When I watch him with our children I realize over and over again how blessed I am. I never knew what kind of Father he’d become. I knew what kind of husband he was, and I assumed from that, that he would make an incredible Father, but really, I had no idea. And now, four wild and wonderful children later, I have been witness to an amazing transition, from young man, to husband, to Daddy. His quiet strength and tender heart captured my affections long ago, and these little ones, these pieces of us, they have his affections as well. He never stops trying to model Christ for them, he is such a humble example of God’s love. His willingness to sacrifice, to give all of himself, all of the time, for us, for them, for me…I am constantly learning how to be a better person because of him. We count him among our biggest blessing here, this head of the family, this strong man who leads us all. His faithfulness and devotion not only to me, but to these children is amazing and humbling. Ours has been an exciting life together thus far, and I had no idea when he held my hand at 17, that he would be come, THIS father. This man can fix anything, he can create beauty out of odds and ends, he can build with his hands, and with his generous words, he knows restraint and abandon in balance. His arms wrap around and his children burst with excitement when he steps in after working so hard. He has become the father I had always imagined for our children, and the husband I never knew I would be blessed with. This man, this Father, is a gift. And we adore him.
And my own Father. What a gift he is. When I think of him, I think of Germany and seeing the castles, I think of flying on a C-5 and turning green from airsickness, the way he comforted me, I think of driving myself to the doctor with double ear infections, and him having to come and take me home because the pain was so bad I couldn’t drive myself. I think of the ways he’d play with us in the pool for hours, the way he told me all of the time that I could do anything, never doubting our ability to rise to the occasion. I think of standing at his change of command ceremonies, watching all those soldiers, all that formality, all that respect and pride, I think of boat rides on the Mediteranian, Kabobs and hot ekmek after church from the street vendors in Turkey. I think of skiing and softball games, I think of him sticking up for us and the way he always made us feel safe- his middle of the night prayers whenever I had a bad dream. I think of how he worked so hard for so many years and how I didn’t always get that at the time. I think of him walking me down the aisle at my wedding, how he beamed with joy. I think of how we have learned to love each other better over the years, I think of him holding my babies on the couch, snuggling them, napping with them… My own father a passionate fiery soul who hugs big and loves bigger. I am reminded of how even when none of us had a relationship with Christ, he still took us to church and laid the foundation. I always admire the way he stands up for his principals and commits all of himself in doing so. My own father, human and flawed as we all are, has always loved me well. I never wondered if that was so, it has always been abundantly clear how much he cares for me, for us, his kids.
And my brother. A new Father. So new on this wild ride of parenting. You’ll find your footing. You’ll find your heart growing, changing in ways you never knew possible. Men have the special gift of representing God to their children, it’s a weighty responsibility, one that can feel overwhelming and fraught with challenges, but He doesn’t expect any of us to do it alone. So Happy first Fathers day to you, praying that the Lord blesses you with courage and patience, mercy and a wiling spirit of adventure!
So to the men in my life, the Fathers I know~ Happy Fathers Day! God has blessed us with you and we are richer for it. I LOVE YOU!