Tag Archives: fathers

Shining Moments

Life is filled with special days, special moments when our hearts overflow with memories and gratitude. Today is one such day.

 It is my Dad’s birthday.

Yes, 89 years old today. Still in good health and able to get out and about.

Looking younger than his years and sharp mentally, he takes one day as it comes giving me a living example of the way to age.

Years ago a story I had written was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Dad.  It’s a memory that shines brightly for me today.

I was about fifteen at the time. Longing for something but I didn’t quite know what.

You know the feeling.

My Dad noticed my quiet seriousness and asked me privately about it.

“I don’t know,” I remember saying “but maybe if I could play in the band like my brother. ( He was two years older) And go to the football games. Maybe it would help.”

“Well what instrument would you like to play?”

“The flute. I always wanted to play the flute.”

“Would it help if we bought you a flute?” Now this was a time when money was in short supply and my parents were needing to carefully manage their finances.

“Yes but uh..”  I couldn’t believe the question. Couldn’t take it in.

Faster than you could think my Dad had me in the car and on our way to the music store.

When we entered the large storeroom filled with instruments of every size and shape imaginable my eyes  were immediately drawn to a beautiful shiny Gemeinhardt flute displayed on the counter.

“Could you use this?” my Dad asked walking over to examine it.

I couldn’t believe my ears.

“Could you learn to play this?” he asked again looking at me. “Take some lessons and play in the band?”

He smiled while I choked back tears.

I nodded my head and before you knew it the flute was paid for and we were on our way home.

I’ll never forget it. The suddenness of it all. The grace outpoured. A Father’s love.

I did work hard to learn to play in the band and even though I never got really good, it was good enough to play in the marching bank at the football games.

Still have that flute today and every once in a while I take it out and play a trill or two.

 

I really was surprised that day so long ago and deeply touched.

Isn’t that just how God loves to step into our lives sometimes and shower us.

Yes, sometimes when we least expect it He gives us a tangible sign of His forever Love.

That we never forget.

Rather we treasure for the rest of our lives.

 

 

 

Love Is Still The Key

 

I read the article “Love key to brain development in children” by Dr. Charles Raison with interest this morning. It highlighted something that I have seen many times throughout my years as a classroom teacher and also as a licensed professional counselor and certified life coach.

Love is the key.

Dr. Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona, writes that the single most important environmental factor to parenting is love. Yes, there are also numerous other environmental factors (and biological ones) that have great effects. And yes it is possible to not be loved and still grow up to be a healthy adult but still the impact of love is huge.

We have been created to love and be loved.

As I walked the halls of the orphanage many years ago I longed to scoop up all the children and love them. I knew that it would not change everything for them but it would sure help. I know that love does not heal all wounds but it makes a great difference.

Motherhood challenges our love.

Day after day we pour our lives into our children. Cleaning up messes. Tenderly kissing hurts and bruises. Long hours listening to their hearts and showing them that they are important.

Fatherhood challenges our love.

In a world that pushes for more and more and greater and better, parenting calls us to lay down our lives and quietly love. Spending time. Choosing another path.

One day at a time.

One moment after another.

“Love is patient. Love is kind.” (I Cor. 13:4-7)

And when all is said and done the question still remains “Have you loved well today?”

Love is contagious.

It grows with encouragement and nurture.

One who has experienced love knows how to pass it on. If you have not experienced being loved, you can still grow up well –adjusted. Just read “A Child Called It” by David Pelzer.

One generation after another.

It is all too easy to forget. To grow inconsistent in loving. To falter with the busyness and distractions of each day.

But let this gentle reminder encourage you to love today.

Love.

Wherever you can. In as many different ways as possible.

Love.

Won’t you join me?