Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Father's Love

Thinking about Father’s Day, I have reflected on my own precious father who was taken from his family far too soon when he was far too young.  He was a mountain of a man in statue (6’), in spirit, and in character.  Mom called him her Greek God! He was a wonderful husband and a great Dad.  He set the example for us of doing what was right.  He was honest and he expected others to be, including us.  He was never abusive, but he did not spare the rod.  We knew we were loved, because there were boundaries set, and they were enforced. He was strong man, but a humble servant. He set the example of honoring his parents and treating his fellowman with respect and dignity, regardless of race. He died while my sister was expecting his first grandchild. As I interact with my precious grandchildren I often think what it might have been like for him to have experienced the joys of grandchildren.
I have 7 grandchildren that I care for either every day, or occasionally, depending on their age. The older ones have school at home.  Some of the younger ones come to me on weekdays.  I love them all dearly.  They each have their own little personality traits, some more pleasant than others at any given time.  We have one who has been particularly strong-willed, and a real challenge to care for sometimes. But when he is sweet he is SO VERY, VERY sweet, so he has a way of capturing Nannie’s heart.  This week he informed me that I was getting old.  I asked him how he knew that.  He said “your hair is all white, and you sleep a lot,” referring to the fact that I spend a lot of time on the couch! He also informed me that I needed a haircut. I don’t know how he got so smart, or how he learned to stroke my ego!  My granddaughter Sarah (almost 7) quipped, “Mommas & daddies are geniuses because they “know just what to do, you know; if you have a scrape on your knee or something.”  Such wisdom from the mouths of babes!
These babies have been so precious to us, and I do not know how I could love them so much.  I believe God sends them to give parents a second chance to do things better or right. I believe they are a small window into heaven to help us understand how The Father feels about us.  You think when your children come that you could not possibly love anyone as much as you do them, then, here come the GRANDchildren! I thank God for healthy, happy (most of the time) grandchildren and for the blessing they have been to our lives and for the lessons I have learned from them about living and what things are really important in life.
I have never been known as a spotless housekeeper.  I have never had anyone offer to eat off of my floors!!  But since the grandchildren came along, I have learned to become even more relaxed about my house.  I do try to keep my floors clean, but if the children spill something, I don’t go ballistic.  I wipe up as best I can and try to encourage them to have drinks at the table.  Of course, that isn’t always practical.  I have turned my “formal” living room into a toy/play room and moved my living room couch into the den (where Reese says I sleep all the time).  We have toys strewn from one end of the house to the other, in pleasant disarray, but (I think) the children love coming here and they feel free to play as they wish.  I could not be a happier grandma!
And so I think about how our Heavenly Father feels about us.  He is patient and tolerant of our spills and messes.  If we trip up, He picks us up and dusts us off and bandages our wounds if needed.  He doesn’t expect us to do things right the first time, though He is happy when we follow His instructions and do the very best job we can.  He is happy with our successes, patient with our failures, and always willing to give us another chance. I am infinitely grateful for a Father who cares more for me than I do for myself, is happy to give me another chance. He gave me the VERY BEST gift a father could give, redeeming love!


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