A while back (around mother's day) I mentioned how often I forget to truly be thankful for what and who we have in our lives. God has given us so much to be thankful for, yet sometimes we just go about our day and completely ignore it and focus on either the tasks at hand or find something to worry about. As I think about it, I wonder if that's why the Israelites always seemed to have problems while walking in the desert. Was God just trying to help them realize all the good in their lives before giving them something better? Does He ever do that to us?
Anyway, back to the main point.
I am thankful for my dad. I am thankful that he was always a part of my life and was a stable fixture in my life. He has always loved me in a way that was reflective of who God is. He taught me how to love my kids, how to teach them, how to spend time with them, and how to want to spend time with them.
We have had our fair share of issues over the years, but he has always loved me no matter what. As you may know, over a year ago, we moved back and I have been able to spend more time with him in the past year than I have the previous 6 years combined. It has been a blessing to be able to do that. Not only that, but my kids have had more of an opportunity to really get to know him (and my mom). I know it is something that they will always remember and will have a definite impact in their life.
My dad has spent a large amount of time teaching me how to work on things (or fix things for me) which I hope to someday be able to do for my kids. With the past year holding numerous car problems and a few house problems I couldn't imagine trying to do what we have done this past year anywhere else. Life for sure would have been a lot more stressful.
I have lots of memories of doing different things with my dad, but I love the fact that I am getting to build new memories with him. I get to appreciate the time. It is amazing how as kids and teenagers we often don't want anything to do with our parents, but as we get older we can realize how much we really wanted/needed them in our lives.
Over the past few months, my eyes have been opened to the effects on kids (who grow into adults) when a father isn't present in their life. Realizing the importance has really shaped my desires for me to have a good relationship with my kids, but has also made me appreciate even more the fact that I always had a dad I could count on.
He spent hours encouraging me, loving me, and teaching me about life. He would take of work to drive hours to see me run a race or two and was always there tell me good job, even when I had a terrible time. While I understood some of what he gave up back then, I am more aware of it now, and hope that I am able to show my kids that same kind of support as they grow older.
Thank you dad for all that you have done for me over the years. You have given me a great example of a dad and have helped shape me to be a better dad to my kids. I love you.