Tag Archives: Father

My Favorite Veteran

Photo of the shadowbox I had made of my dad with his Korean War medals

Photo of the shadow box I had made of my dad with his Korean War medals

On Veteran’s Day, I appreciate the sacrifices of all the men and women who served to keep us free, and I also appreciate those currently serving.  However, my favorite veteran will always be my dad.  Although he now lives in heaven, I am proud of his service to our country as a tank commander on the front lines in the Korean conflict. 

Above is a picture of the shadow box containing his Army photo and medals.  The one medal missing, he never accepted.  Though wounded twice by being shot and requiring surgery on his hand, he refused the Purple Heart, saying that ‘the real heroes are the ones who didn’t come home.

His family disagreed.  He was our hero.

Most of you have read my poem about him, but here’s the link for any who have never read about my Gentle Warrior

Blessings to all our vets as we celebrate their service to our country!

Sue Nash/2013

The Best Kind of Father

My dad's Bible

My dad’s Bible

My dad was as close
To perfect as it gets.
He was the kind of father
I will never forget.

Not all are like him;
Some dads were absent.
Yours may have left memories
You wish to forget.

No matter which type
Of earthy dad we were given,
We all have the chance
To know the One up in heaven.

He is the type of Father,
Whose love will erase
All the wounds from your past,
Which your own dad did create.

You may not have had a dad
Who, while on earth, your life did bless.
God understands, though, and loves you more.
Our heavenly Father is the very best.

Abba, Father
Romans 8:15

I sure miss my sweet daddy.  He was so wonderful!  The most important thing he ever taught me, though, was to love my heavenly Father, for which I am forever grateful. 
Blessings, and Happy Father’s Day!

Sue Nash,2013

A Glad Dad

Proverbs PostA wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
Proverbs 10:1

Years ago, when my son was little, I did something very foolish.  A friend and I decided to go camping on the beach, with just our children.  Neither of our husbands could get the time off work, but since some of her other friends could meet us there with their motor homes, we ventured out on our impromptu trip.  The problem was that neither of us owned a motor home; instead, we traipsed off, towing a horrendously overloaded pop-up all the way to our beach side oasis.

Amazingly, we made it there without a hitch (no pun at all intended).  Seriously, for me hitches are not a laughing matter!  Here is why.  No sooner had we unloaded kids and bikes, than the two female camping pros proceeded to set up camp.  One of my jobs was to pop-up our temporary dwelling.  My husband had spent hours training his not-at-all mechanical wife how to do so.  His instructions on unhitching the trailer and lowering the stabilizing wheel worked flawlessly – on pavement.  Those same guidelines did not work so well in sand.  As I attempted to unhitch the trailer, because of the sand and my ineptness, the entire weight of it came crushing down onto my exposed, flip-flopped foot.  Just in time, I managed to pull my foot free.  I ended up hobbling my way around camp most of the week but avoided a fracture, which was inevitable had the full heaviness of the pop-up landed squarely on me.  These beach-combing gals learned a valuable lesson: never go trailer camping without capable help and never set up shop in sand!

The potential for foolishness is inherent in all of us, but is particularly predominate in very young children and teens.  My husband and I have experienced our fair share of both with our children, especially with what some call teenage angst.  In the verse above, it is evident that God understands such foolishness and the tough job of parenting.  What I find so interesting are the contrasts described; a son who is wise brings joy to a father, whereas a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother. In another verse:

“A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother.”
Proverbs 15:20

Implied is that wise children are those who demonstrate honor and respect to both parents; by doing so, they bring a blessed peace to the home.  When things get out of kilter with respectfulness, such as during angst, things go haywire at home for everyone.

I derive much comfort from this verse above because it validates what I already knew, that moms seem to bear the brunt when a child strays into foolishness.  Any mother going through the trauma of dealing with disrespect, rebellion or defiance from a child knows that she just bears the burden differently from her spouse.  Overall, dads can encounter a late night outburst from a child then go right to sleep, but moms lie awake and cry.  The burden brought about by the foolishness hurts both parents, but for the mother it really does feel like a crushing weight.

The Lord understands this heavy burden carried by hurting mothers, but knows that fathers are suffering, as well.  Using the contrast above, He thoughtfully ties the two together.  Dads may not feel as crushed by the rebellious child, but they are nonetheless affected.  I am reminded of the saying, ‘When momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!’  The heavy emotional toll of a mother not coping with a parent-child conflict usually spills right over onto the dad.  The Lord knows that a father cannot be joyful when his wife is falling apart.

The flip side to this is that when things go differently, and a child quits being foolish to walk wisely instead, it brings joy all around.  The mother’s overbearing burden is removed, and she feels as light as a feather.  The heaviness leaves, the tension dissipates and a once sad situation becomes suddenly delightful.  With peace restored, momma is once again happy.  Dad enjoys the change in the child’s behavior, too, and seeing his wife happy makes him happy.  Everyone is happy!

We have all acted foolishly before and are all in need of God’s grace.  Some of my past harebrained decisions and periods of rebellion, I would like to forget.  Thankfully, Jesus has always shown that He will forgive and mend our foolishness.  I must do the same.  Along the way in our parenting journey, He keeps teaching my husband me how to love unconditionally, to forgive and to keep moving on.

Though the burdens of parenting can be massively weighty, God is able to lift them and to restore joy back into our lives-for both moms and dads!  During those times, when it seems as though the heaviness brought about by a foolish child is simply beyond bearing, God has a way of letting us know just how fully He understands.  He too knows firsthand the hurt rebelliousness brings.  He experiences it daily from His children.  On the other hand, whenever this child (me or you) acts wisely, it makes for a very glad Father!

A Photo of Eternity

A glimpse from heaven of my wonderful dad!

A glimpse from ‘heaven’ of my wonderful dad!

A sparkle in the forest,
A glimmer of light from afar;
A mere glimpse of eternity,
Of what we have in store.
by Sue Nash

Today my dad would have been 84 years old. He lived a long, wonderful life then went to heaven at 82. Like so many others who have lost a parent, I miss him terribly. In his case, though, the pain from cancer had so consumed him that the final parting he took heavenward brought more relief than sorrow to those of us who loved him. I miss my sweet dad but am happy knowing he finally left his suffering behind and made it safely to his eternal home.

My dad was always very physically strong and energetic. In fact, even a few months prior to his death, he could still split and chop his own firewood. I called him a ‘work horse.’ Because of this, his passing was hard to accept because in the back of my mind, I had counted on him being around for many more years.

After the initial hurt lessened, I thought that I was progressing normally through the grieving process but realized that I was struggling. I had wrapped my heart around the fact that my dad was in heaven but could not seem to wrap my mind around it. Since I am such a ‘visual’ person, I longed to see him there – to catch a glimpse of daddy in heaven.

A few years earlier, one of my nieces shared something about heaven that beautifully expressed that longing. I had the opportunity to hear Don Piper speak at a local church about his book 90 Minutes in Heaven. Since my niece was going, too, I thought it best to prepare her for some of his discussion. She was still rather young and I did not want her to get upset over the details of his death. After I was done, she wanted to know more about his heavenly journey. As I told her some about his book, she listened intently. What she spoke next, I have never forgotten. As soon as I finished sharing, she exclaimed, “Oh Aunt Sue, don’t you wish he could have brought back photos?” My adorable niece was correct. What I needed most to ease my grieving was a photo. Nothing else would so precisely fulfill my longing than seeing a snapshot of my dad in heaven.

Unfortunately, Don Piper did not take his camera to heaven. We have his phenomenal testimony, but he did not bring back a scrapbook filled with photos. I was so earnest in my desire for this glimpse that I began asking God if He would give something like a photo, such as a vision or spiritual dream. I never doubted His Word that since my dad had accepted Christ he was really in heaven. This was not some ‘doubting Thomas’ kind of moment, rather a desire for comfort. I just kept yearning for a glimpse. Weeks and months passed but God never gave me that vision.

Just like our God, though, on one ordinary day while I was dusting the furniture, I came across the photo above. Taken many years before my dad died, this picture is very special because it was of a trip our family took together in Colorado. In this shot, my dad was the happiest I ever remember him. Sitting as he was atop the Continental Divide, his battle with cancer had not yet begun. His literal battles of fighting on the front lines in Korea were long since gone. Of all my pictures of him, this one, taken just before his suffering began, is most precious. My heavenly Father knew all of this. As I walked past it that morning, He gently whispered, “There’s your photo.”

God’s words stunned me since I had already given up on my ‘photo from heaven.’ As I gazed upon it that day, it was as if I were seeing it again for the first time. I began noticing that my dad had on his Saints cap and that he looked more relaxed and carefree than I really had noticed. It occurred to me that heaven is like that – a place where he is carefree and happy, and has joined all the other ‘saints;’ a place with no suffering, and of mountaintops instead of valleys of sorrow. Additionally, only God could have known what comfort it would bring his garden-loving daughter to see him surrounded by flowers! Amazed, I knew that this whisper from the Lord was not simply my imagination. God had given me my photo!

To some, this may seem a bit hokey. I did have a moment where I questioned the validity myself. I got to thinking about heaven and our glorified bodies. From my recollections, my dad had on glasses for the pose and this just did not seem to mesh with Scripture. Upon questioning God about it, He prompted me to go have another look. There was my dad with his glasses, but instead of wearing them he was holding them in his hand! I realize many will dismiss this as mere ‘wishful longings.’ It only takes one glimpse, though, for me to know that I have my glimpse!

My dad is now in heaven. Eternity wrapped its loving arms around him and gently took him on home. Perhaps because I yearned so intently, God gave me a picture of my dad in eternity. Even though I miss him dearly, I smile looking at him, knowing he is now on heaven’s shore! All I have to do is gaze upon the photo to remember that eternity just had better things in store!

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
2 Corinthians 4:17

From His Heart for blog