My love language is gifts.
Not expensive ones. Not ones that take a lot of time and effort. Just thoughtful, simple, heartwarming gifts are where I feel loved the most.
A card, a bar of chocolate, a cup of coffee, a care package...just little gestures that ensure my heart that I matter to others. That I'm worth someones time. That's where it really gets me.
And you know what? My God knows that about me. He created me that way.
And He speaks to my heart in that way...IF I am willing to open my eyes and see the gifts He has so thoughtfully given.
When I think back on my life, one of the greatest gifts the Lord gave me was my parents. Through thick and thin, my mom and dad stood together to raise my brothers and I, and blessed us with a wonderful childhood.
My father was present, intentional, relational, provided for our family, and was always there for us, no matter the mistakes we made.
I had an earthly father that I ran to for all my worries, all my questions, all my doubts...and sometimes, just for a shoulder to lean on.
Very rarely did I run to my Heavenly Father with the "everyday stuff"...
I mainly ran to Him as my Sovereign God...when I needed transforming work done in my heart, when I needed clarity and guidance, when I needed to rest that He was in control of all things.
It wasn't until this past year, as we've learned to live outside of our comfort zones, move away from our family and church home, that I realized that I didn't run to God as my "Father."
It was when He showed up, in the small, everyday moments, that I began to see my God as "Daddy." Someone who cared about meeting the needs of my heart, just as my earthly father has done.
Maybe that isn't your story.
Maybe your earthly father didn't feel like a father at all.
Maybe your struggle with seeing God as Father is colored by the harsh reality that your earthly father didn't meet your everyday needs, wasn't emotionally present in your childhood, and wasn't someone who you could run to.
But here's the good news, friend...
One of God's names in the Bible is "Abba," meaning "Father" or more intimately, "Daddy."
Galatians 4:6 says "Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father."
Debbie McDaniel described this name of God so beautifully in her post 10 Powerful Names of God (And What They Mean for Us Today):
"Abba is the most intimate form of God’s name, showing us His character as our loving daddy. He is the One who can be fully trusted, the One we can lean on, the One who cares about all that concerns us. Just as a godly father’s presence in our daily lives is one of protection, security, and unconditional love, the constant presence of our heavenly Father is what gives us the strength and covering we need for this life’s journey. This is one of my favorite names of God because in it He conveys His heart for each of us, as His children. He gives us the privilege of being called his own sons and daughters. He provides the way for us to call out to Him and the assurance, beyond a doubt, that He hears and will answer. In our most difficult to painful times in life, we can crawl up into the lap of our heavenly Father, and know that He is for us, and His arms will hold us secure."
Regardless of our history, our background, our childhood, God promises to meet us in our place of need. He promises to be exactly what we need, when we need it.
And in this season on my life, In this season of hard, He knew I needed Him as "Daddy."
I'm a Florida girl. Born and raised.
Seasons weren't something we saw in our "everyday."
We saw Summer and a little less Summer. And traveled to see the rest.
And then, we moved to the Mountains of North Carolina...and HELLO SEASONS!!!
In each season since we've lived here, I have begun to see God as my Father....caring about the little things in my day.
Caring about the things that could make me smile...make me feel loved, in the midst of a hard, overwhelming season of life.
In the Summer, when we arrived to our new home, I was greeted with the beauty of a garden...an overgrown, "is that a weed or a plant" kind of garden, but an established garden that I couldn't mess up (I have quite the black thumb), and eagerly awaited my mom to arrive so she could work her magic amongst the weeds and identify the "keepers".
We were giddy as we realized our front yard attracted thousands of fireflies (or are they called lighting bugs?) and spent every night chasing, catching, and releasing, knowing my dad would be just as giddy and would be joining us in the hunt when he arrived to visit.
My heavenly Father knew how to ease the pain of a homesick heart, and in His creation, He gifted me with anticipation to share His gifts with my parents, who I missed so much already.
In the Fall, we welcomed the long anticipated changing of the leaves, and to our surprise, we found a pumpkin growing in our backyard and had the pleasure of watching it grow all season long (only to have an animal eat it once it fully ripened...oh well), and as we walked our new neighborhood, we discovered pumpkin patches of all shapes and sizes!
Only my heavenly Father would know what joy this would bring to my heart!
In the Winter, I was given the gift of silence...not within my 4 walls (that may never happen), but in the stillness of the freshly fallen snow. Where I heard what true silence feels like, and how I can hear His voice if I just quiet my own once in a while.
Along with the pumpkin patches we found on our daily walks, we also discovered a small Christmas Tree farm up our road. We frequently visit the Christmas trees, in all seasons, but to see these trees covered in freshly fallen snow was such a magical gift!
And in the Spring, oh the Spring...so many wonderful gifts were given.
We thought we had seen all our garden had to offer, but as the snow finally faded away, and the sun began to shine, I was welcomed with the gift of new life all around...including 5 peony bushes hiding amongst our evergreen trees.
My favorite flower, which I only received once a year around Mother's Day, was now growing right before my very eyes.
And as new life began to bloom around us, we were delighted to find a dozen varieties of birds that called our property home. Birds we had only seen in books were now landing on our deck, making nests in our bird houses, and waking us up with the most gentle of sounds (sometimes a little too early).
The gift of these flowers and these small creatures reminded me of my parents home. Reminded me of the hours that my mom spends tending her garden...a garden I could only appreciate, never replicate.
But now, I can sip my coffee in the mornings, listen to the birds, watch the sun come up casting a beautiful glow on the garden growing outside my window, and think about my momma, who I know is enjoying her coffee, birds, and garden at the same time, just many miles away.
Another gift only my Heavenly Father would know my heart needed.
"Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created."
God created beautiful things for His glory and for our pleasure.
It wasn't until I realized this truth that I began to see God as Father, wanting to bless my heart with His beauty, as a gift.
ALL these gifts were reminders that my Heavenly Father cares about the mundane. He cares about the simple. He cares about putting a smile on my face.
And He shows it in ways that my heart was able to receive as I was living the hard. As I was living in overwhelm. When I was walking through difficult, isolating times.
He wanted to remind me that He cares. He wanted to remind me that He's here. And He always will be.
He wanted to remind me to come to Him with the small, the simple, the mundane so He could meet me there and walk with me through it.
Because, that's what Father's do.
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Welcome to Dwelling Well Mom! I'm so glad you are here! I'm Christi, wife, mom of boys, Christ follower, picture taker, DIYer, chocolate eater, and coffee drinker. Born and raised a Florida girl, now braving the mountains of Boone, NC, I'm on a journey to find peace in the midst of my mundane. Join me!