Monday, February 09, 2009

Father

This is an account of my efforts to put into action what I learn while reading the Bible, an account of my journey to become closer to God.

As I mentioned last week, I am very busy each day this week promoting my book “Why I Love You: 100 Reasons” for Valentine’s Day. With numerous radio interviews and a few book signings in the Atlanta area, I am pressed for time so will post excerpts from my books each day this week.

Today is my birthday (49 and can’t believe it; I feel so young). It is also my father’s birthday so it is fitting that I share with you an excerpt from “Thank you, Dad,” the second book I wrote to honor him. Enjoy…

“The things my dad has done for me over the years are indeed numerous, and regrettably I’m sure I can’t recall them all no matter how hard I might try. Yet I often smile when I recall how my dad kept our bicycles and go-cart in good working order, showed me how to hit a curve ball and cast a lure, worked with me on a Boy Scout project to earn a coveted merit badge, and taught me how to do things for myself as we tinkered with the car or the house on weekend afternoons. He also patiently taught me to drive and years later, as I gave my own children driving lessons, I remembered his laughter as I once drove his pickup truck into a ditch.

There are, I think, a few universal hallmarks of a good parent: unconditional love, unfailing support, endless affection and concern. Perhaps there are also a few additional hallmarks of a good father: self-sacrifice, perseverance, and forethought. These are the characteristics that distinguish my dad in my heart and mind, and the stories I tell about him.

Of all the loving gestures, caring interventions, personal sacrifices and life lessons I could thank my father for, the one thing I think means the most to me, and for which I am immeasurable grateful, is that he continues to do those fatherly things for his children. My dad lives to be a good father to my siblings and me. It is something he seems unable to stop worrying about, something about which I hope here to begin to convince him that he has succeeded.”

I wrote this book in December 2006, two years before I woke up determined to begin a faith journey. Yet, even then, I felt the Hand of God in my life; I ended the book with this as the Acknowledgment:

“A book about giving thanks to parents would not be complete with also giving thanks to my Heavenly Father. I confess, I sometimes succumb to human nature and think to myself it was my research, talent and perseverance that resulted in my success as an author. The truth is, however, years ago I was lost and in despair, and I had not an ounce of experience in creative writing. One evening in a prayer I asked for help and then did my best to go forward with hope.

Soon certain events began to transpire - like a friend telling me of a successful little book that eventually inspired me to write; my introduction to Janet Lankford-Moran, the photographer who helped me complete my first book; meeting Ron Pitkin, my publisher, who coincidentally but not known to me until later, was the publisher of the successful little book that got me started in the first place; and then there are all those events in my life that have been the fabric with which my stories about love, faith, forgiveness and duty are woven.

And now my book about thanks, the only one that has closed with a testimonial such as this, is in your hands. Coincidence? Serendipity? Chance? I think not. I once was lost, but now I’m found. Thank you God.”

Yes, God works mysteriously at times, but his work is always good.

Tune in the remaining days of this week for excerpts from my newest book, “Mom’s Little Angel: Stories of the Special Bond Between Mothers and Daughters,” which is released tomorrow!

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and please pray for me and my family. Now go out and hug somebody!

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