A great pleasure in life, as any parent can contest, is seeing joy in your children’s eyes. The joy of seeing pure, unadulterated, innocent, and exhilarating happiness in my children is indescribable. Moments like holding your tiny, helpless, newborn in your arms, watching your baby take their first steps, hearing the first little jubilant laugh or smile, seeing and hearing the screams of your four year old on a first rollercoaster ride, nothing can compare to the joy I have felt in those moments.
On a recent visit to spend time with my family, we went boating. A luxury not afforded to us when we were kids, we are now able to enjoy it with family and kids and grandkids.
My daughter can be very brave, and yet at times she seems very reticent and unsure. She so wants to be able to do things right away that has taken “big kids” months and years to perfect.
We went boating two days in a row. The first day my daughter rode on a float, but it was at a tortoise pace.
By the end of the second day, with the help of her two big cousins, she was braving the water just as much as they were and going at what seemed like lightning speed. The joyful screams and smiles as she hit a small wave or went speeding down the crest of a wave mady by my father’s boat, was paramount in creating joy.
At the other end of the boat was my three year old son, who self-professed was not “quite old enough” to go that fast on the float. He will be when he’s four. (He will be four in a few weeks!) My son stood at the front of the boat, which, inspite of my frightening visions of him going overboard, he in pure Titanic style would stand at the front and let the wind blow through his hair and arms, laughing and screaming for granddaddy to go faster. He was quite content pretending that he was catching sharks and holding his arms out to feel the wind course through his little body.
Aahh, the pure unadulterated joy of watching my children in these moments. Nothing can compare. The grandparents know this in all their wisdom and grace and we as parents are yet learning.
The more I learn to parent the more I realize that it was no accident that God refers to himself as our Father.
I sometimes wonder why God bothered making us humans. We are selfish, hurtful creatures, who make the wrong choices…all….the…time.
I cannot imagine the hurt our heavenly Father goes through everytime we make bad choices. I know how much I am hurt when my children say hateful things to me out of anger: I hurt when I see them struggling with the right choice to make in spite of what I consider countless lectures on the subject. I hurt when they tell me sad things that have happened to them, like when my daughter tells me people are making fun of her at school, or even when my son tells me he got in trouble for putting rocks in the toilet. (That last one is kind of funny, though.)
In spite of constant failures and hurts, our Father knew how much joy children could give as well.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man (or woman), I put the ways of childhood behind me.1 Corinthians 13:11
While that passage seems daunting and a little bit depressing at times, it is true. It is only then, when you can even understand a little bit of God’s immaculate love, grace, compassion, and passion. It is only then when we can begin to perhaps understand a fraction of God’s all consuming love and fire.
For you see, as much as I glean joy from watching my children and as much as I am hurt and frustrated whenever they make bad choices or fight again for the tenth time in a day, our Heavenly Father loves and hurts even more. We are made in His image.
Have you ever caught a glimpse of your mom or dad staring at you? As a teenager you scoff, as a baby you stare back in wonder, and as a young child, well who knows what they are thinking.
But your parents are not staring at you to annoy you, rather they are overwhelmed in that moment with their love for you and the beauty of you. For they know the secret. The secret that there will never be another person in all the world like you, in all your extraordinary wonder.
You may not see it yet, but in that moment, your mother or father are so overwhelmed with the wonder and beauty of you, that they are left speechless.
Why do we constantly give our children gifts, even when they seem entirely ungrateful? We want to see their joy. There is nothing greater then giving a well though out gift to anybody really, and seeing them unwrap it with a jubilant smile. The perfect gift.
God gives us perfect and good gifts all thetime. Sometimes we do not see it and sometimes we are completely ungrateful brats about it. But His gifts are waiting to be opened still.
He lifts us on wings of an eagle. I believe God wants us to soar, he gives us good things because he wants to see our joy and he wants to see us use our gifts to soar!
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.Isaiah 40:30-31
His greates gift of all? Jesus came and died for all our sins.
Whenever you feel that joy or hurt from a friend, child, or loved one, stop and think that whatever you feel, our Heavenly father feels so much more.
God wants us to enjoy life. He gives us talents and passions for a reason. He wants us to glorify him of course, but he wants us to enjoy life, and have it to the full.
What has been one of your greatest gifts given or received? What passion or talent do you have? Do NOT say none!
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P.S. Do you want to feel more satisfied and content with your life? Do you want to have more joy, but are feeling bogged down by life’s worries? Sign up for my email at the top right of this page! I will be rolling out a challenge on just that in a few weeks!
P.S.S. What’s giving you joy right now? Check out five things that are bringing me joy this week:
- I love my Seize the Day Daily Calendar.** It provides inspiration and motivation all day long.
- My favorite gratitude journal** from Money Saving Mom. I love her simple devotions and inspiration on every page.
- Working with a great team. I work with some amazing women of all different ages! It’s so important to encourage others! Be kind, for you never know what struggles are beneath the surface!
- Chopped Junior! I admit, I am a little obsessed with cooking shows right now! Talk about being inspired by all ages!
- These dinosaurs molds** I just ordered for my son’s upcoming birthday! I can’t wait to try them out! I’m going to make dino crayons! And if I get really ambitious, maybe I’ll use one for chocolates! I LOVE planning parties!! (Ask me this again the night before the party! I may have a different perspective! 😉 )
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