Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day 2012

Corrie Ten Boom has said,

 "It's not what happens to you in life that matters
   but how you take it"

I believe this to be so true.

You see, I could be bitter. I could ask why?
I could use it to make
all kinds of excuses for my behavior.

But I choose to be thankful, I choose to extend grace.

It's the same grace that Jesus gives me each day,
so how could I not?

On this Fathers Day 2012 I think of my father -
Joseph Wagner.
A men I hardly knew.
I have one memory of meeting him.
My parents divorced when I was a baby and
my Dad left myself and my three older siblings. 
We don't know what became of him.
Sadly my family is steeped in alcoholism and
the path he chose destroyed him.

But because I choose to be thankful and to extend grace.
I have no bitterness towards my father.
I haven't walked in his shoes.
I don't know what he experienced in life
 that brought him to the
places he traveled and the choices he made.
I know what he missed out on which is very sad.

Charles Stanley recently said,
"God allows us to experience what we choose!"

I can be thankful because my faithful God moved
4 very special men
to be an example of "Father" to me.

Today I want to share them and honor each one.

First is my Uncle Bill. He was a gentle soul.
He loved me like his own.
He provided security and love to a young little girl.
He made me feel beautiful and special.
He use to sing to me "Daddy's Little Girl" &
The Old Shanty in Old Shanty Town.
I have fond wonderful memories of being spoiled by him.
Every Saturday morning I'd go to work with him and we'd get
hard rolls with butter, he'd get coffee, I'd get a Yoo Hoo.
He loved country music and we'd blast it in his pickup truck.
I know that is why I love it to this day.
In the fall we'd see leaves piled high by the side of the road and
he'd go real fast right through them and they'd fly all over.
I'd laugh and laugh.

He made very little money but if I wanted to join gymnastics -
he was there. If I wanted a new barbie dress - he was there.
I never felt poor because he was there.

He went to be with the Lord when I was in my early teens.
It has been my hardest loss.

Then God provided a dear family next door.
The Kinney's.
Mr. Kinney also has been like a father to me.
He taught me wisdom, integrity and steadfastness.
He has five children of his own and was happy to make
me number six.
Never a vacation did they take that I was not along.
Vermont skiing,
Florida Disney, Michigan to visit family, Washington DC.
I was along.
They moved to PA and I spent every Thanksgiving
with them until I married 5 years ago. 
We are still very close to this day.

I remember when he'd get home from work and he'd march all us kids
around for a walk. (now that I'm older I'm sure Mrs. Kinney said
get these kids out of my hair hah) But he'd line us up and we'd march
down to this field by our house and he'd call it going around the horn.
Sometimes he'd grab all the neighborhood kids and there would be
10 of us !  hah  Great memories.

The Kinney's also made sure I went to church.
They'd take me along with them and I got my
foundation and roots because God provided.

Here we are at my 8th grade graduation.

This is my Uncle Billy.
He made me laugh.
He took us sledding and was all about the fun.
I remember my girlfriend and I laughing so hard
because everytime he'd get one of us
chubby little girls
upright and standing on the snow hill the other
one would fall down.
Then we'd knock him down.
I don't think we made
but one run down the hill on the sled all day. hah

We had great fun teasing each other.
He was my granny's son and oh man did she love him.
I teased him unmercifully that he was # 1.
He would smile so big - he loved it.
Sadly he went to be with the Lord a few years ago.
Here we are at a fire men's picnic.
I'm in my early 20's.

Finally my Uncle Mike.
He is my protector.
The "father" who took care of all my car needs. hah
He found me my first apartment that I could afford.
He also gave me away at my wedding.
He is married to my Aunt Rose who I am very close.
They live next door.

Here we are at my wedding.

Because of the unselfish love of these men - I am thankful.
I feel spoiled and blessed.
I can truly say I don't recall missing my father.
These men just filled in the gap without missing a beat.

It takes so much more then DNA to be a father.
Anyone can father a child - but the men who
step up and be Dad's that is another story.

I also wanted to mention my wonderful husband, Gary.
Because we married quite late - I was 48 - we don't have any
children of our own. 

But my husband is a father. Just like these men who filled in
the gap for me, he has faithfully taught Sunday school for
30 years and still going.  He has many, many children.
This year he is teaching some of the children of the children he taught.
It is truly amazing. He touches these young lives for Jesus.

He is gifted of the Lord and I am so proud of him.

So yes, Corrie is right - it isn't what happens in life that matters - it is how you take it.
I'll take it with grace and thanksgiving . . .

God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.  Psalm 68:6

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