Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day

I can't just put into a short post on facebook about how I feel about my father or as Tim as a father. So, as you know I am like to do, I will tell you a story about my daddy.

It was the summer of '12 and our first trip to the beach as a family. There had just been a hurricane or tropical storm, something big to make the waters fun/ dangerous all week. Being a new mother, I had avoided going out to the ocean all week long, I was a new MOTHER, I needed to be responsible FOR MY BABY!! Also, it was a great excuse to chicken out on the huge waves. But one day, while K was napping, the urge to ride one of those big ones got to the best of me, and so I went out in those crazy waters with my brothers, sister, and cousins. Let me tell you some things first: 1. I do not surf. Ever. I like to body-board or boogie-board (yes, like a child, but it's super fun, so don't judge me) 2. I specifically remember being out in the ocean boogie/body boarding since before I could touch the bottom of the ocean (don't judge) so, I feel comfortable in the ocean, even when the waves are larger than normal, and 3. My family is highly competitive, like beyond, maybe borderline we need therapy cause we compete against each other so much, but whatevs.

So, I'm watching Matthew, Jennifer, Mark, all my cousins and brothers in laws, and cousin (in laws?) (is that a term? Cousin-in-law? idk) catch these massive waves, riding them all in, and the competitive voice speaks: "you going to just let them catch all the good ones, have all the experience?" And I answered with a resounding NO, plus, I also felt the need to prove myself, that I could CATCH A WAVE TOO. (Side note: that is not a thing, needing to prove I can catch a wave, I've gotten lots of help since then, lol) So, I grab a boogie board, and head out. The first warning for me, should have been that even AFTER the waves had crashed the water was still over my head. No biggie for me, I'm a strong swimmer, I can do this. So I finally make it out to the sand bar, and the perfect wave comes. And about five or so of us take it, but I'm a little bit farther down the beach because the current drew me a little bit a ways from the others. However, I catch the wave too soon, and when it drops, the tip of my boogie board went straight down and so do I, right into the wave, hitting the bottom of the ocean (not fun) and then tumble ashore (scary, and not fun). I come up in time to see the rest of my family had hit their waves perfectly all making it to shore safe and sound with resounding screeches. And as I am badly shaken up, it hits me:

 NO ONE saw what happened to me. 

They are so wrapped up in their happiness and their experience, no one saw me get tossed like a rag doll by the wave. No one asked if I was OK, no one ran to see if I was bleeding. Yes, I saved myself some embarrassment, but it would've been nice if someone would've checked in on me. Who am I kidding, I would've loved to have been coddled just for a bit and told me what a big girl I was! Still 11 on the inside I guess, sometimes! But anyway, I just quietly got up, grabbed my board and headed out again with some other ones going out. But, right before I went out my daddy called out to me, "He babe, you ok?"

My daddy saw me

His eyes still count the children in the ocean. We are all grown, and have children of our own, but my daddy still counts me in the ocean. He saw the whole thing, and I can guarantee you, he was counting the seconds it was taking me to get above water, and He would've been there the second I didn't come up in a timely manner. He never made a big deal about it. He never got out of his chair. But my daddy watched the whole thing happen. He SAW me. I was accounted for. I AM loved. 

(Just fyi, I went back out the ocean, caught the next wave and road it in all the way, everyone cheered for me, it felt great)

My friends, my father is a flawed human being, there are some ways he is far from perfect, and there are ways I've had to really work out my faith trying to figure out who GOD is as a father, because He is not like my daddy in ways. However, BECAUSE OF MY FATHER, I know that I am SEEN, ACCOUNTED for, and LOVED. Always, without question, and unconditionally. To my men friends, please know that as a father, you're job is HUGE, you can never be replaced, and you are important. I mean, look at me, this super small event happened four years ago almost to the day, and it will be burned in my memory forever. 

I love you daddy.

Your Princess

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Dear Daughters: A Forward

Dear Daughters,

Oh my dear girls, what a strange and weird world you will grow up in. Some things have changed for the better, some things, in my opinion have made life a little more murky. You will have to hold very close to your Faith and Trust in the Lord, (and hopefully close to your momma and daddy as well!) to get you through, to guide you. Your life growing up will be different. But it will also be fun. I want to post somethings that I think about a lot as I go throughout your life and  mine. Things that I want to tell you, but you are too young to understand or care about right now, so I put them away in my mind. But I think a lot about these things. So I write them down here, and I'll print them out and put in your baby book. So hopefully, when the time come for you to understand them, I will have a reminder (possibly a script!) of things I want you to know.

But first, before we get to those things, let me tell you about me and you. I want you to know that you two, and any of the children that come after you, are the greatest things that have ever happened to me. You are my best motivators. It's because of you I finally understand what MY mother has been telling me my whole life: you are the jewel in my crown. Let me preface it with this. There are things I wanted to do with my life, big things I always thought I would want to get around doing one day but was never really that motivated to do, UNTIL I had you. I want to be a woman that makes you proud, a role model that you need. Because when you see me, I don't want you to see a woman who had dreams and aspirations and let them wilt with time and children, but instead, with time and children my dreams flourished and blossomed. And just let me tell you something you two (and the others, whoever they are!) ARE  one of my dreams come true!! A great BIG dream!! And I have so many more! Not that you are not enough, it's just that God didn't create us to just have one goal in life. He made us these crazy ambitious human beings with amazing gifts that He wants to use and flourish in His time. You two just happened to be my first dreams realized. I pray that as you grow older you will appreciate that in me. That I will never be a fully realized human being. That I will always be changing, and my dreams and goals will change as well. I hope you find strength in that. I hope you find me a person who is not afraid as you grow older. That is there is something that is off the beaten path that is weird and unusual, you will find me a person you can trust to talk to about this. I hope you find me trustworthy with your dreams.

Most importantly, really, for me, I hope you find me Brave because I want YOU to be brave in all aspects of your life. 

That when the off the beaten path "thing" (whatever it may be!) calls to you, because you have seen me go out of my comfort zone, that you will hold your head of high as you walk in uncharted waters. I hope you will know that I will be in your cheering section. Shouting as LOUD as I can: You CAN DO THIS!! YOU CAN BE BRAVE!

Also know, brave looks different all the time. There are times when we try new foods that we are brave. There are times when we are brave in loving others, when we are not certain they will love us back. There are times when we are brave in helping others. There are times that we try a new sport. Or, there are times when we go to another country. Or times when our Faith is challenged. Bravery looks different all the time, but the heart is still the same. It's roots are always in Trust. And my greatest desire is not only that you trust me, but that you Trust in the One Who Made You. He never fails us, and loves us dearly.

I love you my girls,