My dad pretty much rocks. Growing up, he did it all. I was always aware that he was a busy man, doing all the things to take care of his family. Other than what is expected from most dads–working to provide for his family–there were countless other things that he did for us outside of that major responsibility…all of which required a constant putting aside of himself.
I’m sure my parents would never agree with this statement, but I was a little on the bratty side. SARCASM. They would totally agree. Because I knew my dad could and would do it all, I expected him to do it all. Although he taught me to be independent, I just kind of thought I was the center of his world and if I asked him to do something for me he should just do it, because he can’t possibly have anything else going on or anyone else demanding his time, skills, and money, right?!
Chick-fil-A was always our fast-food restaurant of choice…or maybe just my preference and my parents always gave in. I can’t be sure :). There were many nights, especially in the summer when my mom was busy with kid’s ministry stuff at church, that Dad would drive to CFA to grab dinner. I always got the same meal: the 8 pack nuggets with fries and sweet tea (and a brownie if Dad was feeling extra nice). But under no circumstances would I eat the nuggets and fries unless I had the honey mustard. I was pretty hard-core serious about that requirement. There were countless times that my dad would forget to ask, or the employees would forget to put it in the bag, and my dad would drive back to CFA (which was close…but not really thanks to HWY 280) just to get the princess some honey mustard.
Go back for honey mustard? Check.
Let me have his home office for the afternoon so I can download stupid songs on his work computer and make a mixed CD? Check.
Change the oil in my car? Check.
Rotate the tires on my car? Check.
Wash my car? Check.
Take me on a 4-wheeler ride on the trails near our house (that is now The Summit)? Check.
Patch the roof at 3 am because it’s raining and there is water running down the wall in my room? Check.
Pick me up from Rachel Kelley’s house approximately 237 times in the middle of the night because I am homesick? Check.
Take me to school every morning of middle school because I refuse to ride the bus? Check.
Bring me chocolate milk in bed every morning so that I would actually get out of bed? Check.
Pay for my education at Auburn, and not just that, buy a condo in Auburn for me to live in? Check. (He’s an Alabama alum)
Give me money for this and that, and that and this? All the time. Check.
Fix my baked potato? Check. He does it perfectly!
Find a super secret way to have a single rose delivered to me every Valentine’s Day? Check.
The list could go on and on and on.
I’m now married to a busy man who does numerous selfless things for his family. It is in seeing his great effort to carry out his responsibilities in our own family that I have gained utmost respect for my dad.
Brent’s job is pretty demanding. Yes, he works from home but all that really means is that he doesn’t have an office to go to every day. Instead he drives all over creation performing a job that is usually unappreciated by the general public. His job doesn’t fit within the 8-5 work window and because of that it is demanding of his time. His job is also physically demanding. It wears him out. His job is mentally exhausting. It can easily overwhelm him and invade his thoughts in the middle of the night. It can be incredibly stressful and frustrating.
Yet, he comes home in the evening to greet his wife and kids with a smile on his face and his arms open wide for a hug.
He helps his wife with the kids. They need to learn to ride a bike. They need to be pushed in the swing. They need discipline. They need dinner. They need baths. They need bedtime stories. They need lunches made for tomorrow. They need clean bottles. They need one-on-one time with him. They need to be prayed with and for. They need to be tucked in bed.
The grass needs cutting. The mower needs repairing. The bathroom is flooded. The car needs new tires. The yard needs ant killer. The trash needs to be taken out. The windows need painting. The trees need trimming. The air unit needs a new part.
His wife is exhausted and needs to go to bed early. She needs a coffee date with her best friend. She needs a few minutes that no one needs her or calls her name. She needs him to cook dinner. She needs a night to just lay on the couch and watch The Office while he tidies up the house, makes the lunches, and does the dishes.
And what does he need? He needs rest, but he rarely gets it. After a long day of working hard to provide for his family with integrity, he comes home and works hard to care for his family with love.
And if all of the above isn’t enough weight on his shoulders, he also has the responsibility to lead his family to Jesus. The weightiest of all. To lead his wife and raise his children to know and love the Lord. To make decisions for his family that honor the Lord and affect the future. To leave a legacy of faith and obedience to God for his family.
So to the man in my family who does ALL THE THINGS and wears all the hats and has a heavy load upon his shoulders, I see it. I am grateful for you. Your hard work in and out of the home does not go unnoticed. I understand the constant weight of all the demands in your life. I have utmost respect for you, I always have and I always will. I love you. I support you. I trust you.
To my dad, I know you do all of these things too. And you do them well. I am grateful for the multitude of sacrifices you made for me. Thank you for being an earthly father that points me to my heavenly Father. Your hard work has never gone unnoticed. I’m now getting to see the great responsibility you had in raising my brother and me among the thousands of other things life threw your way. It’s anything but easy. Thank you for doing it all with love. Thank you for seeking the Lord and making decisions for your family that pleased Him.
I’d say my job as a mom is hard. It’s physically, emotionally, and mentally draining. Brent, yours is far more difficult than mine. May God strengthen you and uphold you to fulfill His calling on you as my husband and the father to our children. Lean hard into Him on the tough and exhausting days, call out and seek Him with earnestness. Trust Him as you lead us and know that we are behind you 100% when you get it right and when you (we) get it wrong. We love you!