This weekend is our annual celebration of Father's Day. A day to honor and remember our dads. To honor the memory of my dad who passed away seven years ago, I'd like to tell you a bit about him.
My dad was born in 1925, December the 29th. In fact, we always tried to make his birthday special because, as most people who have a birthday around the holidays have experienced, Christmas gifts often get combined with birthday gifts! But fortunately many of those birthdays were shared with Daddy due to going "home" to Virginia for the holiday.
One of the many attributes I remember was Dad's ability to fix anything, make most anything and never hired out for work to be done in the yard or house. He was just amazing in all those categories. For instance, Mama would see a Christmas decoration made out of wood that she would like to own; Dad would come home and make it. I once started painting birdhouses and Dad decided he would make the birdhouses and then paint a few himself! (All the grandchildren got one of those, by the way). And then there was one night Daddy wanted cake to eat, so he got in the kitchen and made a cake!
I especially remember the day he took me out to the garage and showed me how to change a tire on my car. He said he didn't want me in a position where I needed to wait for assistance because women needed to know these things!
Daddy never readily said he loved me when I was growing up. I don't know why, but when I got married it all changed. I've never lived close to my parents from the day I married, but each time I came home and got ready to leave, Daddy had tears in his eyes. From that point on, he hugged me and told me he loved me when I'd leave.
I will always remember when Gary and I married and moved to Idaho, Daddy helped box a lot of my things. One of the items was a ceramic Christmas tree that I display each year. When I opened the box (in April) there was a big note that said, "I love you...Dad". I sat in the living room and cried my eyes out. I so missed home at that very moment and having Dad's availability just down the road.
There were countless hours spent on Mom and Dad's screened in porch each morning drinking coffee. In fact, it often went into lunchtime while we sat and talked about life. Often we spoke about the things of Christ and living the Christian life and anytime I had a question or came up on a particular bump in the road, I would ask his opinion. He never disappointed with food for thought. In fact, when it came time to choose a cover for my second devotional book, Daddy picked out the cover and added why it would be his choice. It instantly made sense to me because I considered my Dad a wise man.
Gospel music, wow how Daddy loved gospel quartet music! Each Sunday morning he'd be in the bathroom shaving, getting ready for church and be whistling those gospel tunes. He loved to sing and sang in several gospel quartets. He even wrote a song that was recorded when sung at his funeral. I can hear his voice in my mind when certain songs are played and/or sung in church.
I'm not saying Daddy was perfect. He was opinionated and during a discussion he'd give you a run for your money with the reasons why his idea or opinion was the best. However, I saw him mellow through the years. I heard him apologize for past mistakes, tell me many times the things he wished he'd done for Gary and our family when we were struggling with two little ones.
But Daddy loved us; my mother, whom he wouldn't hardly let out of his sight; us kids and especially all the grandchildren. I can still see Daddy swinging on the porch with Nicholas by his side just talking. I have no idea what they talked about, but they would spend hours out there. And all those times Kimberly sat on his lap...even as she became a young woman. As one person commented, "You're never too old to sit on Papa's lap." From the time she was a little thing, she would crawl up in Papa's lap and just be close to him.
He always tried to impart his knowledge to us, the things only time and experience can teach, but the one thing I will always remember is listening to Daddy pray with Mama every morning. Daddy would pray for each one of us, calling us by name and asking God to lead us all to the foot of the Cross. He would name whatever struggle we had shared and ask the Lord to show us how to handle it. My dad was a child of God and I know in my heart that he is rejoicing this Father's Day with our heavenly Father God.
I love you, Dad and I miss you. I could use some of that experienced wisdom. As Mama said to you when the Lord led you home, "Don't walk too fast because I'm coming." I'll meet you at the gate of heaven, Daddy, where we'll sing forever in the heavenly choir! Happy Father's Day, Love "Miss Cook"!
Lord, thank you for dads who are trying their best to live for you and be the best fathers they can be this side of heaven. The sacrifices made, the love extended unconditionally, the faith shown and deeds done for Jesus Christ, may prayers that have been lifted bring honor to our Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Today has been a wonderful day of celebration for me as I enter into another year of living, laughing, teaching, writing, loving and praising my Lord and Savior. I do not take for granted the privilege of being alive and well and I pray I will use each and every day given to me to make Jesus proud!
Many thanks for the countless individuals who took a few minutes out of their day to wish me a happy birthday. I am simply honored and amazed at your kindness and generous words.
One of my objectives for my birthday this year was to be with my mother. As you know my mom is blind, has dementia and is living in a nursing home. With the Covid 19 this year, I have not been in the same room with her since late February/early March. It's been really difficult on both of us. Although visitors and family members are still not permitted into the facility, it was my hope to at least see mom through a window and communicate with her by phone.
After deciding to make the trip to Lynchburg, hubby and I decided to hit the road!
With the help of a wonderful staff member, I have gotten to talk with mom for the past two days using this mode of communication. Today she was dressed up and helped sing Happy Birthday to me. It was a treasure and something I will always ponder in my heart.
Life is filled with surprises and blessings. I am fortunate to have been able visit with loved ones and celebrate this day with a heart that is full. Below is a bit of my blessings!
I press on through this pandemic to find various ways in which to teach using social media. With my son's guidance, I now have a YouTube channel for The Sounding Board Ministry. I will be posting each week through the month of June as I teach from the Book of James. James is full of practical lessons for us as believers to incorporate into our daily lives.
Hopefully, if you are not attending corporate worship currently you will enjoy delving into this book with me.
God bless, my friends!
As I walked on the trail this morning, I couldn't help but take a photo of the beauty surrounding me. As I looked up and saw this incredibly blue sky and the green of the leaves of these trees, I was extremely thankful. Why, you might ask, with this coronavirus still a major concern in our lives with no present cure for our bodies, am I thankful?
Well, that is an easy answer for me. I'm blessed. After months of staying home and traveling to the grocery store and only an occasional trip to check on my mother-in-law, I've not been many places. So, again, why be thankful? Because we have been given all we needed to thrive. My husband and I have had food on our table, a warm house in the winter, social media to stay in touch with friends and family, a safe place to walk daily and, to top it off, we are being allowed starting this weekend to move around in our communities due to the decrease in virus cases.
So, yes, I am blessed, and to add to the excitement I'm getting my hair cut this weekend! Talk about a blessing!! What a minor gift, but one I hope I never take for granted along with all the other liberties I have enjoyed my entire life!
Why don't you join me in being thankful today? Put aside all the troubles and trials of life and simply breathe. Breathe in the fresh air, the life, the love and the protection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Have a great day!
Judith "Cookie" White is the founder of The Sounding Board Ministry. She is the author of two devotional books which are available on this site.