I Blog For Books

23 June 2011

Today, We Celebrate

Seventy-one years ago, Ralph and Edna welcomed their second son (third child) into this world. As the years passed, they would welcome another six children, including a set of twins. When complete, their family included five boys and four girls. I can't imagine growing up in a household with eight siblings ... I wonder how they celebrated birthdays?

As one of three children, birthdays growing up were special. Not that we had elaborate parties (we didn't), nor even ridiculously expensive gifts (ditto); what I remember most about birthdays was the feeling of being special. Usually, our birthday cakes were homemade, and our favorite flavor. I remember one birthday spent in the hospital ... my biggest fear was not being able to have any of the strawberry cake with strawberry icing that my grandmother had made for me!

Daddy would have celebrated his 71st birthday today. Although I am still saddened by the fact that he is gone, I can't help but smile when I remember him. He had the biggest heart! He had a mischievous kid smile that made you smile along with him, even if you didn't know what was funny! I'm pretty sure that God has smiled with him over the past four years ... probably while He beat daddy at cribbage :)

If you have your parents, take the time to talk with them about their celebrations growing up. If you have a significant other, make their day special for them. If you have children, make memories! Show those you care about (relatives or not) what they mean to you. Remember that it doesn't have to be expensive to be special, just knowing that you are loved, that you are thought of as special, makes any day a "special" day!

Fortunately, our Heavenly Father can make any day a special day. How, you might ask? No matter how heavily laden I may think that I am, I know that all I have to do is ask -- just ask -- and God will be there to bear my burdens. I didn't say that He'd take them away, just that He will bear them. We are so very blessed to be children of God.

God, I have so many things to thank you for that I don't even know where to start. First of all, I thank you for giving me a wonderful earthly father! Thank you for allowing me to celebrate 43 years with him. Thank you for giving me a wonderful family, and for allowing me the blessing of children. Remind me always that everyone is special to you, and that it is not my place to judge a child of yours. Remind me that every day I wake up is cause to praise You ... truly cause to celebrate! One request, on this day ... wish my daddy a Happy Birthday from me!

"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God." ~ John 1:12-13 NIV

19 June 2011

Happy Father's Day

Today is Father's Day, celebrated in a variety of ways. What did you do for your dad this year? Like many, I was unable to share this day with my dad because he passed away in 2007. What is a dad? What makes a father?

It's been written in a variety of ways, but biology does not always a father make. Don't misunderstand, the interaction of male and female can, and often does, result in a child. This, however, does not always create a father. What is a father? (Or in my more familiar southern vernacular, a daddy?). A daddy is a one who takes care of his children, one who teaches his children, one who shows his children right from wrong, but most importantly (in my opinion) - LOVES his children. It doesn't require large amounts of money, it doesn't require the newest/nicest/fastest anything. Being a daddy is time consuming. Being a daddy can be heartbreaking. Being a daddy is probably the most rewarding and hardest job you will ever love. A daddy doesn't have to be a biological parent, he can come into this role through marriage, adoption, foster care, or other ways.

I had a truly blessed childhood. I didn't grow up wealthy, but I was rich in love and family. My daddy was a wonderful man! Daddy could make the simplest things fun ... just ask Cheryl what "todadump" means and I guarantee it will make her smile. Although I lost daddy four years ago, his legacy lives on. He left behind three children, one stepson, nine grandchildren, and one great grandchild. What did I learn from my daddy? I learned that to earn money, I would have to work for it. I learned that education is important. I learned that sometimes, things won't go your way, and that you have to learn from your mistakes and missteps and move forward. I learned that it's okay to cry, but no one particularly cares for a whiner. I learned that getting back up is a lot harder than falling down. One of the most important things that my daddy taught me? That a little faith and a whole bunch of hard work will usually get you where you want to be, and that God never leaves you. No matter what.

Our heavenly Father is always loving, forgiving, teaching, and strong. He made the ultimate sacrifice ... He gave his only son as payment for our sins, and made the price of entrance into heaven simply the belief and acceptance of him as our personal savior. What a father!

God, thank you for blessing me with my daddy for 43 years. Although I didn't want him to leave, I know that it was time for him to come to you. Thank you, God, for loving me just the way I am. Thank you for being my heavenly father. Happy Father's Day!

"Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother" - which is the first commandment with a promise - "so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."~Ephesians 6:1-3 NIV