Heart shaper

Jackson was tackling a project this afternoon that was particularly difficult for him. After giving him some time to work it out, I made my way back to check on him.

He met me with a big grin on his face.

“Did you get it done, buddy?” I asked.

“I did,” he responded, “but, I didn’t do it alone!”

I must have had a puzzled look on my face. My husband was in a different room of the house, his sister was asleep in her room, and there was no one else to give assistance.

So, he began to tell me his story.

“Mom, I was having trouble,” he said. “So, I stopped and prayed to God for Him to help me. Then after I prayed, I tried again, and I did it! God helped me!!”

Jackson has planned for Mother’s Day for weeks. He worked on projects at school and in Sunday School, and even spent a good portion of his AWANA shares on a special gift for me, all on his own accord. He worked very hard today to make sure that I knew that he loved me. I will cherish all of his gifts and gestures.

But, the greatest Mother’s Day gift I have received today is a glimpse into how my Savior is shaping the heart of my son, teaching Jackson that He is good, trustworthy and faithful.

I am incredibly grateful for the precious gifts God has given me in my children, Jackson and Lauren, and am so thankful that God is with us each day, reminding us of how treasured we are.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Me and my kiddos

Me and my kiddos

Exclamation mark

Why does Father’s Day so often feel like an afterthought to Mother’s Day?

It’s a day that doesn’t carry nearly the pressure, hoopla or distinction. You may give your dad a call, but a gift is certainly not a requirement. Hallmark doesn’t have nearly the selection of meaningful cards. Society has almost trained us that as to honoring our parents, mothers mean more, at least to the retailer’s bottom line.

Now, I certainly don’t mind the fuss as a mother for my special day in May, but my husband is just as much of a pivotal influence in my children’s lives as I am, and in some ways, even more so.

Matt, Lauren and Jackson

I am so thankful for all the big and small ways that Matt showers our family with love. He is truly a hero to Jackson and Lauren. They adore him, just as he adores them. He takes the time to invest in them, play with them, teach them, treasure them. There is no doubt in their minds that Daddy loves them, even when they are being disciplined. They know he can be trusted. They see an example in him of what a true Godly man should be.

They know and can rely on God’s love because of the way their daddy loves them. When the Bible says, “We love Him because He first loved us,” it is also true for fathers. Children know how to love because of their dads, and see Jesus through that love. What a responsibility! When God outlines the role He intends men and women to play, he commands fathers to not exasperate their children to wrath. God specifically calls fathers out because they set the tone of love and tenderness in the home, and when that is not fulfilled, children desperately search that out and often take their anger and frustration out on God, even denying Him because of the example set in their own father. I have met countless people who struggle in their relationship with their Heavenly Father because of the image of their earthly father.

Thankfully, fathers don’t have to carry this responsibility alone. I know Matt constantly puts his faith in God to live in His strength, and can love us because of the love God lavishes on him.

Fathers help shape their children more than they may ever realize. Fathers are as much an afterthought as punctuation, and act much the same. Fathers have the power to sever hope as a period ends a sentence. They can cause children to question love and faithfulness just as question marks changes the meaning of the phrase. But, they also have the ability to encourage, inspire and secure their children in the love of Christ, just as an exclamation mark will propel enthusiasm and excitement.

Our homes need fathers that provide exclamation marks!

Follow this link to a book that Jackson and I made Matt for Father’s Day (you don’t have to sign in to view…simply press the “View Photo Book” underneath the image). I hope you can see his love and devotion to our family, as we have experienced this past year-and-a-half. Happy Father’s Day!