04 April 2013

I love my Dad.

Well, Dad, seventy sounds pretty old. I think I keep forgetting that you're turning seventy this year, because you are living with full force. Thank you so much for living like this! Seventy things that I see, admire, love, am thankful for:

-You love Mom.
-You love John Paul.
-You love me.
-You love Sarah.
-You love David.
-You love Nina
-and Jack (I like how you smile at him)
-and Luke.
-I'm sure you love Noel, too.
-You send Mom to come take care of all of us, even though I know you miss her.
-You love Sophia
-and you talk to us about what a treasure she is. Psalm 139.
-You hold her and take pictures of her and talk with her.
-You pray for all of us
-and you pray with us.
-You give us blessings. Thank you for thinking very carefully and writing blessings for each of us.
-And you figure out how we can all spend time together.
-And on top of that you fund it.
-You are compassionate. I remember how empathetic and sad you were with me when I longed to be married.
-And for crying with us during this last season.
-Even though I know you trust in the very good goodness of God.
-You bought me a bike. You made me save my money for a long time and then you kicked in the last big chunk.
-And then you did the same thing with the Honda.
-Ha! And right now you're doing that same thing again. Thank you for following through.
-You spent time teaching me and helping me think carefully and make a chart about how to buy that first laptop.
-Thanks for teaching me how to save up and make an informed decision and then take ownership.
-You are a hard worker. Dilligent.
-You are really fast at Morse code.

-You continue to grow in your love for Mom.
-I trust you. 
-You are a man of integrity and you learn and grow.
-You are always learning new things.
-And talking about them with us. I remember that for as long as I can remember, we always got your Sunday school lessons at dinnertime before anyone else did.
-You took care of Grandma when she needed you. And helped Mom with that.

-You are passionate about people living in righteousness and keeping their covenants.
-You taught me science when I was in 8th grade.
-You had cool cars before you were married.
-You were on track to become a millionaire, but you gave it up because
-you have faith
-and you taught me that faith is just simple, not something crazy or wild, but simple step by step, day by day belief.
-Which over the course of a lifetime has ended up looking rather crazy. Really.
-You cried when I left for Slovenia.
-You walked me down the aisle and gave me away.
-You empowered David and blessed our marriage by sending me off and letting go.
-You made me make my own decision about David.

-I don't think I ever heard you say a bad word. Maybe ever. Even though I know you were around it.
-You get mad about things that are reasonable to get mad about, things that people should get mad about.
-People feel comfortable around you.
-You talk with me and like me and want to tell me what you're interested in and you listen to what I'm interested in.
-People respect you
-but I feel lucky because you let me be on the inside. I respect you, too.
-You treat me like an adult. Sometimes even more than I wanted at the time.
-Dad, I love that you delve into God's word and savor it and really believe it
-and that you pour your guts into teaching well. You give 100%.
-You don't brag or spend a lot of energy trying to look cool or strong or great.
-But you are.
-You are really fit.
-You are going on a zipline for your 70th birthday.
-You've worked really hard to encourage younger brothers and sisters at home
-and in Albania.
-You and mom have spent a lot of yourselves in building up the church in Albania.
-You give generously.
-I like that sometimes we laugh really, really, really hard. (Although I'm not quite sure what we laugh about.)
-You are wise.
-You are a person who honored your father and mother.
-You love God and speak well of him and seek to obey him.
-There are certain verses you say over and over. I know that the Holy Spirit lives in you.
-You know the Bible really well because you have read it every day for as long as I've known you.
-Tickle attention.
-You love the church deeply, giving your life for her.

Dad, you are a man who lives his name, you are a rich, powerful ruler. God is gracious. I praise God for you, for your birth and life. And I am a lucky girl to get to be your daughter. I love you.


steps said...

WOW Anna...very humbling. Yes, I/we love you and David and that little Sophia very much, Thanks for being such a blessing to us. By the way - I am trying to learn to walk on water too.....
love - dad

Momma S said...

Hooray for Step! I would only add: You are really, really, really funny when we play games. Really!

joyful said...

I think I would like being around your family.