I have been very blessed to have fabulous men in my life, always.
My Daddy is in India this year for Father's day. He went to celebrate the 80th birthday of his friend, and has stayed now to mourn with him the passing of his amazing wife. Pain and joy so often go hand and hand. Understanding is not ours - at least not while we are here on this earth.
Sometimes I comfort myself by saying that "when I get to heaven I can ask God 'why'?". But truthfully, I think that when I get there, I will be too full of praise, and joy and celebration to remember any questions.
Lots of things hurt now, here on earth. So many questions don't have answers, and quite honestly, it is downright annoying. But, in the really big picture, how important are those questions?
As I said though, I have always had amazing men in my life.
My Papaw (my mom's dad) loved Jesus with such enthusiasm that it was contagious, and had a joy that poured out of him. I was only seven when he went into a coma, but my memories of him are strong enough that even at that young of an age he has influenced my entire life.
My Daddy Bill (my dad's dad) has been a constant. He is not the open and sharing type - I am not sure I have ever seen him show anything emotion stronger then a simple smile or frown. He may not be outward with his hugs and smiles, but he always made sure to ask about our school projects and summer plans. Rock steady and always there. Now the great grandkids are loosening him up a bit.
But my dad- he is amazing. He sometimes wanted to take after his dad, and try not to share his emotions. But my mom is very much her father's daughter. Everything in the open, good and bad, share it all equally. Then, they had four daughters. My poor dad was doomed. A house full of girls, with Sharp genes in them. Well, emotions were not going to be contained, that was for sure!
When we were growing up he would read us our bedtime story, and bible, and pray with us before bed. I have such wonderful memories of cuddling up to him, looking over his shoulder while he read. Even when I got too old to listen to stories, I would sometimes still curl up and listen while he read to my little sisters. The winter we spent in India he read the Hobbit. When I read it now to my boys, I still hear his voice.
He taught us about loving Jesus completely. He taught us to always be prepared for the future, but remember to live each day like it could be our last. He taught us responsibility. He taught us about trust, and love, and faith. Especially faith - those giant leaps of faith. He was, and is, a man who will step out, even when he can't see where his foot is going to land. That is sort of amazing actually, because my Dad was a computer programmer, boyscout, everything in it's place sort of guy before he met my Mom... and then met Jesus. Jesus asked him to give up a lot of his comfort zone. He still likes to organize his pencils "just so", and file his papers in exactly the right order... but when God said step out in faith, he did. And he continues to.
I am so very glad to have my daddy as an example.
One last story about him. When I was 19 I was feeling adventurous. I went with several of my friends in college and we all got belly button rings. Knowing how conservative my parents were, I was a little worried about what they would think. When my dad found out he didn't yell. He didn't even tell me that I shouldn't have done it. He only gave me a scripture verse, and told me to pray about it. " I can't remember now which one it was, either 1Pet 3:3, or 1Tim 2:9, but they both talk about a woman of God needing no outward adornment, jewels or fancy clothes, but rather being clothed in good works and a quiet spirit, etc. The belly ring only lasted about five days. I am not going to say that I think a belly ring is wrong in any way - but making my daddy think I wanted outward adornment more then a pure spirit - well, that was enough for me.
Thank you dad for teaching me about what is important, every single day.
Now I have another amazing man in my life. That father of my own children. And actually, HIS father too. I am so very thankful for my father in law. He did a wonderful job raising my husband to be a great husband and father.
Andy is currently digging through thousands of lego's to find the missing piece to a set they have been trying to build. That is devotion. That man loves his Savior, loves his country, loves his children, and thankfully, loves me too.
One day at a time, we are raising men who we pray will someday be amazing fathers also.