I find it hard to believe my first born turns 29 today. She came into my arms at 2:16 PM and weighed in at 7 pounds, 6.5 ounces. In that moment I held a bundle so light and wondered how it could feel so heavy. There is no preparation for Dads blessed with daughters. We start the journey full of hope and confidence. Notice the absence of gray hair. Examine the face with no bags, no lines and no wrinkles. Me, not Amanda. And who decided eye glasses should be the size of a Buick?
That evening, as the stress and adrenalin subsided, I realized I was clueless about daughters. Amanda did not come with an owner’s manual and I needed direction. I wrote a prayer asking God to help me with the Dad thing. This was a most important assignment and I wanted to do it right. Amanda’s future depended on me.
“… Help me Lord to walk in your ways all my life. Help me to be a kind, loving husband and father. Lord, please let Amanda accept you as Savior early in life. Help me to be an example and to encourage her in the things of the Lord. Use her for Your glory. Lord, you have loaned to me a precious life. Help me to care for her as You do …”
Dads do a lot of lecturing and talking. Sometimes our kids think of us as word generators. Much of our parental verbiage is blocked out by their selective hearing. In this revealing photo Amanda, less than 6 months old, is enduring another, “When I was your age” story. I’ve seen adults model the same response in Sunday School class.
To be effective my words have to be backed by a living example. Amanda is grown yet that truth presses on my heart. I want to be someone she can look to all the days of my life and beyond. I want to be a source of encouragement for her.
Amanda, you are a treasure, a priceless gift. I am humbled and thankful God chose me to be your Dad. Shawn and I love you and wish you many more happy birthdays!