Friday, December 10, 2010

"Honor thy Father..."

This past summer in Bible class, our church studied the 10 commandments.  Josh volunteered to teach command #5 on June 20th.  Significance?  "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you."  Ex. 20:12  and June 20th was Father's Day.
So why do I bring this up nearly 6 months later?  Well, tomorrow marks 2 years since my sweet Daddy passed away.  When Josh was preparing to teach back in June, it really made me think about this verse in a whole new way.  I think it's safe to say that God expects us to honor our parents regardless of whether or not they are still living.  Honoring those who are still living seems pretty easy and straightforward to me.  Bringing honor to those who have left us is not quite the same.  I guess I'm at the stage where keeping Dad's memory alive is the best way I can find to honor him.  Here are some examples:
1.  Using Dad's stuff- On Father's Day weekend, we set up Dad's horseshoe set in our yard in honor of him.  Josh has many of Dad's clothes and wears them regularly.  Sometimes I cry when doing the laundry because I miss seeing Dad in those clothes so much.  In the near future I plan on using some of Dad's other clothes for some sentimental craft projects.  Mom has given us a few of Dad's tools to use at our house too.
2.  Enjoy activities that Dad enjoyed- working on the cars, playing horseshoes, watching old TV shows like Little House on the Prairie and Andy Griffith, yard work, etc.
3.  Cooking recipes that were Dad's specialties or favorites- I had this great plan to fix several of Dad's recipes this week for dinner, but holiday parties and other activities got in the way.  I'll try again next week.  I did manage to make his waffles last night (recipe to follow).  I also have great memories of Dad's meatloaf, taco night, "Dad's stuff" sandwiches (I'll share that one soon too), and egg and bacon sandwiches.  Some of Dad's favorite foods included Grandma's cinnamon rolls, homemade ice cream, chicken and dumplings, and DQ blizzards.  His favorite restaurants were Cracker Barrel and Papa Felipe's (in ABQ). 
4.  Photos- of course we keep pictures of Dad around.  Here is the one that I keep in my office.  I think it's from Christmas 1997.

My Dad was truly a wonderful man deserving of all the honor I can possibly give him.  I miss him terribly and still cry nearly every time I think of him.  I know that he would prefer that we all laugh every time we think of him, but I'm just not to that point yet.  I rarely make it through a Sunday church service without crying because of some song or scripture that is used.  If there is a prayer for someone with cancer or mention of someone passing away, I can't hold back the tears.  Dad is still in my dreams quite often and so many little things throughout my day remind me of him.  I can't even drive to work without thinking about him because back in 1999 he installed that great little cruise control in my car that we still use everyday.  He really did have a gift for fixing anything and everything. 
For those of you who have lost one or both of your parents, what do you do to bring them honor? 
For those of you who have not experienced this kind of loss, please cherish every minute you have with your parents and give them as much honor as you possibly can.

Here's Dad's waffle recipe as promised.  Make it in honor of my Dad tomorrow morning if you don't already have breakfast plans.  Remember, you MUST eat them with peanut butter if you want to do it right! 

2 1/2 c. flour
3 T. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
Sift these ingredients together

2 cups of milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix these ingredients together in a separate bowl.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients together and mix well with a hand mixer.  Cook in a lightly greased waffle iron.  Serve with butter, peanut butter, and maple syrup. 


Alan said...

Your dad was a very special friend to me and to so many others. Your tribute to him on this anniversary of his death was beautifully written and moving.
I pray that God will bless you, your Mom, Adam, and the rest of your family.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute. Yes, he is sorely missed by many.

Love, Aunt Sharron

Thomas, Becca, and Bailey said...

You are right...I'm sitting here crying. I miss my adopted dad and so wish I could be with you tomorrow. My heart hurts for you and your mom and Adam. Please know that you are loved and prayed for. You are honoring him in so many ways and I know he would be proud of you. I'll be making waffles in the morning with peanut butter of course!
Love you!

Andrea Casey said...

You've been on my heart this week as I realized the anniversary of your dad's home-going would be around the corner. What a great post to honor your dad! May tomorrow be filled with the happy memories of him, filled with more smiles and laughs than a heavy heart and tears. (though I perfectly understand having that achy heart from missing a daddy...)

You're in my prayers!

Sunflowers are something we like to have around here to honor my dad. I read somewhere that their meaning is respect, something I should have given more of to my dad when I had him around. I love how they always face the sun, just as we ought to always be looking towards our heavenly Father.

Anonymous said...

Amber, this is very sweet. I did not realize your dad was gone. It is harder around the holidays when there are missing pieces in our families.

I have been doing a lot of baking this week, and most of the recipes I'm using are the ones that my mother always used. I have her cookbooks, with her handwritten notes in them. It comforts me to think how much she enjoyed the same things I am doing.

We have 3 pecan trees at this house, and gathered lots of pecans this year. One of the little jobs that my dad always enjoyed was cracking nuts. He could continue to do that even after Alzheimer's took away a lot of his abilities. Most holidays the last few years, I would buy a bag of pecans in the shell and have him crack them for me, to use in the holiday meal. We have the (really swell) nutcracker that was his, and have made good use of it this year.

Thanks for sharing your remembrance of your father.

--Mary Lou Hutson

Shelly said...

Thanks for the thoughtful post Amber. I've been thinking about you all week knowing what today would mean for you. Excellent question you asked..I never really thought about it like that before. I think I can honor the memory of my mom by striving to be the Godly woman she knew I could be. She was always praying for me. One of my most cherished things of hers is her Bible. I love all her hand written notes and the passages she chose to highlight. I use it as my study Bible and it helps me focus on being all she hoped I would be.

The sadness part of losing her is still challenging for me too, even after 6 years. It gets better, but slowly.....I don't know that it will ever be not painful, but the raw sorrow has almost faded away for me. You're on my mind and in my prayers!

Jenny said...

This was really sweet, Amber. You are definitely doing a great job of honoring him and sharing his legacy. Matt mentioned your Dad the other day. We were talking about something that needed to be fixed, and that reminded him of the many times your Dad/Mr. Fixit helped them out. :) Thinking about y'all during this season, knowing that you miss him everyday.