Tag Archives: Dad

A keepsake

The longest we have lived in one place is seven years.

Then the Lord moved us here.

Before that our longest had been five years.

It’s been good for me.

I’ve learned a lot.

One of the lessons has been in letting go.

God never wants me to cling to things.

But He has also surprised me in this season we are walking in.

Not long ago I was in the kitchen when my husband came from the garage.

His new job has required his focus and he’s not gotten his garage just the way he wants it yet, but he’s working on it.

That’s what he had been doing when he came in.

His eyes held mine tenderly as he reached out his hand.

His blackened fingers (something I love about him, he works with his hands just like my dad did) grasped something which he placed gently in mine.

I had no idea what it was.

“Look at the inscription.”

So, I turned it over till I found the initials carved into the metal.

I knew exactly what they stand for.

It was as if time fell away.

And my bare feet were standing upon the concrete of our driveway.

My long brown hair carefully braided and still wet from running through the sprinkler in the lawn.

My father working on Mom’s car in the driveway.

His tools carefully laid out on his work towels.

And there was Grandpa, talking to Daddy, bent over looking under the hood.

It’s not a real memory.

More like a collage of memory scraps all pasted on top of one another, making a whole picture.

So, how did a small piece of initialed metal cause this?

Because it was a tool used by my Grandfather and given to my dad which eventually was passed on to my husband.

All three men worked on machines of one kind or another.

My husband said he’d been going through his tool box and found it.

Tools have come a long way and this one is pretty obsolete compared to the other sets he has.

But he knew I’d want to keep it.

So, now it’s sitting in my room.

A reminder of how incredible God truly is.

It’s also an opportunity to pray for my extended family.

I doubt I’ll keep this forever.

It needs to move on, into the possession of another man who works with his hands.

But until the Lord shows me who He wants to bless with it, I’m happy to let it remind me of my childhood.

To let it spur me to prayer.

And to praise God for His unfathomable love and care.

Truly,

2 Samuel 7:22 KJV — Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for this keepsake. It means so much to me that You would care about a tiny insignificant detail like this. But You understand things that I will never comprehend. Thank You for all Your love and mercy. Thank You for sustaining me throughout every part of my life. Thank You that life has seasons and in each one You have a plan and a purpose. Please help my eyes to be open to what You are doing in this season. Please help my mouth to speak only Your words of encouragement or exhortation. Please let my feet never stray from Your paths. Thank You, Jesus. I love You. Amen.

It’s been 20 years

This is a photograph of my father and his sister.

I love it.

There are few pictures in my possession of my Dad.

His life story was filled with pain and struggle.

I remember him telling me about being “on his own” at fourteen.

How he was working at a lumber camp in Southern Oregon.

Another story he once told me was his last day of school.

He was in the eighth grade and had come in and sat down.

The teacher called to him.

Then pointed out the shoes he had on.

“You can’t be in here with those.”

My father didn’t respond.

“Don’t come back wearing those.”

My father left.

I remember him looking at me very seriously and saying with sorrow,

“That was my last day of school. I didn’t have any other shoes.”

He went on to express his earnest desire for me and my sister to do our very best in school.

There are many other memories.

One of my favorite is my last year of college.

Right before Christmas my dad pulled me aside.

He explained that he really wanted to get me something nice for Christmas but didn’t know what I needed.

So, a little sheepishly he placed a hundred dollar bill in my hands and told me to spend it wisely.

He gave me an awkward hug and moved on to do chores.

I was stunned.

My dad was retired and Mom worked only part time, so she and Dad could work on the property.

The property, the house, everything at our place was in need and I knew the sacrifice.

It was perfect timing too.

I was in great need of a winter coat.

I wore that coat for three years and thanked God for it, my family’s sacrifice, and for Dad.

My own children have heard me speak of my father many times.

And the average person who listens to me talk of him probably won’t be able to understand.

The truth is hard.

My father was angry.

It was almost like a disease.

Very few things brought words of encouragement or support.

My teenage years are spattered with regret, for many a time did we scream at one another like people who have lost all sense of what is right and true.

My most embarrassing moment in life is the morning of my wedding.

I still have no idea what started our fight, but I’ve never forgotten what ended it.

My father’s cruel words of condemnation had sliced through every part of my heart.

I didn’t scream.

I just stood there cold and deadly serious. I calmly told him if he was going to act that way I didn’t want him to come to the wedding.

His face looked so hurt.

But the angry words were stopped.

Thankfully, he did come and seemed to enjoy it.

My relationship with my dad calmed down and began to improve as my months of marriage stretched into years.

The birth of our oldest made such an impact on him.

He loved her so deeply.

To watch the man who had caused so much hurt in my life be so gentle, caring, and tender to my daughter went a vast way to begin my healing.

My last memory of him is just after my second wedding anniversary.

Dad had placed our daughter in his little red wagon (he’d always wanted one as boy so one Christmas Mom had gotten him one) and spent a while pulling her up and down the driveway.

When he was too tired, he came inside to tell Mom and I that it was our turn to pull her.

Then Dad was killed suddenly in a random accident.

It took years of prayer and Bible reading for God to heal my heart completely.

But God has.

Which is why I can write and talk about him with openness and love.

I love my dad very much and I know he loved me.

He made mistakes.

He chose to be selfish and cruel many times.

But he also had accepted Christ and I remember his humble prayer of forgiveness, as well as his struggle with surrender.

I rest securely in Jesus’s forgiveness for both of us.

I know Jesus forgave him and I do too.

Dad died twenty years ago.

And it’s been an incredible journey.

As the Lord walked me through forgiveness and healing He showed me areas of truth and love.

Things I’d forgotten about or misunderstood at the time.

It’s placed my heart very happily in the truth.

My dad wasn’t perfect, nobody is.

But I know Jesus loves him.

And I do too.

I look forward to the day when we will meet together again in heaven and all the broken sin stains will be removed and it will be as it should have been.