Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Today has been bittersweet. The circumstances that Dad is enduring break my heart and I wish that he could have felt like celebrating father's day. Because if anyone ever deserved a day to be celebrated, it is him.The day has been sweet because my mind has been filled with memories of good times with Dad and a profound appreciation for the man that he is.
He and Mom married very young and he probably didn't see himself down the road as the Father to eight children . But he learned. He really parented. Sure, he made mistakes. He's human. But his love never wavers. It doesn't matter what we do, say, or the way we act. We can always count on our Dad's love.  Sounds trite, perhaps, but he has always been there for us. He has always been present. He has that rare skill of listening--really listening--to what a person is saying. His advice is wise and his standard is the word of God. He has the ability to diffuse a situation and bring peace to conflict:; a quality that is much needed in a house full of kids =)
 Some people might think that with "so many" kids, one might be tempted to play favorites. Not so with Daddy. He has an acute understanding of what each one of his kids needs and makes each one of us feel special and appreciated. Daddy-daughter dates are a prime example of the kind of tender-hearted and thoughtful man he is.Some girls might mind if their Dad gives them a hug in "public" or puts his arm around them, but I never did. I was always proud to be seen with my Daddy.  Every birthday that i can remember, he has gotten each of his girls a bouquet of flowers and a special note just for her. Sometimes if a slow song would come on the radio he would just dance around the room with us. He made us feel like princesses.  He has special nicknames for each one of us, and though they are "silly" , they are just an example of my Dad's sense of humor. His dry sense of humor and good natured teasing keep us laughing. His character "voices" while reading aloud to us when we were little or his "horsing around" with his boys are treasured memories.
 He is fiercely protective of his kids (to which all of his daughters, in particular, can attest). His primary concern, however, has always been for our hearts. He wants us to fulfill our dreams and pursue our passions, yes, but he is more concerned with our fulfilling what our Creator designed us to accomplish. he recognized the true source of love and joy and leads us to our heavenly Father. Some of the most precious times I can remember were sitting together as a family reading the Bible and praying in the evenings. Often, deep discussions would result which kept us up long past our intended bedtime when we were little (sometimes intentional, sometimes not =)  There is not a more comforting sound to me than my Daddy's voice.
 His generous heart is evident in all that he does. His steady personality and constant love are a rock. I have never doubted his love and have always known that I could go to him with any particular matter and have him listen with understanding, love and wisdom with no ulterior motive of his own. That is a rare and precious quality in a world where everyone has an agenda.
 These are just a few of the things that I love about my Daddy. Though I know at times he feels as if he has accomplished very little of real importance, He has given his children a beautiful gift.  He has brought us up to desire to fulfill our individual purposes for God and to live solely for His glory. Has has encouraged our hearts and built us up. And He has pointed us to the love of our heavenly Father through his own unconditional, faithful love. 
  'thanks' doesn't even cut it, Daddy. I love you with all my heart. Happy Father's Day.

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