I wish so much that I could be with you today, but my reason for being away is just another reason for my thankfulness for you--I'm in Europe because of your grace and kindness toward me.
I am thankful that you sent me on this trip. I am thankful for all of the family vacations you've brought us on; for all of the adventures you've created for us. Hiking in the Smokies, biking on the Virginia Creeper trail, rock climbing at Devil's Lake, camping, exploring creeks, white water rafting in Tennessee, canoeing, fishing, discovering Sliding Rock, and the list goes on... You are responsible for any love for adventure that I have. Because of you, I am not afraid of fish, I love to camp, and I [most of the time] love to hike. :)
I'm thankful for how you've provided for me--over and above what I need or deserve. I'm thankful for how you've shown me what it is to be cherished and respected. I'm thankful for how you've loved Lindsey, Andrew, Ben, and I. Most of all I am thankful for how you've loved Mom.
I'm thankful for the security you established in our home. For the safe place you created. And Dad, words fail me in describing the thankfulness that stirs deep within me for how you've made much of Jesus in our home. He is everything, and as the leader of our home, that's exactly who you made Him out to be. I have learned so much in watching you listen to God, trust God, follow God, and love Him above all else. Thank you for making the One is everything, everything in our home.
I love you so much Dad. If I could pick any dad in the whole entire world, I would pick you every time! You've been the such a perfect example to me of the character of God. I have no problem relating to God as my Father because you've shown me such grace and such love--pictures (and evidence) of God's grace and love toward me.
Happy Father's Day, Daddy.
I've always trusted you to tell me what sports team to cheer for.
Hiking in the Smokies...forever a favorite thing to do with you!
I love visiting you at work.
...and building sand castles with you.
I love that you came to visit me in October with Mom.
Thank you for making my Turkey Trot dream come true on such short notice when I was home for Thanksgiving.
Thanks for taking us horseback riding and for taking me to Chimney Top in the Smokies. It meant so much to me that you believed I could make it to the top!
Thanks for countless out to eat dinners just because your girls wanted to.
Thanks for always slipping me $20 right before I walk through airport security to fly back to Chicago.
And finally, thanks for coming to visit me for my birthday before I left for Europe.
Thank you for loving me Dad--for loving our family--and for showing us Jesus.