Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Birthday and Happy Father's Day to the World's Best! 2013

Today is Father's Day, which also happens to fall on my dad's birthday this year- June 16, 2013. 

My family was in Chicago this weekend for my youngest sister Kayla's volleyball tournament, so hopefully we will be able to see them for a little bit tonight when they get back. This morning I ended up at Church alone because Kley was feeling sick, but it turned out to be really good. Valley has been doing a sermon series called "Perfectly Imperfect" and it's been one of my favorite sermon series I've ever heard. They've been focusing on different relationships- Moms, Dads, friendships, marriages, etc. I love it because it's been very relational with tons of stories shared. I love hearing stories about people's personal lives- I love connecting with people, and personal stories make the points of the sermon really come alive to me. Today someone shared about Perfectly Imperfect Dads, and it was really really good.

I am so thankful for my dad. I know this day is filled with a lot of hardship for some who have a strained relationship with their dad, never knew their dad, lost their dad, etc. Kley and I are both blessed with wonderful earthly fathers, and we certainly don't say thank you enough. 

I wrote Psalm 112 in a note to my dad before I left for college, and it still applies today. My dad exemplifies this Psalm well.

Psalm 112[a]

Praise the Lord.[b]
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
    who find great delight in his commands.
Their children will be mighty in the land;
    the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses,
    and their righteousness endures forever.
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
    for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
    who conduct their affairs with justice.
Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
    they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;
    their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
    in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
    their righteousness endures forever;
    their horn[c] will be lifted high in honor.
10 The wicked will see and be vexed,
    they will gnash their teeth and waste away;
    the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.
 I am blessed to have a dad who loves and fears the Lord, and who taught/teaches me to do the same. His righteousness will endure forever- he is a good man. He is leaving a great mark on the world, and raised me and my siblings in a way that we will do the same, since he was our dad. My dad is gracious and compassionate. My dad is generous and lends freely- of his heart, time, energy, money, and abilities. My dad conducts his affairs with justice. My dad's hope will never be shaken, because he trusts in Christ. My dad will be remembered forever for the great legacy is he leaving. My dad is very steadfast- loyal, stable, trustworthy, sound, and available. My dad has scattered his gifts to the poor, and he definitely deserves to be lifted high in honor. A neat footnote about that verse is that "horn" symbolizes dignity in verse 9. Another neat fact is that this Psalm is an acrostic poem- with the lines beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

My dad was always there. Always. He would stay up late and wake up early to get his work done, so he could come to all our music and athletic events growing up. He never complained about being tired and drove endless hours to watch us play.

My dad was the neighborhood favorite growing up. The neighborhood kids would come knock on OUR door and ask MY dad to come outside and play, instead of their own dads. We played kickball, seven steps, and kick the can on countless evenings in our backyard. This may not seem like a big deal, but I think it speaks volumes for his character that everyone wanted him to play and that he was willing. Now being an adult myself, I'm sure there were plenty of evenings where he wanted to relax after a long day of work. But he didn't- he played with us.

My dad is a lawyer. I know there are many jokes people tell about how bad lawyers are, but my dad is a good and honest man. I will never understand all that he does or has done, but he has helped a lot of people. He has spent a lot of time helping work for people- not charging them near like he could. My dad has been a good sounding board for people when they didn't have anyone else to help. He has remained faithful and worked very hard to provide for his family, even while enduring hard trials at work. My dad has graciously and generously spent his time outside of work helping people too, at Church and at Iowa Christian Academy, where we all went to school. 

My dad is wise and gives great advice. My dad has a unique ability to read my face and know if I am upset or not. There's no fooling him. Even if I cried hours ago, my dad can tell. It's a sign of how well he knows me. My dad always listens, and is one of my biggest helping hands through life's struggles. 

I remember my dad dressing up in a gorilla suit and performing a karaoke show for us, handing out bananas to the audience, just to make us laugh. My dad was always "it" playing games. He was gracious to me when I hit the side of the garage while backing out in high school and cracked all the siding. He disciplined me when I was mean to my brother when he bought me a new scooter and I made fun of his old one, and forgave me after. He's given me his dessert so I could have extra. He let my friends come over in high school and talked to them when they were coming/going, investing in their lives. He came and picked me up when I parked illegally at the fair and my car got towed, and taught me a life lesson by making me pay for it. He played Barbies and dolls with us, and plenty of girly games like Pretty Pretty Princess and Mall Madness over and over again. He stood on the sidelines at every soccer game, even though it pained him because I was the most unaggressive player and liked drawing in the dirt better. He whispered jokes to me while I sat waiting at piano recitals so I wouldn't be nervous. He loudly kissed my mom on purpose because we thought it was weird. He listened to 80's music loudly in the car by himself driving home from work. My dad was/is a spiritual leader- doing family devotions after dinner. My dad publicly praised my mom. He told us he was proud of us. He told us he believed in us. He told us he loved us. And still does. 

The first time I ever saw my dad cry was when he saw me in my wedding dress. 

I couldn't be more blessed to have him be the one who walked me down the aisle.

I love you, Dad. You have been so influential and monumental in my life and I am forever grateful. I know that when your time comes, Jesus will most definitely say to you, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."


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