Sunday, June 20, 2010

Focus on family

...And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him...
Colossians 3:14-25

My daddy was just shy of his 24th birthday when I was born. In and of itself, that tidbit of information isn't very noteworthy. The fact that I was part of a second set of twins--born just 16 short months after a first set--makes this detail a bit more interesting. At 23 years old, my father was responsible for four babies under the age of two.

Were he living today, I thought about what I would say to my dad in recognition of this Father's Day. I believe my tribute would include the following.

How many times did you lie awake in the dark hours of the night, Daddy, wrestling with the unknown and fighting the uncertainty of how to care for your young family? Thank you for your bravery. You worked the land day in and day out to provide a roof over our heads, put food on the table, give us clothes to wear, and grant us a sound education. Thank you for your gift of determination.

You shared your rich, tenor voice and handed down your passion for singing. I cherish the memories watching you glide across the dance floor with mom in your arms. Thank you for passing on to me the joy of song and dance.

Thank you for loving Mom and modeling how a man should honor and respect the mother of his children. When it came to discipline, you demonstrated how a "look" garnered as much respect, if not more, than a "hand." You taught me the value of working hard, living within my means, setting aside money in savings, and being a good neighbor. How I treasure you showing me how to live with integrity.

Most of all, Pop, thank you for bringing me to the Lord and helping me embrace what it means to be part of the body of Christ. With love, your grateful daughter.

It's been said that raising a family today is, quite simply, harder than it was 50 years ago. With an overabundance of electronic gadgetry, a plethora of personal comforts, and an assortment of activities, parents struggle with a seemingly endless array of distractions. It's hard to keep life simple. Sometimes I wonder, however, if there are indeed more things today that distract us. Or, as in every generation before, do we simply need to choose to focus on the thing that matters.

I'm forever thankful to have had an earthly father who chose to focus on his family.

Happy Father's Day!
Faithfully Following

PS A fifth child was born to my father 15 months after my birth; followed by another son 13 years later.

1 comment:

  1. How blessed we were to have had such a wonderful father! I sure do miss him!