Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thoughts on Relationship & Fathers

This is a repost.
I know it's a little long, but I think if you read it you'll find you'll be glad you did.
It was just on my mind this morning, with it being Father's Day.
Thanks, Dad.
For everything.
I love you.

Originally posted February 9th, 2009:
It's raining outside. I love the rain. It takes me back home. It makes the air fresh and clean. It washes everything.

When I was a little girl I loved spending time with my Dad. In one house, my sister and I would climb up the big evergreen tree in the backyard so we could catch a glimpse of his car on the main road, about to turn down ours. Then we'd scramble down fast as we could, trying to beat each other to the driveway to get hugs. In another house, we would wait out at end of the gravel road so we could see when his car first rounded the bend. There was always a thrill that Dad was finally home!

When he would come home from business trips Charity and I were so excited! Dad was home! Yay! He would always pull something special out of his suitcase for us. And if you ever visit my parent's house I think you will still see in the Princess Bedroom (Mom, am I wrong about this?) a collection of horses and unicorns and pegasus that Dad brought me from different trips to different cities. He was thinking of me while he was away, and that was a wonderful thing for my heart to know.

I remember the countless hours on the living room floor. Dad would lay there and pretend to be "dead." Charity and I squealed endlessly as we'd jump over his arms and legs, trying to get as close as we possibly could, but not let him get us if he became "alive" again.

Once in a great, great while we'd stay home from everything and have a "sick" day, which was really a family day, but everyone else thought we were sick. We'd pull the hide-a-bed out and just lay there as a family watching movies and playing games.

Or we'd sit out on the back porch drinking iced tea and listening to stories of Dad's childhood. Oh, we loved hearing about how he and Uncle Curt crashed down the hill and into the barbed wire fence. How he and his five siblings would stack mattresses beneath the second story window and jump out, run back up the stairs, and jump out again. How he tied Aunt Sandy's doll to the ceiling fan so it went round and round, and she cried and cried.

In high school it was wonderful when Dad surprised me every so often. He would come and sign me out for lunch, then we'd go someplace to eat and talk. I remember when the school told him he couldn't just come and sign me out anymore, something about him not having the authority to take me out of the learning day. Dad got furious. "How dare you tell me I can't take my own daughter out to lunch." He fought it. And they conceded. And they never questioned it again. It made me feel wonderful that I was so special to my dad that he would fight that hard just to spend time with me.

There was a summer he even let me play clarinet with him in the polka band for a few performances. Oh, that was so special! I remember going with him to some event that we had to drive a while to get to. I don't quite remember where it was or what we did or what we ate. But I remember that I got to go and be with my Dad. It was special.

Sometimes he would give me gifts, or take me fun places. But the point wasn't ever what I received from my Dad, the point was how wonderful it was to spend time with him... to have that relationship. He would sit and listen to me ramble on about the silly boys at school, or the silly boys at the pool, or the silly boys at camp. He always seemed to have these insights into these situations that seemed revolutionary to me. How did he know this stuff? Of course, the older I grew, the less I was willing to let on that I thought he was wise. There were times I would just shrug my shoulders and say, "Whatever." But, Dad cared. And he prayed. And he didn't give up. And that meant the world to me.

Because it wasn't about the gifts or the places we went or even the things we talked about. It was about spending time with my Dad. It was about just wanting to be with my Dad. Those things came along WITH our relationship, because he's my Dad, and a father wants to bless his child. So there were the horses and unicorns and pegasus and lunchtime trips and polka band trips and fri-jo's at the Scandinavian Festival and the family days and the sapphire earrings and necklace. And those were wonderful blessings. But the point was the relationship. I love my Dad. I love him.

I love my Heavenly Father. I love Jesus. I love Him. Our relationship isn't about the things He gives me, it's not about the blessings. He gives me those things because a Father wants to bless His child. But the point is the relationship. He loves to spend time with me, just listen to me. He loves to be with me, and He always seems to have these insights into my circumstances that seem revolutionary. He just knows these things. And, the older I grow, the more I am willing to let on that I think He is wise. He cares. He doesn't give up. That means the world to me.

Our relationship isn't about the blessings. It's about our relationship. If my relationship with my Dad were based on what he could give me, what kind of relationship would that be? If it were based on the horses and the unicorns and the jewelry and the trips and the lunches... if the only reason I wanted to spend time with my Dad was to get those things... that wouldn't be much of a genuine relationship at all.

If my relationship with God were based on only what He could give me, only on the blessings, that wouldn't be much of a relationship at all.

The blessing comes along with my Dad, but the point is my Dad. The blessing comes along with God, but the point is God. I'm not pursuing the blessing, I'm pursuing God.

The blessing would be if Ian were healed. The blessing would be if little baby Cora had beaten it. But the point isn't those things. The point is, will we still seek Him even if these things never come? Will we still seek Him even when these things don't come? Even if the blessing looks totally different than what we think it should look like... will we still seek Him?

"Open up the sky, fall down like rain,
We don't want blessings, we want You.
Open up the sky, fall down like fire,
We don't want anything but you."

Are you seeking the blessing, or are you seeking God?

(I love you, Dad. Thanks.)
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