Today my baby girl is 22. No, I won’t embarrass her by posting baby pictures online for the entire world wide web to see. Take my word for it. She was a beauty. And still is.
Nicole wasn’t one of those girly girls as a child. No pink frills. No lace. No ribbons. She wore jeans, cowgirl boots and an oversized wolf T-shirt until she turned 12. Then one day when I wasn’t paying attention, she went from total tomboy to young woman.
When I turned around, she took my breath away. Now that she’s moved away from home, every time she comes back it’s like she’s bringing fresh air with her. She fills the house with color and music and delight. Having her home is like breathing fresh air after a spring rain.
Before we become parents, we are still becoming the people God means us to be. We are still moving from childhood ourselves; learning to trust our never-quite-enough wisdom; understanding the world and our place in it. When we are blessed by that first child, he turns our world upside down and forces us to find a new place to perch.
When our first born arrived—our wonderful son—I remember my husband and I sitting quietly together holding our precious bundle of blue and whispering. “Life will never be the same.”
And it hasn’t been. We simply cannot imagine life without our children. When they arrived, it was as if God breathed fresh air into our lives and expanded our lungs and our hearts to contain the increased volume of love they brought. Every day our children showed us how to look at the same thing we saw yesterday and see it from fresh eyes. Every day our children showed us delight in things we had forgotten were delightful. Every day God showed us how to love our own children so we could finally understand His love for us.
One day 4-year old Nicole came running into my office, declaring, “Mommy, look what I found!”
Tearing myself away from the computer, I had half a second to wonder what could be so exciting to merit her enthusiasm.
There she stood, next to me, holding an egg beater, turning it slowly, rotating the beater blades like gears on a bicycle. I’d had that egg beater for 15 years, but to my 4-year old daughter, it was brand new; miraculous and exciting. And for a moment, it was exciting to me, too.
To children, everything is fresh and new. They remind us of the amazing things God has created for us in this world. Once reminded, can we continue to look at our world with the freshness of children? Can we retain our childlike love for God and a childlike gratitude for His gifts?
Perhaps we can, if we remember that we are His children.
Happy birthday, Nicole. You are a precious gift from God. He loves you and so do I.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please help us never lose our childlike love for you. Help us to always see you as our Heavenly Father. I pray that we will always be a sweet blessing to you; a fresh breeze wafting up to heaven. Thank you for being our Heavenly Father and thank you for the fresh air we experience from the children you place in our lives. Amen.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you have an example of a time a child taught you how to look at something with fresh eyes?