Our Father

When I pull up to my childhood home, I am instantly reminded of my time as a little girl running around the front yard catching lightening bugs while my daddy rocks on the front porch. I walk inside the house and it’s as if I go back in time where I sat in the living room watching the Andy Griffith Show with him. Out back, I am swinging in the hammock…or giving daddy a push. And I know that not everyone has these experiences. Experiences with a loving father who cares for, provides for, and protects his family…

The National Fatherhood Initiative sites many important studies on their website at www.fatherhood.org. They tell us that having involved fathers leads to an increase in emotional functioning and decreases risk of poverty. It results in improved behavior and less chance of incarceration. In fact, children with involved fathers are less likely to experience a teen pregnancy, obesity, or drugs. While there are certainly exceptions to all of this, the impact of fathers cannot be denied. And, yet, one in three homes with children is missing the biological father.

But there are good ones out there, and Father’s Day is a day to celebrate our dads. And while many are missing a healthy relationship with their dads, we do have a Heavenly Father. We have 24-hour access to Him! God never sleeps, He always listens, He always comforts. Psalm 68:5 tells us he is a “father to the fatherless.” He’s a father to us all, but for those without earthly fathers, I pray this message brings comfort on Father’s Day and all year round.

And, dads, please remember the incredibly important role you are called to have in your children’s lives! Please watch this beautiful video to serve as a reminder:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-SpJ8Rs2vk#t=107

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The Vulnerability of Writing

I barely hit publish before the familiar yet vague feeling starts to creep over me accompanied by self-doubt and fear.

What if people disagree with me?

What if people think badly of me?

What if people misunderstand me?

What if, What if, What if!

It is scary to be a writer. Leaving you in that vulnerable place. That point of no return…unless you want to hit delete. But we can’t do that. No, we shouldn’t do that. If we are called to write, then we should write.

Despite the fear, I write and I publish. Not always. Sometimes I am not brave enough. But, when I can’t deny the Holy Spirit guiding me in that direction, I simply push through. And then I am left vulnerable. Exposed. Wondering. Waiting.

Will people like this?

Will people share this?

Will people comment on this?

But, worst of all, Will people ignore this?

I don’t want to expose myself only to be ignored. And, yet, I know that my writing is never ignored by the One who called me to write. The One who called me to open myself up. The One I am actually writing for.

And, in that moment of realization, I know that it is okay to be vulnerable. That the answers to the questions that roll through my mind don’t even matter, but I do…as a writer, as a human being, and as a child of God.

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What Decoration Day Is All About

It began in 1866, the placement of flowers on the graves of soldiers who had died on the battlefields of the Civil War. Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg, VA has over 2,000 of these graves, and today I joined them for their Dedication Day service.

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Beneath this monument to the soldiers of 14 states laid in those hallowed grounds, wreaths were placed and “Amazing Grace” was played.

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Flowers were placed on each and every grave.

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And we were reminded, in part, of the cost of this war.

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As I reflect on those lost lives, I reflect on all of those who have lost their lives in battle since the inception of our country. I reflect on those who lost loved ones during war or as a result of war. And I am filled with sorrow over their loss and gratitude for their sacrifice. May God Bless America.

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