Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Thankful for Fathers

I have thinking so much about fathers recently, and how vital and important they truly are. Not long after Brian and I started dating we had a conversation about what we were hoping for in a spouse. For whatever reason, I couldn't really put my thoughts into words. All I could say is, "I want to marry someone like my dad." Brian had never met my dad and he asked what I meant. I explained myself with two simple requirements; someone who loves his family and loves the Lord. 

I was blessed to grow up with a wonderful father, a dad who always reminded us that he loved us. He taught me how to ride a bike, to swim and to love math. I will forever remember a day in junior high when I came home and aksed him what calculus was. We pulled out the markerboard and he showed me. He took the time, even though I didn't understand much of it. A few years later, on my first day of calculus I sat in class as the teacher drew the same diagrams my dad had years before, and I understood. 

My dad supported me in everything I did. He sat through countless gymnastics meets and watched me cheer at endless ball games. He even came to math meets to help my team in between rounds. He couldn't be at every single thing, but when he couldn't be there he found ways of letting me know that he was thinking of me. And now he is a grandpa. Despite living thousands of miles away he is an important part of my kids' lives. They love to share exciting things with him. He loves to take time and play games with them when he is here. And he is still never shy about letting them know that he loves them.

Most importantly, my dad showed me what it meant to be a righteous holder of the Priesthood. I watched him serve faithfully in various callings. I watched him as he left to go home teaching. I watched him support my mom as she served in various callings. He and my mom led us in family scripture study, family home evening and family prayer. He gave blessings when school was starting, when we were sick, or even when we just needed one. I remember watching as he taught my brother to consecrate oil. He has been a part of each of our children's baby blessings and baptisms. We feel privileged that he could be there each time.

It was easy for me to see what was important to him. He showed me as he served God and served his family. 

As I have thought about all of these things this week I have realized that in all of these ways, and more, my dad was helping me understand not only his love for me, but also my Heavenly Father's love for me. Knowing that I was a special daughter of my earthly father helped me to better understand my relationship with my Father in Heaven.

My baptism day, April 16, 1988

With the statue of famous mathematician Simon Stevin, Bruges, Belgium - May 1999

Dancing at my wedding reception, August 2000

Our kids with Grandma and Grandpa Call in Salt Lake - June 2012

When Brian and I decided to get married I knew that he loved me (and that he would love the children that would join our family) and I knew that he loved God and had a desire to serve Him. It was easy for me to see that. Over the years I have seen more and more how much like my dad he really is. They share a similar sense of humor and are both fun to be with. But more importantly I see the ways that he helps his family understand their divine origins, and their divine potential. He feels such love for his family, and makes sure they know it. He works so very hard to provide for the temporal needs in our family. And in word and deed he is leading our children to Jesus Christ.

 "HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations. . . .

By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners."

I am so grateful for these two wonderful men in my life and for all they have done, and continue to do for me!

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