As the boys are growing up, each "stage" is special, and uniquely interesting and fun. Learning to walk, and talk, getting out of diapers, starting school, learning how to ride bike, being able to hit a baseball, losing teeth, using the lawn mower, swinging an axe, voices changing, growing "peach fuzz" the list goes on and on. Then come the "dreaded" teen years. We now have 2, almost 3 teenagers, and are qualified to weigh in with our own experiential opinion on these years. And, in my opinion, they are the best "stage" so far. I am able to have substantial, intelligent, meaningful conversations with them. We are able to do hard work together. We can share things we are learning in our walk with the Lord with each other. We do church ministry together. They help us mentor the younger children, and so much more. We are so thankful that the teens years do not have to be miserable stretches of contention and apathy, but can rather be the reaping of keeping the hearts of your children in close and deepening relationship. We do not have to concede as being "normal" that young people will go through a time of purposelessness and rebellion. Instead, it can become increasingly evident that they are embracing for themselves that which they have been led towards in their childhood years. This past Sunday was a practical manifestation of this, as our two teenage sons helped lead the service at our church. What a joyful Dad I was as I observed them leading congregational music and giving testimony of God's goodness. "To God be the glory, great things he has done". And we pray He will continue to do for many sons and many years to come as we work towards a continued godly heritage in the Philbrick family.