As a young girl I occasionally wished I was a boy because it would have opened all the doors into his world. There were some things that a girl just wasn’t supposed to do, it wasn’t “proper.” I soon realized that being a girl also had advantages, so I delighted in being the eldest of three daughters – a tomboy, his “only son.” I was the one daughter that was his companion in the fields, the barn, the pasture, the farm.
There wasn’t anything he could ask me to do (rather tell me to do), that I didn’t embrace with enthusiasm. Regardless of the chore, never mind how dirty, hot, cold, gross or difficult it may seem; I was all in. It meant time with Dad all to myself. And it meant I had the opportunity to please him, make him proud of me. I wasn’t deprived of time with him for he certainly wasn’t an absent father. It’s just that I couldn’t get enough time with him. I adored him. If I could have, I would have spent every waking moment with him.
To this day one of the highest compliments that I can receive is for someone to say, “You’re just like your Dad.” It means that I hold in common his traits that I so admire. I share more than physical appearance. My values and work ethic are straight out of the pages of his life. A small intimate setting is our preference over a large social gathering. And while we both have plenty of experience in leadership roles, our preference is to work quietly in the background. Even our personalities are similar. We are both comfortable in solitude without the need to fill that space with noise. To most folks we appear to be extroverted when in reality we are quite introverted. Our love of music is a common bond; I learned to sing harmony from our nightly serenades to a herd of dairy cattle. (The acoustics were great in our dairy barn!)
I’m sure that some of our similarities are genetic, but many are the result of a deliberate choice I’ve made from living alongside him. Watching this man of strength, wisdom, loyalty, love, and a special tenderness that I find unique to those men who till the soil, made a deep and lasting impression upon my life and my soul. My faith is a result of seeing his faith in action.
I still want to be like him.
Sometimes I reflect on the love I have for my Dad – the need to be around him, to listen to him talk, and watch him working at the age of eighty-two. I think that must be what God desires us to feel for Him, for us to love Him so passionately that we can’t get enough of Him. That every waking moment we desire to be in His presence, listening to Him, watching Him, working alongside Him and enjoying His presence. He longs for us to love Him.
I want to be like Him.
I have been blessed with an earthly father that clearly points me to the love of my Heavenly Father and I made the choice to try and be like Him. I love to spend time with Him. I talk with Him throughout the day. I see Him everywhere and in everything. I never tire of what He has to say or the surprising ways in which He says it. And as remarkable as my Dad’s love is for me, and my love is for him; I know
that the Father
How I long for the Father to say, “That’s my girl, she’s so much like me.”
In His Grace,
Mimi’s note – On June 14 my dad will celebrate his eighty-first birthday. I wish him 81 more! I love you, Dad.