Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gratitude for my Daddy

I've begun the Boundless Summer Challenge, and so far it has been more challenging than I expected.  More reading and writing and soul-searching, as opposed to just little tasks one could pull off in 10 minutes.  I've gone from excitement about it to a bit of resentful grumpiness at feeling like I "have" to meditate on truth and be changed by it in a day.  But I think as long as I remember it's a bit of a discipline, a means for grace and for God to change or teach me as He will, no matter my apparent success or not, then I shall enjoy it much more.

Part of today's assignment is for guys to try to show love to a woman in their life (wife, mother, sister, etc.) and for girls to demonstrate respect to a significant man (husband, dad, brother, etc).  I decided to make a list of things I respect about my Dad, which I will list as this week's blessings.  :-) 

It's odd - part of me feels like that's cheating... But no, it's actually a sort of integration and melding of things God's been nudging me towards lately - recording my blessings, and increased gratefulness for my family.  The life He calls us to is hard, but it's also much simpler than I usually make it. 

I know I missed last week - out of town.  And yes, I know today's not Monday, again  It's barely even Tuesday anymore! Ah well. ;-)

Why my Daddy is Amazing 
(an only-the-tip-of-the-iceberg list)

16.   Once, when I was away at college and had major car problems, my Daddy came and rescued me.  He took the car to a shop and got the problem fixed.  He also got me my first cell phone around then, so I wouldn't get stuck on some lonely road again without being able to call for help.  I knew when he said "Call me if you need anything" that he meant it, even if it meant driving a long way.  I felt so cherished. Thanks, Daddy.

17.  He drives all the way from Houston (8+ hours) just to visit us on random weekends.

18.  He used to play The Bug Game with us on the living room floor ages ago.  If you're wondering what The Bug Game is, good reader, I'm afraid it's rather beyond description.  Let's just say it involved wrestling, tickling, increasingly challenging levels, and at least four of us piled up on the "Bug" at some point.  We probably asked every night, to the point of extreme annoyance: "Daddy, are you tired?" (translation: not "Daddy, how was work? We care about you and hope you get some rest now" but actually "Do you have enough energy saved to be the Bug for our entertainment?")  It was always the highlight of the night when dear Daddy was not too tired to play.  Or, perhaps my grown-up eyes can see a bit better now... I'm sure you were actually still tired some of those times, Daddy, but you played with us anyways.    

19.  My Daddy is clever and great at fixing things.  He's an engineer, but not just of drilling rigs and computer programs.  He engineers things like homemade boats, and clamps, and who knows what else.  He's a very hard worker

20.  He was brave enough to have six kids, and helped my mom through the pain and sorrow of several miscarriages and losing little Elliot (who died several days after his birth).  I say it takes a brave man to keep on trusting God for whatever children He might want to give after that!  If he hadn't, if he had said, "Four is enough," then my two youngest brothers, Isaac and Whit, would not be here.

21.  He and my mom decided before any of us came along that they wanted to teach their kids at home... back before they even knew such a thing was called homeschooling.  I am ever so grateful they chose to be radical in that way, and I'm excited and hopefully to one day carry on that legacy of homeschooling and really knowing my kids.

22.  He and my mom did some deep theological study before us kids were born.  I know that's a huge reason why I grew up with such a biblical foundation, and probably partly why I find theology so interesting - it was talked about often at our house, outside, in the car, as we walked along the way...

23.  My Daddy taught himself Russian, y'all!  He went over there for work, and decided he'd rather make the effort to learn to speak to language, rather than go the boring way of always using interpreters.  He got so good, actually, that some Russians couldn't detect an American accent when he spoke! You know, once you're grown, it's supposedly far harder to learn a new language than it is for children.  Well, my Daddy laughed in the face of such odds, and learned one. Good example for me.  It's never too late to learn a language, or a new instrument, or any such thing.

24.  He has this awesome manly engineer handwriting.  :-) 

25.  He's got a great sense of humor.

26.  He likes a good cup of tea.

27.  Whenever he comes to see us, he usually brings us each a Breakfast-on-a-Bun in the morning.  Yum! :-)

28.  He's got the coolest blue-grey eyes.

29.  He reads my blog. :-)  Not just any dad would make that effort to know what his daughter's been doing, even amid all my rambling and non-informative posts.

30.  Even though he's not perfect (neither am I!), he's one of my heroes, striving for wisdom and faithfulness and goodness, doing what he can to take care of the people in his life.  I am so blessed to be your daughter. :-)  I am so blessed to call you Daddy.


  1. Very thoughtful list Rael. I'm sure your dad will cherish what you have to say.

    About the Summer Challenge: I think it would be cool if you keep writing about your experiences in it on your blog. Perhaps that could give you some motivation and support to persevere though it as well

    Whatever you do, I'd like to hear more of it.

  2. That's an amazing list. Makes me want to sit down and think about what a good daddy I have and to tell him why. Thanks for the post!