Things my father taught me....

Deuteronomy 5:16
"Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

One of my most vivid memories of my childhood is of my father and I sitting in his old station wagon singing "I should've been a cowboy" together along with the radio. I can still smell the smoke on the leather seats, since the car was his only refuge to light up as my mother had banned use anywhere near the house. Windows rolled down, singing our hearts out, we were kindred spirits. I was my "daddy's girl."

I learned many things from my father; tiling, hard work, perseverance, a love for Gaelic music, the art of being well rounded. But most of all I learned how to face hard situations. Right before my senior year my father was diagnosed with a glio blastoma brain tumor. We were in New Orleans, having just come from looking into LSU for my undergrad and we were enjoying the city. My brother and I had our own hotel room and I still remember that call and how quickly the next few minutes went by. But most of all I remember the words "brain tumor." I remember how hard they hit my heart, how heavy they made it.

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is in the book of Ruth. I love the contrast that God gives us of how the two women delt with very dire circumstances. Naomi had lost her husband and two sons and one of the first things she does is push people away and then cries out that her name should be changed to "Mara" or bitter. She has little hope as she goes back to her homeland depressed, destitute, devoid of any remnant of hope. Ruth on the other hand handled things differently. Instead of crying out, she lived out her life in faith. We never see her pitying herself. She presses on, and eventually is rewarded. Boaz marries her not because of her beauty, but because he sees that she is of noble character and she holds a place now in the lineage of Jesus!

My dad was a "Ruth" when it came to suffering. He took life as it came, even when he could no longer talk, even when his brain wouldn't cooperate with simple daily tasks. I never saw my father pity himself or lose hope. He was a wellspring of life until the very end. My dad's faith was quiet, he did not talk much about it. But you could see the fruit of his faith, the way he lived in the face of suffering.

Ultimately he lost his battle, not because of the brain tumor but because his body was worn out from sickness, chemo, radiation, and other harsh treatments. But his example lives on. I know that I have a tendency to be a "Naomi." I pity, I sulk, I stagnate, but then I remember the many who have endured harsher trials, more suffering, and my attitude changes.

I think the moral of the story in the book of Ruth is that if we place our faith in God, He'll always provide for us what we need. The bible tells us the Lord knows what we need even before we ask it. He is "for" us. The biggest lesson my father left me with was the way he lived his life. I hope one day my children will say that of me, in fact, I hope that one day all of our children can say that of us.

Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words. ~St. Francis of Assisi
I will be participating in the DFW Brain tumor 5k this November. If Brain cancer has touched your family or friends and you wish to help, please consider sponsoring me. While we all have heaven to look forward to, I hope that one day we can also find a cure.


  1. The love for your father can be felt through your words, you have such a wonderful heart and a wonderful heart for the Lord. May he continue to bless you and impart his strength to you. Thank you for sharing and being venerable making visible the testimony that resides in you.

  2. Kelly! Thank you for stopping by the blog and for the good encouragement! Be blessed!


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