The house was dark.
Dark and quiet.
The coffee was hot and it was blueberry flavored (my favorite) and for a parent of small children, this time of day is prime real estate. No one is calling your name, grabbing your legs, asking for refills, or in need of the wisdom of Solomon to answer the inexhaustible torrent of questions that begin with the word "Why?".
So I sat at the table and drank my coffee and I took a mental road trip. I looked around the empty table in the dining room and i began to think about each of the people that would fill those chairs in just a few hours.
Have you ever just spent time thinking about the people that you love? Amazing stuff huh?
No matter what that person has done, good or bad, your mind most often remembers a time that you shared with them that was amazing. Perhaps it was a vacation, or a reunion, or a conversation out by the pool over things that were not important? Maybe it was just time that you spent not talking with your words but time you spent talking with your eyes?
Little mannerisms about them that could never be invented by someone on their own but were given to that person by God to make them truly unique.
I began to think of my child that sits the closest to me. My youngest child has, in my opinion, been given the task in my life to help me understand my relationship with God as my Father.
He loves cars, so I very quickly grabbed a piece of paper and began to scratch out a very simple love note along with a little picture of something that he enjoys.
Then I looked over to the place where my little girl sits and just began to think of how incredible that she makes life with her personality and the absolutely crazy things she finds humor in. She is so much like me in how she expresses herself it is insane and she is my main dance partner during clean up time in the kitchen after dinner. She wants to workout and run with Daddy all the time and her smile is absolutely infectious. She is the word "Hope" personified.
Her favorite movie is the cartoon "Frozen" and her main desire is to one day be a princess that lives in her daddy's castle forever. (Her prince had better come with his own castle)
So i found myself writing her a little note to explain my love for her along with a simple drawing of the things that I know she enjoys.
Then my mind went to the opposite end of the table where my shadow always sits. My oldest son and I stayed at that spot in the mental road trip for a bit.
This guy is incredible to me because he is my first born. I still remember holding him as he drew his first breaths and on that day all of the sudden everything in the world seem to take a new meaning. He was finally here, in my arms and ready for me to be a father to him.
I think there are several emotions that you will always remember in this go around in life and the feelings that come at birth of your first child will always be one of those moments. My oldest son loves being with me doing whatever it is that I am doing. The night before he and I were in the gym working out and he was doing his best to keep up with everything.
He asked if when he got to be my age if he would be able to lift the same amounts of weight and I told him, "No buddy. I am pretty sure that if you keep doing what you have done tonight that when you are my age you will be lifting twice the amount that daddy is lifting."
He surprised me when he began to cry and said, "Daddy, I never want to do more than you or be stronger than you." That moment will stay with me, and so as I wrote his note I included a simple drawing of that time together.
I guess as I wrote these I was thinking about a letter that my Father wrote to me long before I was born. His heart was filled with emotion as He held me and watched me take my first breaths.
He sat at His table as well and as He looked around the places at the table He began to think about the people who will soon be filling those chairs.
"Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." ~ Ephesians 2:5-7
He thinks of you and He thinks of me.
His heart is overwhelmed with emotion as He thinks about those conversations that we have with Him in quiet times when we pour our hearts out to Him. It is all of those times that we look up at Father and just love Him for what and for who He truly is in our lives.
For Joshua in the Bible it may have been the conversation that he had with God before crossing into Canaan land.
For Moses it might have been on top of mount Siana or at the side of the way where he saw the burning bush.
For David, I believe one of those "Daddy I love you" moments would have to be found here;
"When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour." ~ Psalms 8:3-5
Where are yours?
Where are those "Daddy i love you" moments that the Father remembers with you and smiles?
He leaves us love notes every day and they usually entail a created thing that we enjoy with Him.
For some it is a sunrise or sunset that burns the sky with color, or the affection we receive from a member of the family status pet. It could be the flowers that bloom beside your mailbox or the sound of little feet running through your house.
It might be that cup of blueberry coffee that you enjoy with Him in the quiet darkness of an early morning.
The crack of a bat against a ball on a lazy afternoon baseball game?
A hot relaxing shower or a drive home from working the late shift?
Whatever it is please know that you enjoy those things with the Father. They are His signature to a love note that He wrote through the sacrifice of His son and it was just for you!
Sometimes I will leave my oldest son a picture half completed in the mornings. I set the picture, and the main character and I will even set the scenario in the drawing, but I leave it up to him to finish the picture.
We decide what we do with the pieces that He has provided.
If the Father has allowed a pain or circumstance that hurts us then please understand it is our opportunity to do with the "Love note" what He made us to be able to do. We decide what we do with what we have been given.
I am always looking forward to seeing the story that my son creates with what I give him, and so does Father look forward to seeing us take life for what it truly is, a gift from Him to enjoy and create with Him.
As you look at the note that Father left you this morning, take some time to just love Him for it! It was written with you in mind!
This is the picture from my son that I found waiting for me this morning on the table. His returned expression of love to his father. This is what our praise looks like to our Father. It is not perfect by any means, but it is a pure love from our heart to Him!
Climbing with you,