Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Let Me Tell You A Secret About a Father's Love....

Father's Day has always brought about many mixed emotions and feelings within me. First there was excitement. As a young girl my sister and I always looked forward to that special Sunday to wake up our daddy extra early to give him priceless treasures-soap on a rope, World's Best Dad t-shits, caps, coffee mugs, and various high-end colognes such as Brut and Jovan Musk. Much later in life, this day brought dread. After miscarrying in my early twenties and faced with genetic issues, I wasn't sure I would ever be able to have children. Mother's Day was hard, but Father's Day was brutal. I felt like I was failing my husband by denying him the blessing of being a dad. My heart would break into as the children at church would pass out candy to their dads and I would watch  Michael struggle to smile as some sweet child would bring him one too. Next came joy. When Hannah and Micah were born, I finally could anticipate the arrival of Father's Day with the same excitement I experienced as a child. We wake early and make Michael biscuits and chocolate gravy and present him with cards and some gadget or article of clothing to thank him for being such a great dad. Then, dread began to creep back into this day when my daddy, and then my grandfather passed away. Father's Day lost some of its appeal once again, and as the day got closer, the joy was replaced with sadness as the absence of Daddy and Papa John would hang heavy on my heart. Even though they are missed everyday, I realized how unfair it is to Michael, the father of my children, to not fully celebrate this day. Therefore, I dedicate this post to him, and hope he knows how much the girls and I love him and appreciate the sacrifices he makes for us.

There are many reasons Michael is such a good dad, so I have organized them into a top 10 list of words to describe him.
10. Long-suffering- as the father of 2 girls, he has sat(suffered) through Barney and Blue's Clues Live concerts, Disney Princesses on Ice, the Hannah Montana movie, and numerous other girlie movies, songs, doll house building, stuffed animal hugging, etc with grace and very little eye-rolling.
9. Pool Boy- Michael works tirelessly to get the Ballard pool up and running each summer. He spends many hot days scrubbing, cleaning, and checking water samples, as the 3 girls in his life whine and ask, "When is it going to be ready?!?!". He does this for us because he seldom swims in the pool but comes home each day from work smiling to see us enjoying it.
8. Goes the Extra-Mile- Michael goes the extra mile to keep the girls happy. For example, when Hannah was a baby, I rocked her to sleep each night with her Raggedy Ann doll that played a lullaby. One Sunday night at bedtime we realized the doll had been left at church-in Edmonton-30 miles away. I tried unsuccessfully to get Hannah to sleep without her, but she wasn't having it. So at 10:30 on a Sunday night, Michael takes off to get the doll, knowing that Hannah won't go to sleep without it. (She fell asleep 5 minutes before he got home.)
7. Supportive- He encourages the girls to follow their dreams, work hard in school, and to have success in life. As do most parents, we want our kids to have things in life that we didn't, but Michael goes beyond material things and encourages them to  have good, wholesome lives, and to appreciate what really matters in life.
6. Fun-loving- Just last night, Micah came home from Vacation Bible School laughing so hard she could barely talk and with a sparkle in her eyes. "Mama! You should've seen Daddy!! He hula-hooped at church!! In front of the whole church!!" (I would have NEVER done that!) And Hannah's friends will never forget the Halloween tractor ride through what Michael called the haunted woods and the random scary stories he made up as he drove them through the dark night. (Insert evil laugh here.)
5. Protective- Anyone that knows Michael is aware of the fierce protectiveness he has for his family. Admittedly, sometimes this could be dialed down a notch, but it is a great quality in a dad. Right or wrong, the girls always know he has their backs, and when I tell them to deal with it, or don't express the empathy I should, they always go to their daddy for someone to be on their side.
4. Provider- Michael works hard to make sure the girls have everything they need and most of what they want. He seldom spends money on himself, and on the rare occasion that he does, he feels guilty about it. Again, I wish he could balance this good trait with a little selfishness, but he'd rather the girls and I have things than himself. Hannah asked him why he didn't play golf anymore. He blew it off and said he didn't have time. I explained to Hannah that he'd rather take the money he would've spent on golfing and spend it on us. Which leads to the next quality....
3. Giving- Michael's generosity doesn't stop at his family. Although he tries to act like he's tight and stingy, he is very generous. he gives to our church, angel trees, benefits, and helps out others in their time of need. He also gives his time, prayers, and compassion toward others, without wanting any credit, just for the sake of giving.
2. Christian husband- One of the best examples fathers can set is to be a Christian husband, and I can say I am so blessed in this area. It is said that girls will marry someone with traits that are similar to their fathers. If that's true I don't have to worry about my girls marrying a dead-beat man who will not treat them like the princesses they are.
1. Christian dad- I am so thankful that my children have a good role model as a father. They see him read the Bible, hear him talk of praying for others, and realize that their dad made a vow to God to raise his family in church. Michael puts God first and his daughters will never have to wonder where he stands on issues. In the crazy world we are living in, it is so reassuring to me that I have a partner and we have God on our side.

Michael is a wonderful father, but like all of us, he is not perfect, and as a family, we have had our ups and downs. We are not a storybook family. At times we are more like a dysfunctional reality show. But I can't think of anyone else I could pick to be a better father to my children or husband to me.

As you celebrate Father's Day, I hope you can spend time with your father and let them know how much they mean to you. If you are like me and your dad has passed on, I pray sweet memories to fill your day.

In closing, when I think about a Father's love- how much my daddy loved me and how much Michael adores his girls, I am astounded to think how much more our heavenly Father loves us. As parents we would gladly lay down our lives for our kids. But God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son. Wow. I hope we can all remember this on those days or moments in time when we feel like no one loves us.
Happy Father's Day,

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