A couple of weeks ago, we went out to a model airplane runway/airstrip to fly Nate’s birthday present. We joked a lot about what school subjects it counted as – “Physics, math, weather… family history.”
Family history was one reason Nate got such a big present for his birthday. Grampa made and flew model airplanes, and daddy grew up helping him. Now, it’s something Nate and daddy can do together. And it’s just one of the ways daddy continues to invest in us and our relationships as a whole family and parts of our family, and shows how intentional he is in the things he gives us – the gift isn’t just the airplane, but time for Nate and daddy to spend together.
Daddy’s schedule is very busy, as he leads our family, helps shepherd the church, is involved in ministry, and on top of that has a job and is currently in training to upgrade to captain. Yet in all that, he hasn’t neglected us in any way.
He takes time out of studying to teach us Arabic, for family worship, and take me driving, go flying with Nate, read to us after meals, and remembers that we’re his primary ministry as he disciples us. As I prepared for my membership interview a few weeks ago and was preparing my testimony, I realized how much of an impact daddy had on my faith. Christ saved me, using daddy (and mommy!) as instruments of His grace, both before and after my salvation.
Their decision to homeschool us was one such way, as it gave them the opportunity to train us in His Word and with a biblical worldview. There were also many ‘non-school’ training opportunities. I remember sitting on the carpet in our house in Michigan, watching as daddy drew a circle with his finger on the carpet. He called it the circle of blessing, and we talked about how obedience brings blessing and safety – but we have to stay in the circle through obedience. I remember being spanked, showing me I wasn’t perfect and had sinned. I remember many of the books daddy read to us. And how when we were too sick to go to church we’d spend a while reading, praying, and singing at home. I remember at the Arabic church asking why we had to stay so long afterwards, and when I learned it was because daddy was helping, I wanted to help, too. I remember distributing flyers and pamphlets for outreach events together, and how daddy wanted us all involved. I remember that when he didn’t have a job, he used that time for ministry. And how he’s not afraid to be different and alone in his convictions and seeking to pray and fast and work to reform the church. And how he loves mommy and supports her, and how they know when they need to talk and have trained us kids not to interrupt ‘couch time’ and honor each other in so many ways.
At the beginning of this past school year, I wanted more guidance from daddy. I needed goals and wanted to be told more what to do. Then he did give me guidance, helping me be more motivated with piano tuning, but I was stubborn and didn’t want to do it. But he was patient and encouraged me and helped me see what I was really wanting and repent of that. And another day when we were out at Caribou and he was encouraging and exhorting me to persevere in seeking deeper, more meaningful conversations… but not to ‘plummet’ in depth, but dig down.
And the challenge and example his prayer life is. I used to think he woke up really late in the morning, but now I understand that he doesn’t come out of their room until later in the morning because he’s praying. And times I walk into a room and find him sitting or standing there, in prayer. And how even with raises and bonuses and a good job, we live simply and invest in the Kingdom rather than earthly things, because things will pass away.
And his burden for the lost and the blemishes of the church, and the joy and strength with which he labors, prays, and fasts for them both.
And the way that he oversaw and guided and guarded Joel and Cait before their courtship and during and during engagement and into their marriage, and his counsel to them now.
And his patience with me in driving and learning Quicken and when I don’t understand things, how he explains them. And gives us tools to work for His Kingdom, encouraging us to labor for Him. And the wisdom God has given him, and how he conforms his life to scripture and seeks to glorify God and remember the gospel and remind us of it.
And for tickle time so many years ago, and making jokes, and laughter as we read “Princess Bride,” and his delight in us and joy in serving his family and doing the work God has given him to do, and including us in that work.
He’s selfless with his time and what God has given him.
Happy Father’s day, daddy!
I love you.