I grew up listening to my dad write songs. A gifted musician, he was always plucking away on the ivory keys, composing meaningful lyrics and pleasant tunes. Dad wrote each of his four children songs when we were born, which is something I thought every dad did. (One of the most bizarre experiences with my dad's songwriting was on my first date with Sam. He told me his family's church sang one of my dad's original songs at Christmas, and proceeded to perfectly sing the song to me.) When I started writing music, I realized it was all those years of listening to his process that encouraged that passion in me. I am utterly grateful for his part in making music such a central part of my life. He was my own personal vocal trainer, coaching me through church solos, talent shows, and musical theater, encouraging my love for singing.
One thing I remember most about growing up was my dad working on his sermon on Saturday nights. Yes, procrastination is also something I inherited from him. :) He usually sat at the kitchen table, and if he thought everyone was asleep he'd quietly preach to the empty chairs. Being a preacher's daughter came with good and bad things, but overall I am so thankful for his position. I may be slightly biased, but I still believe he's one of the most insightful, entertaining pastors I've heard, and I miss being part of his congregation. The fact that he's chosen to share God's love with others as his life's work makes me admire him that much more. Because he is full of wisdom and insight, I highly value his opinion and his advice, and still seek his counsel when I'm facing difficult situations.
As an emotional, quick-tempered brat, I especially admire Dad's calm demeanor. I've never once witnessed him yell or shout in anger. I'm not saying he never got mad at the things my siblings and I did, but in his correction he was always gentle. We were completely unaccustomed to hearing him yell, and once my friend Beth told him she couldn't imagine him getting mad. So later on, my dad thought it would be funny to pretend to be mad and yelled at her, terrifying her until she realized it was a joke. But, as Dad always says, he only teases people he likes. His dry sense of humor is also something I appreciate now that I'm older (and fear I may have inherited). :)
I am so thankful for the guidance he provided, and continues to provide. He has been an incredible example of a loving, godly husband and father. He put up with a lot from me over the years, and sometimes I'm still amazed at how much he loves me and continues to give. I could never possibly express all the reasons I love him, but I thank God for him every day. No matter how old I get, I will always be my dad's little girl.