Robert Frost

The best way out is always through.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thoughts about Fatherhood

Yesterday morning on the Today Show they had a segment on a special "Fathers and kids" football/sports camp that works at encouraging men as fathers and leaders and providing a time for some Father-child activities.  All of a sudden I was tearing up watching the kids hugging their dads and tromping around playing with them and Sophia was looking at me so concernedly.  I hugged her and told her that "I'm just happy to see those daddies with their little kids" and she broke out in a smile. 

I grew up knowing I was loved and cared for by my mom, dad, and step dad and all the dear family that we were raised near.  My parents divorced when I was 9 years old and my sister was 4yo.  We saw my dad about 3 times a year, and talked to him about once a month.  Our step dad came into our lives when I was 13 going on 14 and was very good in caring for us and being a steady character in our lives.  I loved my step dad but the sense of easy affection was something that wasn't comfortable until I was in college and better appreciated the man he was (he just passed away this April).  And my dad does love on us, but again the everyday sense of Fatherly affection was not something I was accustomed to.  And this would seem to be a small matter until one weekend getaway in college.
I was a sophomore in college, and in our first weekend of Spring Break six of us from our Bible study group (we had met weekly for study since our first month of college the year before) decided to have a getaway at one of the girl's family ranch in Brenham, TX.  The weather was great, we got along so well, and my friend's family was completely welcoming and friendly.  We had been there the whole first afternoon when my friend's dad arrived from work to surprise his girl at our campsite in the pasture.  He called her name as he approached our group, with his arms open wide and she jumped up and jogged over to him and they embraced.  We all got up to meet him, yet I kept myself at the back of the group because I couldn't help that I was crying.  I composed myself enough to politely greet him and then he gallantly showed us around the property.  But I couldn't believe how overcome I became in that moment.  How that greeting resounded with me. 
We had a sweet time at the ranch with her family but I would get a catch in my throat when I thought of that moment.  Around this time of my life I prayed for the hope I had in my heart of being married, and the blessing of children.  And, I prayed for the Father my possible future husband would be and the mother I should be.  I would say around that time is when I offered hugs to my step dad more often.  I was urged by the Lord in my heart to call my dad more.  And God provided changes for good but I still hoped that I would see the same wonder of Fatherly love with my own little ones one day.

And, Praise God!, I have.  David is a wonder of a Father.  When I first met him he was already a dad (Anna was 5, Sara 3) and a serving, loving, strong, responsible one at that.  And we have been further blessed with another little one (well she is 3 yo now, maybe not so little) and I have been gifted again with seeing him father from "scratch". 
And I have seen him open arms wide to his girls and sweep them in a big embrace.  I have seen him take care of hurt hearts and scraped knees.  He has taught them truth, and the meaning of hard work.  He has held their hands in protection crossing the road, and clapped his hands cheering them on in all they try.  He has prayed alongside them and over them, even at times they do not know.   He strives to be the Father that God has called him to be with much grace, forgiveness and love. 

So I wish my David encouragement on Father's day to continue to be the protector/provider he is to our girls. And I pray that should a Father/child moment ever cause their heart to catch it's breath it would be because they know so well how their own Father (both earthly and heavenly) loved them full well. 


Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hello Jenny, a very heart warming story .. brought tears to my eyes.. I lost my dad when I was 10 , over 42 years ago, not a day as gone by without me missing him. We also have a stepfather who has done a lot for us all and taken on my boys as his grandsons, and my grandchildren as his great grand kids. But it is not the same .. I do care for my stepfather, and help all I can, but something is still upsetting . Take care and have a wonderful Fathers Day with your husband David, a truly wonderful man .. we need more like him. God Bless you all. xx Anne

Jenny said...

Oh, Anne thank you for your kind words. I am sorry about your father and understand the difference in step parenting as I have had both step mom and step dad, and am now a step mother myself, oh, what a delicate thing it can be. We have so far had a very leisurely Father's Day and he is out with our littlest to the morning farming (which she loves)...so he is celebrating the way he loves too.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Jenny, your story touches me so. Thank you for sharing it. What a wonderful picture of fatherly love. Your husband is obviously in love with your girls-it's easy to see, even if you hadn't written a word about him. Maybe David's fatherly love is healing a bit of your own daddy-homesickness. I love it when God works in this way. :)

Sally Annie Magundy said...

Hi Jenny!
Sorry to be so long in visiting! What a lovely and loving tribute to your husband on Father's Day. So very dear.
My father and I have a very "complicated" relationship, so Father's Day is never easy. I have never felt his approval or the permission to be myself around him - we only get along if everything is light and joking. So very painful to me. One wants to be "known" to their family, not denied. sniffle sniffle SOB.
I'm so happy for you that you found such a wonderful and loving man in your David (my husband is David too - I try to keep names off of my blog, the internet can be so weird)!
Happiest of weeks to you!

A TAle of Two Cities said...

Your David sounds like a gift from heaven. How blessed your children are to have such a strong man with such a sweet heart! Definitely an answer to prayer.


Jenny said...

Thank you so much Rebecca. Yes, God has woven this all so sweetly. I thank Him indeed.

Sally! Thank you for visiting and as far as hopes for a better father/daughter bond I understand that for sure. I still give it to the Lord. We both have a David....just another sweet coincidence.

Hello Debi, most definitely an answer to prayer. Thank you for the thoughtful comment and I hope your son and his wife are enjoying London.


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