Often I have been asked if this holiday in particular is difficult.
Blessedly, it is not.
On this day that honors fathers, we instead choose to focus on what we do have, not what we have lost. And that is truly a lot!
This year, as every year since Keith died, my boys have figured out cards for the men at church whom God has convicted to be part of our lives. This year's card said, "As a father figure, you've nailed it." and we included a nail in the cards. We passed out upwards of 18 cards, and probably could have used a few more.
They get really excited, dashing around church looking for each of the men. They welcome them with a big hug and present the cards. They even fight over who gets to give cards to which man.
The men were touched. One of our friends even got a bit teary (yep, I said it, though I won't confess which friend). I myself got choked up a few times.
This year we had the added blessing of taking a dear friend whom the boys call "Uncle" out to lunch.
All in all, a happy day here.
It's HUGE that so many men from our congregation have followed the Biblical model and taken care of this widow and these fatherless boys. I have said it before, and will say it again: I cannot be a guy. If I even tried, it would be dishonoring to myself as a woman, and dishonoring to my Creator. Therefore, I rely heavily on the men in our lives to come alongside my boys to "father" them, modelling for them Biblical fatherhood.
And these men have never let me down! There is always one ready to jump in and catch a ball, wrestle a boy, pat a shoulder, give a high five, teach a manly skill, or fix a door.
No question about it, my boys will remember the love showered upon them by so many, and, Lord willing, will model it in their own homes and in their own churches when they are grown.
And they will also remember the source: the Lord God Almighty. Everything that has been done for us and to us has been in the name of the Lord.
Even though their earthly father took the early train for glory (going ahead to prepare our mansion, as I told baby Tanner so often right after Keith died), they have a heavenly Father who's got it covered here on earth.
And so do I.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” -- Lamentations 3:22-24