God has blessed my wife and me with six great kids. I have many sons, but there is only one girl. Kari is our second oldest and is, by every account I have ever heard, amazing.
Kari, my only girl, is indeed my one and only SweetPea. She has always been so.
My SweetPea and I have always shared a particular love for music. She was singing long before we could discern the words. It once was a common thing to walk through the house and hear that sweet voice resonating off of the tile walls in the bathroom as she sat taking care of things… and singing with all her might. “I’m singing… in the potty…” and so on.
I knew she had great talent, but when it finally came time for her to start playing an instrument, even I was blown away. She played all the time. As she grew and grew and advanced and advanced, I tried to encourage and support and help as best I could. We finally got to the place where I had to refinance my suburban in order to purchase a professional model clarinet. It seems to have paid off because it has been key in paying her way through college.
I didn’t commision this for her, but I can pretend I did just because I came across it and she will think it’s pretty cool.
This precious girl of mine has been used by God in some powerful ways. She has been an example to me of what amazing things happen when tremendous talent meets discipline. She works hard and her talent serves her well to take her so much farther than I was ever able to go. She reminds me constantly that, if I will lean into the talents God has placed in me and just keep practicing them, there is no limit to what God can do.
The other thing that God has used her to teach me is that God, as my Father, is not objective in His opinion of me.
When I hear my daughter play and she happens to miss a note or squeak here or there, I almost don’t hear it. I hear past it because that’s my SweetPea playing that music.
When I am trying to get life “right” and I mess up – which happens a lot more often than I want to admit – I know that my Father sees beyond it. It’s not that my failures are ok. It’s because He already paid the price for my failures by giving His Son to die in my place. Jesus paid my death penalty. So, when my Father watches my life, He looks past my poor decisions to see Jesus living in me.
Incidentally, my daughter is 1000x better musician than I am a Christian. That’s an observation that could be validated by many, but it is my opinion. And, as proud as I am of my one and only SweetPea, that’s how my Father feels about me… and more.