Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Father's Gift

Every person's life is a story written by God's hand...

The little girl presses her nose against the cold glass of the kitchen window.  Her father stands - bundled against the cold, dark of a snowy winter night - garden hose in hand.  She watches as frigid water sprays across the ice skating rink he is forming in the backyard.  Cold droplets sparkle in the light spilling through the window.  He turns to smile at her. She can hardly wait to pull on her brand new skates in the morning.

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Because, when all is said and done,
Only three things remain.
And the greatest of these is Love.
And when we have that, we have Everything.

Thank you for loving me so much.

~  ♥  ~

Hopping down the stairs, the young girl follows her father to the cool basement.  They make their way to his workroom.  A small window spilling summer sunshine onto the worn wood table littered with tools, nails, and pieces of wood.  He sets out four small pieces of wood as she steps onto a small stool next to him.  His hands lay out the frame they are making for a three-dimensional picture she has created with tiny scissors and glue. Their heads bend together over their project, and she begins to learn.

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"Aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands." ~ 1 Thessalonians.4:11
Thank you for teaching me how to work with my hands.

~  ♥  ~

The father pushes the old rotary lawnmower across the green lawn. Springtime lilacs hang heavy on the big bush nearby. The young girl runs up to him, asking if he would teach her how to mow. “Mom says I’m big enough now!”  Big hands cover small hands as he helps her push the mower making neat, green stripes across the sun dappled grass. Her smile meets his as she looks up at him.

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"When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator". ~~ Mohandas Gandhi

Thank you for instilling in me the love of nature and satisfaction of outdoor chores.

~  ♥ ~

The air is crisp. Leaves on the trees throwing yellow, orange, and red to the sun warmed ground. The family is searching for the perfect pumpkin for their front porch.  The strong, sweet fragrance of fresh picked apples greets them as they make their way between long tables of bright yellow squash, lumpy gourds, and piles of bright orange pumpkins. The father spots a table of nuts and dips a metal scoop deep into the mound of walnuts, pouring them into a small paper bag. They choose a variety of nuts and move on to select their pumpkin. Back at home, the family gathers around the kitchen table.  Loud crunching smiles fill the room. The little girl’s favorites are the salty ones. Her father shows her how to crack walnuts.

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“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
-Galatians 5:22-23

Thank you for sweet, simple family times together.

~  ♥  ~

The little girl watches as her father sits before the canvas on the small easel in front of him.  The scent of acrylic paint is strong.  His brush dips lightly into a deep green and after a few swipes and tugs, a graceful, stoic pine tree appears before her eyes.  Mountains of blue and purple form a majestic backdrop.  A sparkling, crooked stream winds around the trees. She wishes she could paint like that. She is proud of her father for using this gift he’s been blessed with. 

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A few years later, she sits in her junior high art class with a blank sheet of artist’s paper before her and a sharpened pencil in hand.  Head bent, she begins to sketch the roses she sees in the photograph next to her. As the flowers take shape on the textured paper, she feels content that she inherited just a little of her father’s talent.  Her heart fills with happiness when she sees a big smile spread across her father’s face as he stands before her completed framed sketch...hanging on display in the local art gallery. 

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He has given you gifts, desires, talents, and inclinations.
Pursue them with gratitude and great joy.
They are God's gift to you.
Make them your gift to Him.
Even if no one understands.
If no one is impressed.
He is honored and pleased.

Thank you for using your gift to teach me the love of art. 

~  ♥  ~

A warm July night.  Stars bright overhead.  The moon shines down creating shadows of the family in their backyard.  The little girl stands before her parents as her father hands her an unlit sparkler.  She hears a reminder to “Be careful now…” as he lights the tip and miniature stars spring and sizzle from the stick. She can see her parents smiling in the bright light. She waves the sparkler through the air making big circles, writing her name in cursive, and twirling around and around. Fireworks boom in the distance and create bright neon flowers in the sky.

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"Learning to delight in little things makes life rich. This strengthens us. As we enjoy these things, we begin to develop a self. And this unique self is a gift to others.

Thank you for teaching me to delight in simple, beautiful things.  Because of that, my life is richer - and more beautiful.

~  ♥  ~

The alley behind the garage is dusty gravel.  The little girl wheels her new purple two-wheel bicycle with the white wicker basket through the garage to her waiting father.  She settles onto the seat as her father holds the bike steady.  “Ready?”  She nods and remembers what her father told her yesterday. His hand is firm on the back of the leather seat as she begins to pedal.  He runs next to her holding her upright.  Their laughter fills the air. Her hair flies behind her. She feels him let go and her legs pedal faster and faster as the bike speeds across the gravel. Houses blur. She turns to see her father grinning widely at her at the end of the alley.

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Many years later, the adult daughter smiles as she watches her father teach her mother how to maneuver a golf cart.  She catches and holds a memory of a purple bike and a gravel alley in her mind. Moments later, laughter rings out as her parents fly across the yard with a streak of blue. Complete joy awash on their faces.

Smile, inside and out.
Laugh heartily and often.
It's contagious and brings good health.
Choose to enjoy each day.
It is a gift.

Thank you for your patience - and your quick laughter. 

~  ♥  ~

The adult daughter sits at the foot of the hospital bed and watches her parents together. Her father's concerned blue eyes gaze deeply into her mother’s tired, green eyes. He holds her hands and whispers to her lovingly and encouragingly.  He has been in this same place many times. He prays again for her be strong. He prays again for healing. Tears fills the daughter’s eyes as she lowers her head with her own prayer.  Love fills the room.  God is present.  Angels are in attendance. Prayers are heard above.

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Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 
~ Philippians 4:6-7

Thank you for your prayerful heart and your strong faith…in all circumstances.

~  ♥  ~

I love you, Dad.  I love you for helping me to be the person I am today, and for loving me through all of the ups and downs, through good decisions and bad.  I love you for having the most giving heart and soul I’ve ever known. You embrace and live out 2 Corinthians 5:14 which says, “Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes.  His love has the first and last word in everything I do.” I see Christ in you, Dad.  You are truly living in Him...

and I love you so very much for that.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

With all my love forever ~

[I will be giving this to my Dad for Father's Day.]

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  1. It is perfect, Laurie, absolutely perfect! Blessings- xo Diana

  2. Laurie~you have such a way with words~you come from a very loving family~so lucky! You are so blessed! xoxokathee

  3. Laurie~` That is just beautiful and I am sure your father will love it so much.Thanks for such inspirational words:)

  4. What a beautiful and loving tribute to your Dad. He must be so very proud of you. You were a good student and he was a good teacher. You write so well, Laurie. xo

  5. Laurie, it's beautiful! Your dad will love it!

  6. Hello dear, your post is very nice, I like the biblical texts of your choice, and your words written. Your father must be a fabulous person, and will be happy to have a daughter so grateful! Hugs Barbara

  7. I love this post honoring your Daddy, Laurie. Beautifully done.

  8. Quel bonheur il aura... ce papa qui vous est si cher. Bravo!
    Gros bisous

  9. What a beautiful story darlinh...tears in my is your mom doing darling ??? from

  10. beautiful, heart warming post, laurie:) i know, after reading this, his day will be wonderful!

  11. This is the perfect gift for your Dad, I know he will love it. You are so blessed to have each other. Thank you for sharing such a personal, and beautiful post with us!

    God bless you!

  12. Beautiful post, Laurie. You brought tears to my eyes thinking of my own Dad, especially as a little girl.

  13. So Lovely! You couldn't give your Dad anything better on Father's Day. He's truly been an example to you of our Heavenly Father.
    Mary Alice

  14. This is so beautiful, Laurie. It sounds like you were blessed with an amazing father and a wonderful childhood. hugs ♥

  15. If the tears will stop flowing, I will try to get back to my painting now. xoxoxoxoxo

  16. so beautiful, my dear. you are so very lucky to be close to your parents, as it should be....some of us are not so lucky and mothers and fathers days are difficult. i will live vicariously through you this sunday, if you don't mind.
    thank you,

  17. Absolutely touched my heart seeing you and your sweet Dad. I loved reading your brought back memories of my own Dad ...and I miss him.
    Hugs to you and your Dad this Fathers Day...He will LOVE what you wrote.... ((hugs))

  18. Laurie,
    He will be blessed knowing how he has influenced your life and has instilled a firm faith in God by his example. Be prepared for tears of JOY! Yours...and His! Thank you for sharing this with all of us!

  19. Oh, Laurie, how beautiful. My daddy held mama's hand everyday until she passed. Such love! Your word melt my heart.

  20. Dear Laurie,

    Your father will cry tears of joy and happiness as he reads this and sees the beautiful photos you have put with the words. I know I did. What a lovely tribute to your wonderful, God filled, father.

    Thank you, Laurie, you have touched my heart tonight!
    God bless you,

  21. Hi Laurie,

    A wonderful tribute for Father's Day! Your post brought tears to my eyes. If only I had more time with my father who passed away 13 years ago. Thank you for stopping to visit me.

  22. We are both blessed to have wonderful earthly Fathers and an AWESOME Heavenly Father! Loved your Father's Day tribute! Your pictures are wonderful, too! Thank you for your kind comments on my post.

  23. Laurie,

    Thank you for coming by my blog. Such lovely thoughts for Father's Day. The pictures are very nice.

    Yael from Home Garden Diggers

  24. You had to make me cry didn't you!:-) What a wonderful gift for your father. You are truly blessed. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Hi laurie,
    You have wrote such a beautiful post about your Dad. I love the bible verses you mentioned. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It is precious.

  26. Greetings,
    Please allow me to introduce myself...I am Grace.
    Nice to meet you.

    I am new to your blog and was so impressed that I just joined it:)

    What a lovely tribute to your dad...and the scriptures that you included were just right for this post.
    Thank you for sharing it with others, it was very inspirational.

    Looking forward to reading more.
    Blessings to you and yours.
    In Him,

  27. Laurie,
    This is such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it. You have a wonderful (and handsome!) dad!

  28. This is absolutely beautiful. I know he will enjoy it. I love your writing!!! Thank you for sharing at Rustic Restorations Weekend!

  29. Oh Laurie, there are tears welling in my eyes. What a moving tribute to your father. Beautiful!
    It made me think of my husband as I watch him with our young children.
    God bless fathers!

  30. Laurie,
    You are so talented.I so enjoy reading your posts.I feel as though I can see what you are typing through your words.
    What a lovely Fathers day post.

  31. The perfect post from a beautiful girl! I enjoyed your tribute so much!

  32. You made me cry again, just like on mother's day :) That is simply beautiful!

  33. Beautiful! What a wonderful tribute.

  34. Oh my Laurie, what a wonderful tribute. So many precious memories. What a wonderful bond between you and your dad. I loved your poetic writing. Thanks for sharing with Share Your Cup.

  35. What a beautiful post to your father Laurie! I KNOW he loved it too!!

  36. Laurie! You sent me over the edge! I'm weeping and laughing too - ADORE the last two pictures - what a true blessing - love the reminders of what's important. O.K. need to get a box of tissues now!
    Delightsome post! I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  37. What a beautiful post Laurie!! I so love many of those quotes!! What a great tribute to your Father! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  38. Very sweet!! Thanks for sharing all these stories. I'm glad you linked up at Romance on a dime!

  39. This was such a beautiful tribute for your dear Father on his day. You have such a gift with your writing. It gave me goosebumps. xoxo ~Lili


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