happy birthday to my father

Today I celebrate the culmination of sixty years of life for the incredible man I am privileged to call “Dad”.  As my protector, provider, counselor, confidante, walking dictionary and encyclopedia, and example of faithfulness, he will forever be a man among men to me.    

6 Gifts From My Father

1. TimeThroughout my life my father always took time to invest in the lives of my brothers and me. 

He would play ball (softball or basketball usually) and Frisbee with us outside.  He taught me to use the jigsaw in his workshop and let me cut wooden shapes from scrap lumber.  

Although not a board game player as such, there was one game he loved.  Chess.  He took time to teach us not only how to play but simple strategies as well. 

I have been in 43 of our wonderful states of the Union and 3 countries outside the States because my dad and mom both love to travel and took every opportunity to take my brothers and me to see this beautiful world God created.  

One of my favorite memories is of my dad making time to read to us as a family.  He still does on rare occasions when we all have time to do so.  Ah, the world of our bookshelf has taken us places we might never have otherwise been privileged to visit and opened our minds to concepts that make people great.  

2. MusicMy father made music a definite part of our home. 

My father loves music!  As a child he would go to all night gospel singings with his family.  His mother, uncles, and aunts had a quartet that eventually became the Hamilton Brothers Quartet.  They sang on the radio and made an album.  My father had a relative who was a member of the Jordanaires (who…for those of you care…sang back up for Elvis Presley).  Southern Gospel was and still is my father’s favorite genre of music. 

Another genre he particularly enjoys is classical music.  One of his favorite pieces is Piano Concerto in A minor by Edvard Grieg 

He loves for our family to sing together.  We have done it at least once or twice in church (all five of us).  A memorable time was when we sang “How Great Thou Art” in Russian. 

 3. FamilyIt has been evident that despite his many responsibilities, my father made our family a top priority in his life. 

As part of his college degree he received a teaching certificate for secondary education.  He, along with my mother and her educational background, chose to devote their abilities in that field to home schooling their three children.   

He always made sure we spent time with our extended family and were aware of others from our same family tree.  He loves genealogy and found that one of our ancestors was a court physician to an English king!

  4. FaithfulnessTo God, church, family, and his word – my father has always made it a priority to be faithful.

I could probably count on both hands (maybe one) the number of times my father has been absent from church for any reason other than being out of town.   

He has been faithful to my mother for (soon to be) 37 years.  I am both thankful and humbled by the realization that my brothers and I have been blessed with integrity in our parents’ marriage. 

5. LearningI am amazed and overwhelmed with the variety of subjects with which my father either acquainted or well versed.

 It seems my father knows something about everything.  No, not the way some people would have you believe they know something about everything.  He just truly knows about SO many things!  He never quits learning either!  He listens, reads, watches, studies, and engages in learning opportunities.  It seems so effortless for him.  It’s as if it happens by osmosis when he sleeps.  Perhaps there’s something to his radio pillow speaker!  I once had one.  I thought it was neat because…my dad had one!   

 Although not limited to them, his favorite topics seem to be Biblical principles, Creation Science, History, Home Life, and Child Training.  To this day he loves crossword puzzles and now especially, sudoku puzzles.  Occasionally we catch the puzzler from Car Talk and work together to figure it out.   I have not read all his books, but they are friends with whom I’m acquainted.  It makes me feel smart just to know about them :-).  

Aside from the topics he just genuinely enjoys learning about, he knows HOW to do things, whether building or repairing.  It is very seldom we are required to call a service man to do anything at our house simply because dad knows how to nearly everything!  I think some vehicle repairs, carpet laying, heat/air and a few dishwasher repairs have been the only things for which we’ve had to call a serviceman – all because my father was willing to learn.  His willingness to learn from others has also meant being willing to receive help from others when he realized he needed it.  While not always an easy thing for him to do, I think that is the greatest sign of a true learner.

6. SecurityA father should embody security to his family.  I feel extremely blessed that I can attest to that quality in my father.

The most wonderful sound to my ears as a child was that of my father’s work truck approaching and pulling into our drive.  Regardless of what the day had held, everything would now be okay, knowing that he was home. 

In the most traumatic events of my life, my father has been by my side comforting me with his presence, strong and solid.  Perhaps this is why I have learned and am still learning to trust my heavenly Father.  He gave me a good representation of Himself in my natural father. 

 My dad would not tell you that he is perfect and has it all together.  He is too much of a man for that.  He painfully realizes areas in which he wants to grow and change.  His acknowledgement of them, however, is all the more proof that he is a man among men; a man to whom I am forever blessed to be called daughter.

Happy birthday Dad, I love you!

“For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.”          

                                                                                                – Gen. 18:19