Father’s Day has always been a fun holiday to celebrate.

I had a great Dad. And I married above my pay grade.

Dad would always make a fuss about our homemade gifts when we were little. He was a grateful man. We felt like the best kids in the world because he made us feel so special.

My husband has been cut out of the same cloth. He’s a generous-hearted, kind, caring dad who has loved his kids well.13442579_887414258258_2132188713963292345_o-1

I celebrated this day without either of them.

Dad died fourteen years ago. Before his time. I still miss him and the impact he might have had on my kids.

John is in Thailand, running a conference. Working behind the scenes to cause the dreams of others to work. It’s what he does well.

I miss them both.

I’m fortunate. John’s coming back in a week. This is the man who attended a bazillion soccer games for all six of our kids. He now attends his grandkids’ games. He loves them all well and has given them a better picture of a loving heavenly Father by how he’s treated them with grace, kindness and always being there for them.

My memories of Dad are sweet. He was a gracious, loving man who thoroughly enjoyed his kids. He taught us how to play poker, how to bluff with the best of them, and how to not take ourselves seriously. He knew when to laugh and how to choose battles worth fighting.

72482895-ff17-409d-a246-3641bde49a9aI’ve friends whose dads are best forgotten. Others never knew their dads because they weren’t in their lives much at all. Still more who didn’t finish well with their dads–death ended any opportunities for forgiveness and restoration.

I’ve friends who’ve found father figures in others. In grandpas, uncles and neighbors who cared. Men who took the time to impact a young life with character, love and a toughness that always seems to mask that marshmallow heart.

I’ve friends who’ve never had that fatherly relationship with anyone.

We’ve all got that need for a Dad in our lives. Not necessarily biological, but intentional. To help a young boy know the true meaning of being a man of character, integrity and kindness. To teach a young girl that she has beauty and value far superior to appearance.

There are no perfect dads.

No matter how great the capacity for kindness and grace a father has, any child can push those reserves to the tipping point. Where sane interaction blossoms into anger.

We’ve all got gaps. Great intentions don’t bridge those spaces where our dark hearts take over and we say and do hurtful things.

I know the truth of that as a mom.

God bridges those gaps in our lives. Giving us a love that doesn’t fail. Promising to never leave us once we’re His.

Does that mean we’re kept from hard things? No. We’re given His strength to get through them.

Does it mean we get everything we want? Not all things are good for us.

As a Father, God provides opportunities for us to become people of integrity and character.

Father does know best after all.

 

4 responses »

  1. So so beautiful. All of it. And great men in your life pointing to a good good Father.

  2. mackeylois says:

    Dayle, I admit you married above your pay grade in John – and he’s coming back! I did also, in Curt! [I didn’t know your Dad!] I agree with you that there are NO perfect Dads! It’s a good thing that GOD IS and HE PROVIDES the CHARACTER and INTEGRITY for us to become THAT!! Blessings and Love to you both in HIM!

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