I am blessed to be able to say that I have a lot of fathers in my life who are wonderful, Godly men, and all of them have taught me so much. As I reflect back on the role of these men in my life, I wanted to share a little bit about each of them and what I have learned over the years from them.
First of all, my dad. My dad lived a beautiful 47-year-old life, and he taught me so much in the time I was able to spend with him. I still continue to learn things from him even now. Dad taught me that I should set high goals for myself and then go after them. He taught me that taking care of your family is the most important thing you can do in life. He taught me how to work hard but still have fun. He taught me the value of a family vacation and of family traditions. He taught me how to be creative and try new things. He taught me how important it is to be involved in my church and to continue to grow in my faith through reading and studying the Bible. I am so thankful to have been raised by such a man as my father, and I will continue to celebrate his life so that my own children can know how great their grandfather was.
My father-in-law is pretty great too. I am thrilled to have spent so much time with him over the past year since Jason and I got married. Larry has taught me the value of hard work - finding out what needs to be done and just doing it. He has taught me how important it is to take care of myself physically, and I look forward to the day when my lung capacity has returned and I can attempt to go for a run with him. He has taught me how great it is to do things for others and expect absolutely nothing in return. Most importantly, he has shown me how rich your life can be when you truly live for God and follow His will. I strive to be more like that each day, and I am thankful for an example to follow.
I love my Grandpa so much. Grandpa has taught me to not be afraid to dance to the beat of my own drum, which is why I chose the picture that I did. Grandpa has shown me that if I want to sing in the middle of a restaurant, or a store, or even Disney World, I should do it! He literally taught me how to skip, and for that I am truly grateful. He has taught me that life should be celebrated with song, even if they are songs that no one knows but the two of us. He has also taught me the importance and value of prayer - that I can accomplish nothing without praying without ceasing. I love my goofy Grandpa, and I am thankful for his presence throughout my childhood and even more so for it now as an adult.
My Papa on his boat with a ballcap (a "Papa hat"). That is how I always picture him. My papa has taught me to love the outdoors. To fish and gut the fish and then enjoy the fish! He has taught me how to be careful and cautious in life - a skill that I know I need to practice more often. He has taught me how to truly love someone, and I will forever be in awe of him for that. He has taught me to not be afraid to learn new skills - and I love every story I hear about his latest cooking or baking success. I am so glad that I was able to spend so much of my childhood with my Papa, letting him pull out my teeth, listening to his jokes (over and over again), and watching him work in his woodshed or on one of his boats. I am so thankful for his advice over the years, even though I may not always seem to be, because I know how much he really loves me and wants me to be safe and happy in all that I do.
My husband is going to be a wonderful father, and I cannot wait to see him with our baby in his arms. He already has done such a great job of finding the best and safest products for our child, and then buying the things we need so that we are fully prepared to do our best as parents. Jason has taught me that it is okay - no, better than okay - to dream BIG. He has also taught me to make decisions slowly and carefully and with all the facts and figures worked out first. He has taught me to give of myself to anyone in need and to be generous with what God has given me. He has taught me (or maybe it's a work in progress) that it's okay to laugh at myself sometimes and to relax about things that are just not that big of a deal. I thank God every day for allowing me to marry my very best friend, and I am excited about seeing Jason grow into his role as father as well as he has done with the role of husband.
Happy Father's Day to all of you! I am so thankful for each and every one of you, and I know my life would be very different without you. I love you all so much!
Dad, I miss you. Happy Father's Day...