I always thought my dad was a hero. I think a lot of us feel that way when we’re growing up. Fathers possess super powers to fix everything from squeaky hinges to teary moments and automotive mayhem. I still call my dad when the car is making a goofy noise and I’m worried. My husband will say something normal like “Take it to the mechanic.” and I’ll say something slightly irrational like, “I’ll call Dad and ask him.” As if Dad is going to be able to help from 1170 miles away over a phone. But my husband doesn’t have the same memories I have. I remember standing next to the open hood of the car watching Daddy fix everything so many times. I remember watching the car that should have been put out to pasture long ago still making its way down the interstate because of his powers.

I remember long summer days sitting by the lake reeling in fish. I remember pretending to fall asleep in the car just so he’d carry me inside late at night. I remember hearing him preach and then practicing my preaching skills to my congregation of stuffed squirrels and bunnies later that afternoon. I remember his smile in the audience while I sang a solo. I remember when he taught me how to play a “D” Chord on the guitar and trying SO hard to get my fingers to stretch far enough to play “G”. (I’ve got it down now by the way.)

My step-dad was equally heroic. When I wandered in the woods and encountered a rattlesnake or water moccasin, he would come save the day. He invested hours looking at boring shells and teaching me how to jump into a wave. He listened and laughed when I made up goofy jokes that didn’t deserve laughter. He put up with more than his share of tickle wars even though he hates to be tickled. We had fun. We laughed often and hard. We still do.

Many of us are blessed enough to have wonderful memories with our dads. Many of us are blessed to watch similar stories unfold between our husbands and our children. My husband is a hero. He nobly walks out his faith each day in front of our children. He works hard. He sacrifices time watching (and playing) golf to wrestle and laugh with our baby boy. He gives of himself and what is more heroic than that? I am blessed to be his wife. I am blessed by him as a father.

Still, even more heroic is the love of our Heavenly Father. He gave so that we can live. He gives abundantly. Grace and love flow freely from His hands, from His heart even when we don’t deserve it. Strength is defined in Him. Selflessness begins in Him. Life was and is breathed in Him.

Heroes give.

Today, I am thankful for the heroes in my life. The world is a better place because of heroes like you. Happy Father’s Day!

When You Stop and Think About It

Have you ever read something that’s going viral that you agree with completely and then you can’t get it out of your head? Not because it was any new concept or trans formative thought, but because you’re suddenly struck by the notion that it isn’t common sense to the mass populace. You realize that the way you try to live your life is foreign to others. Somehow you’ve become the anomaly. Selfishness has taken the place of selfishness everywhere like an epidemic.

Then everywhere you look, there are reminders of this fact and you wonder how you never saw it before. Then you grow increasingly concerned about others because of this realization and you wonder if maybe a small voice in the mass void can make a difference.

Then you realize that by nature of the fact that the aforementioned viral piece went viral, one lone voice already has. Then you realize that if that voice called to the masses, maybe yours can too.

Then you sit down and write the circular reasoning down and send it out into the void so maybe someone else can come to the same conclusion and stop and write or speak up or sing or do whatever it is they do. Then maybe one voice will become two voices or one hundred or one thousand or one million. Then maybe the collective voices will proclaim in unison that there is a better way.

Give of yourself. Make a difference.

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” Francis Chan