Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Knight in Shining Under-Armour

Ally is almost twelve now, on the brink of middle school and adolescence. And although friends and family will often remark that she looks like her mom (we share the same dark hair and eyes), her personality aligns more with her dad. She and Mark are kindred spirits when it comes to playing sports, watching sports, listening more than talking, and having an eye for structure and design.

When Ally came home with the rubric for her next big school project--the annual fifth grade 50 states parade float--she was naturally eager to get started working on it with her dad.

Any chance to work outside and use power tools is a good day for Mark! They spent a few days and nights out in the garage, and I think Ally loved just about every minute of it.

Well, maybe not the minute it took to un-do the previous hour's napkin stuffing. (This, of course, was when Mom tried to help and messed up the whole process! Dad was gone working on another project most of the weekend.)

Dad to the rescue! (The float, by the way, is going to be a riverboat boasting various aspects of Louisiana, Ally's assigned state. Did you know there is a mountain in the Pelican State?)

Ironically, the project weekend also contained another big event for Ally and Mark...our annual Father-Daughter Night. This year there weren't enough advance tickets sold to have the dance, so I ended up organizing a "dinner and a movie" night instead. The staff at the brewery did a fantastic job serving up a delicious buffet dinner in the 4th floor Founders Community Room, where twenty-two daughters and dads enjoyed a special date night together. A speaker followed dinner, who was then followed by the movie "Fly Away Home" on the room's flat screen. Ally's close cousin Claire and her dad Mike came down to Potosi for the event. (I think they had fun!)

After dinner, I stopped by to snap pictures and introduce the speaker, an old friend of my family from my hometown. Jeff and Dani are the hands of feet of Christ in Belmont, helping run the VBS over there for about 20 years and now leading the FCA group and mentoring kids in their walk with Christ. They are filled with the Spirit!!

Jeff did an outstanding job of talking about raising a daughter (in his case, 2 daughters and 1 son) in a godly way. He spoke often of the girls in the room being God's princesses, and the dads were their "knights". He spoke of being intentional in the time you take with each of your children, taking the time to listen to them and just have fun with them. It doesn't have to be fancy, it may just be riding to school together or working on a home fix-it together...but that time we take for each of our children will reap huge dividends in the relationships we have with them (and them with their Lord) later on. His kids are now grown, two of them in college, but Jeff says, "You never stop parenting your child. The needs just change." He joked about how his daughter in college must not have a laundromat in her town, and how Dad becomes the Dispenser of Cash. He quoted Scripture often, citing Paul's letter to the Ephesians urging us to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving with our kids. He credited his wife for her constant prayers and godly example. I could go on and on about how awesome his talk was, but I will just do what God does --give all the glory to God. God had to be pretty proud to be looking down on those knights and princesses spending that evening together the other night.

I am so proud of my husband and the way he stands up for what is right and pure. He is my Knight, and he is most definitely the Knight to our four daughters. Ally adores him, and sometimes I get a little jealous of their easy way with each other, but mostly I thank God for showing me this example of His unconditional love!

He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.--Malachi 4:6


Blogger Astrid said...

Ally- I loved your float!

I'm so grateful to my husband- he's an awesome dad too. I'm always saddened when I see fathers who just don't participate in their children's lives. It's very obvious that your husband isn't like that at all! :) And that's a wonderful thing.

April 28, 2010 at 5:35 AM  

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