Monday, June 22, 2015

My Dad

Well, it was Father's Day yesterday.  I meant to have this post done before the actual holiday, but I'm late, as usual.  I'll just have to fall back on the old saying, "Better late than never," and press on...

This post is going to be divided into two sections.  The first section being a chance for me to rant a bit on the way dads are constantly being portrayed in our modern times.  And the second being a chance for me to tell you that I have one of the absolute best dads in the whole wide world!  (No. I'm not the least bit biased.)  Let us begin.

Section One:
Rant in Progress...

It seems to me that the pervading opinion about dads these days is that they're a weak and helpless lot.  They're always failing their kids and coming up short in everything.  Have you ever noticed how many movies there are containing pointed lessons to dads on how they should behave?  The dad is always the one whose doing things wrong.  He's always the one with the problem.  I know there are a lot of dads out there who are not caring for their families like they should, but honestly there are plenty of moms in that boat, as well.  And what I don't understand is why someone can't make a movie about a dad whose doing things the right way.  That would influence people just as much as a dad whose doing everything wrong but has a miraculous change at the end of the film.  (That's my opinion anyway.)

What really ticks me off is how we dumb down fatherhood even in the church.  This past Mother's Day is a good example.  At our Sunday service they showed a "humorous" video (I wasn't laughing) about a couple moms who go away for the weekend leaving their husbands to look after the children.  (Horrors! Fathers don't know how to look after children!!!!)  The husbands see them off, saying "Go and have fun, we've got this."  But as soon as the car disappears out the driveway they look at each other in the most helpless manner and wonder what in the world they got themselves into.  They're hopeless.  They go bumbling about the house as if the kids and all the duties pertaining to them are completely new and unheard of.  And then of course the children are simply horrible.  As soon as mother is out of the house they turn into little monsters, and the fathers are so weak and incapable that the children trample all over them!  In fact, the dads are so clueless that they end up looking online for information on how to care for their own children!  Seriously?

That movie made us so mad.  We came home from church that day and fairly butchered it with our sarcastic and affronted comments.  Why, oh why, must we downplay fatherhood and make it look like a joke in order to honor motherhood?  It doesn't make sense!  (Actually, my thirteen-year-old brother pointed out to me later that that video really wasn't a good tribute to motherhood either.  If the kids act so horrible the minute mom walks out the door, she can't be doing a  very good job of training them while she's there.  I quite agree.) 

Anyway, a mom's job is a huge deal, it really is, but the dad is just as influential in his kids lives as the mom is.  (And he certainly has brains enough to know what his kids need; and the fortitude to do the dirty jobs in order to accomplish what is best for them.)  It's not just "dad works, mom raises the kids."  No way!  Dads are constantly speaking into their children's lives and seeking wisdom for how to raise them properly.  They invest in their children just as much as moms do.  And it annoys me that dads in movies are constantly being portrayed as the failures.  Like I told my brother in an e-mail, "I am now going to make it my lifelong ambition to make best selling movies all about very, VERY, VERY good, and responsible, fathers!"  (Okay, so that was sort of a joke, but, really, I do feel like that sometimes.)

Thank you for allowing me to let off some steam.  I assure you, I am now putting away my soap box for the time being. 

...Moving on to section two. 

Section Two:
My Dad. 

Unlike my Mother's Day post, I can't think of many dads in movies who could properly represent my father.  He's just so different.  I do often think of Mr. Bennett when I think of my dad, but that's probably because Daddy loves to quote him.  ("No lace, Mrs. Bennett!  I beg you!"  "And yet, I am unmoved.")  But he's not very much like Mr. Bennett, really. 

(Except, he does love to read.  And he's quiet and likes to have time alone.  And he's got that little twinkle in his Mr. Bennett.)

My dad was a pastor for the first ten years of my life.  He has a gift for preaching and always has something insightful and inspiring to say.  I can sit and listen to him for hours.  His hunger and passion for God's word is contagious. 

My dad is selfless, and humble, and totally devoted to God and His plan for his life.  He doesn't want the easy life.  He wants the growing life.  When God spoke to him about the blessing of children, way back in college, Daddy listened.  He let God plan his family and he has never regretted it.  He often tells us kids how thankful he is that each one of us is in this world--that he didn't miss a single child.  Every child God wanted to give him is here.  Right here.   It adds so much value to a person's life to know that they were wanted.  To know that God planned for them to be here and that their parents welcomed them with open arms.  Not begrudgingly but thankfully.   I'm so grateful to be able to say that that is true of my life.
My dad is a devoted husband.  He loves my mom and he shows it every day.  He truly takes the passage in the Bible to heart where God tells husbands to love their wives even as Christ loved the church.  My dad is always giving up his wants for others...not because it's demanded of him but because he wants to.

My dad is one of the calmest, most encouraging people I know.  He doesn't mind change, and he doesn't get stressed about it.  He's a rock.  A quiet strength.  A forever dependable, faithful, protector.   I remember many years ago being at a pastor's conference.  There were classes for the parents and classes for the children, and I didn't want to go to my class.  (My siblings and I were notorious for skipping out on classes.  We didn't want to be separated from our parents even for an hour.)  I remember how Daddy took me for a walk around the property and how I hung on to him, clutching his thumb, and wouldn't let go the whole time.  I still remember that feeling of clinging to him--knowing that as long as I had hold of my Daddy's hand everything would be alright. 
"To her the name of father was another name for love."  ~Fanny Fern
Thank you, Daddy, for being a man of God.  For living not for the moment, nor for worldly gain, but for eternity and the true life that comes in following after God.  You inspire me.  You encourage me.  You make me laugh!  I love you and I'm so grateful to be able to call you "Daddy."
Here is a really sweet song that I just recently discovered.  It's an old one, but I tend to go for old songs over new songs.  It's actually sung from the perspective of a son rather than a daughter...but I like it.  It still says what I'd like to say about my dad. 
And for the record...and just so there's no doubt about it!  I have the best dad in the world!  (Sorry, to everybody else out there!  But like the experts say, good dads are terribly scarce these days.  There's only so many to go around.  Ha!)

Friday, June 12, 2015

I've been tagged!

Yes, that's right!  I've been tagged again!  This time by Emma, for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!  Thank you so much Emma!  It was so kind of you to include me!  It's fun to be able to participate in what so many others are doing!

Rules for this tag:
1.  Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
2. Put the Award logo on your blog. 
3.  Answer the ten questions sent to you.
4.  Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer. 
5.  Nominate ten blogs. 
Okay...I think I've got this.  :)

#1.  Do you like county fairs?
Hmmm...I'm not sure really.  I've never been to a county fair.  We have a yearly fair nearby to where we live, but technically it would be  a town fair rather than a county fair.   (Is it County Fairs that have Ferris wheels?  Because I've always thought a fair should have a Ferris wheel, and ours doesn't.)  I guess you could say that I like the idea of fairs--a fun community event with lots of friends gathered together; good food; lots of animals--but in reality...well.  I can only look at so many animals before I get bored, and I never spend money for food when I go to the fair so that's no fun, and I'm not a huge fan of big crowds, so, yeah.  I guess you could say fairs aren't my first choice of activity.  But on the other hand, if I went with the right people and was in the right mood, I'm sure I could enjoy them just fine!  (I'm a very decisive person.  Have you noticed?)

#2.  Were you ever in some sort of club as a kid?
Oh yes!  Dozens!  Nothing official, just little clubs created by me and my siblings.  We never did anything in them, but just knowing we had a club was enough for us!  Clubs were the thing.

#3.  What's one of the first movies you remember seeing?
Oh my!  I don't know! Disney's animated Robin Hood goes back a long way in my memory.  So far back that I can't remember the first time I watched it. 

Also Winnie the Pooh.  I have a vague recollection of dancing around the living room in excited anticipation for watching that movie, back when I was under the age of six.  So,  yeah, those two would have to have been among my earliest movie watching experiences.

Speaking of Pooh, I could really use his "thotful spot" right now.   I'm having a horrible time remembering things.  "Think, think. Think, think."

#4.  Which would you rather do: hop in your pickup truck and go for an unexpected adventure, or sit on the back porch with a good novel on a warm summer evening?

I haven't got a pickup truck... But if I did I think I would still chose to sit out on the back porch (I do have one of those) with a  good book.  Sounds more relaxing, and like a nice cozy way to spend a summer evening!  :)

#5. Do you enjoy live concerts?

I've hardly ever been to one, so I can't really say.  I guess it would depend a lot on who I went with and what kind of music was being played. 

#6. Which do you read more of: historical fiction or contemporary fiction?


#7. Do you like country music?

Oh, dear.  I don't know.  I'm sure I've listened to country music before, but I really can't remember any specific songs at the moment. 

"Think, think.  Think, think."  Nope.  I'm drawing a blank.  Next question...  

#8. If you could play any role in a musical who would you chose?

First of all, I'd never be on the stage long enough to play anyone. Stage fright would overcome me before the curtain was ever lifted.  But if, by some miracle, I did manage to pull myself together and act...I would choose Mary Poppins. 

I can relate to her no-nonsense personality because I'm a little bit like that myself.  If I were an actor it would probably be a very natural role for me to play (notice I said "if I were an actor.  That's a big "if.")  As to the singing parts--I love to sing, and Mary Poppins has a host of lovely songs.  (It's just hitting those high notes that's the problem.  Ugh.  How does she do that?)

#9.  Do you ever put your feet up on the dashboard while riding in a car?

No, but I wanted to most dreadfully on the way home from work the other night.  I didn't do it because "sink me, I'm far too embarrassed."  (That's a quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel, by the way.  It just came to me, begging to be included, so I included it.  And there it is.)

 #10. Can you tell us a funny story of something that happened to you in the last week/month/ever?

Hmmm...let's see.  I'm afraid any funny story I'd come up with would only be funny to those who had experienced it, but goes.  There was this one time, a good many years ago, when my siblings and I were making a movie out in our back yard.  It was a Scottish movie so we were all dressed up in plaid kilts (i.e. pieces of plaid fabric tied around our waists with a belt).  I was one of the bad guys along with two of my brothers and we were disguising ourselves in order to trick the good guys (three of my other brothers).  Our disguises consisted of moustaches  made out of white cotton balls.  We looked very distinguished, in a ridiculous sort of way.  Well, in the middle of our film shoot we suddenly realized that a young boy was mowing the grass in the opposite yard.  Oh no!  Panic ensued. He mustn't see us!  He mustn't!  Not in this getup!  We dashed about, trying to hide from him; ducking behind the trees, climbing up in the trees...but unfortunately it was all too clear that he'd spotted us.  He mowed the same spot of grass a couple times over, peering at us all the while.  It was very embarrassing, though highly entertaining afterward.  I have no idea what he thought of us, but in this case it's probably better to be ignorant.  (Oh, and I did remove my facial hair immediately, so I'm pretty sure he didn't catch me with that on.  Thankfully.)  :)

My Questions:

1.  Do you tend to stay up late or go to bed early?
2.  What is one of your favorite TV shows?
3.  Did you have a special blankie or toy that you loved very much as a kid?
4.  What's your favorite birthday dessert?
5.  What's one movie you would really like to own?
6.  Are you a confident person or a less than confident person?
7.  What is one book that you would like to see made into a movie?
8.  Does it take you a long time to write a blog post?
9.  If you could visit any country in the world, which would it be?
10. What's one flavor of ice cream that you do not like?

And I'm tagging:

Emma  (Is it okay to tag the person who tagged me?)

Just making sure no one feels pressured to do this.  If you want to complete the tag that would be delightful.  But, please, don't feel like you have to.  ;)

Thanks again, Emma, for tagging me.  It's been fun!

Did you realize this tag could go on forever?  :)