My dad’s heart

So? It’s Father’s Day. For some it’s a special day. For other’s it’s a day that can be difficult. For those of you who are new parents or who will be new parents, God bless you. When you are with your kids, hold on to them tight. Take lots of pictures. Remember every second you have with them. Cherish every moment. Because in a blink of an eye, you’ve sent them off into the world and you hope and pray that the God of the universe will provide cover for them and be their guide. You go from telling them to go to bed as kids to hoping they’re getting enough sleep as they stay up all night studying for a final or if they’re out spending time with friends.

I’m speechless that it was just yesterday that we were carrying them around in our arms. I can still smell the diaper cream and can still hear the sounds of them giggling and hearing them cry when they were teething or had a fever. I do not take for granted that Debbie and I are super blessed to have three amazing kids. There have been joys and there have been some valleys, but they make us happy, we’re super proud of them and I know God is providing the cover they need each and every day for them in a world that has its ups and downs.

For whatever the reasons, I know today is hard for some and I acknowledge this and I indeed lift up prayers for you today. For those of you who grieve the loss of maybe your father or a parent today, I very much understand. My dad died several years ago over complications due to alcoholism. I miss my dad. There are days I wish he was still alive. I wish our kids could have gotten to know my dad. Dad, was actually at our wedding back in 1990. That was the last time, we really spent time with my dad.

I’m not sure of my father’s faith. I do know that he took a risk one day, when his boss invited him to church and my father refused the invitation. My father worked for a man by the name of Mr. Young at a print shop in Hollywood. Mr. Young invited my dad to church and he said no. Mr. Young wouldn’t give up though and asked him if he had kids. My dad said yes. The next thing you know, dad is walking us to church.

Dad, had his license taken away during the late seventies for drunk driving. We took the bus every where. We walked every where. I remember walking to church with my dad every Sunday. Dad, would walk us to Sunday school until we were old enough to walk to church ourselves. Although my dad struggled with his alcoholism and was verbally and physically abusive to not only me, my brothers, and my mom, he indeed dealt with some personal struggles and some demons.

Here’s what I’ve come to figure out in my life and it’s taken some time to get to this place. Of course with God’s help. Somewhere in my dad, he had a heart. He knew if he’d just took us kids to church, maybe something or someone would do something in our lives that he couldn’t give to us or do for us. Around the rough edges of an alcoholic man from Iowa, my dad had a heart and I believe God had placed upon my dad’s heart God’s purpose for God’s church. If it weren’t for the church in my life, I do not know where I’d be today. If it weren’t for the role of the church in my life, I’d not be where I am at today.

If I were to write a prayer for my kids, this is what it would be. My prayer  is that they would know my heart for them. Just in case you happen to stop by and skim through my feeble attempts at blogging, know that you are loved. I am proud of you more than you’ll ever know. I pray for you often and I won’t stop praying for you. You’re mom and I  are blown away by the men you’ve become and are becoming and I know God isn’t done with you. I know there will be ups and downs. I know there will be moments you’ll need us and moments where you’ll want space.

At the end of the day, I know with all of my heart, that I’m thankful that I get to be your dad and that there’s nothing you can say nor do that will ever change my love for you.

Please Lord, bless my kids. God protect them today. God keep them safe. Guide their steps. Give them community. Give them friends and keep them locked in and focused on what it means to follow you.

Most of all, give them your heart.

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