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
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.