The Makes of a Great Dad

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It was one of the first things I said about you. And we weren’t yet dating. I wasn’t taking notes, simply observing from afar the obvious. You with nephews climbing all over you. Joy beaming from your face. The undivided attention you gave. We were only 18 and I knew enough to say it out loud to my roommate.

“He’s going to make a great dad.”

We were only 18 and God knew. As He wove the details in place so intricately. Ensuring we would be at the right place at the right time. He knew. You were going to be the future dad of my very own children.

I’ve spent nearly half of my life now admiring you. Delighting in your sense of humor. Growing with you on our spiritual journey. Learning with you on this road we call life. But nothing has compared to the last 4 years. As my pre-conceived notions have been proven true.

You make a great dad.

And I pray when our boy is 18, he will know. How blessed he is to have had you for a father. That a lot of what he has become is a result of you. I am striving to already help him see the gifts given to us through you. So when he is 18 he can agree.

He has a great dad.

On this day I set aside each week. To share thanks in this space, I want to show you what I see when I look at you. My husband, the love of my life. The father of my sons. This is what I see:

  • You leave your job at the door. Our 4 year-old knows nothing about looming deadlines and government regulations. All he knows is when you walk through that door, he becomes your everything.
  • You work so hard to provide. We never go without. Yet you don’t let that consume you for you realize time is a priceless commodity. And you always make sure your time spent proves where your values are placed.
  • You listen and apply what you have heard. From our son. From me. From God. You hear and you respond. What comfort is found when we know. That when we speak our hearts to you, the words don’t wash off. They permeate and find a safe home.
  • You display what a child of the King looks like. And I see our son soaking it all in. From singing praise to reading devotions and every prayer time in-between. Our son knows who you turn to. He sees the reflection of our Heavenly Father through you.
  • Selfishness is not in your vocabulary. You can’t even see how to possibly be one. All you know how to do is give. And with it, I hope you can say we all receive.

I’m honored to have a front row seat as I watch you in your element. Taking on the role He has given you with such dedication. I could go on and on and I will. Every day. As I thank God for making you a great dad.

How about you, friend? When you look at your dad or the dad of your children, what are you grateful for? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Please, join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

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A Father’s Love

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The summer sun pierced through the shapely green oak leaves. Whispers of grass tickled my ankles as I waded along the private island encircled by our gravel drive.

This was my first time, although the calendar promised others. My mom had suggested I wait inside, but those walls could not contain me. I was too drenched in anticipation to sit idly by. The tide couldn’t have held me back from this Tuesday’s Noon.

My hands swished along my favorite shorts and I found myself wondering if I should have worn a skirt instead. What does a 9 year-old girl wear while going on a father-daughter lunch date, anyway? Would he be able to leave work like anticipated? And then I saw him. The knight in shining armor. My Dad in a red Astro van, ascending up the drive.

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Blink and you’ll find me in middle school on the most dreaded day of the year. For a boyfriendless, preteen girl whose mouth felt like a maze of metal that is. Yes. You know the one. Valentine’s Day.

And as I sat in English, awaiting test results, the door cracked open. In came the Principle’s Secretary carrying a bouquet of flowers. I immediately went into survival mode for I had to plan my I’m-not-disappointed face. While trying to decide what I would say to the lucky receiver, one word made my mind freeze. Did I hear her right? Did she just say my name?

Shock anchored me to my seat, so she met me there and handed me the cellophane-wrapped handful of beauty. Being certain she made a mistake, I ripped open the card. And could have burst right then and there on the asbestos-infused tile.

I’d receive that same card years later, only this time 3 hours separated the two of us. When I called to thank him, he asked me to describe what I had received. “I wanted something that would last longer this time,” he said. Never had I pampered something so. I gave that plant mist baths, stroked its leaves. Named him Coby. And that Jack-in-the-pulpit and I thrived together through the next two years of college.

So did a message on my answering machine. And my mind travels to that late night following my algebra study group. When I found my two roommates hovering over the old wooden crate stand by our phone. Both burst into excitement when they saw me and it took me pressing the green triangle for them to quiet down.

My dad’s deep tenor voice followed as he unabashedly sang into the receiver. The song that had ended my days so many times before. All those years, my roommates and I never erased that message. And sometimes I would catch one of them hitting play before tucking in for the night. It seems our desire to be wooed to sleep never goes away. And the phrase ‘goodnight sweetheart’ never grows sour.

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Friends, with Father’s day approaching, I find myself reminiscent of my experiences with the man who holds that title for me. There’s so much I could share with you. Because no matter how I look at it, my Dad is a deep reason for me being who I am today.

You might remember my Mother’s Day Utterance. My first discovery while reading Proverbs 31. How I shared lessons learned from my very own mother (post is found HERE). Friends, I’m thinking I’ll do something like that for my dad this year, too. I’ll write lessons I’ve learned from him. Maybe mail him memories like these above. Ones that still captivate my heart.

And perhaps I’ll succeed. I might just switch roles and let him know. Unabashedly. How much I think of him. My first date. My first valentine. The one who sang love right into my soul. And maybe he’ll see. How I still carry the love he poured down on me so many years ago.

How about you, friend? Do you have fond memories of your dad? How do you plan to honor him this year? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki