Today is my dad’s birthday and he we will celebrate him from afar. This will be no different than any other birthday since we live states apart. We talked on the phone, caught up a bit and of course laughed. It is interesting to compare how our states are handling this pandemic, but there is a very common theme. People are ready to have businesses open. I can hardly imagine the pressure that must be on those that make that call. When you are given authority and put in charge of others, there is so much responsibility placed on your shoulders. This is also true when it comes to parenting.
My parents had been married a couple of years when I came along. That first time parenting feeling is something all generations can relate too. They did the very best they knew to do and I see that now. Sometimes it takes years into parenting for us to realize that truth. One of the things that I am most thankful for is that my parents always made sure we were involved in church. Because of the sweet church we spent my early years in, a firm foundation of biblical knowledge was put into place. In this same church, my dad used his artistic abilities and would do chalk drawings of Bible stories during the main service. I remember being proud during those times that he was my dad. He continued to perfect those drawing skills and for decades has designed furniture. You might even have some of his work in your home.
My dad has always been a hard worker, another quality I did not always appreciate. He is also extremely health conscious and told me the other day how he plans on being able to play with great-grandkids too. I know my kids like him being able to keep up with them, especially at the trampoline park. I don’t even join in on that activity. Our kids are getting to experience the fun side that my dad has always had. We had plenty of adventures growing up and he led the way. I am thankful and smile remembering. Oh, the stories we could tell that would make you laugh.
A prayer that I have prayed for my dad for a year or so, will continue through this year as well. “The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.” (Job 42:12). I replace Job’s name with his of course. I will also add a bit more. “…he saw his children and their children to the forth generation.” (Job 42:16). When I picked the first verse, I had read about the suffering that Job went through and how he responded. It would have been so easy for him to take his friends advice and give up, but he did not. When you truly believe God is who His word says He is, you might not understand what He is allowing, but you continue to trust Him. My dad has walked through much suffering with my mom having cancer and then watching her die from it. He continues to walk with God.
There is a lot of my dad in me and for that I am thankful. I do wish I had been given some of his artistic ability though. Because of his talent, he would be busy pushing that pencil in his office while my mom and I were out spending the money he made. Neither of us could draw well, but we did know how to pick out pretty things. I am thankful for those memories. One time we went out of town as a family and it ended up just my dad and I in a store. He bought me a pair of pearl earrings that I wanted. I wore them some, but bigger ones were in fashion and I tucked my pearls away. Years later I would pull them out and wore them up until recently when they finally broke. I picked up a cheap pair and continue to wear them as a reminder of the sweet gift from my dad.
Sometimes we tuck treasures away and do not fully appreciate or see them for what they really are. Other things get in the way like immaturity, rebellion or misunderstandings and we miss the gift we have been given. My dad really is a treasure and I am blessed to be his daughter. He is full of life, laughter and mischief. It really is a great combination for a dad and grandfather. So, happy birthday, dad! May this year be full of unexpected blessings that you did not even ask for.
I love you, dad.