Wednesday, December 24, 2014

It's my Dad's Birthday!!

That's right! My dad is a Christmas eve baby! One of the best Christmas gifts ever. Oh how I wish I could completely describe him, but to put it simple. He is one of my biggest heroes and greatest friends! Here's a few pictures into the life of my dad.

A handy man and always finding ways to serve others.
Husband to my beautiful Mum

Hunter - partially because of the hunt, but also because he loves the out doors and spending time with people

Dad of a bunch of awesome children. Haha, jk on the last part. But He is an amazing dad. 

A little whacky sometimes

And loves to make others laugh


Fun and competitive

Great Dad

Leader, encourager, and comforter


...and so so much more

He has taught me sooo much and God has used Him to bless so many people. Some of the favorite things that I have learned from him are...

6. To always be Learning
Dad is a constant learner. He asks questions, researches, and has a huge store of information. He'd pass on neat facts to us kids, explain the why and how behind the what, and would answer all sorts of questions that we asked him. Sometimes we'd stump him, and most of the time he'd wheel over to the computer and say "well let's look." Then once he'd figure it out he'd help us to understand it too. Boy was I especially thankful for his gift of teaching when I'd come home from Anatomy and Physiology confused by something and he would whip out a whiteboard pen to explain it in illustration on the whiteboard.

5. To Work Hard
When my dad does something, he puts in all his effort. If it's worth doing, its worth doing well, and he's always on the look out for things that need to get done. Quicker to jump up to do a job than to sit down and watch a movie.

4. To Serve
Not only is he hard working, but he has blessed so many people by just being aware of how to help others and making a point to step in and serve. Volunteering to move houses, providing rides to church, sending food over to the neighbors, working in the yard....a lot of my memories are of working as a family to serve others. Through example, encouragement, and instruction he taught me the importance of seeing how to serve and sharing love with others through action.

3. To give to others through Leadership
My dad doesn't always like to lead or be the center of attention. But when he see's a need, he steps up to do it. I remember him telling me often, "Don't be the sage on the stage, be the guide on the side" Whether it be hosting an event, leading devotions, directing an Apologetics club, or just guiding a conversation, he steps up to help others. He taught me that leadership isn't about power and prestige, it's about using your gifts and skills to bless, guide, and encourage others. 

2. To Love and Listen
By mom and dad really are two of my best friends. I can't count the number of times that my dad and I have talked for hours about life and everything that comes with it. He's always been there to listen, share his wisdom, and just talk things through with. 

1. To Pursue God
I remember coming home from Awana camp, knowing that my Dad was going to ask me "What did God teach you this week?" When I was younger and not really in a genuine daily relationship with God, I'd come back and cringe when I heard the question. Because I had been so focused on the fun and friends. But as I got older, that question and my parents constant example and encouragement spurred me on to see what a daily relationship with God was really like. 
Mom and Dad would have us get up every morning for devotions, and even though there were multiple times when us kids would fall asleep or not come with the right heart, they were faithful. They would encourage us and would live out the example of spending time with God and digging into His word. The moments when they shared what God was teaching them and how he was humbling their hearts were some of my favorite. My parents weren't and aren't perfect, but they showed me that it alright. Because life isn't about being perfect, it's about having a relationship with God and loving others, a beautiful journey. 

Dad, you'll never know the impact you've made. I love you so so much and am incredibly thankful that I get to be your daughter! I wish I could be there in person to wish you Happy Birthday and give you a hug, but here's a HAPPY BIRTHDAY from Nicaragua!
Thanks for seeking God, loving Him, loving mom, and loving us kids. You're you and I love you that way. Your daughter misses you and is praying for you as you continue to seek to be God's kid, a husband, a dad, a friend, a leader, and a man after God.