I make it a point to look Hunter in the eyes and smile at him many times a day. It's important for me to connect with him, to continually let him know that he has my heart and goodwill, that I am interested in him and love him deeply.
Of course, we demonstrate our love, goodwill, and interest to our children in more ways than one, including our actions, our words, and our attitudes towards them (and around them: they pick up on more than we probably realize). But facial expression is so important. The Bible calls it "countenance". Some of my favorites:
"The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." (Numbers 6:26) God's countenance gives us peace.
"There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us." (Psalm 4:6) God's countenance in us shows the people that there is good in the world.
"For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance." (Psalm 21:6) God's countenance makes us glad - exceedingly glad!
"Why art thou cast down, O my soul?... hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance." (Psalm 42:5) God's countenance is our hope and help when we are "cast down" or discouraged.
"Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted." (Psalm 89:15-16) People who "know the joyful sound" - who are joyful - walk in the light of God's countenance! Not only that, but they rejoice all the day and are exalted in his righteousness!
I love these verses. Reading these and the many others with that word has taught me so much. Even though I'm not always perfect, I try to always have a joyful, loving, interested countenance towards Hunter. If God's countenance is so important to his children, certainly the parent's countenance is important to theirs.
But what made me think of writing about this is Hunter's recent displaying of affection and endearment towards me. Over the last few weeks, he has been very frequently returning the favor of random smiles, kisses, hugs, and kind words of encouragement towards me. He will just walk up to me out of nowhere and give me a big hug, or smile the most precious smile towards me, or tell me that he loves me. Granted, he's certainly not perfect and is not always full of hugs and smiles, but it is so encouraging to see his recent display of not only affection but genuine appreciation for his mother. Being a mother certainly has it's blessings but it is things like these that make each day the most wonderful of days in the world.
"Her children arise up, and call her blessed..."
Hunter is 4 years, 2 months old