Thursday, July 26, 2012

The power of a papa

I know fathers day is long past, but I like to think that we treat everyday like daddy's day in our home. I was so touched by a photo I took the other day of Landon with his papa. It was just a normal evening at our place. Ryan had just fed Landon and was just sitting with him on his lap when Landon wrapped his tiny arm around his papa. One of the great things about living in a small apartment is that my camera is never too far. I hurried and grabbed it and started snapping. I never truly appreciated photography until we had Landon. You learn quickly, as a parent, that time goes too quickly. I'm lucky if I can get him to wear all of his clothes once before they don't fit him anymore. This makes me sad, but it has made me appreciate every moment caught on camera SO much more. They aren't just pictures anymore, their memories, their a stage of his life that has come and gone and I will never get back again. So I cherish EVERY moment and try to capture as many as I can.

This is one of those moments... This picture just says so much to me. What is different about this one photo is that it doesn't only make me think of times past. Even more-so it makes we think about the future to come. It makes me think of how Landon will grow up adoring his papa and wanting to be just like him. It makes me think of the relationship that they will have. Right now Ryan can make Landon laugh and smile. He can calm him when nothing mama seems to do will work. Someday their special relationship will develop into a friendship and I am looking forward to watching that unfold.

I've mentioned shutterfly on here before, but I really haven't confessed to my addiction. If there's anything I love more than capturing special moments on camera it's putting those moments into a book and using them to tell our story in a unique way.

For the last couple months I've been working on Landon's pregnancy journal. It's amazing how in hindsight pregnancy seems like the most beautiful and exciting thing, but when your in the thickets of it, you just can't wait for it to be over. Anyways... I've been reminiscing on my pregnancy and copying the journal I kept for Landon into this shutterfly album. This journal contains the real Landons letters. I came across this entry that I wrote before we knew if Landon was a boy or a girl.

Nov. 20, 2011

I cannot wait for you to get here my love. You are already such a part of our family. You are a part of this beautiful love God has given mommy & daddy for each other. You're so blessed to have the best papa in the world my darling. I just know that he will be your hero, as he is mine.
If you are a girl I hope & pray that someday God brings you a man who loves God & treats you like a princess like your papa does me. I pray you never settle until you find the kind of love you see in your parents marriage.
If you are a boy I pray that you take to heart how your papa loves me so that you will one day love a woman with the same kind of pure, godly, relentless, unfailing love. I pray that I never disrespect your papa in front of you. I want to model for you that he deserves all of our respect, love, honor, and adoration. I am so crazy about your papa and you have only made our love deeper and stronger. You can rest in our love my child. You are safe here.

When I found that a couple days ago and read it, I thought of this picture. I thought of how Landon already adores his papa. So many children are growing up today, without a papa and the outcome of this is astronomical. It is creating a culture full of little girls that never stop seeking a mans approval and love in all the wrong places and boys who have no idea how to be a man.

This picture reminds me that we must never underestimate the power of a papa. It breaks my heart that there are children being born today that will never know the unconditional love of a daddy. I know that this breaks the heart of God as well. There is a reason why God doesn't stop with us calling him Savior, He longs for us to call him Abba (greek word for daddy). He desires to show the fatherless what the relentless love of a papa looks like. My hope in writing this is that we (myself included) might learn something from my special child.

It is easy to look around and blame God for all of the horrible, traumatic, and painful things that we see and what we have experienced in our own lives. What if instead of seeing God as this mean father who allows these atrocities, we choose to see him as a papa who weeps with us when we experience the pain that comes with living in a fallen world? What if we chose to sit up on His lap, wrap our tiny arm around him and just know that we are safe and protected in his love. This is what I see when I look at Landon and his papa. Landon doesn't blame Ryan for allowing him to experience so much pain. He truly trusts and depends on his papa for all of his needs and desires.

Oh the lessons I learn from our Landon :)

"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of sonship. And by him we cry Abba Father. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his suffering in order that we may also share in His glory.

Romans 8:15-17

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