Jun 17, 2012

Sunday SHINE....

Happy Sunday, SHINE girls!! 

Today, we have one more SHINE girl story for Father's Day. Yay!

I am honored to present Lindsay Peaster's story. Lindsay is in incredible gift to my children's school. She is a teacher, and a friend.

 I met her several years ago, and I remember being drawn to her warmth and her beautiful smile!

She has a heart of pure gold, and she inspires all who know her. Lindsay leads a bible study at the school on Tuesday mornings for teachers. She also invites any parents to come that would like to participate. I have been to one of their meetings, and it will bring you to tears! 

To be able to witness your child's teachers praying and sharing their faith in a classroom before school is beyond words. I am so proud of Lindsay and all of the teachers for the example they set.

Be blessed by Lindsay's story today. You will want to meet her and get to know her better after reading this! She is truly inspiring.

Lindsay's Story:

When Jill asked me to write something for Father’s Day, I said, “Sure!”  Now, here I sit, hours before I need to get the copy to her, and I am at a loss for words.  I think I am at a loss because I know a variety of people read this blog.  Some join with me in gratitude, celebrating our fathers for the wonderful men they are and always have been.  Some come to Father’s Day from a place of pain, where the world doesn’t make sense; wonderful men are taken too soon, and life is not as it “should be.”  For others, Father’s Day is a holiday that is simply foreign to them—the thought of celebrating someone who has been absent or indifferent or abusive is simply not possible.  So, even as I write this tribute for my own daddy, I pray for those who find themselves in each of these groups.  Most of all, I pray, that at some point in each of your lives you have felt love and acceptance and healing from a father, whether it be biological, one of our “other fathers,” or, the greatest love, from the “Father.”

As I have reflected on this tribute, I realize that I have always had a “soft spot” in my heart for ministers.  This is probably because for the last 34 years I have been the daughter of one.  I remember watching movies or TV shows in which “preachers” (and I use that term lightly) were portrayed.  I would laugh and say to my dad, “You don’t act like THAT!”  Later, I would learn that some of the portrayals were not that off base.  As I have gotten older, I have come to realize that anyone can stand in front of a congregation and deliver a sermon; it is something different to sit with someone during their last moments, comfort a grieving family, and pay tribute to a life well-lived. It is a gift to be able to share yourself with a multitude of people and not lose yourself in the process. My dad has always been real with his faith.  In a time where Christians are, sadly, often known more for what they are against rather than what they are for, I have witnessed my dad living and delivering a message of grace and love to those who need it most.   He will tell you, “I would rather sit down in a bar and have a beer with someone who is being real than sit in a bible study, in a church building, with someone who is not.”

He has also been real with his family.  There are poignant moments from my childhood that probably, in a way, defined not only how I feel about my daddy but also defined my faith. My mom likes to tell the story of teaching my dad the song, “I See the Moon.”  She was pregnant with me, and he didn’t know any songs to sing to babies, so every night near the end of her pregnancy, they would practice as they lay in bed…he continues to sing this song to his grandchildren.  Being a preacher’s kid, or “PK” was not always easy, and it wasn’t always fun, but my daddy was well aware of this.  I remember him one time saying, “Yes, I am a pastor…but first, I am a daddy.”  Throughout my childhood and teenage years, this resonated soundly to the core of my being because I knew he meant it.

When Todd and I were married, my dad walked me down the aisle, but we had all agreed that he would sit with my mom and not perform the ceremony.  Before he sat though, he shared a few memories and then gave a marriage blessing.  He is still very purposeful when he performs wedding ceremonies to ask, “Who presents this woman to be married to this man.”  Who presents?  Not who gives.  One day he explained this.  He said, “People who come into our lives, especially children, are gifts.  You don’t give them away.  They were never ours to give.  They are not possessions.”  I have often thought about this, now that I have children of my own…they are gifts.  Every day, they are like a new package waiting to open, and I want to relish in it.  I learned this by watching him.

Ultimately, my dad has been real with himself.  He knows he is not perfect; he is quick to point out his quirks and idiosyncrasies (and if he doesn’t, we do!), but he is not afraid to live.  When I was eighteen, he decided to pursue a dream—a dream that took his ministry from the church building into the workplace, a dream whose future was financially uncertain, but it was a dream, and he felt God moving and working, and he knew he wanted to be a part of it.  That was 16 years ago, and his consulting business is still going strong.  Two years ago, he had a dream for a book.  This past year, it was published.  Writing the book required him to take a journey back through his childhood and teenage years that was very painful for him, but he persevered, and he continues to find healing from the process.  Being real with himself has allowed him to be real with other people, and it allows them to be real with him without feeling judged.  It is a gift.  It is a ministry.  It is my dad.

A friend of mine recently had this quote from Clarence-Budington Kelland on her facebook status:  “He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”
Thank you, Daddy, for letting me watch you live. Thank you for being real in your faith, real to your family, and real to yourself.  Your life speaks volumes, and I have been grateful to have a front-row seat.                                                                                Happy Father’s Day!

Our family! 

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