Friday, November 16, 2007

Favorites Friday

In honor of my Dad's 65th birthday this week, I'm going to share my favorite things about him. I was going to make a special Monday night edition just for him, but I've been down with a flu type bug most of the week and am just clearing the fog today. Yeah, I know, the week started so great, didn't it?! Anyway, in celebration of one of the greatest men I know . . .

My Favorite Things About My Daddy
(yes, I occasionally still call him "Daddy!")
  • He prays for us. I know this because all my life, I've seen him praying for those he loves. He believes strongly in the power of prayer, and lives it out every day. He is faithful to pray, faithful to trust, and faithful to wait on the Lord for His answers.
  • He cares a lot about legacy and history. He studies the history of The Church, of our family and of our nation. He learns from it, treasures it, and lives his life in a way that honors it. Watching him be so passionate about where we have been makes me want to be diligent about where I'm going.
  • He is a survivor. No matter the hard times that he and Mom have been through, he has trusted the Lord, he has clung to the Rock, and he has survived. And from where I'm sitting, he hasn't just survived, he has overcome and conquered. Faithfully. Trustingly.
  • He never accepted mediocrity from me. I may have chafed at that as a child and later as a young woman; but now that I'm a mom, I am incredibly grateful for it. I hear him in my heart when I tell my kids that I don't care about the actual grade, I care more that they did their best and that they challenged themselves. It makes me strive to be a better wife and better mom. And I think it makes me willing to take risks in areas that I wouldn't otherwise.
  • He loves his God, his family, and his community. As a pastor, I've seen him lay his life down for more than 25 years for the same church family. As a dad, I've seen and experienced his care in countless ways: cereal marshmallows for a certain little grand-daughter's sweet tooth, power washing our deck when The Boss mentioned it had to be done soon, a beautiful family vacation home that he shares generously, and those Valentine cards that have been coming addressed in his hand to each grandkid every year without fail. As a member of his community: I hear stories of the garage mechanic he's been sharing Jesus with for 20 some years now, the police officers who know him by name, the luncheon to honor the fire department that saved their church building from a dumpster fire. All these relationships are borne out of his love for Jesus and the love that he allows Jesus to pour into him for those around him.
I know that not all of you have been blessed to have this kind of "Father" relationship in your life. And I know that often our view of our Heavenly Father is skewed by our relationship with our earthly father. So, trust me when I say that I am completely grateful to the Lord that He saw fit to rescue my dad and pour Himself into dad all those years ago. It changed our family's course for generations to come. And I am very grateful that my dad emptied himself and cried out for Abba Father to fill him anew. And that he keeps doing this even now. It's a great example to me and to my whole family. Faithfulness, steadfastness. Daily renewal, daily grace. This verse always reminds me of my Daddy's example of a true, faithful, daily Christian walk:

Lamentations 3:22-23 "The steadfast love of the Lord
never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness."
(English Standard Version)

So, Happy (belated) Birthday, Dad! You are a treasure to our family and to all those who know you. Your steadfast following of Jesus Christ is an example to us all and an honor to the One who gave up ALL so that we might be His. I love you!


Melissa said...

I loved reading about your dad! I like how you said that his decision "changed our family's course for generations to come". Wow. That is powerful stuff and makes me even more determined to do the same thing in our family!

Carol said...

From one who has just lost her Daddy.....this is a wonderful post.

A very Happy Thanksgiving to your family.

The Woods