Many stories herein are subject to the faulty, and sometimes creative, memory of the blog owner and should not be taken as factual, although the names and events are real! Kind of.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

To Hear the Laughter of My Children

"The Office" is Molly's favorite show. Les and I love it too.  Not because we watch it, but because we love hearing Molly laugh while she watches it!  Her happiness makes us happy!

Although my kids are grown I love to hear their laughter as much as I did when they were toddlers; to see my girls pleased expression when a task is successfully completed thrills me to death.  Their joy over simple things can make my day!

As a rule, parents love to give their children presents!  I want to give my kids great birthday gifts or Christmas gifts--things they need and that will please them.  I also hope and pray that I (and their dad of course!)  have given them (along with gifts) some wisdom for living that will stick with them and provide good guidance for their life.

While I was sewing one evening a few days ago, I thought of my Heavenly Father.  If it makes me happy to please my kids, how it must thrill Him to provide good things for us and this verse came to mind:

Matthew 7:11 says:  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

I'm not evil. (Although, I will admit to sometimes acting like it!) But I am sinful and I can't ever possibly know what is always best for my children.  I do want the best for them--the best of life.  I want them to make good choices.  I want to have taught them about upright, moral living.  I want them to be both successful and responsible in their success.  I want them to be happy.

But as much fun as present-giving is, I know that however well-intentioned and thoughtful our gifts to the kids are, in the scheme of eternity, those things are so minimal, so small, so inconsequential beside the gift that God has given us, the gift of Eternal Life.  That of course is our Biggest Gift.  It's our biggest gift under the Christmas Tree--It's the prettiest wrapped one at the birthday party!   But He didn't stop there.  He didn't just give us the one BIG thing.  

Just as I love to find little surprises for my kids, God gives us little things--kind of like stocking stuffers.  They are things that are not necessary for life, but they surprise and delight us--a summer rain, a baby's smile, a roaring fire.  And we don't even have to ask Him for those!  They are ready and free for the finding any day we want to look!

We can make requests to our Heavenly Father and sometimes He grants them.  But I've found the greatest and longest lasting happiness in the things I didn't ask for.   Happiness isn't success.  Happiness isn't always about the things I can hold and keep and count as mine.  It isn't about the things that measure and represent success to the world.

Happiness is found in a sunrise.  Word combinations can delight the ear.  A cat and string can bring a smile to the heart.  A healthy glow on a loved ones face can thrill the soul.  Joy is mine, listening to the delighted laughter of my children, no matter what their age!  

So I love to know that according to Matthew, the joy and happiness that I find in puns and pleasant vistas and corny jokes, makes my Father happy too!

He created me to find joy in the silly stuff, the simple stuff, the stuff that can't be purchased in a store.  He created me--And he created you!--to find happiness around every corner in this world--this faded version of heaven.  

We've just got to look for it!  Go ahead--dig into that stocking--open that mysterious gift--listen for the laughter from the living room--and find happiness and joy in your surroundings!


Paula said...

Wonderful words...a little stocking stuffer really. Thanks! Love ya!

Sarah (Castor) Kamolz said...

What a cool analogy! I enjoyed reading! :D

Delyn said...

Amen! :o)

Taylor said...

Lovely post!

Ashley said...

cuttttte blog! im lovin your stories!

One Last Thought.......

Pleasant words are a honeycomb;
sweet to the soul and healing to the body.
Proverbs 16: