Every person's life is a story written by God's hand...
The little girl presses her nose against the cold glass of the kitchen window. Her father stands - bundled against the cold, dark of a snowy winter night - garden hose in hand. She watches as frigid water sprays across the ice skating rink he is forming in the backyard. Cold droplets sparkle in the light spilling through the window. He turns to smile at her. She can hardly wait to pull on her brand new skates in the morning.
Because, when all is said and done,
Only three things remain.
And the greatest of these is Love.
And when we have that, we have Everything.
Thank you for loving me so much.
~ ♥ ~
Hopping down the stairs, the young girl follows her father to the cool basement. They make their way to his workroom. A small window spilling summer sunshine onto the worn wood table littered with tools, nails, and pieces of wood. He sets out four small pieces of wood as she steps onto a small stool next to him. His hands lay out the frame they are making for a three-dimensional picture she has created with tiny scissors and glue. Their heads bend together over their project, and she begins to learn.
"Aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands." ~ 1 Thessalonians.4:11
Thank you for teaching me how to work with my hands.
~ ♥ ~
The father pushes the old rotary lawnmower across the green lawn. Springtime lilacs hang heavy on the big bush nearby. The young girl runs up to him, asking if he would teach her how to mow. “Mom says I’m big enough now!” Big hands cover small hands as he helps her push the mower making neat, green stripes across the sun dappled grass. Her smile meets his as she looks up at him.
"When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator". ~~ Mohandas Gandhi
Thank you for instilling in me the love of nature and satisfaction of outdoor chores.
~ ♥ ~
The air is crisp. Leaves on the trees throwing yellow, orange, and red to the sun warmed ground. The family is searching for the perfect pumpkin for their front porch. The strong, sweet fragrance of fresh picked apples greets them as they make their way between long tables of bright yellow squash, lumpy gourds, and piles of bright orange pumpkins. The father spots a table of nuts and dips a metal scoop deep into the mound of walnuts, pouring them into a small paper bag. They choose a variety of nuts and move on to select their pumpkin. Back at home, the family gathers around the kitchen table. Loud crunching smiles fill the room. The little girl’s favorites are the salty ones. Her father shows her how to crack walnuts.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
Thank you for sweet, simple family times together.
~ ♥ ~
The little girl watches as her father sits before the canvas on the small easel in front of him. The scent of acrylic paint is strong. His brush dips lightly into a deep green and after a few swipes and tugs, a graceful, stoic pine tree appears before her eyes. Mountains of blue and purple form a majestic backdrop. A sparkling, crooked stream winds around the trees. She wishes she could paint like that. She is proud of her father for using this gift he’s been blessed with.
A few years later, she sits in her junior high art class with a blank sheet of artist’s paper before her and a sharpened pencil in hand. Head bent, she begins to sketch the roses she sees in the photograph next to her. As the flowers take shape on the textured paper, she feels content that she inherited just a little of her father’s talent. Her heart fills with happiness when she sees a big smile spread across her father’s face as he stands before her completed framed sketch...hanging on display in the local art gallery.
He has given you gifts, desires, talents, and inclinations.
Pursue them with gratitude and great joy.
They are God's gift to you.
Make them your gift to Him.
Even if no one understands.
If no one is impressed.
He is honored and pleased.
Thank you for using your gift to teach me the love of art.
~ ♥ ~
A warm July night. Stars bright overhead. The moon shines down creating shadows of the family in their backyard. The little girl stands before her parents as her father hands her an unlit sparkler. She hears a reminder to “Be careful now…” as he lights the tip and miniature stars spring and sizzle from the stick. She can see her parents smiling in the bright light. She waves the sparkler through the air making big circles, writing her name in cursive, and twirling around and around. Fireworks boom in the distance and create bright neon flowers in the sky.
"Learning to delight in little things makes life rich. This strengthens us. As we enjoy these things, we begin to develop a self. And this unique self is a gift to others.
Thank you for teaching me to delight in simple, beautiful things. Because of that, my life is richer - and more beautiful.
~ ♥ ~
The alley behind the garage is dusty gravel. The little girl wheels her new purple two-wheel bicycle with the white wicker basket through the garage to her waiting father. She settles onto the seat as her father holds the bike steady. “Ready?” She nods and remembers what her father told her yesterday. His hand is firm on the back of the leather seat as she begins to pedal. He runs next to her holding her upright. Their laughter fills the air. Her hair flies behind her. She feels him let go and her legs pedal faster and faster as the bike speeds across the gravel. Houses blur. She turns to see her father grinning widely at her at the end of the alley.
Many years later, the adult daughter smiles as she watches her father teach her mother how to maneuver a golf cart. She catches and holds a memory of a purple bike and a gravel alley in her mind. Moments later, laughter rings out as her parents fly across the yard with a streak of blue. Complete joy awash on their faces.
Smile, inside and out.
Laugh heartily and often.
It's contagious and brings good health.
Choose to enjoy each day.
It is a gift.
Thank you for your patience - and your quick laughter.
~ ♥ ~
The adult daughter sits at the foot of the hospital bed and watches her parents together. Her father's concerned blue eyes gaze deeply into her mother’s tired, green eyes. He holds her hands and whispers to her lovingly and encouragingly. He has been in this same place many times. He prays again for her be strong. He prays again for healing. Tears fills the daughter’s eyes as she lowers her head with her own prayer. Love fills the room. God is present. Angels are in attendance. Prayers are heard above.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
~ Philippians 4:6-7
Thank you for your prayerful heart and your strong faith…in all circumstances.
~ ♥ ~
I love you, Dad. I love you for helping me to be the person I am today, and for loving me through all of the ups and downs, through good decisions and bad. I love you for having the most giving heart and soul I’ve ever known. You embrace and live out 2 Corinthians 5:14 which says, “Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything I do.” I see Christ in you, Dad. You are truly living in Him...
and I love you so very much for that.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.
With all my love forever ~
[I will be giving this to my Dad for Father's Day.]
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