October 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad!

Every girl has a Father, but not every girl has a Daddy. I am one of the lucky ones.

Today my dad turns 55, so I thought I’d share how thankful I am that he is MY dad. Thousands of people look up to my dad, seriously thousands.  He is Pastor Jeff, the Senior Pastor of Valley Family Church, the spiritual leader of our congregation. He is the guy in charge, a spiritual Father to many, and people look to him for guidance and to set the example.  My dad is the kind of guy that you want to follow, he is one of those leaders that you just watch in awe.  His character is impeccable.  Who he is on stage is who he is at home and I am so thankful that THAT kind of man was my dad.

He was intentional about the time he spent with me. Every morning when he would take me to pre-school, I remember singing a song that always ended with him calling me Sunshine. When we got a little bit older, he would take each of us to practice. In between shuffling the 4 of us from building to building, we’d have “down time” before the next kid had to be picked up, during that time we’d drive through the back roads and go “deer hunting.”  Of course, this wasn’t real deer hunting, but to us it might as well have been.  We’d drive until we spotted a deer, then we’d just sit and watch.  That’s when my dad taught us the valuable lesson, “when there is one, there is two” and sure enough, there has always been a second deer. It’s silly, but he was intentional about the time he spent with us.

Once we got into middle school, my dad started “Big Daddy’s Bistro.” We loved Big Daddy’s Bistro.  Every morning for 12 years my dad prepared a hot breakfast for us to enjoy before we left for school. Each morning my dad would prepare, French toast, eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, breakfast burritos, waffles, fruit parfait, crepes, you name it – we had it. Our time at Big Daddy’s Bistro wasn’t just so we could have a 5-star breakfast every morning, he used that time to do a devotion with us and then we always end with some time in prayer.  He was intentional about spending time with us each morning.

My dad also rarely missed one of our games. (My mom didn’t either, but today is about my dad.) Among all of the other responsibilities that he had, he always took the time to come to my games no matter where in the country I was playing.  Now, we wasn’t perfect and sometimes things came up, but even if he couldn’t be at a game I knew that he had tried really hard to make it happen because he was intentional about being an involved dad.

My dad was and is, intentional. He was intentional about being a reflection of my Heavenly Father.  Although he had other things to do, other responsibilities, other people counting on him, he was intentional about putting everything else aside to spend time with us.  I know, because of the example that my dad set, that my Heavenly Father desires to spend time with me. I know because of the example my dad set, that my Heavenly Father will always provide for me. I know because of the example my dad set, that my Heavenly Father cares about what is going on in my life. I know because of the example my dad set, that my Heavenly Father loves me unconditionally.

I have high standards because of him. I’ve seen how my dad treats my mom, how he has treated my sister and I, how he raised my brothers into men of God and that’s the kind of man that I want to marry. My dad is the best leader I’ve ever known, he is the smartest man I know, he is one HECK of a teacher, he is funny, loving, a man after Gods heart, and always looks out for other people. He is the best dad that could ever walk this planet and best of all he is MY dad.

I could go on and on about how great my dad is. This dumb little blog doesn’t even come close to showing how thankful I am that Jeff Jones isn’t just my father, but my daddy.

Happy Birthday Dad, I love you with all of my heart! Thank you for setting an example that thousands can follow.  Thanks for being a reflection of the character of God. And thanks for giving me a reason to set the bar high. Happy 55th birthday, Senior Citizen! : )

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