Sunday, June 21, 2015

My Dad: The Leader and The Anchor

Since Mom got a Mother's Day post I can't leave Dad out. I was pretty blessed growing up. I didn't realize for the longest time how blessed I actually was. In our world today there is a shortage of real fathers. The absentee father is an aspect of life that is all too well known to most people. I am blessed because this is something that I've never had any first-hand experience with.

My dad has always been there. I literally cannot think back on one time in my life when I wanted my dad and he wasn't there. He never missed any recitals, plays, or concerts. He was at every vacation and sports event (even though I spent most of those on the bench). He has always been a hard worker and has been an incredible provider for our family, especially since my mom made the difficult decision to be a stay at home mom around the time my brother was born. He has always worked hard, and his job has always involved travel, but he always balanced his work and home life so well that his job never caused him to be absent. A lot of men believe that you can't go far in your job AND be everything you need to be at home. My dad proves that you can.

In recent years, certain experiences have opened my eyes to how rare of a father mine is. I can think back to the day and the moment I realized what an incredible father I had. The details of that day aren't necessary to share, but I remember calling him crying just to thank him for being the best daddy a girl could ask for. I'm pretty sure I surprised him because displays of emotion are not my strong suit.

I wouldn't be who I am with out Eddie Chancellor. We are just alike. I think of all 4 of his kids, I am the one most like him. We think alike, we look alike, and we act alike. Because of this, I think my dad and I understand each other better than most father-daughter pairs. Neither of us are good with emotional displays (although he is getting softer in his later years). We both get dumber as we get angrier, which tends to make us angrier, which tends to make us dumber. . . it's a vicious cycle. Mom and Jake and the ones who usually benefit from that annoying trait. We both have a tendency to get very passionate about certain things. We are both stubborn. We both tend to have selective hearing. And we both love with everything we have. We are fiercely loyal. We don't quit. Neither of us knows anything about tact and we say what we feel regardless of how it sounds. We don't hide who we are. 

Daddy's are always special to their baby girls. I'm blessed to have grown up with a father who knew that my siblings and I were watching his every move. He knew that we were paying attention to how he treated my mom. He used to take me on dates when I was a little girl. He would do things like open the door, pull out my chair, pay for everything and he would tell me with each thing he did, "Now if you ever go on a date with a boy who doesn't do this for you, don't let him take you out again." He knew that he wasn't just setting an example for me to follow as I grew up, he was showing me how I deserved to be treated by my husband one day. 

My dad has a temper, like I do, but he never let it get the best of him. Like I said, he knew we were watching. I saw my parents argue growing up, but they never blew up. Dad always kept his cool with mom. He never called her any derogatory names, he never threatened her, and they always always always made sure to let us see them make up. He loved her and he loves her still. They made sure that I grew up knowing that marriage isn't a fairy tale everyday, that you have to work at it, but that isn't an excuse to lose it on your spouse. 

Mom and Dad were always on the same page. I knew better than to ask one not to tell something to the other. They both always told me that they never keep secrets, and they never have. They still don't. My dad showed me what a husband should be as much as he showed me what a father should be. 

I am my father's daughter and I'm proud of it. There is no other daddy in the world as amazing as my daddy. 

I always feel a little guilty talking about how wonderful my dad is. He is a leader, he is strong, he has more integrity in his little finger than most men do in their entire bodies. He has a faith that cannot be shaken. I can't say it enough, I am blessed. 

But I know that everyone isn't as blessed as I am. I know that not every father is like mine. I know that some people only see their dads once a year if they're lucky. I know that some have never met their fathers or don't even know who they are. Some fathers are around occasionally, but not often. Some set terrible examples for their children that involve cheating, lies, and disappointment over and over again. Some dear friends of mine have lost their fathers far too soon and have to spend Father's Day remembering instead of celebrating. My heart goes out to all of these children, each fatherless in their own way. For some of you, Father's Day is not a day to be thankful for all your father has done for you. For some, Father's Day is just another day and for others it is a day full of sadness and disappointment. 

Here is something else my father taught me, and it might be the most important thing I could have learned from him. I know you've probably heard it before, but we all have a Heavenly Father who loves us more than our earthly fathers ever can. And I know that this hardly seems like much of a consolation at first. It's hard to substitute a concrete, flesh and blood father with one who seems so hard to reach. But he isn't hard to reach. He knows you intimately and he genuinely cares about you. I'm sorry for the cheese, I just can't write a post discussing my incredible father without my heart going out to those who have less than stellar fathers. God the Father is the only one who can soothe the pain of a fatherless child. 

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called Children of God. And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1

"Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?" Malachi 2:10

"But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless." Psalm 10:14

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling." Psalm 68:5

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