Ok, I had a difficult day…
The eightieth time I reminded Olivia to pick up her toys. The umpteenth time I had to tell the girls to stop arguing about how many My Little Ponys each was sharing (Hattie was upset about how many Olivia had, though according to an impromptu pony census, Hattie’s herd actually numbered greater.) Don’t even get me started about the copious amount of oatmeal that had made it to the kitchen floor under their chairs, practically requiring a pneumatic hammer to chissel clear.
It was close enough to naptime that I sent them to separate rooms… they truly needed the rest & I needed the break.
As the quiet of the house helped lower my blood pressure & my primitive fight/flight response was replaced by more reasonable thought, it made me very aware of how little patience I actually had with my girls… especially when they started behaving like normal 5 & 3yr olds. By extension, it made me extremely appreciative of God’s patience with me, especially when I start behaving like a… well, a normal, flawed human being incapable of living a God-pleasing life apart from His grace.
My baby girl's first day of kindergarten. Jen and I are already racking up parent points… we knew we were in the wrong place when Olivia's teacher started her class, we looked around and realized we were the only parents still in the room.
Oops. We'll be leaving now…
I know an endless stream of dads have been in my shoes, so my experience is far from unique. It'd be easy to worry… will she make friends, will she be teased, are the adults surrounding her trustworthy? The list is practically endless. I want to be there for my girl. I want to share in her new experiences, as well as protect her from harm.
With tears in my eyes, it's hard to articulate how precious she is to me. I'd do anything to shield this little one who hugs me tight and whispers, “I love you, daddy.”
As much as I'd like to, I know realistically that I can't. Over the course of her life, it's impossible for me to spare her from every illness & injury, every family crisis, every bully, every careless driver, etc. Last night, stroking Olivia's hair as she slept, I asked God to watch over my little girl. I know He loves her, delights in her more than I'm capable of understanding.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
Have a great day at school, sweetie. Your daddy loves you so much!
This weekend, Jen and I shared our 12th wedding anniversary. Cleaning a drawer today, I came across a handwritten list I wrote in preparation for one of our premarital counseling sessions.
“Why I love Jen”
- She accepts me for who I am
- She respects me, my opinions, decisions, thoughts
- We have a similar sense of humor – we can really make each other laugh
- We communicate well – we can talk & know we are being listened to
- I love that she gets along with my family
- I love her family
- The way she looks at me, her smile, eyes
- We share similar interests
- She shares and supports me in the ministry God's called me to
- She's beautiful
- She's thoughtful – phone messages, post-it notes
- We respect each other physically. Both of us are committed to keeping our relationship pure, making it much easier.
I love you, my sweet!
Unbelievable! Our little fuzz top is three years old! Seriously, she seems to have gone suddenly from this little baby who got larger & grew more hair slowly, almost imperceptibly… then WHAM! She's talking, telling jokes, coming into her own quirky person. I'm such a blessed daddy! Love you, my little foo foo!
Gotta love the cool hospital hat!