Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Playing an active role

I decided to do more than one post in regards to my thoughts on Father's Day, as I had so many different thoughts and they took different directions. I was looking through lots of photos on my computer and I was pleasantly surprised to find how many pictures I have of Chip with our kids. Yesterday it was Chip and Teagan. Today it's Chip and Brock.
I heard a brief message on the radio on Sunday (Father's Day) and the announcer was saying that it's so meaningful for people to have their dad's be present on the important days of their lives- birthdays, holidays, graduations. As I paused to reflect on that statement, I realized, yes, it's true. But I couldn't help but think that to me, I believe it's even more important that a dad is present in the very ordinary, 'unimportant' days of their loved ones' lives.
I thought back on my own life, and while I was so fortunate to have a dad around in my life all the time, holidays or not, I think back on the times when I needed him most. Most times it wasn't on my birthday or when things were going really well. But instead, I needed him to be there when my car wouldn't start. Or when my world didn't make sense. I loved having him around when I wanted to learn how to start the mower and mow the grass, or when I baked a new recipe and I knew he would give me honest feedback on how it turned out. =) I think of the important days that my dad was there for me in life...and I am grateful and appreciative to have had him there and that he made me a priority.
But to me that's sort of 'easy' or expected at times. I think what really shows someone that you love and care is when you make yourself available to that person- no matter what's going on in life. I have been blessed by both a dad and husband, who have taken the role of fatherhood seriously, and have made a point in being 'present' in their kids' lives. I know that it's not something that everyone in this world has had...it seems more and more it is a gift to have a father figure in life- especially a dad who chooses to be available and serves as a model and leader in the home.
My dad would say that he wasn't perfect. He would tell you that he has grown and changed through the years. Chip would say the same thing. Often times he is hardest on himself and his 'qualifications' as a dad. But seeing these pictures of Chip with our kids, and knowing that he loves them and wants the best for them, and seeks to provide for them and offer them opportunities and encouragement, that is the heart of the matter as far as I'm concerned. I know that Brock "acts" different around Chip and that he looks up to him and respects him and wants to please him- and for that I am thankful. I know that Chip thinks the world of Brock, and is always looking for ways to push him, challenge him, have fun with him, and just show his love for him.
I paused for a few moments while I sat thinking in church on Sunday. I prayed for some of you and the hurts and challenges you have had or continue to have in life as a result of your dad not being who you would like him to be in life, or for not being present when you needed him most. I do take comfort though, knowing that there is a heavenly Father who has, is and always will be the perfect example of what a Father should be to others....and who also can fill the voids and heal the hurts of the pains caused by dads not living up to expectations and failing those around them in their life. Nobody is perfect, and people will always let others down. I realize just how fortunate my kids are to have Chip, how fortunate Chip was to have his Dad, and how grateful I continue to be for my own Dad in our lives. It's wonderful to have them around on the important occasions, yes. But more importantly, I love that they are there in the every day moments of life that shape us and define our characters in bigger ways than we can see.
So today I just want to say thanks, to my dad, and to Chip and to all the other dads out there who are taking their 'jobs' seriously and striving to be the best they can be for the ones they love most in this world. It is a gift that I don't say thank you for often enough...but one that I appreciate most sincerely in my life!


~Lea~ said...

This post hits home. I struggled with the relationship with my biological father for years, before he drew my last straw...and I had to just give up.

But, God had a hand in giving me a step-dad who would step in fully and take over the job that my real dad should have done. He is wonderful, and my mom has hundreds of photos like this of me and him. I love that.

These photos of Chip and your kids make me smile!

Have a great day-

Christal said...

Jody, I know this may sound strange but it seemed as though at one point in your post I could just feel the love and warmth radiating from this post. I then ofcoase cried LOL! Felt like you were there saying EXACTLY what I needed to hear! Hugs!

scrap {n} flava said...

you are so right about everything you have said here. I was thinking about this last night while talking with a friend about how she was so happy to see my husband playing football with our son. I explained to her that I did notice because he doesn't spend as much time as he could doing those unimportant but oh-so important things with him. So I went on to explain to her that it makes me sad that I get excited about these bits of time because it's something he should do more often and it should be natural, and not go unnoticed, but maybe it should be less surprising when he does share time with our children, you know?
I will have to share your entry with him when he comes home this evening.

Anonymous said...

I heard a commentary on the radio re: dad's the other day and how it's the "time" spent with their kids that is important. NOT..how much they can buy for them, NOT how much money they make and the list goes on. Kids will never remember that list but the "time" given to them by their parents. I also heard how important Dad's are to be present in a family.
But to add here for the people who get sad about their own dad's or their husbands lacking in this area. I want to say that they probably didn't have it modeled to them. More is caught then taught!
There are exceptions to this dynamic...guys who seem to know that they didn't have a dad to model what was important so they make a conscious effort to break that cycle.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and pics of your family! It means so much!

NancyJones said...

OH girl you totally have me tearing up here. I miss my daddy so much. He was a sherriff deputy killed in line of duty and it was just the most horrible thing ever. I wasa a 100 percent daddys girl. (my mom was in a car accident when i was a baby and he literally had me tied to him for 2 years) My mom got better but I still had that special bond no one could take away or come between. My mom and I are close but NOT like me and daddy. SHe says it was because of those two years that I was so much HIS. NOW I THANK GOD my little girl has such a close bond with her daddy. IT is such a HUGE factor in our lives. OUR moms too but when we go to choose our husbands when we date etc and just in every day lives IT is so important to have that wonderful example of how a man should love and treat you. IM so happy you have that as well with yours. We are so blessed to have this in todays world. I hate my little girl will never know PHYSICALLY her grandfather. BUT I KNOW I just know he kissed her a million times and snuggle upped her as much as he could before she left heaven to come to me. SHe is so much him it is phenomenal. Thank you for this post. I was so sad on fathers day and trying to snap out of it. thank you again.

Cara said...

oh man, thanks for the reminder that god is our father.
i just had one of countless crappy dad moments just a few minutes ago! after spending a delightful week with his mother, and getting her safely on the plane and back to MO, i got a call, not to say "thanks for having her - she is here safe and had a great time" . . . but instead, "where did you put mom's baggage claim ticket? . . . well, they always give one . . . it would be on her boarding pass cover. did you get one of those? " on and on.
thanks for reminding me that while i will NEVER be enough for my dad . . . and even if i receive one of his infamous, "cara, i am disappointed in you" phone calls or letters . . . i am more than enough and loved with abundance by god.
(that doesn't change the fact that i pounded on my steering wheel and said a few choice words after hanging up with him! :)
thanks for "letting" me vent - it helps to just put it out there into cyber space sometimes. whew.

Cathy said...

Hey Jody,
I am a wife, mother of 3 and part time kindergarten teacher in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I find your blog, sometimes sad, sometimes funny, always inspirtational and thought provoking and REAL. You are a chickie in the trenches. You have changed my life and they way I think since I stumbled upon your blog about a year ago. Kudos!!
A Canadian Fan

Mixed Up Me said...

I just love these Father's Day posts! I love seeing pictures of dad's and their babies, they just melt my heart! I hope you are having a great week so far, Jody!

jess said...

Love all the fun fathers day photos!! so special!!

susan opel said...

I'm ever so fortunate to have the greatest dad a girl could have - a real Christian example. He and mom are approaching their 49th anniversary - how cool is that?

You are fortunate, too, Jody! Chip looks like an awesome dad!