I’ve always loved you, adored you, and wanted to be like you. I can’t believe today marks 80 years of life for you, mainly because you don’t act old. Thank you for that. It’s so annoying and sad when people give up and stop living young. I’ve watched you enjoy each day, taking it as it comes, making it count, even when things have been tough. I’m still amazed how you and mom managed mom’s stroke a few years ago; you both had to make some major adjustments to the way you lived. And. You did. But. It did not ruin your life, you made the changes, continuing to live with gratitude for what you’ve received, choosing to live well.
There’ve been times when things were hard in my own life, times it felt like I could tip over with all the hard stuff, times when it seemed too difficult to manage one more thing. But. In those moments, I’ve actually heard your words in my head, as if you were front and center facing me, “Be a good steward.” I can’t tell you how many times those words have messed up my impending pity party. So much for feeling sorry for myself or giving up to the overwhelming circumstances of the day. You’ve done a great job in teaching me to see myself as the steward of the life I’ve received. You’ve made it clear that life is not always fair, but always an opportunity and a responsibility to use everything as a tool to be a better servant in this world.
I’ve watched you live out the words God gave you so long ago–your life message and mission–
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ ( Colossians 3: 23-24, ESV).
You’ve taught me to make these words mine, to focus on God and not myself, to live beyond my own wants and needs. I’ve not attained this way of living– yet. I’m still learning how you do it. One thing I know to be true, you make me want to live better, to be more intentional with the life I’ve received each day, to only do what matters, to serve others and make a difference.
So. Happy 80th birthday dad. Thank you for continuing to teach me how to live. I love you!
(Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)
For more about my dad: http://faithfamilycreativity.com/2012/01/22/i-want-to-be-like-my-dad/