The Camps and Conferences Dept. at ALERT is a busy place to work. It’s a good thing and I love it. Lately, we are working really hard at balancing out our hours and not putting in overtime. SO, if I have to work over the weekend (because a conference is scheduled) then I have to take that amount of time off during the week. Sometimes, this can be challenging – like when one (me!) is in the mood to work or has the motivation to tackle a certain project or just has a ton to do. Other times (like this very moment!) it is a delight to escape right smack in the middle of the week and do whatever my heart desires! It’s like a little vacation.

This Wednesday afternoon, I am sitting at a park in Tyler. This pretty little park is my most recent discovery of favorite places to be. There is a Starbucks on the way too :)


Here I am with my laptop, a lousy wireless connection, a plate of Chinese take-out, a grande solo (shot of espresso) mocha Frapp, a patchwork quilt, and sunshine – lots of sunshine. By the way, $4.76 is an absurd price for a drink! Gratefully, its price was covered by a friend in the form of a gift card. Ah…praise the Lord for friends!

I have such a wonderful dad. Ok…that was a change of subject I know. But hey, it works for me and its my blog :)

My dad has always, always, always shown his love for his girls in such sweet ways. As Catherine and I grew, Dad knew what a great joy it was for his daughters to be able to give. Particularly at Christmastime, this was always on Dad’s heart. He knew that our greatest joy at Christmas would not be in the things we received, but in being able to have gifts for others – for him.

But there was one dilemna for us girls. Catherine and I were POOR.

And so, Dad would reach into his wallet with a glad, loving heart and give his girls “spending money”. Ah, what a grand Christmas it was then! Catherine and I could shop! Not for ourselves, but for those most dear to us.

Christmas morning, Dad and Mom would open their gifts from each of us and smile and hug us – Wow, it was great! Never mind that Dad had actually PAID for his OWN GIFT! That didn’t matter to him. It didn’t matter to me.

Dad didn’t mock my or my sister’s poverty. He rejoiced in the fact that we gave from our hearts (though it was from his pocket). And, you know what?…Our poverty itself proved to be a gift – for that very lack created the need for Dad to step in, for us to see with our eyes and hearts his love for his girls, and allowed us to give back not out of our plenty but out of our dependence and love.

So, here I am with my Heavenly Father. I long to give Him everything that I am. But what specifically can I give? He has given so much to me. There are things to give that I can see easily: my talents, possessions, my future. But are there other things that He’s given that I haven’t yet learned to see as gifts???

What has my Heavenly Father given me that I can give back? At times and in some ways, I feel so poor. But maybe, in this case as well, the poverty itself is a gift. Maybe…I can give this to Him as well.

Maybe just as it is with Dad, my lack, my hunger, my poverty are gifts. Maybe they are among the most precious gifts of all – those that cause us to see HIM for all that He is.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

In giving these humble things back to the Father, He doesn’t mock our poverty. Rather, He rejoices with us that we gave because He gave first. This is what makes even the smallest of gifts PRICELESS.

SO. Like I said…I have such a wonderful dad. And these two girls – who will always be Daddy’s girls – are grateful for a dad who, as a father, is constantly being a picture of Christ’s love for His children.

I love you, Daddy.


5 Responses

  1. Ernest Says:

    Thanks Sarah for giving encouragement at a time when you needed it most. Love, Dad

  2. Mellie-Malloo Says:

    Absolutely precious, Perky. **HUGS!!!!**

  3. Elizabeth Aprile Says:

    You are so beautiful, Sarah. Inside and out. You radiate Christ. And you are definitely always perky. How you do it I will never know…

    I am so privileged to call you friend.

  4. Rachel Says:

    How Beautifull! Aren’t Dads just about the most wonderfull thing God created? Our first view of our Heavenly Father…

  5. Angie Says:

    Oh, Sarah, this is just what I needed to read today – thank you for sharing! The Lord gives you such beautiful insights, and this is one of my favorite. EVERYTHING we are and have is from HIM, and for Him.

    I just absolutely love my daddy, too! Aren’t we blessed to have fathers who reflect the love of our Heavenly father so well… ((HUGS))