Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Be the best you can be and LIDGTTFTATIM!

As I am thinking this morning of what to list that I am thankful for, I thought I might just pick a person each day and say why I am thankful for them. Since I started with mom, it's only right that I would pick my dad today. I have been blessed with a father on this earth who has given me such a good picture of what our Heavenly Father is like. The following are examples of the qualities I am thankful for in my dad because some of them have been passed on to me!

One I wish I had more of was his patience. A perfect example of how patient my dad is (besides the fact he lived under the same roof as 4 women for 20+ years and he never lost his sanity): My sister Angie got married this past Saturday in Dallas. My dad called down at the hotel for the valet to get his car when he was ready to drive back to Austin Sunday afternoon and they said, "We don't have your keys or you car here." After a few phone calls he realized that his car was at the church still and his keys were in my sister's purse in Acapulco, Mexico! Although inside he was very frustrated (understatement) when he called me to try to figure things out his voice was so calm and he would chuckle every now and then as we were problem solving.
He also used to take my sisters and me fishing when we were younger. We got to take turns going by ourselves with dad in the boat early in the morning before the sun came up. We lost count of the number of lures that ended up in Lake Bob Sandlin in East Texas. "Dad, I think I'm hung up on something?!" How many times he heard that as he finally got himself situated and was about to cast his first cast of the morning after messing with our fishing rods first and getting us situated. He never lost his temper---he would just tie on a new one for us. I could go on and on about situations where he was so patient, but I want to list a few more.

I'm thankful for his gift of encouraging others. He always encouraged me to be the best I could be. Each morning before school for years he would shout out after me as I got out of the car to go to school, "Be the best you can be and LIDGTTFTATIM!" You pronounce that lig-da-fat-im. At least that's how he pronounced it. We had this up on our refrigerator for as long as I can remember and it stands for, "Lord I Do Give Thee Thanks For The Abundance That Is Mine." He was always proud of me, but always encouraged me to try even harder. For example in second grade when I was on the Unicorns soccer team (how did we come up with that name?) and I would accidentally kick someone and he would hear me say, "OH I'm so sorry!!!" I can't imagine how that would just grate on him, as a guy. He would say after the game,"You did good babe, but you need to be more aggressive!" So he'd practice with me in our backyard and repeat the same conversation the next week. Needless to say, I was not the athletic one of the bunch.

I'm thankful for the example of a godly husband he was to me. I didn't settle until I found someone who was as crazy about me as he was about my mom. He would say to us so often, "Girls, isn't your mom beautiful??"

I'm also thankful for his genuinness. He has opened himself up and been more vulnerable than anyone I've ever known. He read me a list one time that he made of areas in his life throughout his life that he has sinned or struggled and we both cried all the way through it. He read the same list to his small group from their church. He rests in the saving grace of our Lord and doesn't try to pretend he did anything to earn his salvation. He hasn't ever pretended to be perfect, and he doesn't know what a load that has taken off of me, as I tend to think I have to be perfect most of the time.

I'll end with one more because I'm realizing my list has turned into a chapter : ) ---he is so generous. I've watched him continue tithing during many different years of job searching. He would always overdo our Christmases and family vacations, even when things were tight. He always left generous tips at restaurants to waiters and waitresses (whom he always called by their names). Even to the guy who spilled hot sauce all over his white button down shirt at Chili's. : ) The biggest thing though was how he so freely gave me the ability to have the wedding I always dreamed of. (my sister too!) He gives from the bottom of his heart and it's obvious to everyone that he loves it. A principle I recently heard on giving was "When you have an overflow in your heart of God's grace, you can't help but want to give generously." So true for my dad.

I love my dad from the depths of my heart and I am eternally grateful for the qualities listed above and hundreds more that he has taught me over the past 29 years.

As for concerns I am having today---none! I'm overflowing with joy and love and in an hour and a half, Tra is going to be unhooked from his last dose of chemo!!!! Thank you, sweet Heavenly Father, for the peace you have given me in my heart today!


jettybetty said...

What an absolutely beautiful tribute to both your mom and dad! I am certain they feel honored to have such words from their daughter!
Did Tra finish his last treatment?? I do hope so!
Blessings to you!

Judy B (mom) said...

You'd better believe Michael (dad) and I both are honored beyond words for Shelly to encourage us in the ways she has! She left out many of the "good, juicy" parts that would make you wonder if we are the same people she wrote about! I praise God that He takes all of the goofs and mistakes we make and brings good from them, as He promises to do when we are His. My heart just overflows with joy and gratitude for our precious daughter Shelly, and I can tell you that I am most thankful for the gift of her, Tra, and Hayley!