We celebrated a very special birthday in our family yesterday. My dad turned 85! My siblings and I and our spouses (minus my sister who was out of town), celebrated Daddy with dinner out, birthday cake, and a movie my dad wanted to see—The Darkest Hour—because, as he said, “I remember those days!”
There are a lot of wonderful men in my life—my husband, our sons and sons-in-law, my brother, and many more—but along with Ken, my dad is at the top of the list of great men who’ve influenced my life, and especially men who have demonstrated what a Godly man looks like, and what a devoted husband and father looks like.
Daddy is not perfect and he’ll be the first to be sure you know that, but he is a perfect father to me, and I am so thankful to have him in my life. It has always been easy for me to understand the heart of a loving Father God because I have always known a loving daddy.
At a time when I was going through a pretty serious teenage rebellion, it was watching my dad (and my mom) closely, and realizing what lives of integrity they lived, that ultimately drew me back to the Lord and away from the destructive direction I was headed. When my parents told me they wanted me to follow God’s laws and live a certain way, they were already living that way themselves, demonstrating a holy life. My parents were exactly who they were at home as they were in public, and I admired that greatly.
More recently, through my mother’s illness and death, my dad beautifully demonstrated what he’d vowed to my mom on their wedding day: to be true and committed to her “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.”
My dad is also the best “Gramps” and “Great Gramps” a kid could ever ask for. Related or not, Daddy never met a baby he didn’t love, and I can’t remember any baby who ever met my dad that didn’t take an immediate liking to him. My parents did mission work in Florida and Haiti for many years, and the girls at the orphanage where they served adored my parents, but my dad especially. It used to tick off my good-natured mom just a little (because she adored babies too) that babies all over the world preferred Daddy over Mothe about 10-1.
I could write an entire book about the blessing my dad is in my life (and in many ways, I suppose I already have, as each of the heroes in my novels—especially the fathers—has a touch of my dad in his character). But this is only a blog post and not a novel, so suffice it to say I am blessed. Thank you, loving heavenly Father, for giving me an earthly father who showed me Who you are and teaches me by his life the way I want to live mine.