I am so very fortunate to have my daddy and so many amazing childhood memories with him.
I can remember the look in his eyes on my wedding day, walking me down the isle. I know how proud he was the day that I brought his grand babies into the world and the day that I graduated college. I can recall his smile when he moved me into a house to raise my babies in. My daddy has been there right by my side for all of the big and small moments.
With all the amazing memories I have of my dad, my favorite by far are the simplest of days. I can vividly remember my daddy coming into the house on a Saturday afternoon with grease stained hands, a distinct mechanic smell, and his white shoes turned green with grass up to his knees. You see, my daddy is a worker. He would spend hours of his day off maintaining the cars, cutting the grass, and taking off the trash without rest or reward. He did it so that he could spend the afternoons with his kids- teaching me to pitch a softball, instructing me how to change the oil in my own car, or cutting up a watermelon on the picnic table for dinner. My dad is a man who NEVER missed a ball game for any of this children, who worked every day to provide for his family, and a man who loves so fiercely without saying a word. In high school, I played volleyball and all of our matches were at 4pm, not may parents can make that. Due to a knee injury my dad was out of work and couldn't drive. He was so intentional with his love that he would make arrangements to be at all of my games on crutches--this meant the world to me.
As a little girl, my daddy was my hero. I watched him put all of his being into growing his family into independent, self-sustaining adults. My daddy knows everyone in our small town, will give the shirt off his back, or his half of his last breath. Most honorably, he always took the time to teach a lesson through action; 1. learning how to drive by mowing the grass--no telling how many bushes I hit, 2. make
traditions--remember the gifts that people enjoy, even if that means mom gets new bedroom shoes every Christmas, 3. make the small moments count-- gas station hot dogs make for great father daughter dates.
I dreamed of marrying a man just like him. Now I have. I found a man who can maintenance just about anything on any vehicle, who plays sports with our kids in the backyard, who teaches them to be fearless and strong, and who loves me relentlessly: with oil stained hands to beat. As a mother, I want my children to have them same feeling when they think back about their childhood.
As I sit here tearfully, reminiscing my childhood with my daddy and celebrating my husband, I am reminded of the man who first loved us. The man who taught his children to love, how to always choose kindness, how to find joy in sorrow. The man who saves us from all of our sins even when we don't deserve it. That man is JESUS. He is the human we all should aspire to be. He is the one who showed through leadership and by example of who he wants us to be. He is the man who my earthly men imitate and the man I choose to follow.
I challenge you to find or be the man who GOD has created and not the one who the world has molded.`