Sunday, June 21, 2009

Today and every day, I love my dad!

I LOVE my dad! There is truly no one else in the world like him. I'm not sure how he became the respected and respectable man of integrity he is today except to believe that God had a unique and unmistakable hold on my father's life, personality and character. When I stop to think about it, I am repeatedly amazed and humbled that I am lucky enough to be his daughter. Dr. Howard V. Sanden is arguably a great man, and the best dad in the world, and I'm fortunate enough that he's mine. :)

What makes my dad the best? Well he knows about everything and yet is the first to admit, "There's always someone who knows more about something than I do." My dad has taught me lessons in about every subject imaginable over the past 25 years. These include but are not limited to the following:
  • how to calculate the miles/hour traveled in a car
  • the importance of exercise and healthy eating habits
  • how to shovel snow
  • how to handle a wheel-barrow
  • how to drive a boat
  • how to drive a car
  • how to shake someone's hand
  • to always greet people when you walk into a room (especially in the morning)
  • how to treat a soft tissue injury - RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation)
  • that "when the goin' gets tough, the tough get goin'"
  • how to speak in public
  • how to write a thank you note
  • the names and uses of a few tools
  • how to build and stoke a fire
  • how to ski
  • how to water ski
  • when you pack your own meal you can eat when you're hungry, save money and eat healthier than you would otherwise
  • how to document conversations with companies (hotels, insurance, doctors, investors, etc) with names, dates, times and quotes
  • how to think ahead
  • to listen to what other people tell me... then make my own decision
  • that if I don't ask, I don't get
  • that the worst someone (including he) can say is "No"
  • the game of college football
  • how to throw a ball
  • how to cook bratwursts
  • how to ride a bike
  • how to approach new obstacles
  • that the best gifts are heart-felt and often inexpensive
  • how to manage a bank account
  • how to hunt for worms, bait a hook and catch a fish
This list could continue until all the cyberspace of blogger is filled, but I think I'll stop with that list for the moment.

One of the things I love best about my dad is his logical thinking. No matter how rational my own thinking or how hysterical my emotions, my dad's logic and sensibility remains. After 18 years of living with him and 25 years of learning from him, I often imitate his thoughtful, step-by-step, planned and purposeful manner of thinking. Occasionally, however, my emotions take over and I lose Daddy's wise example. In these times, his loving and logical words are only a phone call away to refocus my mind back on the rational way I know how to think.

In my whole life, I don't think I've ever once seen my dad speechless or at a loss for how to respond to anyone in any situation. The essence of a gentleman and the poster of integrity, my father epitomizes what it means to be an honorable man.

While I love, cherish and respect him daily, today, Father's Day, seems especially appropriate to publicly declare that I love my daddy -- the best daddy in the world, and he's mine!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rocky Ground

Someone sings a song about "Higher Ground" - I don't remember the details now, but it might be Barbara Streisand or Randy Travis (I realize that's quite a difference) but I can hear parts of the song in my head, "I'm standing on Higher Ground" or "Get me back to Higher Ground"...

What about Rocky Ground? Can anyone think of a song about standing on the Rocky Ground? The Bible tells us to rejoice in times of trouble, times of temptation, times of suffering,

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." James 1:2-3

"We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given." Romans 5:2-5

Do humans sometime create their own Rocky Ground, their own suffering? There are those people who always have some reason to be unhappy... are we all those people? Creating drama for our lives, so accustomed to the discontented feeling of living that we create our own suffering.

Do believers ever really know when they are in a desert or the wilderness on their journey? Or will hindsight reveal a small scope of perspective for the purpose of a season and whether it was in fact a season in a desert or wilderness?

As br
others and sisters in Christ, we are called to support each other in our walks, but as Americans, we don't really want to admit if we're on Rocky Ground when we're supposed to be on Higher Ground.

I get tired of living so separated from my friends and family. I feel torn in every direction and exhausted from trying to keep up with friends scattered across the globe while making new friends in the location where I newly live. I'm currently in a relationship with a man in Nashville, my job is in Colorado, my parents are in Michigan, my best friend is in Texas, my church community is in Virginia... when people talk about "the world getting smaller" I think they have my life in mind.

But the world doesn't feel smaller. It feels big and isolating and often lonely. I don't want to date a man via webcast, and I don't want to keep in touch with friends via gchat, and I don't want to see my parents twice a year. Today I'm on Rocky Ground.