Sunday, May 15, 2011

Reflections about my Fathers

Great Grandpop. He lived to be 101 years exactly. What a privilege to have known him into my 30's. He taught me how to love the sound of laughter. His laugh was hilarious and contagious! I loved to say things just to hear him laugh. He laughed hard when us great grand children would say the few silly things that we knew how to say in Pennsylvania dutch. More seriously, he taught me about wisdom, strength, and silence. He taught me something about listening more and speaking less...something that I probably won't really learn until I am older.

PopPop. He taught me about serving others and certainly proved that you can never know too many people. PopPop can't go anywhere without knowing someone. He has taught me kindness and gentleness toward others. He has always taught me through his actions, to remember others. He often set time aside to do special things with us kids. I remember evening bike rides, walks, games,fishing, rides in the back of the pick-up truck, and the special "me and Pop Pop" trip to the Phillie's game! PopPop also taught me how to address my Father in heaven. I crave to hear his Sunday dinner prayers. "Our kind and heavenly Father....use this food.. there of to bring glory and honor to You." These words will never leave my heart. In some of my darkest moments, the echo's of his prayers have comforted me.

Grandpa. Although he did not live close by, he taught me so many things through what he taught my Dad. Grandpa taught me about being a good steward of what God has given to me. My Dad would often say...."Grandpa always said that it doesn't matter how much or how little you had, you must take good care of it because it is what God has entrusted into your care." Grandpa also taught me about working hard. He raised my dad on a farm, teaching him the value of hard work....being a steward of our time. In turn, Dad taught me about working hard. Grandpa also taught me to enjoy music. What a blessing it is to sit around his table as a family and hear four part harmony as we sang our favorite hymns before prayer.

My Dad. He is truly one of my best friends. I love to chat with him, and to spend time together. He taught me to enjoy nature. Growing up,we spent lots of time traveling with our camper. Dad taught me to enjoy the beauty of God's creation. He taught me how to work and how to play. Dad taught me how to provide sacrificially. Dad spent many hours away from home as he has driven a truck for most of my life. Although he would have liked to be home, he desired to be the best provider for our family as he could be. I have learned to give up things that I desire in order to give my children what they need.
Although I am still learning this one, Dad has taught me about patience. He patiently waited as I learned to do things..anywhere from riding a bike to driving my car, and he patiently guided me as I sorted through my spiritual life as a teenager. Dad taught me how to relate to others and to enjoy the company of others. Dad always reminds me to examine my ways before the Lord. He continues to guide me to be a godly woman.

My father in law. I have been his "daughter" for 18 years now. He has taught me about gennerosity toward others and about giving. He has also shown me about forgiveness...over and over and over again. I love to listen to my kids giggle as he tells them bedtime stories when he comes to visit. He taught my husband how to work hard, and equipped him with the ability to do just about anything! And, now I am blessed to see them use those talents together as they serve in Haiti.

My husband. The father of my four beautiful children. One of the first things I loved about him when I met him was the way he loved children. "He is going to be an awesome daddy someday!" That was one quality that was at the top of my list! I have always loved to watch him with little kids. What a blessing it has been to watch him love and play with our children over the past 13 years. He has proven to be more than an awesome father, not only to our children, but to others. I love to watch him father the children in Haiti. They come running to him and can't wait to be with him. He doesn't push them away. He loves them too.
He is strong, confident, and works hard to provide for his family. He teaches his children to love and fear God, not only through words, but through his example. He has bravely done what most fathers never have to do in their lifetime. He is showing us how to walk in faith each day. Even in great weakness, he has picked himself up, and walked forward. He teaches me so much about who God God loves his children, how God provides, how He forgives. He is showing us how to walk in faith each day. God has given me the best father for my children!

God has blessed me with generations of wonderful fathers. I am so thankful for each one of them, and for the things they have taught me, and continue to teach me.

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