Today is my wonderful Daddy's birthday. If I'm as good at second grade math as I think, that makes him...um...58?
I know that most of you reading this would argue that you dad is also the coolest dad in the world, but I really have to say it. My dad is the coolest dad. in. the. world!
I owe everything I am to my dad (and mom). He's taught me to much and fixes everything from broken radiator hoses to broken hearts. He's also pretty darn crafty as well. When I was Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz my senior year, he made my ruby red slippers. And. They. Were. Awesome.
He's really good at scaring the poo out of the boys I've dated but also at embracing them as a part of the family (okay, maybe not ALL of them) and being that one person who is always there for them to talk to.
My most favorite memories when I was a kid were riding on his back/shoulders and riding in the trailor being the riding lawnmower/tractor. Although I'm too grown for those things now, I still feel like figuratively, my dad still carries me on his back when I'm to tired to walk, puts me on his shoulders when I can't see the main event, and lets me ride in the trailor when I'm afraid to walk through the tall grass.
As an adult (which is still a weird word to me because have you seen me play with my nephew?), my favorite thing is our theological, deep, thought-provoking conversations. Although sometimes I can get frustrated with the way he challenges what I say, I always come away grateful that he does it because if I'm not challenged, I won't know what I really believe.
My dad's been through a lot in his life, a whole lot more than someone like him should have to go through. But one thing that has been a constant has been his faith in God and God's faithfulness to him. My dad has an opportunity everyday to be a light for Jesus Christ in a world blanketed with the darkness of anger, resentment, abuse, addition and misunderstanding. And he takes that opportunity day after day. That can sometimes lead to an overwhelming feeling of weariness. When you're pouring yourself into saving others, you start to feel yourself drowning. Then you become the one that needs saving.
I think there are times when he might forget how much he is loved in this world (and out of this world), but I think in the past two years he has realized it's more than anyone can fathom. And the ringleader of that love is his Heavenly Father.
My dad has a saying: "Remember who you are...and Whose you are." He has been the greatest example of that saying to me.
There are so many things that my dad has done that I take pride in -- namely, playing football for Mississippi State. But my dad has done greater things that have had a bigger impact than just tackling a few people and putting a number of quarterbacks on their back.
My dad became a Christian in high school and since then, he has been on a mission to make an impact for Christ in every aspect of his life. He was a major player in Campus Crusade for Christ at MSU and is surrounded by many close friends who have dedicated their lives to impacting the world for God's glory.
He's taught me to believe in the power of prayer because it really does work. And to look for the small things. The details. Because God has a purpose even in the small things.
I can't think of a great way to close out this post. It's just not coming to me. But I will say that there's one thing I'm sure of -- 26 years ago, God gave me a daddy who would be the earthly image of him. Now, I don't know how many dudes auditioned for the part of my dad but God sure hit the nail on the head with this pick.
Happy Birthday Daddy!