Another milestone birthday in our family this weekend... Another celebration of sixty years. Another cake. Another rendition of "Happy Birthday". Another session of gift-giving.
This weekend, my Father turned 60.
Dad, I honestly feel so privileged to have had you as my father. From the tiniest dot, I was a Daddy's girl, launching myself at you the moment you came through the door in the evenings. All my memories of you, as I was growing up, are soundtracked with laughter... Play-fighting; barn-dancing round the living room; songs you would make up for, and about me, on the spot, guitar in hand; mammoth Lego sessions - creating Eiffel towers that touched the ceiling and factories with real, working conveyor belts; painting together, exploring together, and going on memory-laden adventures.
You have shown me the world - The Grand Canyon to the Colloseum, Indian Reservations to Amish farms, Lands End to John O Groats... You have taken me on some awesome adventures... Horseback riding in the Rockies, white-water-rafting, panning for gold, exploring the mines... Instilled in me a love of adventure and a curiosity about the world... Something I hope to pass on to my own children.
But you have passed on a much greater legacy than that, because you have always modelled striving for excellence in whatever you have put your hand to... Whether it be work, or church ministry, or family. You have raised us to work hard, to do our best, to be sacrificial and generous... You have sought to make much of Jesus, and sought to honour him in all you have done. You have lived your life for the audience of one.
I am so grateful to have you as a role model!
Thank you for all that you've done for me over the years - for your sacrificial provision for me through my growing up years which meant I always felt secure and was able to have a carefree childhood - thank you for your wisdom as I have sat and chatted through countless worries, concerns and questions! Thank you for you never-failing support - for always encouraging me to strive for excellence, for pushing me... but not too hard, for praying for me, for encouraging me, for loving me.
Praying God will continue to use you, grow you, challenge and change you over these next sixty years, just has he has done in these past sixty years!
Lots and lots of love,