As some of you may know, our summer has been busy... BUSY!! But whose isn't? Anyone who has been in youth ministry can understand that summers aren't really vacation times, but often the most hectic time of the year. This is not a bad thing, but since having children of our own, it's definitely different.
My husband just returned from a ten trip to Ukraine, which I think is the longest he's been away yet. But thanks to my parents, the girls and I spent half that time with them and time went by faster. Another thing that helped to pass the time for my girls was all of the surprises left by Daddy.
My husband has always been good about leaving notes when he goes on trips, but he really outdid himself this time. I've been happy with a few post-it's or a card just reminding us how much he misses us. But this past week, he did so much more. Everyday the girls had a gift to open (sometimes individually, other times for them to share). These ranged from glow-sticks to a new Adventures in Odyssey cd to even their own frog kit. Some of these they had even picked out themselves, but didn't know what day they were getting them. He also prerecorded devotions on his I-pad for the ten days he was gone. This was priceless to me!! It wasn't anything elaborate, but simply Daddy reading to his girls from Naomi's Jesus Storybook Bible. He encouraged them to follow along and left them with sweet words (like "Be good for Mommy" ha! ha!) at the end of each devotion.
I have to brag on him even more by mentioning that he not only left our girls sweet gifts and messages, but he also did the same for me. I had cards and gifts hidden around the house with instructions to find them on certain days to help the time go by and ease some stress (aka Starbucks gift card, dark chocolate raisins, Subway gift card for a meal out). He also left me his I-pod with sweet messages for me, encouraging me each day to hang in there, and reminding me that I was not alone.
I write all this to encourage parents that our little ones (& big ones!) love simple acts of kindness while a parent is away. It doesn't have to be much. Like I said earlier, a few post-it notes can go a long way.