Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father knows best.

To say that I have been blessed with fathers in my life would be a monumental understatement.

God, for reasons known only to Him, has chosen to place amazing men into every "father" role in my life. (I apologize for not having pictures, but if I tried at this point to locate them, I'd never get this posted on Father's Day.)

To begin with, I had a most amazing Daddy.   I have so many great memories of rides in his red truck on Saturdays listening to country music and just talking.   Lots of in-the-car-talking memories.  He was attentive, encouraging and affectionate.  He was a great lover of traditions and of relationships.  And the beach.  He was a confidant and adviser to many friends.  He was a coach in so many areas of life.  He was not perfect.  But love covers a multitude of sins, and he gave (and received) lots of it.  He loved Jesus and God's wisdom.  He was an amazing teacher.  He love me and adored Mr. Wonderful.  He went home to be with Jesus over 7 years ago and I cannot wait to see him again.

I had a precious maternal grandfather.  The phrase, "a prince among men", epitomized Grandaddy.  He was faithful.  He was humble.   He worked hard and always did his best.  He loved to laugh and it was infectious.  He had an amazing smile and it lives on through his daughter.  I inherited one of his Bibles and although he was not "preachy" with his words, the well-worn pages of the Book and the notes and highlights give testimony as to why his life was such a powerful sermon on living out the Gospel.  I have never known a man like him.  I will hug his neck right after I hug my Daddy's.

I have a fabulous paternal grandfather, Papa.  He has this great deep voice that is so comforting as he reads from the Gospel of Luke at Christmas and is quite intimidating when we did something that Papa didn't approve of.  He absolutely adores his great-grandchildren and is an active part of their life, filling in for the grandfather they are missing.  He is a patient listener to our problems and a consistent compass pointing us back to our Savior and God's Word.  He is a faithful prayer warrior and a fierce mexican dominoes player.  He works hard around the house and cooks a mean pot of cheese grits.  His presence in my life is one of God's greatest graces to me.  I treasure every minute I get to spend with him.

I have a tremendous father-in-law.  You read correctly.  I have been blessed with a fantastic relationship with my father-in-law.  He married me to Mr.  Wonderful. literally.  He buys me diamonds.  He calls me and says, "What do you think about driving to Florida?"  And he means me and the children.  And we go.  And we still like each other when we get back (even though it is about a 20 hour round trip.)  I remember his compassion on the phone the night Daddy died.  He understood.  He is tough and gruff, but mostly for show.  He is thoughtful and sensitive and delights in his grandchildren. And even though he acts like he's gonna let them have it if they don't walk the line, he wouldn't.  He loves his son and misses his wife.  He is a wonderful man who raised a wonderful son and I am thankful to call him "Dad."

My children's father is an unbelievable mix of all the above.  He is so very intentional about being the best he can be.  He is very much like my Daddy in that he doesn't quite understand what to do with early adolescence, but he is doing better than he thinks.  He makes time to play with the kids even when he would rather do something else.  He loves traditions (also, like my father) and time with his family.  He loves wisdom.  He is like my Grandaddy in that he's not "preachy" in his speech, but he lives out his faith and convictions.  He is a strong, secure presence like my Papa. 

But there are so many other things that make him amazing to me.  Like how he dances with Daddy's Girl at weddings.  How I get to see a glimpse of him as a child in Little Prince's sweet smile.  How even though he did NOT want to have more than two children, Sunshine delights him with her capricious nature and contagious smile.  He cares so deeply for all of us, and although most the time I am too close to notice all the wonderful things about him, he is the best husband and father we could ever ask for.

Of course there is one more father in my life, my heavenly Father.  All the good that I have experienced from each of my "father's" is only a hint of His love and grace and goodness.  Each of these men is flawed in some way.  We all are.  But my Heavenly Father is perfect, and He has never, nor will He ever disappoint me, hurt me, leave me, betray me or stop loving me. 

Thank you God for being my father and for surrounding me with more than I could ask for from the fathers in my life.  

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