What do you think of when you hear the phrase?
I used to think of a tomboy or a spoiled daughter with a princess complex, but over the past few years have discarded these definitions and even begun to identify with the phrase.
Born into a long line of farmers, Dad was ready to follow in his father’s footsteps. During a summer, between Bible school semesters, he went on a mission trip to Mexico with the fledging ministry of O.M. This experience changed the trajectory of his life.
After Bible school, he married the girl with the big brown eyes and became a farmer. Patty was the daughter of farmers and this was the life they had planned for, but Dad’s experiences in Mexico had awakened a longing for more.
Dad loves to take us on adventures.
A year after they were married, my parents joined O.M. and began life on a missionary ship. While there, my Dad ensured our family took weekly outings to sight see and experience the food and culture of the countries we were docked in. He would herd us down the gangway and then trail blaze in front of us, guiding the way. We visited beaches, walked down streets, met people, hiked and learned to feel comfortable with people and places most others will never see. These shared adventures knit our family together.
Dad loves to read.
Each evening Dad gathered us around the dinning room table after dinner, made us each a cup of tea and read to us. We sipped our tea as we lost ourselves in an imaginary world. Dad encouraged us to read, even offering incentives for the books we finished. I quickly outgrew the incentives as reading became a part of my life.
Dad loves ideas and conversations.
Before there were teachers, there was Dad. He loves to discuss, share and he listens well. After our meals, Dad offers to brew coffee and we spend hours at the dinner table talking. At work he is sought out by others for his experience and insight.
Dad is a life long learner.
How does a farmer become a missionary, chief steward, Director and fundraiser. He learns and Dad has always encouraged me to continue learning and growing. My tendency towards introspection found shade and nutrients in his care. He taught me that learning continues beyond the classroom. I love that we share new ideas, books, and lessons learned with one another.
Dad serves, perseveres & loves well.
Flexibility is required to change positions within an organization and to move one’s family. I admire my Dad. His heart of service continues to shine through his work. He has held different positions over the years, but his heart remains the same: to serve well and to honor God. His heart inspires me and reminds me of what is most important.
Throughout the changes our family went through, Dad’s priority was staying connected as a family and ensuring I felt heard and loved. When I reflect on all the ways in which Dad serves and loves our family, my eyes brim with happy tears. I am blessed. He drove 8 hours to help me move and helped me move countless times. He consistently tells me how much he loves me and how proud he is of me. He cooks the best pancakes. There is so much more…
Dad is a man of integrity, strength, wisdom, insight and learning.
It’s said that a daughter’s relationship with her Dad determines the type of man she dates and eventually marries. I know this has proved true for me. The traits and character I sought in a husband are the traits of my father. He does what is right, even when no one is watching. He is strong physically, mentally and most importantly in his beliefs and values. He is insightful, seeing beyond the surface of things, and getting to the heart of a matter. He continues to learn and to generously share his learning with others.
Happy Birthday Dad!
I am blessed to be your daughter.
I’m proud to be Daddy’s girl.