Day 230: Kind Gestures

I hope to enjoy a love like that experienced by the Romney’s, the parents of the politician Mitt Romney. They fostered it by  small gestures. Mr. Romney left his wife a rose on her bedstand every day for their entire marriage. She actually found out that he had died because the rose was missing.

Such gestures may not show love in every relationship. My wife is not particularly fond of flowers, and so if I left a rose by her bedside every morning, she would probably tell me to knock it off.

There are, however other ways that I try to show my wife that I love her. She loves being surprised with the gift out of the blue or thoughtful gesture on her birthday that she wasn’t expecting. She loves it when I agree to take the kids out sometimes and let her have a few hours alone in the house to get things done.

There’re many things that you can do to slowly but surely foster your marriage, and it will be up to you to figure out exactly what that is for you and your spouse. When you do that small effort over a long period of time it will turn your already strong relationship into an unbreakable bond.

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Day 229: Fictional Fathers: The Lion King

In the Disney movie, The Lion King, Mufassa is a strong, yet loving father to his son. Growing up, I always thought he was the perfect combination of being wise sometimes, serious sometimes and fun sometimes. Though he was the king, he still took time for his son and tried to protect him, but wasn’t above rolling around wrestling with him in moments of leisure. He was also such a good father that his son felt intimidated trying to live up to his father’s standards and so ran away from his responsibilities for a long time.

Both our earthly fathers and our Heavenly Father have left us with an inheritance. In the eyes of God, we are all kings in training. The Scriptures promise that God wants to give us everything that he has, that we only need to step up and claim our birthright.

Day 227: Treasuring the Present

In the early days of raising your child, when the stress of sleepless nights and long bouts of crying raise your stress level, it can be frustrating to hear people say “Oh, enjoy it. They grow up so fast.” At the time, it may seem that the days are going by quite slowly as you adjust to this new way of living.

As much as you don’t want to hear that advice the time, it is still too true. Your children will go through certain stages only once, and you can find happiness and things to enjoy in your child at each stage of their development. One day, you will look back at the baby pictures and think “where has the time gone?”

Make sure that you document your child’s growing years well. Take lots of photos and movies and don’t just leave them on your computer. Develops them periodically or make photo books organized chronologically or by topic. It really is a wonderful thing to watch your children grow and progress and you actually will forget a lot of little things that were so endearing at the time.

Day 226: Chime Choir

One of the things I grew up with was playing in a family chime choir. My mother made her own set of chimes that she made from some metal pipes and cutting them to various lengths to make the different notes. 

Each note was then labeled with a letter or number to keep track of which note is which. In order to play a song, each of us would pick up a few of the chimes and then my mother would write out what chime to play in which order on a large piece of poster board. Each player then has to wait for our turn to play with our note, with a nail or a mallet, in order to make the song come alive. 

This was a simple, but effective way to make music together. Later, when we had a bit more funding, we graduated to actual hand chimes, which are made by companies such as Malmark. http://www.malmark.com/.

It didn't really matter how we created the music together, simply that we did. This was a tradition that stayed with me during my formative years and I went on later life to play in a professional grade handbell choir.

 

Day 225: Joshua 24:15

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Joshua 24:15

When you have to make the choice between serving your earthly father and your Father in Heaven, you should always side with God. Make serving God something not only you commit to, but something that your entire household commits to. God will bless you for your efforts and assist you in bearing any consequences that result as your decision to serve him.

Day 223: The Measure of a Man

There is more to one stature than physical height. A diminutive father can still be a giant among men. What starts out as children looking up when they are small can stay as a figurative looking up to as children grow up if we have the right kind of dad.

How do you measure up? Are you responsible and kind? Are you strong and compassionate? Are you hard-working and selfless? Are you brave and resourceful? These can all be things that will add to your stature in the eyes of your children.

Also remember that the opposite is true. Even a tall, strong, man to be a person that no one looks up to. Those who are quick to coerce their children and spouse with physical force or anger, those who let others do the work, and those who are crude and mean can only be looked down on. You must decide what kind of father you want to be.

Day 222: Fictional Fathers: Frozen

Even fathers from fictional stories can be a good or bad example. For example, in the recent Disney movie “Frozen” the father of the main characters is an interesting person. He learns that one of his daughters has magical powers that could potentially be dangerous. There are different ways he could’ve handled the situation, but he decided that he would lock her away from everyone else and teach her to conceal her feelings and her powers. This results into her growing into an adult who still suppresses her feelings and wants no contact with the outside world for the fear of being branded a monster. In the end, all of these efforts were for nothing, as she still loses control over her power and causes great harm.

Luckily, the story has a happy ending. As fathers, however, we need to be careful not to tell our children to suppress their feelings and their talents. A person who is strong always has the ability to either use their strength for good to help others or to use it for evil to hurt others. It all depends on how we teach them to control and use their strength.