Monday, June 22, 2009

Love Without End, Amen

One of my favorite songs is "Love Without End, Amen" by George Strait, because it describes so perfectly the fathers I've had the privelege to know, love and be loved by on this earth, as well as the eternal love I feel from our Heavenly Father. So many times I watch my sweet husband with our children and am touched to tears by his tenderness and deep love for them. He teaches them, plays with them and isn't afraid to get in there and do the dirty work of caring for them. I think because he serves them (and me!) so selflessly, completely and with so much care, he has been blessed with a unique love for our children. He truly has a gift for fatherhood and can understand our children in ways I don't. I am so incredibly grateful to have been blessed with such a husband and father to our children and I can't put into words the depth of my love and gratitude to him and to Heavenly Father for helping us find each other and such great happiness in our marriage.

I am blessed to be the daughter of a very soft hearted cowboy. My sweet dad (on the left) is hard working but so loving. He taught me the gospel in by applying the scriptures to daily experiences. He was the most supportive dad and was always at my dance, band and choir performances. In fact, he is one who helped instill in me a love for good, uplifting music. As a young girl, I would sit in the cab of the truck while we were feeding cows and dig through his collection of cassettes to listen to The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's patriotic songs or Arthur Fiedler & the Boston Pops playing classic tunes such as "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof. (A song, by the way, that I think still causes him to have a catch in his throat when he listens to it and thinks of his girls growing up.) And so many times I watched as he became filled with emotion as he listened to sacred hymns. His love of the gospel and testimony were born to me many times simply by his reaction to that heavenly music. .I have memories of being a small girl playing with my dad, climbing on him, being tickled & held upside down, and ALWAYS feeling so loved. He took me with him frequently to the farm and ranch and taught me the value of working hard. He helped me raise 4-H steers and I saw his deep love for me, especially when there were scrapes with the animals and I ended up injured, even just a little. He gave me responsibility, but didn't breathe down my back until I finished the job. Instead, he had the expectation that I would complete the task given and had the confidence that I would do it. He took me on daddy daughter dates, cried when he danced with me after the Promenade at my Jr. Prom and beamed when I married my sweet Jake. Now I love to watch my babies hop in the truck to go to Papa's farm when we're visiting and I'm so glad to have him as my Daddy.

On the right in the picture is my father-in-law, another cowboy with a heart of gold! I'm so grateful that I can call him "Dad", too! I'm so grateful for his love of the gospel that was passed on to his son. Jake has
emulated his example of daily study, and it is a trait that I hope our children will also pick up. He is also a hard worker and I'm grateful for the things he has taught Jake of "perfect practice makes perfect." He is a master teacher to his children, his students, and I'm thankful we live close so that our children can also be influenced by his gift. I love that he appreciates good music as well and look forward to family jam sessions with him and his boys on guitar and me on the spoons! He always shows appreciation for the little things and it makes me more than happy to do things for him - my favorite is baking him his favorite pie - lemon meringue, because I always know how much he enjoys it and how happy he is that I thought of him. He is such a sweet part of my life and I'm so grateful for him.

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