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Posts Tagged ‘father’

Today is Anti-Bullying or Pink Shirt Day.3191069_f520

According to an article by Sherri Gordon, there are “9 Consequences of Name-Calling” (http://bullying.about.com/od/Effects/a/9-Consequences-Of-Name-calling.htm):

  • Erodes a victim’s sense of self
  • Causes kids to compromise beliefs and values
  • Affects sense of well being
  • Impacts a person’s identity
  • Opens the door to violence
  • Encourages internal criticism
  • Impacts mood
  • Affects mental health
  • Affects physical health

It is said that it takes anywhere from 2:1-6:1 positive messages to make up for one negative. Studies have shown that our human brains respond differently to negative messages than to positive ones, and some have even referred to how our brains receive negative messages as being like velcro, and that is why they stick, and re-play in our minds over and over.

As I read through those 9 consequences, I was struck by the first … Erodes a victim’s sense of self … and how that one consequence really impacts, or even creates the following eight. The words that others say about us, can change how we see ourselves, therefore impact the confidence (or lack of) that we communicate to others, therefore how we act in our relationships, our jobs, our future, therefore it impacts the direction our lives takes, therefore impacting our physical and mental health.

24c820409837ce84010841897dc8aeecBut God calls us by the names of a Creator, a heavenly Father, and the names He has given to us are the names that affect our well being in a very different direction. He, our Redeemer, claims possession over us as His finest creation, His pièce de résistance, His child, the one who He loves.

Like Steve Jobs with Apple, like Bill Gates with Microsoft, like Sam Walton with Walmart, like Dave Thomas with Wendy’s, like Henry Ford and Ford Motor Company …

God puts every effort into loving and protecting His creation … you and I!

He has named us His …

… and the names that He calls each of us are imprinted into our very souls, with the power to change how we see ourselves and therefore therefore it impacts the direction our lives takes, therefore impacting our physical and mental health, and even our eternal life.

The sticks and stones don’t break our bones…

The sticks held our Redeemer until His final breath, and the stones were hurled at Him …

So that we might be called children of God (Galatians 3:26).

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Although he is over 4000 kilometers away, I want to honor the man who has taught me some of the most important things in my life.

As he celebrates, and is celebrated on this 70th birthday, I feel the distance of the miles between us, profoundly.

I come from a birthday, anniversary, holiday, visitor, graduation, etc. celebrating family. Any event that exists, or can be created, is a good excuse to get together for a meal. A seventieth birthday is a huge reason for celebration, for food, for cake, for presents … presence.

Rather than dwell on that which cannot be accomplished, I will share that which has already been accomplished thanks to the man who chose to take me as his own … daughter.

The best gift my dad has given to me starts with his name. When I was two years old. When he was asking my mother to marry him. He had one condition … that he would not just give his name to my mother, but that he would give his name to me. And so, the wedding preparations and the adoption process began. Thank-you for giving me your name.

My dad also gave me the unconditional love of a father. There has never been a day or experience when I have ever felt that I am not fully his daughter. He was naturally able to hug and discipline me … as though it was our shared blood that got under his skin … and into his heart.

He showed me what passion was, and wasn’t. He worked more jobs that paid the bills than fed his soul, but when he was doing something with passion, he did it with every fiber within him. I remember him counting down the years until he could retire, when working at one passionless job, and now he is seventy, and showing no signs of fully giving up the job that he loves.

He was always honest with me … whether I wanted to hear it or not. He told me when our cat died, when our dog needed to be put down, when I was wrong, when I wasn’t doing my best at school, when I didn’t call often enough. He told me when he was angry at my mom, my brothers … me. He told me … with not a word, of how lost he felt when his mom, my grandmother died. He told me he loved me.

My dad is who he is … and if you don’t like him, that is not something he will lose sleep over. He does not exist for the purpose of impressing others or becoming who he is not. He is who he is … like it or lump it!

My dad is a good man, and I have many fond childhood memories centered around him …

clams in the pasta meal
dancing with me before heading out to a dance with my mom
buying blue satin shorts for me because I said that everyone would have them walking where you grew up while you told childhood stories
warm from the oven biscuits
keeping score for your minor softball teams
Christmas shopping for mom
allowing me to help install a Gyproc ceiling for my bedroom
teaching me how to make snow angels
Chinese buffets

and so many more lasting memories!

Dad, I wish you a happy birthday. I wish you a day of feeling loved, appreciated, cared for and of thanksgiving.

There is not much more I can say, that goes beyond the words of Moses :

“The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
 the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26

Other than, I love you.

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