old journal entries 2003 A.D. ...
“He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.”
I was snuggling with my daughter on the couch and we were whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears. I leaned over and spoke a word into her tender heart, “You are my beautiful little princess.” She smirked with her cute little crooked smile and tilted her head towards my ear. What she said couldn’t have caught me more off guard, “You’re my big daddy warrior.” I hugged her tightly and put her in the cradle hold while tickling her sides. It was a moment I will never forget.
Later that day, we were getting ready to eat dinner when Kami asked if I would break her grilled cheese sandwich in half. She had just seen Heidi pull apart Aly’s sandwich and she didn’t want to be left out. I nonchalantly walked over to her table and ripped apart the sandwich with my bare hands. Immediately she said, “Dad, you are so strong!” I glanced over to her and said, “I know!” Heidi started laughing. I thought to myself…”She has no idea that I’m not as strong as I appear.” To her, I’m indestructible, invincible and borderline immortal. It just takes me back to my innocent and naïve childhood where life was simple….”Dad is strong…I am safe”. I long for those days again sometimes.
This verse in Ecclesiastes really struck me to the core this last weekend. I put on some shorts and my hiking boots and waded into Mad River hiking a half-mile up stream. Eventually I found a quiet spot on the shore and I made myself comfortable. I opened my Bible to this mysterious book and began my journey through its every phrase. I was gripped by this verse…”God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.” I so much long to be that kind of person…feeling the oil of gladness trickling down my face, clothing myself with the garment of thanksgiving as I clash with this world of brokenness.
“God, occupy me with gladness of heart…pour over me the joy of your salvation…let the joy of your heart be my strength. I’m tired and empty. Please encourage my heart with your incessant streams of living water flowing from the Holy Spirit who lives in my very heart. You are life to me.”