One of my sons has made a little tradition of finding "love" for me in nature. It started when he was a preschooler, and was going on an outing away from me and I asked him, "Are you going to think of me?" He answered with an exuberant, "Yes!" and I said, "Then, bring me back a really special rock, just for me!" That first time, he was hiking in the woods with his dad and upon looking down, found a flat rock with the top baring a chip out of it in the shape of a heart. He brought it home to me, so pleased with his treasure, and I have kept it ever since.
Just before he left with his siblings to spend two weeks with his dad in Arizona, he brought me in an assortment of leaves he had gathered, which when held upside down were heart-shaped. Into the largest, he had carved with his pocketknife "I Love You".
There have been many of these little tokens of love throughout the years. It is our special mother-son language, and I cherish it. I love that Heavenly Father scatters love around His world for the taking, and for the sharing.
This past weekend was a soul-stretching experience of humility, teaching, and awareness for me personally. The Lord has said that whom he loveth, he chasteneth (Heb. 12:6). I know that is true in my role as a parent as well. I will correct and redirect my children's behavior because I love them and care about where they are headed. I consider my chastenings from the Lord a privilege and a heavenly tutelage of parental love and concern for me. If we go to him in humility, not only will he show us our weaknesses, but He will make our weak things strong (Ether 12:27). I felt that I sat at his feet for several days having my eyes opened to my possibilities as his child. I felt that he opened my heart a bit wider and taught me how I might love more as he did. The evidence of his love for me personally seemed to come from every direction so that I would be sure not to miss it. He knew I was broken-hearted with the weight of my shortcomings, but he wanted me to focus on His love, not my weaknesses. I can do all things through him (Philip. 4:13). I am strengthened by him.