“I loved photography for the same reason I loved baseball. Because Dad did.” – Lassoing the Sun by Mark Woods
This made me think, are there things I love because Dad did? I suppose there are things I like and things I do and choices I’ve made along the way because of him. I was born in Athens, Georgia and into this family that has perpetually rooted for the Georgia Bulldogs. So, I’ve always considered myself a fan, though it’s laughable to call me a fan of any football team. Dad loved music and so do I, though I can’t say he influenced my choices of musical styles.
Dad’s work ethic was an example to me and I think it had a lot to do with my educational goals when I first went off to college. I majored in marketing with an eye on fashion merchandising. Dad didn’t ever push me into it, but he was clear with his desire for me to get a college education, something he never had. He explained to me the changes in the workplace and how, in his later years, he couldn’t hire anyone without a degree. How I wish he had been there when I finally graduated with a degree in Elementary Education.
Dad was also a wordsmith of sorts. He loved to use big words. He admitted to having poor handwriting and spelling skills; he said that’s what secretaries were for. He also loved to make up words, specifically names for us kids and then the grandkids. Maybe I somehow absorbed his love of words.
Like Woods, I love photography and I like baseball. I don’t know where exactly my love of taking pictures came from, but it has evolved greatly in recent years. My enjoyment of baseball totally came from my husband.
All this brings me to say, I’m glad for the glimpses of Dad that show up in me on occasion. The wordplay, the sense of honesty, the sense of humor. Thanks, Dad.
…Of how much more value are you than the birds? Luke 12:24
Sometimes I get despondent and it seems I am alone. I know in my heart that I’m not, but I forget that God is my Father, and a Father that cares more for me than I’ll ever know.
My dad had a hard time expressing himself. He grew up without a father as his dad died when he was only four years old. He had no role model to show him the way to express love to his children. I think I was a young adult before I ever heard him say, “I love you.” I knew he loved me, but it was music to hear him say it. Yet, the older and mellower he got, he began to loosen up and I heard those words more often.
I am thankful for all the years I had with him. And I’m thankful God is near me, even when I can’t “feel” Him.
“We need never shout across empty spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts.”- A.W. Tozer
I actually wrote this a year ago, but was inspired today by Javacia Harris Browser to pull it out and dust it off.
Me at 14 with my brothers
Dear Fourteen Year Old Self,
This will be short, because I know you may not want to read a long letter right now. I know you are feeling fat, but I can tell you, you WILL lose that weight and keep it off for years. Just continue on being your happy self and a good friend to the peeps in your life right now. Some of those kids will still be in your life when you hit your 50s.
Work on your poetry – some of it is good and some of it stinks, but it will be a help to you when you are feeling blue.
It’s easy now to say not to worry so much about what others think, but it isn’t easy to put into practice at 14. Don’t do anything that would cause people to truthfully talk bad about you, though.
Don’t go looking for love too soon. It will come, I promise you. And it will last for years. Don’t give away pieces of yourself that you can never get back.
1. Don’t pray to seen by men – And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward – Matthew 6:5
2. Don’t start with your wants – “In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10
The structure of what is familiarly known as The Lord’s Prayer begins with God, then goes on to mankind and our needs.
3. Don’t expect to always have the beautiful words. – sometimes we comes to God and our souls are dry and empty. “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” – Romans 8:26
4. Don’t focus on yourself – Refocus your eyes on God – if you are a Christian, He is your Father – look to Him.
Approach Him with reverence, not in INDEPENDENCE, but rather IN DEPENDENCE.
Please know that I am talking to myself here as well. Thanks to Mark Soud for his messages on Matthew.