I woke up this morning to the familiar sound of footsteps, usually scurrying to my side of the bed, cuddling up right next to me. Lo and behold, when I opened my eyes, I saw two tiny, leftover pigtails hurrying past me and around to the other side of the bed. My little girl almost never chooses her daddy over me, so I shut my eyes, pretending to be asleep so that he could experience those sweet morning snuggles.
A moment later, I couldn't resist peeking at them. There she was, lying perfectly across his chest, her head nestled right next to his heart. His arm held her there, and the two of them were still and quiet, just enjoying being close. My heart was so very full before I even stepped a foot out of bed. There is just nothing like the arms of your daddy surrounding you before you start your day.
I started thinking about when I was little. My dad would play a little game with me that we fondly named "Teddy Bear." He would come home from work and need to snuggle me, his teddy bear, to get to sleep. After he fell asleep, I would sneak away until he called out for me, and then I would return to his arms. Clever guy, huh? What a great way to sneak in a little shut eye after work! But to me, I looked forward to being wanted, in his arms. My dad's arms were affectionate and familiar. They were strong and full of protection. Even playing these childish games and running away, the best part of the game, the only point of it all, was returning to that safe place.
That's where my daughter chose to run to this morning. The safe place of her daddy's arms. I started to think about how we intensely need our dads arms. See, my hands are constantly busy at home. I'm cooking, cleaning, changing, bathing, teaching, hugging, kissing, holding, feeding. But my husband's arms are just as important, if not more so. He is working, providing, protecting, loving, carrying. He does what I cannot do. He lifts the kids out of danger when they are stuck. He carries them when they're tired or hurt. He fixes things. And he uses those strong arms to wrap around these little ones when they run to him, without question. It comes so naturally to him. Without batting an eye, his arms scoop up his beloved ones, place them on his chest, and welcomes them in.
Moms are great, but fathers are essential. And the greatest gift that we have been given is a heavenly father whose love and protection far surpass anything we can see or experience here on this earth. His arms are strong, carrying us through whatever life brings us. He picks us up when we are weary. He carries us when our wounds are fresh. He lifts us out of danger and He repairs all the problems that we create. Without batting an eye, those loving arms scoop us up and hold us close. And there is no better place to be, then safely resting in Him, feeling His heart beat, and knowing we are safe and loved.