before them.

Now comes the hard part. Now comes the part where I tell you why, in spite of the state of the world, we decided to have kids:

We believe you can change the world.

I’m not patronizing you, Lewis. This isn’t some pie-in-the-sky platitude. This is the most terrifying confession of my life.

This is why I’m scared to pray.

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You’ll Get There: A Letter From Dustin Dean

Dear Lewis,

I’m Dustin, one of your mom and pop’s friends.

Now, I don’t know if I’ll be around one way or the other to get to know the amazing young man I have no doubt you’ll become, but I’ve had the pleasure of being your dad’s friend for some time now, as well as your mom’s, and Uncle Nik’s. I even flew back to Kansas City and St. Louis to meet your Nani and Papa once upon a time.

Today is the party celebrating your first birthday, and also the first time I’ll have the pleasure of meeting you. I asked your old man what you might need, or what he might like to see you get.

Now, I asked him to keep in mind who was asking. Mostly because I’m almost always broke – and left to my own devices I might have gotten myself in trouble.

Long story short, I’m kind of a jackass.

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The 135-Day Life Of My Hero: Corbin McHenry

Dear Lewis,

I have a handful of heroes. Most of them you’ll meet at some point in your life. There are three, however, you probably won’t. I’ve never even met them. But they’ve changed our family forever.

Corbin, Kara and Shane McHenry came into our lives while you were still in your mom’s belly. Corbin was born on April 4th, 2013 with a rare genetic condition called Trisomy 13.

Trisomy 13 affects almost all the organs, so doctors say the condition is incompatible with life. The doctors told Corbin’s parents he had less than a 1% chance of being born alive.

Lewis, with God, statistics can be overcome.

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The Plan Of A Lifetime: A Letter From Papa

Dear Lewis,

I’m in an airplane as I write this, flying with your Nani to see some good friends in a country called Guatemala. When you get older you and I will go visit them, and we can climb a live volcano and throw stuff in the lava just to watch it burn (your Uncle Nik and I did that once and it was awesome – except when I burned my eyelashes and eyebrows off and thought for a minute that I was blind).  We’ll tell your mom that we’re going to Ted Drewes for ice cream – by the time we’re found out we should be halfway to Mexico.

Anyway, I wanted to write you to tell you about something that I am just now beginning to understand about God, something that I would have never begun to grasp if it weren’t for your dad and you.

Here it is: the God of the Bible is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It may not sound that exciting to you, so let me tell you what I mean.

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I’ll Still Be Here When You Need Me

Dear Lewis,

A few months ago you would have cried and screamed and flailed your arms if I’d have laid you on your belly. Now, the moment I put you on the ground you roll over onto your stomach. You don’t stop there. You do this awesome G.I. Joe army crawl that gets you all over the apartment.

It’s wonderful – and terrifying – watching you get into everything in every room of the apartment. I used to say, “I can’t wait until Lewis can do more than just lay on the ground and look cute.” Now, it’s happened. And I’m so proud of how you’ve learned to roll over, get around and entertain yourself.

Pretty soon you’ll learn to crawl. Then walk. Take the bus. Drive. I’ll be there to help you through each transition, but one day I’ll wake up to find you’re capable of moving through most of life on your own. You won’t need me to do much for you anymore.

But I’ll still be there when you do.

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Why God Is My Last Priority

Dear Lewis,

I love praying for you. I get excited imagining all God has for you, and how He might use your life for His glory.

Will you restore people’s bodies with medicine like Nani, or through massage therapy like mommy? Will you play music like Uncle Josh, or be a teacher like PaPa? I can’t wait to find out.

There are two things I can tell you about what you do with your life. The first is that God will use it to bring you closer to Him. The second, the devil will use it to lure you away from Him.

His method is simple. He’ll cause you to ask, “Is God’s approval enough?” Don’t be so quick to say, “Yes, of course.” You’ll be surprised by how much time you’re going to spend desperately seeking the approval of everyone but God.

Lewis, by now you should know what’s coming: look to Jesus and how he handled this question.

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Simple, Life-Changing Love

Dear Lewis,

You’re sitting on the floor, smiling from ear to ear, mumbling unintelligibly, and banging your fist against a plastic plate. And I couldn’t love you more than I do right now.

God must look at what I do everyday and see a fool mumbling unintelligibly, banging plastic plates. And he couldn’t love me more than he does right now.

I love you, Lewis. God loves you more.

– Dad

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