Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Three Dads!

No, I don't come from a crazy dysfunctional family tree (ha!)

I just wanted to take this occasion (Father's Day) to talk about the three fathers in my life - my daddy, my husband and my son.

First my Dad.  
I am very thankful to God that we still have him - alive and gardening at the age of 71 - despite having had
My dad and youngest daughter.
type one diabetes for 40 years.  We lost two of my uncles at an early age to this disease, and so I know that I am blessed beyond measure!  My dad taught me two things that have shaped my life. 
  1.  He taught me to love Jesus and to cling to what is good.  
  2. He told me I was the smartest person he knew - and I believed him!  
You see - I never felt pretty, or talented, or even very likable.  But I believed I was smart, and smart people make good decisions.  They don't follow the crowd - they follow the path that the Creator designed for them.  They write their OWN story and never let someone else write it for them!
My dad is not without his problems - and there were many times in my life that I wished I could have a different father - one like "everyone else" had.  But I know now that he was exactly what God planned.  That without his influence, my story might have been very different.   That all the good and happiness and joy of the past 27 years might not have ever happened.  And even the thought of that makes me sad.

Then there is my husband, Brian.  
What a find he turned out to be!  I think that meeting someone and deciding to spend the rest of your life with them, is probably the riskiest thing one could ever do.  You have no way of knowing if they will remain loyal - if they will love you always - if they will be a good father.  Oh, you can try to make an educated guess based on how he is now, but people change and a lifetime is long.  So, how did I know 27 years ago, that this man would turn out to be a better father than I ever dreamed up in all my childhood fantasies?  Well, I didn't!  But God did, and I have never doubted for even a moment in these past 3 decades that He
Brian with sons and grandson.
orchestrated this whole thing!  Brian and I have raised 6 children together.  For much of that time he has worked two or more jobs.  And yet he always had time for them - not just time, but he was such an integral part of their lives that none of our now-adult children ever even had a moment of rebellion.  I'm not even kidding.  All that teen-aged angst and pouting and rebellion etc. completely missed us.   I've said many times that my children's teen years were the best.  In fact, we decided to have 2 more children when the first four children were all in double digits!  I know why.  My children adored their daddy so much that they just couldn't let him down.  Oh - we had a few mess ups.  But each time the offender was full of contrition and never repeated.  I know this sounds like one of those "Our Family is Perfect" Christmas letters (that I hate!), but folks always talk about the negative teenage experience as if it is expected.  It doesn't have to be.
Anyway - today I am so very thankful that the man I married really has been all he promised to be!

Finally, there is my oldest son, Joshua.  
Joshua's Family
He is such a treasure.  Whether we like it or not, older children DO influence the younger, and Joshua has always been so tenderhearted and so in love with Jesus.  He was also quite the handful as a child!  I mean, I questioned many times why God would send a bookworm like me such a loud, perpetual motion, NON-bookworm like Josh!  But he has grown into an exceptional young man!  He married a wonderful woman and they produced a son - a son I see being raised the same way that Joshua's own father raised him.  My perpetual motion machine is now channeling all that activity into being a successful employee, a loving husband and father, and a leader in his church.  He also leaves a legacy with his brothers and sisters of obedience to parents and faithfulness to God.  I'm just so proud of him.

And so, if you have made it this far without throwing up on the saccharine sweetness, you are a better "Christmas Letter" reader than I!!  But the truth is that these are my riches.  I don't have a lot of money or stuff.  But I am rich in Family.

And today, I just wanted to count my blessings.

Tell me about the special DAD in your life!