I’ve been wanting to write this blog for a while. But, the words seem all jumbled up in my head. The thoughts are there, but they are foggy—or distant—I can’t quite see how to put it all together. So, I decided to just start writing and see where I end up. Hopefully I will put down something with some meaning or purpose.
I am a preacher’s kid. I was born that way. God thought I needed a pastor for a dad, or he thought my dad needed me. Not sure which. Maybe both. I had a very happy childhood. Honestly, I have nothing but happy memories from my little girl days. One of these days, I’ll write about my mom. But, today, I want to talk about my daddy.
There are lots of pictures of me as a toddler and a preschooler with my dad. Of course, I’m too young to remember those moments, but each picture tells a story. My dad is looking at me and I can tell that he is busting buttons over me—his blonde haired, green eyed daughter. His eyes are all crinkled and sparkly. His smile is ear to ear. Yah. He loved me. A lot. No question. Hands down.
My first real memory of time with my dad comes from our days living on a college campus when I was about four. Specifically, I remember a dark summer night, walking hand in hand with my dad staring up at the stars twinkling down on us. It was utter delight. I was safe. I was happy. I was content.
When I was a little older, and he was pastoring a church, we were able to spend quite a bit of time together. You know. It was the little things that made me feel special. For instance, one summer I had gone away to stay with my cousins. When I returned, my parents had remodeled my bedroom. I can still remember my dad saying he picked out yellow carpeting because it reminded him of the sunshine, just like I did. Awwwwww. RIGHT?
Back in the day, churches ran off their own bulletins on the mimeograph (I think that’s what it was). I loved it when I could go to the church and help my dad assemble the bulletins. We would lay stacks of each page out on the altars and then put them together, assembly line style. I would go around and around in circles putting them together while dad worked in the sanctuary preparing for Sunday. He would walk around whistling. Oh. His whistle. It isn’t just a whistle. It whirls and twirls and hangs in the air. It’s a beautiful sound that can’t really be explained. And—it comforted me.
We also made trips to the bank together. And, a trip to the bank usually included a sucker and maybe even lunch with my daddy.
My dad didn’t care for pets. Yet, one day he showed up at our house with a bundle of gray fur—a kitten—just for me. Because he loved me more than he hated pets. <3
Daddy has a nickname for me. He still uses it today. I have no idea where it came from. But, it’s mine. Snooks. And, when he calls me Snooks, well, I feel extra special…even now.
Oh. And. There is the Three Squeezes. My dad gave me three squeezes when I was a little girl. Every time he held my hand he would squeeze three times. Each squeeze represented a word. I. Love. You. He could tell me he loved me no matter where we were or who was around without speaking a word. It’s something I have passed on to my husband and to my children. But, first it belonged to my daddy and me.
I’m not going to lie. We certainly went through our rough times…those terrible teen years. We survived, however, and for today, we are not going to visit that time.
Did I ever get into trouble as a little girl? Yes. I got spankings (although I really only remember one) and I was scolded. But, I remember the happy times. I remember the safety and security he gave me. He loved me unconditionally. No matter what. I think it’s because of my father’s love that I never had a hard time grasping God’s love for me. I never questioned if God loved me or how God could love me. I never saw God as a mean being sitting in Heaven waiting to punish me. Not as a little girl. Because of the example my father gave me, I was able to see a loving Heavenly Father.
But, that isn’t true of everyone, is it? Some of you may have never known your dad. Or maybe your dad was abusive. Maybe your dad was around, but ignored you and didn’t seem to care about you. Perhaps you felt you could never please your dad. Or, maybe you saw your dad one way only to have him disappoint you later in life, leaving you questioning everything you thought you knew.
All of these things can cloud a person’s perception of who God is. It’s hard to imagine Him as a loving doting daddy if you have no concept of what that is. And, yet, that is who God says he is. I wonder what the world would be like if we could all grasp that God wants us to be like little children—in love with their Father. Trusting Him completely and totally–see His total and unconditional love for us. We don’t have to prove anything to Him, because He already loves us.
Romans 8:15 (MSG) This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance!
Deuteronomy 32:10b The Voice He put His arms around him and took care of him; He protected him as the apple of His eye.
Psalm 68:5a (TLB) He is a father to the fatherless;
Matthew 6:26 (TLB) Look at the birds! They don’t worry about what to eat—they don’t need to sow or reap or store up food—for your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are.
Romans 8:15 (AMP) For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father!
1 John 3:1 (VOICE) Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us—He calls us children of God! It’s true; we are His beloved children.