As a child, I was something of a chronic letter-writer. After sending scrawled notes to my far-off relatives and the few young friends I corresponded with, I would turn to writing notes to my family. One such early epistle reads [sic], "Hi! I love you Daddy and I lik you too Daddy...I love you mommy, I love you Daddy... Love, Abigail."
Sadly, in the years following the writing of that note I often have not been so vocal about my appreciation for the parents with which God has blessed me. Though I've always been grateful for them, I know I have not honored them as I should. I have lived with my parents for almost 24 years and have found it far too easy to take them for granted; to let other things get in the way of really obeying God in this area. I'd like to take this opportunity to publicly honor Daddy and Mother.
First of all, I am thankful to my parents for providing me with a solid Christian/Biblical foundation in life. They had me memorize Scriptures and listen to tapes of gospel choruses even before I was old enough to understand many of the words. God has used these snippets of verse and song to encourage me through the years. I remember how excited and "grown up" I felt when, at age eight, Daddy let me choose a brand new Bible and case at the store. That was the push I needed to install a habit of daily Bible reading: something I've always been grateful for!
When I was nine years old, the fear of the Lord brought me to realize how much I needed Christ's salvation from sins. Mother was there to talk to when I needed it most, persistently asking me what was bothering me until I got courage to open up beyond mumbling "Nothin'..." I'll never forget the peace I felt after my simple, silent prayer: such a contrast to the weeks of mental torment I'd just gone through.
My parents have taught me to use the Bible as my final authority. Countless times when we've been animatedly discussing something, Daddy has stopped me short by asking, "Is that what God thinks? Let's see what the Bible has to say about that." Admittedly, that's not always the response I want to hear at that point :-) — but it's what I need to bring my emotions and opinions under control.
I am also thankful for my parents' courage to follow God's Word instead of the world. Before I reached school age, they were convicted that it was their responsibility—not the government's—to educate their children. Homeschooling was illegal in Iowa back in the early 1980's, but Daddy and Mother were ready to move, if needed, to follow their convictions. It's a long story, but the Lord worked it out for us to continue living here on the farm where I was born, as well as to continue our home education. I can't express how grateful I am for my parents' commitment and dedication! Being a bookworm, I generally enjoyed all my studies—except math, that is. How Mother survived two years of patiently struggling through Algebra 1 with me, I'll never know! :-) She is a real example of perseverance and dedication.
My parents have sheltered my siblings and I from many of the dangers out in the world today. Though I did not always understand why we didn't have a TV, watch many movies, listen to certain music, or read certain books/magazines, I now am grateful for the protection these standards provided. Looking back, I can see how easily influenced I was as a child and I am thankful that my quest for knowledge was channeled in the right directions.
My parents have done so much for me. Daddy is always willing to help with computer problems, make phone calls, or give advice in any area. Mother has amazing abilities to find lost items, to create order and beauty from chaos, and to provide stability in our home.
God has blessed me with the perfect parents. Yes, they are fallible humans just like I am, but they are exactly what God knew I needed to serve Him most effectively. When conflicts arise it's easy to lose sight of that fact, but the truth remains the same. What a reassurance!
As Daddy and Mother celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary this summer, I thank the Lord for His hand in our lives through the years. He is faithful!