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Last weekend, some friends of mine asked me to take pictures of their twin son and daughter’s Christening. I warned them that I am better at taking pictures of flowers than people but they laughed and asked me anyway. So with the warning, I said yes.

It is such a beautiful thing seeing parents with their newborn. The expression on their faces as they look down at their baby is one of complete love and joy. There’s the amazing realization that they helped create this entirely new person and then the terrifying awareness that they are also responsible for this new human being.

The birth of that first child marks the beginning of parenthood, the beginning of a life of sacrifice, a life of service, a life full of life-lessons for both parent and child. It is a change in lifestyle, a change of patterns, a change of habits. It the birth of a new way of life, new patterns, new traditions. And if done right, with that life of sacrifice comes a life of joy, full of laughter, hugs and kisses, along with moments of complete bliss and peace. And the most amazing thing happens: the parent’s heart grows bigger. When the parent practices patience, he/she becomes more patient. When the parent shows kindness, he/she becomes more kind. More understanding. More affectionate. More loving. More fully human.

But it all starts with seeing a child as a gift, in particular, a gift from God. Here is a totally new human being with eyes, ears, arms, and legs, and a soul. I did nothing to deserve the right to care for this new human being but here she is.

Wow, she is beautiful. Wow, she is perfect. Look, she is smiling at me. Aww, she is hugging me. Did you hear that? She called me mommy! There she is riding a bike. It is hard – she is misunderstood at school. I am so proud of her – she graduated high school. I am worried – she is off to college. I am happy – she is the most beautiful woman in the room, the bride.

I am so thankful for the gift of children. A lifetime of sacrifice equals a lifetime of joys without end.

If I had my child to raise over again
I’d build self-esteem first and the house later
I’d finger paint more and point the finger less
I would do less correcting and more connecting
I’d take my eyes off my watch and watch with my eyes
I would care to know less and know to care more
I’d take more hikes and fly more kites
I’d stop playing serious and seriously play
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars
I’d do more hugging and less tugging
I’d see the oak tree in the acorn more often
I would be firm less often and affirm much more
I’d model less about the love of power
And more about the power of love.
~ Diane Loomans, author

If you would like to share your version of “Thankful Thursday” (photos or text or both) today or in the future, you can link your post to my post on Thursdays in the comments section with the title “Thankful Thursday”.
Have a great Thursday everyone!