Patrick, Our Noble Son

Patrick has conquered many enemies and overcome many obstacles.

This is his most recent victory.

I'm tired of cutting his hair. Maybe I'll just burn it off!
But, seriously, today we celebrated a solemn occasion - Patrick's 15th birthday and what we called his Bar Mizvah.

His birthday was actually in September, but he didn’t want to celebrate it until we had moved to our new place. We all knew that we were leaving Illinois. We just didn’t know when or where. So, not only was Christmas postponed. His birthday and ceremony of passage to manhood were also put on hold.

Patrick couldn’t believe how many candles were on his cake. He thought I had put too many on there. He counted them. They all did some math in figuring out that there were three rows of five! He said it made him feel old to see all those candles on his cake. Oh to be so old again!

Patrick’s Bar Mizvah from Penney Douglas on Vimeo.

I said a few words about the growth and maturity I had seen in Patrick, especially over the last three years. I mentioned some of the character qualities that I appreciate in him, especially the way he’s not afraid to do hard things. I affirmed him in the gifts that God has given him. And I emphasized the fact that his spiritual growth and development is the most important area of growth and that I have been very pleased to see how he is growing. I read many verses to him that the Lord gave me for him.

These words are all written in his notebook in which I write a letter to him every year for his birthday (more or less).

The little ones were not too sure about what was going on, but they stayed pretty patient through our ceremony.
This is his purity ring. It says "I am my Beloved's. My Beloved is mine." In Hebrew and in English.

I ordered this ring before his birthday from C28.com and saved it to give to him today. I don’t know why he is holding Jesse’s hand next to it. I don’t think he’s planning to marry a doll.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep everybody on task!

Abby's cuteness and loudness provoked Shawn to grab her and try to settle her down on his lap

We made it through the ceremony. Then we ate the yummy chocolate pudding cake and ice cream. After we finished eating, I realized that Emma was no longer with us. She had snuck off to play a computer game. She was the one who bugged me the most all day about when we were going to start the party. And she made it through the less exciting part and then missed the cake and ice cream! She came in when I was the only one left at the table and said she wanted some cake. Fortunately, there was still some left.

I really like how it went today. I got some inspiration and ideas from this website, Raising a Modern Day Knight. I listened to Robert Lewis’ book on tape several years ago. So we did a ceremony for Shawn when he was 13 back in Ohio. We did it at his 13th birthday party. My mom and dad thought that it was kind of strange and that Shawn was too young to be told that he was becoming a man, but I think it was really good and set Shawn on the right path.

Today’s ceremony for Patrick was the right timing for him, I believe. He seems to agree that he’s ready now. I believe the Spirit of God led me in the way we should do it. I love the ring he chose. I love the words on it, the fact that it says them in Hebrew and the meaning that can apply to his relationship with God and his relationship with his future wife.

“I am my beloved’s. My beloved is mine.”

For now that is wholly about God. But I brought out the fact that he is committing that he will remain pure before God, before his family, before his parents, and he is promising his future wife (if it’s God’s will that he marry some day) that he will remain pure.

The plan is for him to give his purity ring to his bride at his wedding, and hopefully she will have one to give him. But he said his ring is so cool, he will want it back. So I told him he could get it back from her after the ceremony! With the inscription on it, it is a ring he should wear his whole life, so I thought that would be appropriate.

One thing we didn’t do that I just thought of while I was writing this post is to pray for him and bless him. We did that with Shawn. I forgot about it today. I think I’ll get the older kids together, at least, and have Gary and Shawn bless him and pray over him. We can do that yet tonight.

We did pray over Patrick the next day. It was very precious. Gary prayed, then Shawn, then I did. I think Patrick was really touched by our prayers. I’m glad I remembered. He told me that he wondered why we didn’t do that when I gave him his ring. I just have some fuzzy brain times that clear up after a while. I’m thankful that God helps with everything. When I’m weak, then He is strong. His grace is sufficient for me.


  1. Happy Birthday, Patrick! God bless you! Penney, That’s a beautiful house! I’m so happy for all of you. Patrick, waiting ’till you moved into the new place was not only super grown up (I mean…I don’t think I would have done it:), but an act of faith, which seems to have payed sweet dividends for your entire family! Enjoy!

    1. Yes, Pam, that’s exactly what it was – an act of faith. And God has definitely blessed us and rewarded our faith! Thank you!

  2. Wow, Penney can you believe how big all these little brothers are getting! It was just the other day Patrick and Nathan were running around playing army guys in the back yard!

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