And She Goes to Preschool…

Oh. My. Goodness. The inevitable is here. The moment I knew would come no matter how I try to slow time down… My sweet, spunky four-year old starts preschool tomorrow.

And this Mommy is a mess.

Everyone said time would fly by. Even now it seems cliché to say it. But, my goodness, four years gone…in the blink of an 11375303_1656132167957597_416641995_neye. About a week ago I had my first– of what I can only assume will be many–weepfests. Like ugly cry…all out sobbing. It was quite the spectacle. My ever-so-patient husband just kept trying to bring me back to reality saying, “It’s not like she’s going away to college.” I understand what he’s saying. I really do but…

There’s so much more wrapped up into this “L goes to preschool” gig than I anticipated. I have this urge to contact all the former parents who entrusted me with their precious gifts when I was a teacher and simply say,”I get it now.” I keep finding these doubts creeping up. What if she isn’t really ready? What if she gets scared? sad? hurt? What if someone is mean to her? Oh goodness, what if she’s mean to another child? 

The truth is all of those things will probably happen. I was a teacher. I can say with utmost certainty, they will happen. And there isn’t anything I can do to stop it.

Then my Mommy mind really spins into mad land. This happened too quickly. I didn’t make the most of my time at home with her. We should’ve gone to the library more, the park, music class. How can any teacher know her well enough? Understand her intricacies the way only I do?

But I’m not the only one who knows her, am I? There is One who knows her and guards her far better than I ever could imagine.

lilies27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!” In Luke 12, Jesus gives my weary mind a solid reason to pause. Our good and immeasurably gracious Father in heaven knows us to the very fiber and core of our being. And not only knows all of our intricacies but loves us beyond our feeble comprehension. So much love that he sent Jesus to rid us of the need for any worry. We have nothing to fear. I don’t need be afraid of what could happen, hasn’t happened, should’ve happened but didn’t…all because none of that can rob my dear girl of the precious gift of salvation. It’s guaranteed. Done. Complete. Ready and waiting for her.  So even if she struggles or has bad moments, He won’t leave her. His promise still remains entirely secure. Heaven is hers.

And she doesn’t go alone. What happens during her time in school, away from me, cannot threaten the firm hold He has. His angels are with her every step she takes. And even more so, He is with her every moment of every day. The One who formed her, died and rose for her, provides for her, loves her beyond what I could ever even try to, walks with her, never leaving or forsaking her. 

And that grace–it extends to this tired Momma, too. Looking back at those worries and fears I wrote above, I can only help but feel weak, helpless, and simply…not enough. Jesus has words of comfort for me, too: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). I’m not enough. I’ll never be enough. But Jesus is. He did what I can’t do no matter how hard I try. He loves me and my child with an unconditional. everlasting love. One that doesn’t waver, doesn’t falter…an incomprehensibly perfect love. He has forgiven my inability, my “not being enough.” It’s not on my record somewhere. There’s no report card of my parenting skills waiting for me. Instead, it’s Jesus that the Heavenly Father sees when He looks at me. How amazing. How undeserved. How much grace.

So, I still may cry tomorrow. Who are we kidding? I will definitely cry tomorrow. I may miss my little one while she’s at school. But there’s no more what ifs, should’ves, and could’ves.

Instead there’s grace. Instead there’s Jesus.


15 Fabulous CHRISTmas Story Books!

There’s something amazingly wonderful about the Advent season. The anticipation leading up to Christmas is so exciting and I love how my daughter is old enough to start getting into the “Christmas spirit!”

To help her realize what this season is all about, we don’t do Elf on the Shelf or visits to Santa. We talk about Jesus—his birth, the angels visiting the shepherds, the journey to Bethlehem, the promise of God fulfilled on that peaceful night in the town of David.


I’ve shared before about our Advent calendar with its passages and ornaments for her little Christmas tree. This time I’ve compiled a list of our favorite CHRISTmas picture books—ones that keep the focus on Jesus, the true reason for the season. Reading to your child every day is so important for their development and incorporating CHRISTmas themed picture and board books into the mix is so much fun. We’ve even wrapped a few new ones up for Laura to open on the Wednesdays leading up to Christmas!

So take a peek. Add some to your Christmas list. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

20131202_131230 The Story of Christmas by Patricia A. Pingry, illustrated by Rebecca Thornburgh

This board book is so simple that it’s perfect for introducing Advent and Jesus’ birth to toddlers and infants. The pictures keep the littles’ attention and it’s just a short 22 pages so it’s just long enough to tell the story—short and sweet.

20131202_131317 Bright Star, Bright Star by Cassandre Maxwell

This picture book is wonderfully repetitive which is awesome for literacy development in young children. I especially like how this story begins with the Wise Men being far away and stays more true to the belief that they arrived much later than the actual day of Jesus’ birth. It’s easy for littles to follow along and be able to eventually say it with you. This is by far one of the most adaptable for a little children’s Christmas program at your church or school, too!

20131202_131303  This is the Stable by Cynthia Cotton, illustrated by Delana Bettoli

Of all of the Christmas picture books we have, this is by far my favorite. The pictures are stunning, filling the pages with beautiful colors and details. The mesmerizing display of the angels singing to the shepherds in the fields is one that sticks with me each year. It really takes you away to that stable, far, far away.

20131202_131134  The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Jago

This children’s bible is truly like no other that I’ve read. It seamlessly weaves the story of God’s plan of salvation in Jesus throughout each and every story. I’ve never recommended a book as often and with such great reactions upon purchasing as this book. If you buy the deluxe edition it comes with the entire book on cd read in such a captivating way. It’s truly one of a kind. I cannot adequately describe how much I LOVE this children’s bible!

Below I’ve posted titles and amazon links for as many of our CHRIStmas themed children’s books as I could find. I hope you’ll add some to your collection this Advent season as we all get ready to celebrate the birth of our Savior!

Christ the Savior is Born by Tim Wesemann 

What Star is This? by Joseph Slate

An Angel Came to Nazareth by Anthony Knott

No Room at the Inn: The Nativity Story by Jean M. Malone

The First Night by B.G.Hennessy

On This Special Night by Claire Freedman and Simon Mendez

Who Is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate & Ashley Wolfe

Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

Away in a Manger-Thomas Kinkade Studios

A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz

The Very First Christmas by Paul L. Maier

***If you have a favorite CHRISTmas children’s book, please let me know! I’d love to check out more books! Post it in the comments below!***

New Name, New Purpose

It’s been a while, friends, but I’m back…and with some changes!

Take a peak. Notice anything new?

Yup, new name…not that the Giggles from Giggles & Goodness are no longer but this blog and my writing is starting to find a purpose.  The move into mommyhood was not the most, ahem, natural change for me. I lost my way, lost my mind a little, and found myself floundering.

But…there was one calm in the storm. A refuge. A strength. A Savior.

Jesus never left me. Even when I turned everywhere, searching for the way to be a mother, He stayed. And by His GRACE brought me back, and does day after day,

So this blog has a purpose now. To share my stories through the eyes of faith. To share my days as a Christian mommy in an unChristian world.

To grow in His grace.

I hope you join me…

For some insight into where I’ve been and what’s kept me from writing for so long, check out Building on the Rock on Bread for Beggars. 

Knit me together…

I am a person who lays it all out there for the world to know. Every trial, every joy, I share it. I haven’t always been that way, almost the opposite. So maybe I’m overcompensating for years of keeping things locked away inside but who else writes a personal blog besides someone who likes to share things. I do it for support, prayers, to help myself stay focused…I share most everything because that’s who I am.

Well, for about four months I’ve kept something quiet, close to my heart, only letting a handful of select people know. I can’t say there’s been many things in my adult life that I haven’t openly shared but this I’ve kept hidden away…even from my own self at times. Probably because of the incredible heart ache, sorrow, and emptiness it makes me feel to think about it, let alone write or speak about it. But…it’s time. I need prayers, support, and love…

“For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
 I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14

The passage above showed up as my passage of the day in my Bible app. Such a beautiful expression of the creation of a person…God’s hand placing a baby in a mother’s womb. Amazing. Awe-inspiring. 

Or sometimes…saddening. Back in the beginning of January I had an early miscarriage. We were just maybe 6 weeks along, positive pregnancy test and all. Yet I just felt something was off, maybe even wrong. I couldn’t get excited when I saw the positive test. For some reason I doubted we could be pregnant again. But I was. Less than 2 weeks after the positive test God chose to take our second child home before we could meet him or her. 

To say I was heartbroken doesn’t cover it. Devastated. In disbelief. Overwhelmed. Utterly empty. Maybe that’s closer to describing that feeling. I wouldn’t wish this on even the worst of enemies. 

For a few months just Matt and my mom knew (she was here when I got the positive test). I just couldn’t even say the word “miscarriage.” Technically it’s called a “chemical pregnancy” which is often referred to as the joke of the miscarriage world…in that it seems almost so quick and fast that you doubt you were even pregnant, that a child was for such a bitterly short time growing inside of you. 

It took me two months to begin wrap my mind around what had happened or even say it out loud…it’s taken my heart and emotions until now to be able to really feel the true kick-to-the-gut feelings that an early miscarriage brings with it. 

We had a second child. I still have trouble even processing it sometimes. It’s cruel and unfair. Our second baby would have been born in late September. I’m not sure how I’ll emotionally handle that time when it comes. I’ve promised to allow myself to be sad when I feel I need to be sad but even that’s tough.

I never thought this would happen…it wasn’t in my plan.

But…it’s not really my plan that happens ever, is it? No, this passage today helped me remember who creates a child. God, the almighty Creator, knits a child together in a mother’s womb. God alone grows that life. No matter what I do or how I try to make that happen, only when God wills it to be is a life created. It’s not up to me to make sure I’m doing all I can to make a life. How ridiculous to think my measly self could be the driving force to something so miraculous. 

Sadly the questions have started: when will Laura have a brother or sister? Are you guys trying again? She needs a sibling. My hearts breaks just a bit more every single time someone innocently and unknowingly asks or comments about my family and our hopes. I often get angry just wishing people nowadays would just mind their own business and not speculate about our family. That’s the hurt talking, I know, but it’s just so painful. I can’t stand those questions and words…salt in the wound. 

So now I need prayers. I need to keep this passage in my mind and on my heart. I’ve wavered in my trust of our Creator. I’ve tried to be the one in charge of this part of my life. I need prayers for my aching heart. His plan always turns out better than mine but this one is a hard one to grasp. I need help to stay focused on Jesus being my everything…not having another child…

Dear Father,
You saw fit to bless our second child with a life without pain and suffering and brought baby to your side so soon. Forgive me for my anger and lack of trust. Ease my sorrow. Calm my weary soul. Give me strength to know that You are in control and the Creator of all life. If it be your will, bless us with a brother or sister for Laura. Above all help us to focus on Jesus as the source of our contentment, peace, and hope.
In Jesus’ name, amen. 

When You Look at Me, What Do You See?

I’m a reflective person by nature. Overanalytical. Deep. Constantly going back over how I’ve acted. Lately, I’ve been struggling…bigtime with this question: when people see me, what do they see?

I’m not talking about the frazzled mommy of a toddler. No, much more than that. Do people see Jesus when they meet me? In my words. In my actions. In my very being…do people see Jesus?

Jesus was all loving, ever-forgiving, selfless, humble, peaceful, and so much more. 

Honestly, I don’t even come close. I’d venture to say I’m the mere antithesis of Jesus by nature. It breaks my heart to think of how I’ve represented Him on a daily, personal basis. I’m a lazy, short-tempered, self-centered, speak without thinking, judgmental, gossiping sinner. There’s no heavier feeling I’ve experienced in my life than when I’m completely honest with who I am by myself and have come to grips with how sinful I really am. Given the choice, I choose myself, instead of Jesus and others, almost every time. It’s bringing tears to my eyes because I’ve failed so miserably to reflect the person of Christ. I’ve by nature done the opposite of showing Jesus 9.9 times out of 10. My sinful mind is definitely hostile to God and all that He is. When I come face to face with my sins like I have recently, I feel void, empty, destitute, hopeless.

“He (God) lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:2, yup, a pit…heavy muddy, sin-filled pit of guilt and pure shame.

But He lifts me up. Thankfully, by inexpressible grace, Jesus took this weight and put it on His shoulders. He bore my burdens, this guilt and shame, all the sins I’ve wallowed in and washed them in His blood. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Christ, who being God himself, died…because of me and for me. What grace. What love. It’s incomprehensible to me. That by nothing of my own, by no merit or work of mine, He gave his life–his holy and perfect life–to pick up and take on my sins, die a horrid death on a cross only to be himself separated from God’s love…to save me. Me, the worst of sinners, has been washed clean. 

Now I have tears of joy & gratitude (those words don’t even begin to describe). No more void but a heart and soul bursting with I want nothing more than when people see me that they see past me to Jesus, the Savior, full of love. Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” What an undeserved blessing. Not only have I been saved from certain eternal death and unspeakable anguish in this world and after, but I’ve been filled with peace and hope beyond words without having to wait and suffer. Jesus’ love is astounding. It actually changes my very way of seeing myself and others around me. My earnest prayer is that with His never-failing help I can cling to this so that others will see Him. Make me nothing so that He is everything. 

Dear Jesus,
A thank you is not enough…words cannot say how thankful I am. Help me to be nothing to myself so that you and your love are everything. Make me see others with your eyes and your love. Help me see myself with your eyes, through your resurrection. Help me cling to you always so that my soul may be full of your grace so much that it can’t help but pour out of me.
In your name, I pray. Amen.

A Little Something Extra

So I have been blessed with the opportunity to write a blog on a regular basis for the website Bread for Beggars! BfB is place to go where you can find all sorts of sound, Biblically correct media…songs, sermons, videos, stories, blogs, art, devotions. Anything you could possibly want to nourish your faith throughout the day. I know that I slack & therefore suffer when I don’t feed my faith with the Word on days other than Sunday. This website is full of reviewed and evaluated Christian resources. We’ve taken the work out of sifting through the incredible amount of “Christian” resources on the Interwebs.

I’m just so proud of the work the men and women who are dedicated to this site have done. It’s easily my favorite website out there. There is literally something for everyone, always full of the gospel, never sacrificing the meaty content we all crave, whether we realize it or not.

Building on the Rock is the blog I write for BfB. It’s dedicated to parents, caregivers…really anyone with kiddos in their lives. Please check it out and share it with your friends if you find anything you like on Bread for Beggars. It’s easy to spread the Gospel when all you have to do is click!

Here’s a little snippet of my latest blog on BfB:

She’s teething. She didn’t nap well. She’s out of her routine. She’s just hungry. She’s just being the toddler she is. She’s strong willed. She’s extra independent. She’s feeding off my bad mood. She’s not being stimulated enough. She’s over stimulated. She must be getting sick. She’s just like her mother. She’s just like her father.
Excuses, excuses, excuses…
I’ve recently had a big “Aha!” moment, an embarrassing and shameful one at that. I am the Queen of Excuses and Analyst Extraordinaire when it comes to my child’s behavior.
Every time that Laura is the slightest bit fussy, naughty, or anything other than wonderful, my postmodernist psychology kicks in and I try to find the elusive “Why?” After all, if I follow any parenting pop psychology today there’s got to be some underlying reason why Laura is behaving in any way other than the good, sweet girl I know she is.

Laura Elisabeth, Meet Your Papi

My dearest girl, here are some of my favorite things about your Papi that I want you to know. Someday you will meet him in heaven. Until then, I will do whatever I can to help you get to know him. He was an amazing man and would have loved every single bit of you more than words. 

There are many times, my sweet baby, that I watch you and think of how much I wanted your Papi to meet you. But God was so good to him and took your Papi home to heaven so he wouldn’t be in pain anymore. Jesus died for Papi’s sins just like he died for yours and mine and everyone’s. When Jesus rose again he gave us the promise and sure hope that we will get to go to heaven, too. Jesus loves us that much! So read this and know that as much as I miss him, your Papi is free of all pain and suffering and living eternally in heaven by Jesus’ side and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

So, Laura Elisabeth, meet your Papi:

  • He loved melty ice cream and cookies. He ate one (or both!) every night.
  • He snored so loudly and made humming sounds in his sleep all the while holding the remote control.
  • He loved flannel shirts from Cabela’s and jeans. 
  • He always ate with a napkin in his hand or right by his plate. He hated messy hands.
  • He had one small, plastic cup that he kept above the sink and drank water from right before he went to bed…it was always there.
  • He was a great athlete–basketball, football, track. He did it all. (I didn’t inherit any athletic ability. I hope it skipped me and you still get some!)
  • He loved kids. He had lots of patience…except for when he didn’t, then we had to drink hot dog weenie milk. I’ll tell you that story sometime.

  • He loved (wink wink) all the self-portraits that your Aunt Mollie and I made him take.
  • He had a secret love of Cher. I used to call him late at night and sing some Cher to him.
  • He would curl up on the couch before he’d go to work at night and we used to snuggle by his legs. We called it his pit. He used to toot on us. It was gross…but funny.
  • He was drafted into the army and fought in the jungles of Vietnam. He was hard on him and he didn’t talk about it much. He did go to some reunions eventually and came back laughing and telling stories that he hadn’t told us before.
  • He was the family photographer, always taking pictures alongside your great Uncle Ray.
  • He lived for Christmas time. Grandma would actually have to try to stop him from spending tons of money buying us presents. He loved watching us open them even more than ever receiving a gift himself.
  • He used to bring home donuts on Saturday mornings or sometimes pies that he’d have in a brown paper bag on top of the fridge.
  • He’d eat a sandwich and Made-Rite potato chips every night while he was at work.
  • He used to watch the Spanish channels on tv. He claimed he knew the story lines but he didn’t know Spanish.
  • He didn’t know your daddy all that long but he knew Daddy would take good care of me.
  • He loved you Grandma very much and they were married over 30 years. 
  • He loved your Uncle Mike, Uncle Ben, Aunt Mollie, and me so very much. He’d have done anything for us.
  • He taught us about Jesus and made sure we went to church to hear about him. He did everything he could to send us to Christian schools so we’d had strong faith in Jesus. 

I hope that I never forget all the things that made your Papi the great dad that he was. My Laura Love, you remind me so much of him and I’m so thankful for that. Anytime you’re wondering about him, I will tell you all you want to know and more. 

 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

A Gift

Today I wept. Not sad tears but my-heart-is-full, going-to-burst with happiness tears. I was given a gift during a stinky circumstance that I thought I’d never get. 

Laura fell sound asleep, as peaceful as can be…in my arms.

I probably need to explain myself a little bit. When Laura was a newborn and my postpartum depression and anxiety hit like a hurricane, I literally couldn’t snuggle my baby girl. The feeling of anxiety that I felt, the disconnect was so great that to simply say I couldn’t hold her or rock her to sleep doesn’t do it justice. Probably the only two people in the world who understand specifically what I’m talking about are Matt and my mom. Laura cuddled on my mom about ten times more than she did me for the first four months of her life. 

There is just one single picture of her sleeping on me…and sadly I don’t have a real memory of it. The memory-annihilating fogginess of depression has clouded over so much of those first four or five months that the only way I have any even slight recollection of Laura’s life is by the thousands of pictures I’d taken. My heart has an ache and huge void because of how PPD robbed me of those precious moments with my little newborn. I’ve cried so many tears over worrying that she and I wouldn’t bond well or that I’d harmed her by not being able to be fully present with her.

When I was pregnant I dreamed of snuggling that sweet little newborn baby girl. All the stories I’d heard from other moms about how amazing cuddling with a new baby is, all the pictures I’d seen of other new moms glowing as they held their babes day and night…I didn’t get any of that. Instead I got a rapid heartbeat, head-to-toe sweating, stomach-churning nausea…sheer terror and total overwhelming disconnect.

I’ve been sad for far too long thinking I’d missed my chance to create that bond where my baby would only be satisfied in MY arms. Well, today I got that moment.

Laura is fighting a cold and was running a fever today and the only way she was calm and comforted was…by Mommy holding her. She cried for me…she wanted just me. I didn’t have to do anything other than pick her up. My eyes are welling up with tears just thinking about it.

Not only did my sweet little love snuggle, cuddle, and want only me…she fell sleep in my arms for over an hour! It was the most amazing gift that I never, ever thought I’d get. After all the postpartum depression and anxiety took from me…God gave me this beautiful moment.

I am a mommy. I’m a mommy whose daughter needs her. I’m a mommy who can meet all of her needs. I’m a mommy whose little girl loves her. 

This is a day I will never forget. No fogginess, no depression, no panic attack robbed me of these heart-filling moments. God is so good.

Dear Father in heaven,
Thank you for this indescribable day.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Early to rise…

I woke up at 5:30am today. I didn’t need to but I did. Matt decided to wake up at 5am (those that know him…yes, I was shocked, too. I also repeatedly asked him if he was ok;). When I wake up anytime after 5, I’m up for the day. I was fully expecting Laura to wake up at 6:15ish as she seems to be shifting her sleeping schedule despite my best efforts to maintain a normal wake-up time. But…it’s 7:11am and I’m sitting here in a very quiet, darkened home…and LOVING it!

All my life I’ve been borderline perky in the morning to the point of absolute annoyance of others. But it’s because I love love love the quiet peacefulness of the morning time before the sun comes up. A cup of coffee, my warm bed, and occasionally the news…that’s all it takes for me to relax before the day really begins.

So here’s a another beautiful day in God’s grace!

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24

Calling for Daddy

There is a game that Matt plays with Laura every night that he’s home when she’s going to sleep. She sits on my lap and as he turns to leave her room she calls out, “Daddy!” He will come running back over and give her a kiss and say “Goodnight! Jesus loves you.” They will go back and forth about five times before he finally leaves the room. She just giggles with happiness and love for her daddy. And I’d venture to say that these few moments are some of Matt’s most precious, favorite times. No lie, almost every night I get tears in my eyes as I watch this show of pure love and affection. 

Laura has this amazing love and trust in her Daddy. Already at just 18 months old, she knows that he is her safe place, her little clown, and her protector. While I hold my breath sometimes at the games he invents with her thinking surely this will end in a broken limb, she trust him completely. Just like I have my little games and secret jokes, Matt and Laura have their own little routines and games. 

Since we are so blessed to have Matt working from home, Laura gets to see him for brief moments throughout the day. She’s just recently started to go to the bedroom doorknob and try turning it to get to Matt while he works. She goes up to the door and says, “Daddy” whenever she hears any noise coming from the office area. She just adores her time with him. Again, I’m almost 100% positive that Matt loves these times just as much, or maybe even more.

In the moments after their little goodnight game I sing to Laura and rock her for a while. I find myself reflecting on how much love Laura has for her Daddy and he for her. Many times my mind wanders and I think about how God, our heavenly Father, must love the times when we remember call to him. Through the work of His Son, Jesus, we are His sons and daughters. We get to call the Almighty Creator our Dad. Galatians 4:4-7 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

As a now redeemed child of God I know I can talk to Him whenever I want. I can have time with Him by simply seeking Him. When I am scared, hurt, or in need, I find it easy to call out to my Father in heaven. Prayer flows quickly when I an falling and need help. But when things are well and I don’t have any major hardships to endure, I don’t find myself calling out for my Father all the often. I wish I were more like Laura is with Matt when it comes to craving my heavenly Father’s love, to delight in reading His Word. I want to be filled with pure desire and joy at the thought of hearing God talk to me through His Word. 

One of the most amazing things about God’s love for me is that it never waivers, is unconditional, and doesn’t depend one ounce on my efforts towards Him. He will love me regardless of how often I remember to pray. He will love me even when I’d be considered unlovable by others. One of my favorite old hymns, “Children of the Heavenly Father,” says it so sweetly:

 Children of the heavenly Father
Safely in His bosom gather;
Nestling bird nor star in heaven
Such a refuge e’er was given.

  God His own doth tend and nourish,
In His holy courts they flourish;
From all evil things He spares them,
In His mighty arms He bears them.

 Neither life nor death shall ever
From the Lord His children sever;
Unto them His grace He showeth,
And their sorrows all He knoweth.

 Though He giveth or He taketh,
God His children ne’er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy.
Lyrics: Karolina Wilhelmina Sandell-Berg

While I count the love between Matt and Laura as one of my biggest blessings, there is nothing on earth that will ever compare to the indescribable grace and overflowing love that God has for us, His children. He is our Daddy that heals all wounds, removes all sin, and greets us with patience and mercy as we seek Him. He has prepared the most amazing place for us in His heavenly home. There is nothing sweeter than the Father’s love for us.

Dear Father,
Thank you for loving me despite all my shortcomings. Thank you for being the Daddy I can always turn to, the one who never leaves or forsakes. Thank you for the small reflection of Your love for me when I see Matt and Laura together. Help me to remember You when things are good and easy as much as when I call to You in times of need.
In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.