Happy Father’s Day to You!

As I sat there preparing for Father’s Day weekend and enjoying a great lunch with my little family, we received a text from a precious friend who is about to say goodbye to the love of her life who has fought valiantly in his battle with cancer. Just an hour prior, I was speaking to a mom who tragically lost her husband last fall and listened while she shared her heart of the struggle, challenges and faith to which she clings. My mind thinks of so many more who will shed tears instead of celebrating this Father’s Day…

We are never guaranteed tomorrow. We are not even promised our next breath. Cherish the moments you have. Make the encounters account for more than just whispers on the wind…

Almost fifteen years ago, I said goodbye to the one man whom I loved as a Dad. He was my grandfather, but he was with me every step of the way. No one will ever be able to take his place in my heart. I miss him to this day, and I will always cherish the memories we made. 


After 40+ years of brokenness, my biological dad and I have a reconciled relationship of acquaintances being built. It will never become what it should have been, and even though, my heart still aches for the little girl who had dreams for what could have been, I appreciate the reality of what is. My soul breathes a little deeper with the hope we now have. 


Thirty-two years ago, a man walked into my life and became a father he’d never had the chance to be. To many, a stepdad is just a man, one who lives in the house, pays the bills and sets the rules. This man came in and became a father. He had his own mistakes, and I had mine. We kind of grew into this thing together. It might not be the best father-daughter scenario, nor one of perfection, but it is one of love. For that, I am grateful. 


No matter where you find yourself today, whether you are in your Daddy’s arms, or at the graveside, saying goodbye one more time, or saying hello to a new relationship, or trying to figure out what to do with all the pain and sorrow of those yesteryears, there is One who will be there for you always. Place your heart in His hands, for, He will carry you through, and He will never leave you. ❤️

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His Delight

Over my lifetime, I’ve heard so many people talk about how God is our Father…that He’s really like our “Daddy.” He’s the one who delights in us. He’s the one who thinks we are precious; we are the apple of His eye; we are simply like a treasured child in His sight. He loves us that much.
I am precious in my Daddy’s sight
This analogy is great… unless you never had a Dad who delighted in who you were as a child. This is a wonderful illustration for those of understanding; however, for those of us who grew up without a dad present, without a father who showered us with hugs and smiles, without a Daddy who daily convinced us of His love, this picture of a loving Father just doesn’t quite make sense. It doesn’t quite bring the measure of comfort and peace that those who propagate it may wish to convey.
So, how do we translate this kind of love to those with whom a father’s love is foreign? How do we paint a picture of “Daddy’s little girl” or “Dad’s little buddy” to that one whose own father was abusive, neglective or even absent all together? How in the world do we portray this image of a wonderfully, loving father who enjoys seeing His children happy and full of life? The only way I have found to communicate it is by learning about it myself and sharing my life experiences with those whom I encounter.
…He delights in me…
Sometimes, it’s revealed to me by a surprise, tangible blessing like what happened last year on two different occassions: I was on a mad-dash Easter dress hunt the night before Easter. At the very  last minute, I decided I was just going to drop by a store and see if I could find something new. As I was pulling into the parking lot, I had a little prayer conversation with God. I said, “It sure would be nice if I could just walk right in and just a cute pink jacket to go with my pants. I know, I don’t have to have it, and I’m okay with not. I can always wear that old suit I have. I just don’t feel comfortable in it, but it’s really ok, not a big deal.” I went in, looked at one rack, went to next, and there it was. Right size. Right fit. Perfect. Two weeks later, we were at a ladies retreat, and they had a white jacket on display that I just loved! I thought it was so cute. At the end of the retreat, I mentioned this to the lady who owned it, and she handed it right to me. She said, “You enjoy it!”
…I am His precious child…
Sometimes, His delight is shown to me by what others share with me. A widowed friend of mine told me one day, “I am spoiled. I asked Him to help me see Him, and He has. I see the little things He does all around me, the little blessings He does for me everyday, and I feel treasured by my Father. I am cherished by Him.” Another friend was recovering from major surgery. Someone brought her a quilt the very day she returned home, and the person didn’t even know she had had surgery. The quilt was made with scriptures on every square. She said she felt blanketed in The Word while she recovered, and it was a reminder her of God’s love for her. She said, “It was as if in that moment, I could feel Him saying “I love you, you’re my precious child.”
…I am the apple of His eye…
Sometimes, I am simply reassured of His delight in His love for me in nontangible ways…a prayer unanswered, a wound healed, a moment of protection, a feeling of peace through the storm, or a simple reminder of His faithfulness even when I am not. He loves us, and He delights in us, His children. No matter what type of earthly father you may have had during this lifetime, you can be certain that your Heavenly Father loves you more than you could ever imagine! You ARE the apple of His eye. You are His delight!
 
deut32.10apple.eye

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 “In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft.
The Lord alone led him; no foreign god was with him.”
Deuteronomuy32:10-12

What a Girl Needs

Speaking from a place of experience, there are some fundamental needs that only a Daddy can give. When a girl misses out on these essential, especially in her young, tender years, she can struggle with self-worth, significance and love for the rest of her days. She may survive through it. She may have enough fortitude to square her shoulders, clinch her jaw and stare down these challenges for her emotions; however, even if she’s the toughest broad you’ve ever met, she’ll still walk with a limp.

A woman must have a sense of security in her life. She’s got to know things are going to be okay, even in the midst of a storm. If she can envision peace after the turmoil, it is easier for her to stand tall and face the wind. If she can imagine joy after the sorrow, she can lift her chin, clinch her jaw and laugh at the danger in front of her.

A woman has to have someone be captivated by her. Yes, you’ve heard the old saying, “every girls dreams of being a beautiful princess.” This is actually truth. She must have someone in her life who thinks she is something special. Someone by whom she is thought to be valuable, a treasure to be cherished. If she is found captivating, she finds herself fulfilled, satisfied, even having a sense of completion.

Lastly, a woman must have a sense of belonging. If she can feel as if she belongs to a group, a cause or a certain person, she will stay committed, at times, even to her own detriment. If you don’t believe me, just look at every woman who stays in an abusive relationship for years on end, or a youngster who stays committed to a certain peer group even when they are, frequently, mean spirited toward her. As long as she has an overall feeling of acceptance and a sense of belonging, she will endure what she must to keep those feelings alive.

A man can provide these feelings for a young girl, a teen and even for a full grown woman. He can give these genuinely out of the abundance of his heart, and he can, also, fabricate these out of the fantasies of his mind; however, on both accounts, he will eventually disappoint and let this little girl down. Skeptical, you say? Cynical, maybe? Well, actually, I am being neither; I am simply being truthful.

No man can always give a girl total security, unending captivated eyes and a solid sense of belonging. He will eventually give into his own fleshly nature and be unstable, oblivious and detached.  The only way a man can give a woman all that she needs is when he is allowing Christ to be His center for life. When He allows Christ to be the center, he is able to lead her in the same direction. His leading can never fulfill all her needs; yet, when he leads and she follows, they can, together, reach a place of fulfillment of God’s purpose for their marriage and their lives. When she and he both place Christ at the center of their lives, it doesn’t mean their lives and their relationship will be picture perfect; however, it does mean it will be closer to perfection.

So, if you are a Daddy who longs to fulfill the needs of his little girl’s heart, let God guide your heart, and help your baby girl to fall in love with Him. If you’re a dad who maybe feels like you “missed it” with your little one and are now faced with a teen, young woman, or even a grown daughter who is searching for security, admiration and acceptance, run to Jesus, and encourage her to follow. If you are a husband whose wife longs for fulfillment, allow Christ to become the center of your life and lead your wife in a better way toward Him.

In following Him, you will be able to provide those things which the young and grown women in your life need, not because of your own abilities, but rather, because of Christ who is living inside of you. She may not always follow, and your life can never be the source of her fulfillment; however, as you seek Him, she will see a better way, and when she finally yields to Him, she will find fulfillment in Him, and then, she will find everything she needs.

Thank You, Dad

I wrote this several years back and never shared it, but in light of Father’s Day, I decided to post it today. I hope you enjoy…


Thank you, Dad

For teaching me to listen more than I know how

For training me to love nature, for it’s God’s gift to us now

For directing me in the way that I should go

For correcting me by your firm, but gentle, “No”

Thank you, Dad

For all the long distance phone calls just to hear me chatter

For all those endless weather reports, no matter where you were

For all the deliberate actions to avoid my discouragement

For all the little words of heart-felt encouragement

Thank you, Dad

After all those endless bills have been paid

After all the late night advice has been laid

After all the flowing tears have been cried

After all the growing years have passed by

I’ll still be thanking you. 

I love you, Dad.  ❤

Penned – MG – 10/30/03

Strength Is In His Hands

I remember as a strong fisherman

  pulling his nets, a far off seeing the catch

  With the wooden rod, slaps on the water, fish to draw

  His hands pulling, pushing, whittling, carving

  His hands weaving, threading, poking, prodding

Strength was in his hands

 

I remember as a devoted father

  smoothing the wrinkled pages to pray

  With the brewed coffee, black as syrup to sip

  His hands moving, stirring, guiding, soothing

  His hands directing, correcting, holding, loving

Strength was in his hands

 

I remember as a diligent businessman

  striving his way, dreams to become a reality

  With the suit and tie, a strong woman by his side

  His hands working, strengthening, molding, developing

  His hands reaching, greeting, building, succeeding

Strength was in his hands

 

I remember as a committed grandfather

  searching the moments to always remember

  With the Ol’ Ranchero, a thrill of adventures to find

  His hands steadying, nurturing, playing, resting

  His hands embracing, shielding, releasing, surrendering

Strength was in his hands

 

I remember as a merciful Saviour

  permitting the cruelty, my sins setting free

  With the rugged cross, a message of amazing love

  His hands bleeding, hanging, stretching, dying

  His hands redeeming, restoring, delivering, healing

Strength is in His Hands

 

I remember as a faithful King

  surrounding His creation, His children to welcome home

  With a crown of glory, a revelation of eternal hope

  His hands opening, receiving, enfolding, revealing

  His hands exposing, erasing, consuming, immersing

Strength is always in His hands…

 

penned 10/25/12 – MG