Birthday parties on an empty tank

     In seven hours six 12 year old girls will descend upon my home.  Including the one I am blessed to call my daughter.  But seriously, does that first sentence not strike some level of fear into your heart?  I love these girls.  I am immensely grateful for the friendship they provide my daughter.  And, they are just plain neat kids.  I’m happy to have them over.  But 6?  At the same time?  All night?  With one bathroom?  Oh my.    

     It’s times like these that I feel the need to call my parents and babble incessantly about how amazed I am at all the managed to do for me.  Gush about how grateful I am for each and every time they spent what had to be the last of the money, and most certainly, the last of their energy, on me.  Birthdays were a big deal in my childhood home.  There was always a party.  Always lots of people, lots of food, and lots of laughter.  Always a sign or a banner, handmade by my incredibly artistic, creative father.  I loved those signs.  And always, always M&M’s!  Most importantly, however, there was always an investment.  My parents invested their time, energy, and love into me.  
     I am determined to put that same investment into my own children.  I want them to know they are worth it.  Not just on their birthdays, but on all the days.  My deepest desire is that they know they are loved unconditionally by me.  As a parent, nothing is more important to me.  But oh my goodness, have you noticed that to meeting that goal requires an immense amount of time, and energy, and at least in my case – a bit of my sanity?  I realize that’s obvious.  Clearly, investing time, energy, and love would require time, energy, and love.  But wow.  That’s a lot.  Especially with so much else demanding that I share these most precious of gifts.  So here’s my plan.  I’m giving it to God.  He’s got time, energy, and unconditional love in abundance.  It’s kind of who He is.  With His help and His love, our kids will know two things – that we love them and that He loves them.  With or without the awesome banners!
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