In honor of fathers today, I wanted to share my feelings for three fathers that have changed my life.
1. My father:
Many people have told me I am like my dad. He is strong, smart, capable and stubborn. I think some people have been referring to my stubbornness when they tell me I am like him! My dad has so many great characteristics. He is spiritual. He is a perfectionist. He is extremely intelligent. All of those are beautiful and caliber characteristics, but my two favorite things about my dad I learned more recently.
My mother had to have open-heart surgery several years ago. I learned more about my dad personally when he cared for my mother after her heart surgery than perhaps any other time. My mother has always been a caretaker in the family. She would typically take care of all the household tasks, including meals, laundry, and kids. My dad was the breadwinner, with a very time-consuming job and church assignments. When my mom had to have triple bypass heart surgery, their relationship changed. The previously strong man suddenly became caretaker. I saw him fix meals, do laundry, and clean the house. But, I also saw something else. I always knew my parents loved each other, but it was never displayed openly. After my mom had her heart surgery, I saw my dad’s heart. He was so worried about her. He was constantly watching, caring, keeping notes, documenting doctors’ visits and charting her well-being. It became ever so clear how much my dad loved my mom in those moments. It changed the way that I viewed my dad in many ways. I am so grateful I was able to witness that.
The second thing about my dad that I love most is when I see him with my own daughters. He loves them so much. As I watch them together, my heart stretches and grows. They go to the park. They play together. He gets them drinks and knows their preferences. There is an old story in our family about my dad. My older brother Jonathan wanted a drink one night and my dad went off to fill the order. When he came back with the water, Jonathan said, “I didn’t want it in that cup.” and my dad threw the water in his face!! We all laugh about that…now!
I remember one afternoon when my little one was asking for a drink from Grandpa. I carefully watched as my dad went to fill the order. The first time it wasn’t right. The second time it wasn’t right. Three times it wasn’t right. There was no water throwing or even a short word. My dad went back three times to get the right drink. I am so grateful that my dad is here to get to know my beautiful girls, and that they can get to know their Grandpa. They have a special bond with Grandpa. And, I know he loves them so much.
Thank you, dad, for letting me see your heart. I love you. You have always been such a great example to me!
2. The father of my children:
I didn’t know what I had married until after the wedding. I was in love with my husband and truly cared about him, but I had no idea the gift I had been granted in him. He is patient. He is understanding. He is one of the hardest workers I know. And, for some crazy reason he loves me more than anything. When we had our two daughters, they immediately had daddy’s heart tied up as well. He changed diapers. He woke up in the night. He cared for them right alongside me.
He is my balance and support. He is such an example to me of dogged determinism, and outright do-it-yourself. Even when he has felt down, he pulls himself up. He knows how to have fun, and shares that with my little ones. He knows when he makes a mistake, and does his best to do better. I love him so much. This is one of my favorite pictures I have of my honey:
I wish I could better express my appreciation for you, sweetheart! I love you so much. I hope you have a very happy Father’s Day!!
3. My Heavenly Father:
I know, without a doubt, that I have a Heavenly Father who knows my name and loves me. He knows my strengths and very clearly sees my weaknesses. He loves me even when I make the same mistakes over and over. When I look at my own daughters, I see His hand in my life. I see Him in the sunset, in the snowflakes, and in innumerable blessings in my life.
I have felt his love in my life in many, many ways, and at the times in my life when I needed Him most. This video reminds me of all He has given me, and how I need to be a little more grateful for all He provides.
I am so grateful for the men in my life that have been a positive influence. I am so grateful that I can honor them this day.
Happy Father’s Day!!