“I’m sorry I could not understand you. Your actions speak so loudly, your words I did not hear.”
This past Father’s Day was amazing. Really, it wasn’t just Sunday that made it great, but the whole weekend. As I found myself thinking about it, I realized there was much to take away from it.
Hannah had her last day VBS program. I enjoyed being able to spend time with her, especially noticing that very few dads were there (Courtnee wasn’t feeling well and didn’t make it). Hannah truly is a joy and I treasure how she enjoys whatever it is she does. But she wouldn’t enjoy what she does nearly as much if Courtnee and I weren’t there to support her. She beams whenever she notices us noticing her.
Friday night, Courtnee, the kids, and I went and watched Man of Steel. Joshua wore his Superman outfit and was treated like a celebrity at the theater. They gave him a free slushy and poster and took lots of pictures. He soaked it up. These are moments I will utterly treasure, for I don’t know how long they will last. Hannah sat on my lap during much of the movie. Joshua was engulfed in watching good vs evil and the movie provided a great lesson on the importance of strong character. It is my desire to be a man of steel and ultimate role model for my boy as well.
Courtnee and I went to a leadership meeting for a church ministry we are involved with. Leadership is so important, even in the smallest ways. I appreciate Jim and Jo who are the leaders over our department. They too are involved in LIFE Leadership and it shows in how they lead even a seemingly small ministry. It certainly challenges me to be better with the “little things.”
After having a business appointment cancelled, Courtnee and I were able to spend much of the day together. We strolled the streets of Glenwood Springs, had ice cream, dreamed, talked, and eventually went putt-putt golfing. It was a great time. I’m so thankful for Courtnee. She truly does make me a better man. It also solidifies within me the importance of quality one on one time.
Sunday, Father’s Day:
I woke up to my children (especially Hannah) excited for me to receive Father’s Day gifts. Courtnee put a lot of work into some picture frames with the kids foot prints painted on them. I love them! Joshua’s card to me had a Superman sticker in it which I wore with pride to church.
The message at church was fantastic. Our pastor taught on faith and how ultimately, what we do and how we act is more reflective of our faith than what we say we believe. If we are stressed, discouraged, worried, full of doubt, lacking confidence, and full of confusion, then we aren’t truly living by faith. Faith is confident, full of joy, strong, and fully influenced to the point of persuasion. We are to live by faith and not by sight. As a father, I need to model what it means to live a life of faith, not merely be a hearer and deceive myself. My actions need to declare loudly, “This is a man who lives by faith!” Some of my actions are faithful, but some are not. And for me, as the leader in my home, to say one thing and then have actions that speak contrary is not right. I have some changing to do.
Sunday afternoon was full of family, fishing, food, and fun. But my father-in-law helped me realize another glaring weakness of mine. I grew a bit selfish as I was trying to help my three-year old son, seven-year old daughter, and wife fish. I remove the fish (and we caught a lot), prepare hooks, sometimes cast, untangle lines, help with snags, and oversee the coordinated efforts of four people fishing. After an hour of this, I got cranky and whiny and wanted to attend to my own fishing pole and created an argument with my wife.
As my father-in-law nonchalantly revealed (at least I don’t think he purposefully did it) if I had continued to stay in an attitude of serving, I would never have created the argument, and still would have had my own time to fish as the children would eventually want to go on a walk with grandma, etc. In serving them, my time would come. In meeting their needs, mine would be met. I know this, but obviously forgot. Thankfully, my father-in-law simply shared what he did when his kids were young and it clicked with me. This is a principle taught in with LIFE Leadership. As we help others get their dreams, ultimately we will get our own.
After I adjusted my attitude, the rest of the day went splendidly. I had the chance then to reflect on my father and father-in-law. They have helped me in so many small ways. Of course my dad has had a life-long influence on me. He truly is a family man. He has devoted so much time, energy, and money into his three children. I have NEVER doubted his love and commitment to me. His commitment to his own marriage will forever stand in my mind as a sentry guarding my marriage. His willingness to continue to grow, learn, improve his life, and chase his dreams at 74 years old will, I’m sure, continue to impact me into my later years. I have an amazing and wonderful father! The best part of it, is that we do it together with LIFE.
My father-in-law has extended amazing grace towards me. His simple yet profound analogies ring true in my ears. I am not even sure he knows what kind of impact he has on me. His life is one that has shown that all people can change and move forward, even after mistakes, if they are willing to. He has a huge heart for his children as can be seen by the tears he sheds for them from time to time. I honor his service for our country and appreciate the relationship we have.
And so, here I am still watching them; watching their actions and listening to their lives. So often we think that it’s only the little ones that are watching. In truth though, people everywhere are watching us. Little eyes, fading eyes, distant eyes, and hopeful eyes. What we do and who we are is impacting people everywhere we go. As I become the man I hope for my children to model, I can be confident that others will be impacted positively as well.
I am very thankful for my father. I’m thankful for my father-in-law. But if I did not have their example in my life, I still have a heavenly Father who is perfect. If I am ever confused about my decisions, actions, or lifestyle, I have Him to look to for wisdom, direction, and confirmation. He has given me an instruction Book to live a successful, fulfilled, and victorious life. And He validated every word in it by sending His Son to this earth to live, die, and live again for me and you.
Just as eyes are watching me, emulating me, and striving to become like me, so too I will look to my Father in heaven to emulate Him and be like Him as much as possible. And when I mess up, His grace and mercy is there to put me back on my feet and propel me forward into the great and wonderful things He has for me and my family.
Happy belated Father’s Day! Enjoy these videos; one for a good laugh, and one for contemplation.