happy birthday dad!

Today, I thought it would be fitting to blog about my Dad, because it’s his birthday! (Don’t ask me how old he is…) Without question, my Dad has been the greatest spiritual influence in my life. Looking back, these are some of the most profound lessons I have learned from him:

One of my earliest childhood memories (and I really remember it like yesterday) is sitting on the couch in our old house with my Dad, Danielle and Jeremy. I can still hear the dishwasher running in the background as Mom cleaned up the kitchen from dinner. Almost every night my Dad would read us the Picture Bible (we’re talking the Bible, comic book style – very cool to a 6 year old). It wasn’t years of going to church that rooted me into the Word, but those late nights falling in love with stories about giants, parting oceans, and thousands being fed with a little boy’s lunch. My dad never shoved the Bible down our throat, but it’s amazing to me that something as simple as reading the cartoon Bible to a child shaped me into the woman I am today.

In Wichita, as a 7 year-old, I finally understood what salvation was. I realized that nothing I could do would earn me salvation and eternal life with Jesus Christ. I understood that I had to accept Him as Lord and Savior to become a Christian. Guess who was there to explain to me the plan of salvation and pray with me to come to Christ? Dad.

Most of you know that I love music and singing. Every Sunday, I lead the Rock’s youth band, and I get so much enjoyment out of it. In 7th grade, I really started to sing for the first time. I remember trying out for my school’s talent show. I got cut and I was devastated and embarrassed. I never wanted to sing again, and I wanted to leave school early that day. I called my dad (from the PAYPHONE, ha!) and begged him to pick me up. He told me, “No. You’re staying at school. Hold your head high and don’t quit.” Dad probably doesn’t even remember that day, saying those words or making me stay at school, but it could possibly be the greatest lesson he has ever taught me. And he hasn’t just said those words, but he has truly walked his talk in front of me throughout all that he has been dealing with. My Dad taught me to never give up. To stick it out. It began with something as pointless as a 7th grade talent show, but I remembered this moment as I battled through this year.

In high school, before I would leave for school every morning, I would run downstairs and say bye to my Dad. And like clockwork, I would find him in his office either on his knees in prayer or with his nose in the Bible. You see, it’s sometimes the things your parents don’t say that impact you the most. Yes, I’m a pastor’s daughter. No, Dad didn’t lead daily Bible studies every morning or make us take communion before dinner or force us to play Bible Jeopardy. But I did see him grow in the Lord daily. Happy Birthday Dad!

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