Sunday, June 19, 2011

A day to honor our fathers...

mom and dad

“He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”
-Clarence Budington Kelland

Yep, that's right...that's my handsome dad pictured above with my mama. Weren't they a handsome couple, if I do say so myself?? :-) (and still are to this day!)

mom and dad

When I think of my dad on this special Father's Day, the following words immediately come to mind:


I have so many precious and long-held memories with my dad. Memories that bring a sweet, overflowing joy that penetrates my heart. I don't know about you, but I think there is a special bond between a father and his daughter. How does the saying go..."Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad." I know that I am truly blessed to be able to say that I have a dad who is truly a "one of a kind". Indeed, I haven't met many men in my life who have such an innate goodness and sweetness about them like my father.

I'll never forget a story my grandmother told me a long time ago about my father. It was a conversation that she had with my great-grandmother, Oni Lee, when my dad was a very young boy. They were watching him play as a small boy and my great-grandmother turned to my grandmother and said, " in the world did we ever get this sweet spirit. He's too good for us." That story has always stuck with me. I have no doubt, even back then at such a young age, my dad's grandmother saw and felt something very special and unique in my father. There has always been a light in him that shines and lifts those who are around him. And with that light, a coupling warmth that surrounds you and assures you that all will be okay.

I am my dad's only daughter (well, I guess that isn't totally true...he now has 3 adopted daughters, a/k/a my dear sister-in-laws). Honestly, I can't really think of a time in my life where he wasn't there for me when I needed him. When he didn't fail to show me his deep, abiding, and unconditional fatherly love. Even during those moments of life when I felt I was less than deserving of his love--he always reassured me of my worth by the love, kindness, and understanding he showed me. His love is a deep, sincere, Christ-like kind of love. There is no question that my father's presence in my life over the years has brought me great comfort, grounded me during the uneasy stages and has proven to be an anchor of strength during many of my toughest trials.

On this special day dedicated to fathers, I want my dear dad to know how much his love and example means to me and how deeply I love him. How grateful I am for all the sacrifices he made for our family as he worked so very hard for so many years providing for our temporal and spiritual needs. And what a blessing it is to know that we are a forever family.

dad with kids
{Dad in the early 70's...while in the "trenches" as a young father with me and my younger brother, Brian}

These days, I am even more grateful to my dad for the loving and attentive grandfather he is to his grandchildren. I hope each of his grandkids will come to fully understand how very blessed they are to have him as their granddad.

He truly is a gem.

noah and poppy
{Noah and Poppy, 2010}

Another father I was blessed to gain in this life is my dear father-in-law, Jesse. I have so enjoyed getting to know him these past 9 years. He is a man who has worked hard every single day of his life to provide for his wife and children. A man of integrity and honesty. He is a craftsman and gifted with his hands and wood work. I am amazed at the beautiful things he can create with his hands! A God-given talent, no doubt, and one that he has used to benefit and bless the lives of those around him.

I am especially grateful to my dear father-in-law for raising such an amazing son. For instilling in my husband such wonderful values as hard work, to respect and love his fellow man, honesty, integrity and a deep love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All qualities that my father-in-law not only taught in his home but lives by example each and every day. Noah is truly blessed to have Pop as his grandfather.

pop and noah
{Noah and Pop fishing at Twin Lakes, 2010}

And now, I would be remiss if I didn't share with you the tender thoughts and feelings I have today for my husband--my best friend-- and the wonderful father he is to our son.

I distinctly remember a little over 9 years ago on the day this picture was taken...

jody and jenn- engagement day

It was just a few hours after Jody asked me to marry him. He had driven up from Austin early that morning in February, gathered together with all three of my brothers and my parents in a hotel room in Dallas and asked my dad for my hand in marriage. Now mind you....all of this was happening unbeknownst to me. After my entire family gave a resounding "Yes!" in approval to him...he drove straight over to my apartment in Plano and proposed. It was an awesome moment!! Later that night we all gathered together at my little apartment and celebrated our engagement and the birthdays of my dad, my three brothers and Jody. What a fun night that was...

It was truly one of the happiest days of my life. I felt (no actually, I knew) what Jody and I had was magical. I knew in my heart that Heavenly Father had brought us back together (after not seeing each other for 12 years since our fateful prom date in 1988). But what I didn't fully understand on this special day we were engaged, and have since then learned....I was marrying the man that would be the most wonderful, loving, caring father I could have ever asked for.

noah and jody

There is no question, I am equally grateful on this special Father's day for my dear husband--for the gift of time and attention he gives to our son, Noah, each and every day. For the tender love he has for our son and for never holding back on showing his sincere love and affection to those who matter most to him. For a father and husband who puts his family first always--before anything or anyone else. Something that isn't always the easiest choice to make in the world that we live in today. There is no question, Noah loves his Daddy with all his heart (and so does his mama!)

What a blessing it is for me to see the two of them together!

father's day

My heart breaks for those of you today who are missing your own dear father. I know a holiday like this must be bitter sweet for you. I also feel for those of you who have fathers who are still living, yet may not have the type of relationship you wish you could have with them. While I haven't experienced this type of loss or pain in my life, I do know that a loving Heavenly Father knows your pain and can heal your wounds.
How thankful I am for the special men in my life and all of our lives...the ones who strive to love and bless the lives of their dear wives, children and grandchildren (and so forth). I'm sure it is no easy task being a dad. There is a great deal of stress and responsibility that they carry on their shoulders.

On your special day fathers...I thank you from the bottom of my heart and am giving a great, big {virtual} hug to all of you. Most especially to my dear dad (who lives way too far away from us...real bummer!), to my amazing hubby, my dear father-in-law and my three brothers who are wonderful dads. ... Enjoy your special day!!


“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.”
— Author Unknown



1 comment:

  1. I remember that era about nine years ago when you and Jody were dating! That picture is encredible of the two of you. "What an awesome couple!" I remember thinking to myself, back then, and I was so happy when you got married. It's hard to believe it's been that long though! Happy Father's Day to Jody!


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