All of my kids have different ways that they feel most loved. I have one who is a reader and a singer. Words are important to her. She needs a lot of affirmation and praise. My son is a hugger. He hugs me a gazillion times every day (even though he’s a teenager!) And then there’s Haven. Haven is all about time spent with her. She will ask me often if we can go out on the porch swing and build a fire in the fire pit and talk. And then she always says, “just you and me.”
Last year she was in a half day kindergarten program that met 4 days a week. And when not in school, she was with me. This year she is in first grade and goes all day for 5 days. This has been a tough road for her to adjust too because she feels like she’s missing out. She believes she’s missing out on super “exciting” things………like going to the grocery story and the bank or getting the oil changed. All those “neat” things that her baby sister gets to do WITH ME.
Truly, Haven isn’t missing out on anything great as far as activities, but the one thing she is missing is me. And lately she’s just been an emotional wreck about everything because she’s missing my presence. She asked me the other night if she could be homeschooled….so she could see me more. Well, her request for “just you and me” is hard to come by in my world, but I try. I can’t always get her to myself, so I try to make her feel special in other ways. I’ll stop and whisper something in her ear when I walk by or wake her up a few minutes early so we can talk before the other kids get up. I’ll catch her eye and wink at her when nobody is looking. Little things to make her know that she is special and loved.
My Grandmother was great at this. When she died all of the girl cousins were together and one of them said, “well, I was Grandmother’s favorite” and another quickly responded, “no, it was me.” Of course, I thought I was the favorite! And we all laughed and realized what a wonder she was that she knew each of us so well that we all felt like the favorite even though we were all loved the same.
That’s what I want for my kids. That they each feel like the favorite. And I realize that each one of my kids have to have love expressed to them in different ways. That keeping things “fair” is not the issue when it comes to raising kids, but loving them how they need to be loved is.
And so it is with God. He loves us the way we need to be loved. And when we are the receiver of that love we feel like the favored child that we really are. When we compare lives with each other, they may not appear to be “fair” but God loves us in ways we can understand. And God never stops paying attention or loving us. Just like when Haven is at school, I pray for her, I think of her, I’m loving her. But away from my presence she doesn’t “feel” my love. And when I walk away from the presence of God, I don’t feel His love either. It’s still there. But when I miss His presence then I’m not at my best. I turn into an emotional wreck, just like Haven.
Friends, God’s love is constant and you ARE His favored child. But if you are feeling like a wreck, or life is too hard, then step into His presence. There you will find the strength needed to continue. There you will find the peace needed to live as you should. There you will find joy. There is where wisdom and understanding will be yours. As parents, we can’t be with our kids all the time or give them all they need, but God’s love is perfect. He won’t fail. He’s always there. He never leaves. He’s just waiting for you to come to Him.