It's all about fathers this weekend.
I love this picture of my dad and me... taken fifteen years ago. If I remember correctly it was a last minute piece of advice before I walked down the aisle.
I have been ABUNDANTLY blessed in my life with a father who has always been there for me, and with a husband who is a superb father to our children. Additionally, I've been blessed with a father-in-law who is a dear, sweet man - whom I love like a father as well.
I am thankful for the legacy the men in my life are leaving.... thankful for their stability, wisdom, Godliness, and guidance. Where would we be without our fathers?
As I look back on 40+ years with my own father a few big memories stand out:
- Countless hours taking me back and forth to swim practice... then weekends of travel to meets. My dad always supported me. I could count on hearing his voice cheering for me every time my head came out of that water!
- $1 sent to me each week when I was in college - in a letter that my dad would write - so I could buy my Diet Cokes from the vending machine. It was more the fact that my dad wrote me each week that meant so much to me.
- When I had got my first teaching job, my parents came to visit me -- they sat in on classes and participated in the songs and games in my music room. I recall one year my dad coming and assisting with a chorus pizza party. He always took (and still takes) and active part in my life.
- I remember my father giving me away at my wedding. I know this was hard for him... I am the youngest by 11 years... he made sure I had a beautiful wedding.
- My parents painted my daughter's first "big girl" room when she was three. They lovingly decorated her entire room. Add to this the countless times my dad did landscaping work, swept out my garage and basement -- just all those little things dads do.... see how lucky I am?
- My dad grew up at the end of the Depression. He never had much and I know his life wasn't easy. He provided a college education for each of his four children and we always had everything we needed. He and my mother have been married over 50 years. He is a true success story in my book!
Now, I'll share a little about my husband....
When I married my husband, I knew he came from a wonderful family. His own father was a person I enjoyed immensely and got along with from day one. With a role model like this my husband has seen how to be a good father. He teaches ME daily how to be a better parent - more patient and loving. I want to tell you a little bit about my children's father:
- I am in awe of the man my husband has become. He has truly grown into the role of father and now (with our 15th anniversary just a month away!) I am so proud of him. My children have a stable, loving, dad who has always been willing to care for them, and many times does a better job than mom!
- He works very hard to provide everythign for his children. His days start many times at 4 a.m. - he works out (to stay fit for the kids!), goes to work downtown, and many times comes home to shuttle someone to baseball practice, play outside, or cook dinner. He amazes me.
- My husband spends TIME with his children. This is not lost on children, believe me. My almost 11 year old told me what she loves most about her dad is that he SPENDS TIME with her.
- He takes an active role in our church. He teaches a Sunday School class and genuinely enjoys children. My children know their dad is a faithful person and they look to him for spiritual guidance.
- This man, most importantly, honors his children's mother. The respect and love I am shown on a daily basis (many time not deserved, but given gracefully) speaks volumes to my children about how to treat their own spouses one day.
It seems lately I've read and know personally about a lot of sad stories regarding children and fathers. It weighs heavy on my heart that there are children who won't spend Father's Day with their dads because their fathers have left or other circumstances prevent them from being together.
I'm thinking especially this weekend about a friend who has lost his six year old daughter in January. I'm praying for peace for him this Father's Day.
If you have a father and your relationship is good, be THANKFUL. Spend time with your dad and let him know what he means to you.
Same goes for your children's father -- never take what dads do for granted.
This weekend we will be taking daddy to an Atlanta Braves game to celebrate. I wish I could show you what we've made him, but that will have to wait! I hope he knows just how much we love him and how lost we would be without him.
Happy Father's Day.