I could literally write a book about my father. As a little girl, I realized the blessing that was my parents. Oh I could not have put it into words, but there it was, resting in the heart of a little girl that felt safe, treasured, and special. It was there when my Daddy would come home from a long day and would allow me to dance on his tired feet for hours. A Daddy that would be up all night delivering babies but was never too tired to get up at 4 am and have a fire going on Christmas morning because his children were too excited to sleep. A Daddy that would drive all night to reach our vacation destination so that we would not have to be in the car bored all day. A Daddy that cried with me when my heart was broken. It wasn't until later in my life that I realized the depth and breadth of the blessing of a real Daddy and not just a father. All I know of trustworthiness, honesty, integrity, work ethic, listening skills, and steadfastness, I learned from observing my father. He is intelligent, thoughtful and sensitive. However, above all things, I have realized the number of women crying out for affirmation in our world that never received it from the place God intended....a Daddy's mouth. And I now realize that my own father had not been taught that language. He had come from a home of hard work and silent love. So he learned that language. A language that still to this day names him as the most fluent speaker of affirmation in my life. He was still enough to recognize my dreams and then loved me enough to never put a ceiling on them. He taught me to stand up straight, that "tall is beautiful." He often made an awkward teenage girl feel beautiful and treasured. I will never forget him sitting up late one night waiting for me after a particularly hard night of choosing to not go to a party. I had chosen to go against the world and had faced much ridicule. I will never forget our conversation and his support, affirmation and words of encouragement that reminded me of why I wanted so badly to please my Heavenly Father....because I had an earthly father that I wanted to please just as badly. So much of my self image was shaped by his championing my life. So much of the woman I am, is because God gave me a Father that looked so much like Him.