My Dad

Dad checking his emails all morning on his iPhone in California. Coolest 81 year old techie!

Dad checking his emails all morning on his iPhone in California. Coolest 81 year old techie!

Long hours and hard work were no stranger to him.

Raised on a tractor from the day he could reach the pedals, he toiled under the hot Kansas sun.

With his mom, grandma and three little sisters in the house, he gladly left the dolls and tea parties for the barn and fields.

Time spent with his dad, time to earn a little money, time to develop into a man.

At this tender age my boys were chasing ducks in the park, flying through the house as super heroes, and playing sports.

Their chores consisted of setting the table, folding their clothes, and the nightly game we played. It was called “Pick up your toys before daddy gets home.”

Boyhood left early on the dairy. Sunrise milking flowed into feeding the cattle, pigs, and horses. Then toil in the fields, faded back into evening milking, family dinner and early bed.

Day after day of sameness, was punctuated with bouts of extreme heat or frigid cold. But no matter the weather, the milking had to be done!

He and his hardworking dad had a few hours of respite on the much anticipated Saturday nights. He couldn’t wait each week to head to town for the fifteen-cent movie. Presidential initiatives, war updates, and local advertising flashed before them.

He escaped the daily grind through the cartoons and cowboy heroes he viewed, washing away the present and offering a few hours of relief and relaxation.

His imagination caught during the newsreels. The tractor daydreams, of someday soaring above these fields would later become a reality as an air force officer and pilot.

By the time I came along, he had left the air force for management in the business world. He worked long retail hours but was always deep in study, and a Sunday preacher for small area congregations.

Though not a man for speaking his feelings, his actions run deeper than any words. His spiritual example and steadfast devotion to his Lord will ever be etched in my mind.

The story of his life altering conversion as a college student, was told over and over until easily recited by us all.

Your walk with God is the only thing that really matters.

He never said the words, but I heard it loud and clear.

Thank you Dad for the spiritual legacy you passed to me.

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Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

-What can you do to leave a spiritual legacy to your own children, grandchildren, friends or congregants?

-Begin today.

Late Again

 

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It was five minutes after three.

My mother was no where to be seen.

Not that it was unusual. A wonderful, beautiful and creative woman, punctuality wasn’t her strong point. I wasn’t worried, school had just ended and she always came rushing up full of smiles and apologies.

But today was different. 

As the new girl in school, by three-fifteen I was a little embarrassed, though I tried to appear nonchalant. What was really making me nervous was the steady approach of the dreaded three-thirty bell.

That was the designated time for the dismissal of the scary older kids. I don’t know what I thought they would do to me but I was terrified of those huge fourth, fifth and sixth graders.

Fighting back tears,

I found a shrub large enough to shield me and hid. Peeking out from time to time, I impatiently waited for the last one to disappear so I could crawl out of my cramped cage.

Suddenly I saw it.

The big blue boat we called our family car was sailing toward me. Smashed into the front seat was my mom, my little sister and my dad the driver. It was four o’clock and I was livid to the point of tears. Not wanting to cry, I swallowed hard, ready to grill them on their tardiness.

Before I could say a word, something warm and furry was thrust into my arms. All was forgiven when that wiggling black bundle licked my face. Nothing like sloppy puppy kisses to wash all pain and troubles away.

They said it was a reward

for not biting my fingernails anymore. I think they felt guilty for moving me away from my friends and the only life I had known. Either way, I didn’t care, I knew they loved me and I had my beloved puppy, Taffy.

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Matthew 6:14-For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

-There was really no “sin” against me. But sometimes it’s the minor infractions that over time build big grudges. What do you need to forgive, large or small?

-Begin by praying for that person and work toward a forgiving heart. Some things take moments to forgive, some things take days, and some things take years.