In Honor of Daddy, Who Taught Me About Grace….

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I sit here in the corner of the room, I’m reminded of our boys and I’m reminded of him.

There’s a happy old man drawn midway on the wall to my right.

A little higher to the left is a worm of an orangish tint.

Closer to my arm where I sit and write there is an elephant which I think might be considered masterful art if put into the right hands.

Pencilled, marked, & scraped on my walls of Ben Moore’s “manchester tan…” these walls were once painted to perfection, but now bare the scars of a well-lived-in home.

These days, with my house much quieter, as teens come and go, I smile and even sometimes laugh out loud at these images.  Some of them, I know exactly which “rascal” penned the Picasso…others, not so sure, but the floods of memories they bring make me alive with joy.

Yes, my boys have put away their propensity for wall art, so I sit and appreciate it more than ever before.  I’m so thankful that when I first found this art I was too tired, too lazy, too mad, or possibly too wise to clean it.  Maybe too wise because of the insight of a Godly man–my Daddy.

Years ago, when we had 4 sons and I was pregnant with our 5th, I had a photography/hand-tinting business.  The business was thriving and it was all I could do to keep up with being a wife & mom, homeschooling, photographing children, printing the photos, and then painting them.  I was always happy when I finished a whole order.

One day, as my pristine photos awaited customer pick-up, our 2 year old decided to try to paint one of his own.  He took a pen to one of my finished photos.  I remember when I found it I was so discouraged because it meant I had to call the customer and tell her that her order would be delayed.  Also, I had to start all over with that one photo.

My dear father called that night.  As he patiently listened to my frustration over our ‘bad little boy’ who ruined the photo, he sympathized with me.  Then he wisely told me, “Jill, I want you to put that photo away somewhere where you will discover it in a few years.  Then, you will truly appreciate what you have.”

I found that photo the other day and just sat on the floor and wept.  That cute, little, darling, sweet, inquisitive, “artistic” 2 year old boy who wrote on the photo is now a 17 year old, deep-voiced young man, who rarely leaves me art!  But I have this.

And because of my father’s wise advice, I learned through the years not to erase their mistakes, not to perfect the imperfect, not to rush in and fix it all, but just to sit quietly and enjoy the art on my wall at my elbow, trust in God through their mistakes, even glory in their messes, and let them be who God has created them to be–mischievous and marvelous. 

After all, God does that for me through His grace….and THAT is the most incredible example and knowledge my Dad gave me.        This is in honor of him, who went home 9.17.06

Thank you, Daddy.  I still miss you.

11 responses »

  1. Love this post! Oh how I love this man! Sad thing is, I’m not sure he knew just how special I thought he was! One day, I’ll get to tell him though. 🙂 Katie

    • I need reminders SO much to enjoy myself and others right where we are–myself especially! With your crew, I know life is so taxing, but cherishing the “happies” of them just being children is such a blessing! Hope you have a great day!

  2. oh Jill! I enjoy reading all your posts, but this one especially hits home. I am guilty of erasing mistakes, perfecting whats not perfect and trying to fix it all for my now 7 year old little first grader. I needed this gentle reminder!

    Thank you, Ann

  3. Jill, I loved your Dad. He was such a godly man. I’m so grateful I could sit behind him in church at Intown; I could almost feel the wisdom pour off him. His friendly smile and gracious personality were such a blessing to all he encountered. I know you are missing him. Love you, Amy

  4. Thank you for these words of wisdom and perspective, Jill. I pray for grace everyday to enjoy the chaos. I know I’ll miss it one day, and sooner than I think.

  5. Oh Jill, I just love this post. What wisdom you have shared here! We all need to slow down and take time to look and see, truly see, the many blessings that are a part of our lives!
    Love you!

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