May 9, 2013

Family Spotlight {Dad}

A little note:
It has been so humbling to sit down and write each of these Family Spotlight posts. I am heartbroken by the reality that many people have been sincerely wounded by members of their family. I wish I could hug all of you! My intention for writing these posts is not to portray my family as perfect or problem-free, but to publicly thank each of them for the ways they have shown me love and contributed to the person I am today.

Readers, allow me to introduce you to Terry!

I respect and admire my dad so much, and I am extremely grateful that the Lord saw fit to make me his daughter. He has been an incredible example of godliness and humility to our whole family.

I love my dad for so many reasons; it was really hard to even know where to start this post. I have so much I want to say! He is one of the most consistent, loving, and selfless people I know. Here are a few things about him that I am most grateful for:

He leads by example.
My dad is not a super outspoken guy, but his actions communicate volumes. He is an amazing teacher, and I appreciate so much that he never passed up an opportunity to help me learn. I have great memories of our father-daughter teaching moments: learning to ride a bike, how to play Stratego, and be a defensive driver. From a very young age he also taught me how to love and honor the people in my life, how to manage my money with generosity, what it means to be thankful, and how to have a growing relationship with the Lord. His words were powerful- he always approached a teaching moment with gentleness and love- but it was his actions that made his words worth hearing. He practices every single thing he preaches. I learned what it meant to love and honor the people in my life because I saw my dad welcome others with open arms and go out of his way to show them the love of Christ. I learned how to manage my money with generosity because I saw my dad forego life's bells and whistles in order to meet the needs of those who were less fortunate. I learned what it meant to be thankful because I can think of zero times I heard my dad grumble or complain. I learned how to have a growing relationship with the Lord because I woke up every morning to see my dad spending time in prayer and studying his Bible. His consistency is absolutely incredible, and I am so thankful for the example he set for my siblings and me.

He treasures his family.
One of my sisters asked me recently if I was going to cry the whole time I wrote this post. As we've gotten older, my siblings and I have talked so many times about how blessed we are to have grown up with a dad like ours. He is truly an unbelievable husband and father. His desire to live a life that reflects Christ and draws others to Him is inspiring, and this love is totally evident in the way he cares for his family. He is a very disciplined and hard-working man, but he always kept an amazing balance between work and family. He rarely missed a sporting event or band concert, and usually arrived with camcorder in tow to capture the good memories. He planned regular daddy-daughter dates for my sisters and me- taking us shopping for new clothes and treating us to dinner at special restaurants. It still makes my heart happy to this day when I see dads spending one-on-one time with their little girls, because I know how precious those memories will be. 

I watched my dad not only spend quality time with my mom, but shower her with compliments and encouragement. He coached my brother's soccer teams and spent countless weekends playing basketball in the driveway or helping with homework. I know that there were always other things that needed his attention, but he was willing to put the household repairs, financial plans, and vehicle maintenance on hold to make time for us. As a working wife and homeowner who is regularly overwhelmed by the demands of life without children, I am totally in awe of the way he managed to so tangibly cherish his family without letting work and responsibilities fall through the cracks.

He is a memory-maker.
I 'm sure that going on a family outing with five kids was kind of crazy, and loud, and sometimes embarrassing. But I'm so thankful that it never stopped my parents from making sure that we enjoyed the time we spent together as a family. I know that all of my siblings would agree- we had a really fun childhood. My dad was a master at turning even the smallest activity into a full-of-life experience. He didn't just take us to fly kites on a Saturday afternoon. He took us on a kite flying adventure, where we sent magic notes to the sky. And when giant spools slipped out of tiny hands, he patiently drove us all over the neighborhood searching for our tree-ridden treasure. Things like going for a bike ride, taking a quick trip to the gas station, or ordering pizza on a Friday night were big deals because my dad was intentional about exemplifying what it meant to enjoy simple moments in life. He could build up excitement over the plainest things. I even grew up thinking that wheat bread was a treasure because my dad would get so excited that a new loaf had come home from the store. Overall, I'm just so thankful that he put such great effort into making memories for us, and I'm so glad that he is a part of them!

Love you Dad!

P.S.- Since it's so close to mother's day, I should also send you to read about my awesome mama over here.

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