Earlier today, I sat next to two sets of parents and their young children, probably ranging from 8 months to two years.
At first, I missed my own daughter who was at school (she was excited as she was having bread and cheese as they “experienced France”) and my wife (who was working).
Then, my mind and heart shifted to appreciation.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my daughter, Shea (turning 3 in late September). Just yesterday, I shared with friends how I have loved every day as a parent (beginning on January 25th 2016 when we found out that my beloved wife, Suzie, was pregnant).
While some days were harder than others, I never went to bed with a heart that was not filled with gratitude.
I never went to bed not looking at Suzie with true admiration and a grateful heart and soul for her sacrifice and love.
While I write often that two of my greatest vocations are that of dad and husband, it sometimes takes seeing and feeling how I did in the past to remember in an even greater fashion how blessed I am.
There were many days when I saw other men with their partners and their children, often smiling but also wanting to experience the same.
I felt that today, but only for a second. I quickly remembered my girls and how special they are to me and for me.
I wish I could tell my younger self how this turned out so he could just rest a little easier.
So to those who feel the same, or feel a desire from their soul for a deeper calling, just stay true to you. Trust in yourself and in God.
For those who now have what they always sought, find the deepest of gratitude for these precious days.
And for those who may have ended up surprised with unexpected gifts and responsibilities, how might God be calling you into a spiritual place of gratitude.
I did not expect to feel this way today, but God always provides. An important reminder of what once was, and what is right now.