A Priceless Legacy

Monday September 12, 2011

Every September brings thoughts of my dad.

Today would have been his 85th birthday, and my memories are full of lessons he left me.

He used to say to me and my sister, “Don’t cross the stream before the bridge is built, girls, or you’ll surely get your feet wet.” A Kentucky colloquialism he made up, I’m sure. But so true—don’t get ahead of yourself. Don’t worry about tomorrow!

I distinctly remember him saying, “No matter what you do, babe, be the best at it that you can. If you’re a garbage man, you should be the best garbage man there is for the Lord.” That has echoed in my head over the years as I’ve loaded the washer, picked up toys and socks, cleaned up boys’ messes.

His favorite hymn? The Old Rugged Cross. Dad couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, but he sang with gusto, with love, with enthusiasm. I loved that about him. And that cross? It was central in his life.

I remember our talk one night as he dropped me off at the school gym for a dance. He said, “No matter what, babe, you’ll always be our daughter.” I knew he’d love me no matter what I did, but for some reason, I never wanted to disappoint him.

My dad was resilience personified. You just couldn’t keep him down. He did his best, worked his hardest, and did it all with a smile. Not only that, he could tease with the best of them and pulled great pranks! And the great thing is, we had him around long enough for my boys to remember those things about him.

One of my favorite memories? The sound of crashing, terrifying thunder and lightning mingled with Dad's voice as he read Matthew 6:24-34 to me. It talks about God caring for the lilies of the fields and the birds of the air, and it ends with these words:

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Somehow, the storm seemed a lot less frightening when Dad uttered those words.

What a memory—an earthly father who led me to my Heavenly Father.

You left a priceless legacy, Dad.

Linking up today with Michelle for Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday and Jen at Finding Heaven Today for Soli deo Gloria. Click on over and come along with us!


Shanda said...

You are blessed have had such a wonderful father. Even though you miss him and still hurt, you know he finished his race well and loved you well.

Shanda said...

You are blessed have had such a wonderful father. Even though you miss him and still hurt, you know he finished his race well and loved you well.

Day by Day said...

Such a priceless legacy indeed. You are blessed!

Anonymous said...

What a great Dad & what great memories he gifted to you.

Anonymous said...

What a priceless legacy!! My mom just passed away on Labor day...and I was blessed at her funeral to find about a legacy that I wasn't aware of...She was an encourager and called many people just to check on them...I was blown away..and what a blessing!!! Thanks for sharing yours! God Bless.

Johnnie Alexander said...

A lovely tribute to your father.

Jean Wise said...

How cool to honor your dad this way Laura. I too was blessed to have a great father. I know when that relationship is loving and positive, it does help us get closer to God. Praying for those who didn't have that closeness to an earthy dad

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful legacy and a sweet tribute.

Joanne Sher said...

Such a lovely, beautiful tribute to a clearly wonderful man. Thanks so much for sharing me.

Karen said...

Laura, what a wonderful Dad. He sounds great! And he did a great job raising his daughter. :)

Unknown said...

I love stories about remembering. When we honor the memories, we honor the people who gave them to us. Beautiful heart, your dad had.

Michelle DeRusha said...

A beautiful tribute to a man with a beautiful heart and spirit. I just love this Laura -- what a role model you have had.


I love this sweet and tender post. How I wish that everyone had a lovely godly father . . . I have one, too. (He is 81.)


Shonya said...

What a beautiful tribute, and how blessed you are indeed!

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