What do I give you? You never want anything and grumble when I buy you something...or, as is the case this year, just being financially squeezed to the point where I know you would be disappointed if I even made an attempt to give you a present? I think about the alternative and realize that the ONLY gift I can give you is something that I think of daily but do not find the words or the "right" time to say: My life is blessed because you are in it. When Mom married you I had never known any dad that I could claim as mine. Consequently, my desire for a dad was great, but my understanding of a dad's role was intimidating to me since I only knew the affection of my mom and grandparents. As I reflect on who you were at that time to me: you represented security. You gave me a life I could only dream of. I was used to chicken 4 nights a week because it was inexpensive, cutting coupons, used cars that were always littered with newspapers and driven by Papap who I spent most of my drive time with and ironically enough, since that was all I knew, it wasn't until I was living in the new reality that you had created for us that I realized I could dream even bigger. I began to realize that the lonliness of my childhood was being filled with opportunities that led me toward a future that didn't have to look gloomy as the days that I sat waiting for my mom who never seemed to be there for me in the way that I longed for. I could now hope for more in life rather than be limited by life.
I realize that I very well may have worked even harder to have opportunities as I got older, but the opportunities that you created for me were gifts that I am so thankful for. Perhaps that is why I desire to indulge my children in opportunity. Our life's paradigm is one we can choose to create, but it is also one we can be gifted with and when we recognize the gift, we can appreciate not only who we are, but who we have the opportunity to become. You know the desire of my heart is never to forget where I came from as my core values were created out of little else but my Papap's determination to point me toward God and His truth and yet as I have been exposed to more because of your gifts in the form of opportunity and trust in my judgment that gave me more freedom and my heart's desires have increased to a greater scope of purpose beyond survival to purpose.
While I find myself challenged as a mother of 5 children, all of them intentionally being raised to be independent as well as leaders equipped with an understanding of the human condition, I also believe my determination to further indulge them in opportunity was planted within me through you. You may not realize that your generosity has revealed that to me, but I have given much thought to this: How could I come from where I began and be overwhelmed with challenges and yet still determined to expect and trust God for His provisions (which come not just through opportunities, but through people) as I am waiting for His next prompt for our next step in my own life as well as my children's futures?
There are promises that God has given to me that keep me encouraged through the difficult times of this season of my life and my ability to realize that God desires to give good things to His children (aside from the fact that the Bible says so) in a practical way is because I have experienced you doing this for me. Had you not been in my life I would not have been able to connect with this possibility. The absence of a father would have left me empty and disbelieving in how much our Father in heaven desires to give good things to His children. "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:11. God brought me a perfect compliment to my personality with patience for my urges, an ability to see beyond the wounds of my childhood to my heart with desire and determination to live life with passion and purpose, and a steadfast support that still to this day keeps me.
There is no better time to tell you this. While Jesus was born into this world in order to be offered to us for the sacrifice for our own weaknesses, God has allowed me to see that He has given you to me so that I can accept the gift of opportunity you have given to me so that I could aspire to become more than I would have been able to without you. This Christmas I am blessed to share this part of my understanding of your role in my life. It is never overlooked or underappreciated.
Merry Christmas to the Greatest Dad any girl could ever have asked for! I love you!!!