Her Giving Tree

Column Post by Lakin Easterling 

A tiny giggle, a roar, stomping feet, giggles louder.

These sounds, they make me smile, because I know where they originate. I know their faces and their love. They are my family, a father and daughter, the blessed pieces of God-mirror, reflecting His attentive face.

I peer around the corner, from behind a book {or a piece of folded cloth, a bed sheet, a tube of lipstick} and feast my soul on the happiness being formed here: Tumbling on the floor, tickles, little bay-brown eyes shaped like crescent moons, child cheeks lifted in uncontrolled laughter, and bigger chocolate-brown eyes with loving hands, shaping the joy of his life.

Father.

The word is different to me now that I am grown. Father, by one definition of the dictionary, is a person who originates or institutes. This term is usually used in defining a “father of industry”, or a “father of science”.

Here, in the reality of life made in a second-floor apartment, I know a father who originates love—life-grappling, soul-blooming love—in the tender heart of a 21-pound girl. A father who institutes admiration, making better choices, and using kindness to discipline and prune away weeds, tilling the soil good, fencing in and letting out, always practicing a state of quiet confidence that flows freely down into the life he partly made.

The life he partly made with me, which I sometimes feel too overwhelmed with awe to fully comprehend. My husband, right in front of me, has grown to mean more than just a working man, a man who loves me, a man of care and warmth. He has been doubled, tripled, becoming the strong tree along the riverside we lean on, that tree you can climb up and sleep in, have a picnic beside, hide from a storm under, carve your name into because you know it is good to the core. 

He has been steward of our lives, keeper of our house, example of what the words good man mean when pictured in my mind, and in the mind of our daughter.

Mornings of giggles, evenings of chasing and tossing, time invested and watched over and watered into a beautifully scented bloom, bright and promising. I see her tear down movies from a shelf and him behind her placing them back where they belong.

She asks for his hand, taking him to her army of stuffed animals beside her window, only wanting him to watch her play, hear her name them, be close so she can show him, see daddy, I learned so much! Let me teach you what I know–let’s do it together, so you can see how much of your good is in me, too.

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” {Luke 2:19, ESV}

I am married to a father who joyfully sacrifices things he wants (playing video games to unwind after a 12-hour day at work) for the happiness of his little girl (watching “Anastasia” for the fifth time on the same player and TV said video game would have utilized). He will have one bowl of pasta so she has her fill, even though he may feel like seconds or thirds.

He shares sweet tea out of his football-shaped glass (yes, it has laces and everything) because he knows she likes drinking it from his cup while hers sits full and untouched on the table. He sacrifices sleep, clean hands, and clean clothes just so he can play with her, be with her, love on her.

Just so he can be her father.

What glory is mine, to catch these jewels cascading down from the Father of Lights. To watch his pride when she correctly identifies football figures with their rightful teams by uniform alone, when she uses his high school football helmet as a seat by his bedside. To see his entire being alive with her laughter; him rocking her to sleep.

My smile is a quiet one. I inhale it all, the wispy curls and attentive eyes, the giggles and playing catch. I am collecting it all, savoring, adoring these gifts.

I believe I am the richest woman in the world.

……….

P.S. We’d love to know your thoughts; be sure to share in the comments section below. This month we will draw TEN winners from our commenters and the winners will receive one of these two  books, Hope for a Hurting Heart or To Let You Know I Care by our featured author this month, Cheryl Karpen

Lakin Easterling is a wife, mother, writer, and avid reader. She spends her days chasing her toddler, Belle, and conversing with the elderly who are afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia. She loves surprise coffee dates with her husband Luke, texting novels to her best friend, Laura Hyers, and being a college student. She dreams about being brave enough to get a tattoo, and believes in the healing power of a good cup of coffee. Her favorite nail polish is Sail Away by Milani. She blogs at http://threadingsymphonies.wordpress.com.

Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

 

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