Dear Mom & Dad,
I got a random text from Daniel Wheeler yesterday with about 10 pictures from our high school days and it made me think about y’all.
I rarely post #TBT pictures (throw back Thursday) but I posted one today.
It’s amazing how a picture can take you back to that specific moment of time and bring back all the emotions and feelings you had at that time. Sorta like a digital ebenezer…sorta…but…not exactly.
Remembering the moments that these pictures were taken made me thankful for the way God has guided my footsteps in life, and sprinkled in some very influential people along the way that helped shaped me into the person that I am today.
Mom and Dad, I’m so incredibly thankful for both of you.
I don’t think I have ever fully appreciated your role in my life until I had my own kids (and i’m sure i’ll have more appreciation when I become a grandparent some day!).
When I was a kid, I took you both for granted. I took for granted all of the sacrifices you made in order for me to have a life.
Most things in life can be outsourced, managed, or automated by a process or program. I now know from experience that parenting is not one of those things. A parent has to be willing to drop everything at a moments notice to be there for their kids.
I remember you both doing that for me.
There still isn’t a “How To” guide for how to help form and shape your children. You guide and shepherd as best as you know how with the bible to light your path along the way.
I now get the chance to experience this as I father my son, and the foster kids that spend time in our family for a season. You have both taught me some very important lessons that I hope to put in practice as I try to figure out how to be a good dad.
You taught me to:
- Pray for my kids daily, and be in the Word daily
Mom, I remember waking up (on the mornings that I wasn’t woken up by you for school) and finding you in the breakfast nook, praying for us and reading your bible EVERY SINGLE DAY. Still to this day you get up in the morning, make coffee, read your bible and pray. You never once forced me to read my bible, or to go to church, but because I saw that it was important to you, it became important to me.
- Love my kids unconditionally
I did some really stupid stuff growing up. You name it and between Matthew, Daniel and me, we probably did it. Sometimes by the grace of God we got caught, and sometimes by the grace of God we were spared from being given over to something completely. No matter what we were dealing with, you were both there in the middle of it, loving us, correcting us, and nudging us in the right direction.
- Trust that God has a better plan than the one you dream up for your kids
One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 19:21 – “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”
Y’all never pressured me to do any certain thing with my life. I was given the freedom to make choices, make mistakes, and to learn on my own. Sometimes the only way I can actually learn something is to stubbornly “see for myself”. Y’all never once told me that I had to grow up and get a real job, or that I couldn’t do something. You believed in me, and even more – trusted that God was in complete control of my future.
Thank you Mom and Dad. For praying for me, for loving me unconditionally, and for giving space in my life to allow God to do HIS work. I love you both!
*This was originally sent as an email before it was published here.
**I am capable of writing a meaningful letter to someone I love once every 5 years give or take…so don’t assume I’m always this introspective and reflective…or cheesy…well ok i’m always this cheesy.