I have learned to love the Lord by watching my children "loving" my husband.
Joseph and I wake very early each day of the work week and Sundays, however on Saturdays we try to sleep until at least 7:30. And every Saturday our three year old, Emma, wakes us the moment she awakens. She doesn't tiptoe into our room, quietly approach our bed and whisper, "Daddy". You see, when she wakes up, her very first thoughts are of her daddy and her desire to be with him. So she jumps out of bed, runs down the hall, throws open our door, darts across the room, leaps onto our bed and pounces on Joseph. Sitting on his chest she announces loudly, "Daddy look, it's your little princess, Emma! Hurry and wake up! I am here!"
Emma reminds me that my first thoughts each morning should be of my Heavenly Father and my burning desire to spend my day with Him. She teaches me to approach my Father with childlike excitement and boldly proclaim that I am there anxiously awaiting Him.
During the week, Joseph and I take our smaller children to the office with us and our older children join us there when their school day is over. Numerous times during the day, Gabriel will abruptly stop, whatever, just moments before, he had been completely engrossed in, because he needs a "daddy hug and kiss" right now. Not two minutes from now, but right now! Because we are at the office that "right now" often coincides with Joseph being on a long waited conference call or in a very important meeting. But Gabriel is persistent in his pursuit of his daddy. He begins chanting, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy," he charges into his daddy's office and throws himself into his daddy's outstretched arms. Joseph scoops Gabriel up - they embrace, kiss and tell each other, "I love you."
Gabriel reminds me that I need to pause in my schedule, numerous times each day, to pursue my Father, to proclaim my love and admiration for Him and feel His comforting embrace.
Our children love to spend time at the pool. Forrest and Evan stand at the pool's edge patiently but anxiously awaiting their daddy's instruction. Joseph moves in front of each little boy, opens his arms and commands, "Jump." Without a moments hesitation - without a single fear - filled with confidence and shear delight - each of our little boys jump safely into their daddy's waiting arms.
Forrest and Evan remind me to be still and patient while I wait for my Father's instructions, yet anxious to receive and act upon them. They teach me to "jump" immediately upon hearing His request and to follow His instructions as precisely as I can - responding without questioning, without hesitation and without fear. With a happy heart, filled with pure delight, and focusing solely on Him, I should respond in complete faith in His Divine Presence and unwavering faith in His ability to successfully accomplish in me His perfect plan.
Tim and Joe, our teenagers, will seek out their daddy and invite him to spend time with them. Sometimes they discuss current news headlines, happenings and events from their day, and other topics of interest to them. Sometimes they play a game, take a walk or watch a sporting event. Often times they do nothing at all. . . just "hang out" together.
Tim and Joe remind me to seek my Father and invite Him to spend time with me. They teach me to share everything I am interested in with Him. But most of all, to desire to simply be in His presence, for no other reason other than to "hang out" with the Lord Almighty.
Perhaps, I have learned the most valuable lesson about how to love my Heavenly Father from our latest gift, Luke, who is a mere 5 months. Every one of his needs, desires, pains or emotions is announced by crying because it is his only means of communication. But crying is more than adequate in gaining the full attention of his daddy. Joseph looks like a giant holding our little Luke in his arms, yet he is so very gentle with him. Speaking softly with soothing words of comfort, Luke confidently settles in and securely sleeps nestled into his daddy's chest.
Luke reminds me that I only need cry out to my Father because He is always listening for me. He teaches me that when I cannot identify or articulate what I need or desire, that it is okay. Words are not even necessary because my Heavenly Father hears me and already knows my every need even when I do not.