As I consider Father’s Day I can’t help but focus on the blessing of good men in my life, men that have offered glimpses of the divine character of my Father in Heaven by the way they have lived their lives.
As I consider the blessings of a loving father, two incredible grandfathers, and a father-in-law who treated me like a cherished daughter, I recognize I have been blessed more than most.
Despite being imperfect beings, they were able to show me perfect love.
Through their noble callings as fathers and grandfathers I was able to gain a better understanding of my Heavenly Father’s unconditional love. From these men I learned lessons of sacrifice, diligence, forgiveness, gentleness, meekness, strength of character, and kindness.
I also recognize that many aren’t blessed in the same way and the absence of a loving father can affect one’s acceptance of a Heavenly Father that loves and cherishes them unconditionally. I have seen it in my own adopted sons, both of whom were born of men who were anything but loving fathers to them. Men that put their own selfish desires and dysfunctional needs ahead of their children, leaving them with scars that may never completely heal.
Then I look at my husband and how his relationships with Grace, Molly and Rusty have allowed them a glimpse into the divine nature of Heavenly Father. His example exemplifies all that is good and loving about God, and by watching their earthly father love so selflessly, my children have come to know and trust in a loving Heavenly Father.
How blessed I am to have married a man so selfless, so kind, so humble and giving. He gives all, asking nothing in return, putting the needs of others ahead of himself and does so with a smile and generosity of spirit that I find humbling. When I look at Toby I see the character of his own earthly father shining forth. Like his father, Toby is gracious and selfless, opening his heart and home to all, never thinking of himself, and leaving all those he speaks with feeling loved and valued.
There is no better example of this than his choice to open his heart and home to two boys who were in need of a father. Choosing to step away from the comfort and ease of the life he was living, he chose to travel the harder path in his desire to follow Christ’s example and obey the divine calling God laid on his heart. It has not been an easy road, but not once did Toby pull back or walk away from this hard road. Rather, the tougher the behaviors, the closer in he moved, driven by a conviction that every child deserves a safe and loving family…every child deserves to be loved. Through his Christ-like love our two youngest have been given a second chance to experiencing a father’s love. What was stolen from them in childhood is being redeemed with each word of acceptance, each affirmation, each act of forgiveness, and each loving embrace. Through Toby’s example my boys are learning how a real man loves and are slowly discovering their divine worth as a child of loving Heavenly Father.
Last Sunday we celebrated Toby.
The kids had big plans for Father’s Day, plans that began with breakfast in bed…
And concluded with a special dinner after church.
In between, we enjoyed naps, gifts, and a fun Father’s Day activity.
The kids each made or purchased a special Father’s Day gift for Toby, but my gift was more of an experience than a tangible offering.
A few weeks ago, while shopping for Girl’s Camp supplies at Pat Catans Craft store, I discovered Goblies, throwable paint balls. I knew at once that they had to be this year’s Father’s Day gift.
I knew Toby would love it but also that it would be an awesome, laughter-inducing, memory-making, stress-relieving activity for the younger boys who sometimes struggle with hard emotions on these memory-connected holidays.
I purchased a bag of Goblies in seven different colors, so we could each have our own color to mark one another, leaving undeniable evidence of our success on each other’s shirts. I also bought inexpensive white t-shirts for each member of the family and wrapped them all up in a box for Toby’s Father’s Day gift.
On Sunday afternoon, following a Father’s Day feast and a long Sunday nap, we headed outside to make some special Father’s Day memories in the form of some messy fun.
Pick your ammunition!
It was a blast!
Let the battle begin!
The paint began flying! Each paint ball was filled with liquid paint that splattered when it hit a surface or was squeezed in the direction of a family member.
Tyler loved it.
In fact we all did!
The carnage was colorful…
Yes, it was as fun as it looks! A perfect family fun night for the perfect Dad.
How grateful I am to be married to a man who loves me and my children so fully. How grateful we all are for his unconditional love, his huge heart, his wicked sense of humor, his adventurous spirit and his enduring commitment to his family.
Happy Father’s Day, Toby! We love you bunches!