The Love of a Father

dad

I’m brought to tears as I sit here at Starbucks studying… watching a curly red-haired young girl giggle at every word that comes out of her father’s mouth as she sips on a strawberry shake, topped with a pound of whipped cream. I can’t hear a word they are saying as Pandora blares in my headphones, but I don’t have to to see the joy and love.

Joy shines like light flooding a room. It can’t be stopped. It will always find a way to leak into darkness, no matter the human efforts to contain it.

The joy on the face of a young girl, deeply loved by her father, surpasses the brightness of the sun. Her smile, tight cheeks, and squinted eyes cannot be compared to anything else that exists in creation. Trust me. I was that little girl. Ask any little girl on an ice cream date with her daddy what she thinks of him… watch her face light up followed by some answer like:

“My daddy let’s me get whatever ice cream I want! And he tells me I’m smart and BEAUTIFUL”

Fathers-love your daughters deeply. You are the greatest minister to their heart of the love their heavenly Father has for them. Everything they hear about God is processed through the lens of their relationship with you. no pressure.

To my dad,

thank you for the millions of memories I have laughing until my stomach hurts, driving with windows down and DMB blaring, hundreds of “level 3” 1-on-1 basketball games… snickers and DP for breakfast.

Thank you for grounding me and speaking truth to me. Telling me to make better friends, and reminding me that new chapters in life mean new chances to do things differently… and to take advantage of the “blank slate.”

Thank you for loving me amidst good and bad life decisions… and admidst bad ones, for telling me I should give the whole “church” thing a shot.

Thank you for preparing me for the real world by being honest with me about your real world.

Thank you for raising me to be confident in who I am and to live fully, happily and independently without needing someone else.

Thank you for telling me I can’t control the crazy people around me.. and for teaching me how to have boundaries with those people. Then for teaching me we’re all crazy in our own ways, that shouldn’t change how we love people.

When people ask me about my dad, my smile is uncontrollable. My eyes turn squinty and my cheeks tighten up. I usually tell them:

“My dad is awesome. He raised me on Taco bell and chocolate pop tarts. He’s the reason I am who I am today… if you don’t know him, you should, you’d love him.”

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