Girls are greatly influenced by their fathers and I do not take it for granted that I am among the few women who can say that they had a wonderful fatherly example. The way a woman views her Heavenly Father depends on her experience of her earthly father and for that, I am grateful.
Because of my dad, I have always seen God as loving, attentive, kind and generous.
My dad growing up
My dad has been a pastor, or serving in some sort of ministry capacity, for most of my life. I sat under his teachings for many years and enjoyed the benefits of being ‘raised in the church.’ I reveled in being a pastor’s daughter and felt like a princess, going to church wearing pretty dresses and carrying my Bible and baby doll, the little girl whose dad was The Pastor. Many kind, Godly people influenced me as I grew up and I also learned the value of being a part of—and serving in—the local church. I put a very high value on having had that experience.
As a little girl, I can remember taking a bath and then approaching my dad for his ‘sniff of approval.’ I am sure that I delighted in his attention. I did a lot of dress twirling for him, too, and still do. I am a grown woman now and he is still admiring and approving my outfits.
I have so many wonderful memories of my dad. Roses on Valentine’s Day when I was a teenager, Christmas presents that he hid until we thought all of the gifts had been opened, family vacations to the beach, books on leadership for my birthday and countless ‘ATM withdrawals’ (as long as I was fast enough to grab it out of his hand when he offered it—otherwise he took it back!).
My father worked tirelessly to provide well for our family and did it all without ever losing his temper or raising his voice. Being a parent myself now, I appreciate that more than ever!
My Dad’s Influence
My dad had a desk top computer when I was a young teenager. I wrote dozens of stories on it and learned how to do e-mail before anyone I knew even had an e-mail address. I am tech savy today because of him. And because he was in ministry, I wanted to follow in his footsteps so I chose to teach children’s classes at church, serve on the women’s leadership team, volunteer as the chaplain of my chorus group and marry a man who was also a church leader. All of these opportunities greatly influenced the course of my life. In fact, when I withdrew from the local state university and didn’t know where to go, my dad talked to the president of a small Bible college to secure my spot in their education department—which is ultimately how I met my husband! I truly can’t imagine my life today without my father’s leadership.
My Dad Now
I owe so much of who I am to my dad. My dad has always seen me as a writer and even when I wasn’t doing any writing, he’d ask, “Did you write today?” He is one of the main reasons I finally took up writing officially as part of my offering to small business owners–my dad wouldn’t have stopped bugging me until I did! Writing is who I am and he has always fostered and encouraged that in me. He has also been my best editor over the years. If you tell me I’m a leader, it’s because of my dad.
My sense of humor, my spiritual beliefs, my work ethic, my tenacity, my confidence as a woman, my photography skills, my long legs—I owe all of it to my dad.
My father is a man that I would want as a mentor if he were not my dad. He is an incredibly hard worker, has impeccable ethics, treats everyone he meets with kindness, never says a negative word about anyone, takes almost every opportunity to deliver a funny one-liner just to see people laugh and I have never heard him utter a curse word in 34 years. He’s also crazy-handsome, extremely witty and a ridiculously talented painter. I admire him immensely and feel incredibly blessed to have him so (literally) close to me and at my disposal when I need him.
My dad is also among the few people who comment on my Facebook statuses and has already even commented on this blog. Just the thought of it brings tears to my eyes.
Having your dad as your biggest fan is the desire of every girl’s heart and my heart swells at the thought of it.
My father has always adored me, and still does. I am 34 years old and he still calls me his “Sweet Baby.” He still cleans my van windows and buys me little treats, too. He delights in my children, celebrates my successes and always encourages me to go for my dreams.
My dad is a true leader and I hope that this Father’s Day, he can revel in the fact that he has led his daughter extraordinarily well. I am forever grateful.
How has your father positively influenced you? What qualities or attributes do you owe to your dad?