Posts by Leigh:
Father’s Day is this Sunday. So if you haven’t bought the tie, the box of chocolates, the new briefcase or set of drill bits, you have 2 days! It’s probably too late to send a card, but set a reminder on your phone to call dad on Sunday. Rodney and I are in our freshman year at Financial Peace University with Dave Ramsey and I truly have the freshman fears and frustrations so I am using the gift I have, my writing, that my Heavenly Father gave me, in order to give to my earthly father his gift. I wrote my parents letters when I was younger and slid them under their bedroom door at night. I guess that’s kinda what I’m doing now.
I have a dad unlike any other. He is tall, dark and handsome. He is a dreamer. He is a motivator. He is super smart. He has a heart of gold and a passion for those that are hurting or in need. He is sensitive and compassionate. He has always been larger than life.
We would watch M.A.S.H. together. Hawkeye, the character played by Alan Alda, that was my dad. Whenever I was away from home and missing my dad, I would watch M.A.S.H. and he would feel a little closer. Kinda like praying now to my heavenly Father. When I feel distant or scared and alone, He is as close as getting on my knees and getting quiet and He is there.
Dad and I are a lot a like. My father is passionate and courageous. He is also sensitive and emotional. He can be inpatient at times. He loves to laugh and to tell stories. He can get on his soapbox though and preach like the best of them. Yes, I am a lot like my dad. He gets overwhelmed sometimes and he gets sad. So do I. So do we all. My father’s willingness to admit it though, that’s what makes him different.
I have seen pictures of my father when he was a teenager. He and my mom married when they were 18 and 19. He was that guy. He was the handsome, funny, charismatic guy that everyone gravitated towards. And he was MY dad and I was a daddy’s girl.
I was so proud of the fact that whenever we went out somewhere my dad made everyone laugh, he told great stories, and people loved to be around him. My friends really thought he was awesome and I just looked up to him (He’s 6’3) with so much respect and admiration.
But then life happens, as it is want to do.
I became a teenager, an awkward, clumsy teenager who never felt like I was good enough. I know now I wasn’t alone but I thought I was. And my dad, he wanted so much for me to learn from his mistakes, to understand things, to see things the way he saw them because he had been there, and I just wouldn’t listen. Never. I wanted his approval but had bought into the lies that nothing I did would ever be good enough for my dad. So much of it stemmed from a lack of communication. Being afraid to speak up because what if I made him mad? What if he didn’t agree? The strong, forceful, charismatic personality also made for a man that I put so high up on a pedastal that there was no hope of me ever being able to reach him. Funny how that happens. And I walked away. No, I ran. I got married, went into the Navy, ran away from home, if that’s what you can call it, at 22. And when we run, we have a tendency to get lost and I did. But my dad. He waited and he prayed. He and my mom both did. I only understand this better now, looking back, because I have a 14-year-old daughter and she has a loud, outspoken, strong, charismatic mother, and sometimes I see glimpses of those same thoughts in her head that I had at her age. But I also understand my father better now because I want the same things for my daughter that he wanted for me. And I love her just like he loves me.
(Kenna and my dad when she was 6 weeks old. Now I understand the love he had for me when I saw the love he had for her.)
He was my first example of what it is to love someone like Christ. Because no matter what I did or the mistake(s) I made. No matter the disappointment I cast into his and my mom’s hearts, he loved me and He ALWAYS let me come home. From Tennessee to Chicago, it didn’t matter, I could call and the door was opened. He showed me over and over again, after all my mistakes and running so far away, all I had to do was stop, turn around, and say, “Daddy, I’m sorry, I wanna come home.” and he and my mom would move heaven and earth to make it so.
My dad gave me a glimpse of what God’s love is and helped lead me back to the narrow path to my heavenly Father. So daddy, Happy Father’s Day. I wish I could buy you all that your heart desires, but daddy, know that the gift you and mom gave me was the greatest one of all. You loved me, no matter what, you loved me.
In November of 2010 I went to God and asked Him, “What do I need to work on?” That is a dangerous question to ask the Lord because He knows your heart and He will tell you what He knows.