A dear friend made it possible for me to invite my parents to attend an incredible leadership conference this week. I learned a lot, met some amazing people, and they fanned the flame in my heart to keep working hard to create change. But there is one moment that stands out above the rest.
There was a moment that is emblazoned into the core of my being.
So when she walked up, I was excited to introduce her to my dad. When I did, she gave him a huge hug and said, “Crystal thinks the world of you. She gives you most of the credit for the woman she’s become.” Dad’s eyes filled with tears and though he could hardly get the words out, he said,
That makes life worth living.
Then of course, my eyes filled with tears and Libba’s, too. What dad doesn’t know is that one day during the friendship challenge we specifically went really deep about our dads. We talked about how they influenced us. How they helped shape us into the women we are today.
In honor of a life worth living, I thought I’d share an excerpt from that writing with you today.
I love him SO much. I feel like he birthed the woman that I am. There’s a Keith Urban song called “Song for Dad.” He sings about someone saying, “I wish I could meet your Dad” and he smiles and says, “You already have.” I always think of my dad and me when I hear that song. Though there is a lot that makes me different from my dad, there’s SO much of him in me.
There’s no one I love and respect more (obviously in a different regard than Scott). I’ve watched him endure some incredible pain and ridicule. I’ve watched him love my mom. I’ve watched him love people in the church who judged him without knowing his heart. I’ve watched him love my sisters through some incredibly difficult situations. I’ve watched him love people who have hurt us deeply. I’ve watched him love Scott like he was his own son. Most of all, I’ve experienced his grace and love for me through all my crazy choices. Not only did he love me; I always believed he trusted me.
I knew he believed in me.
Dad is my hero. He’s a gentle man of steel. His dad died of MS when he was in his teens so he lived his entire adult life without a father figure. I think especially because of that, he fought hard to make sure he played a big role in our lives.
He worked insane hours as a pastor. I think the only time he ever took time off was on Friday mornings and our yearly vacation. He visited, he taught, he preached Sunday morning and night and Wednesday night too. He was always at the church. Pastors’ families are interesting families to grow up in.
But when he was home – we were his life. He made us feel like we were the most important people on the planet. We were his princesses. He left notes on our mirrors telling us how amazing were were. He took us on dates, wherever we wanted to go, and he took us each on a trip for our 14th birthday, wherever we wanted to go. He and I went snow skiing and I’ll never forget it. He taught me to drive. He (patiently) taught me to water ski. He taught me to ride my bike. He bought us a trampoline – taught me how to double bounce. He built us a pool. He bought us a go kart.
He taught me how to live.
That is all. I love my Daddy!
I realize that reading this might cause an ache in your heart if you didn’t grow up with a dad like mine. That’s certainly not my intent. I shared this note today for only one reason.
I’d like you to stop and think about what makes your life worth living.
At the end of the day, you are the only one who can decide.
Will you invest in people and love them well so they will learn to invest in others and love well?
Will you give more than you receive?
Will you create something that lives on after your last breath?
I hope you will.
To more Love!
#YourTurnChallenge #Day 5