friendship,  inner world,  kids,  parenting

Fatherly Encouragement

I sent my dad a thank you card recently. My mom is in Liberia for three weeks chaperoning a trip for Calvin College students. My dad is usually the one traveling around the world.  In part because I knew he would be a little lonely, in part because at InterVarsity’s recent national staff conference we were invited to write thank you’d. Thank you’s to people who have helped us to become a world changer.

I love and appreciate my dad but I realize how seldom I tell that to him. Somehow texts, emails and even words spoken don’t have the punch of seeing something scrawled in a familiar script on a little card. The excitement when you open your mailbox and see something other than a pre-printed bill that makes you think- “me? a note just for me?!”

My father has offered me a lot of encouragement through the years, both verbal and non-verbal. He’s more of a quiet introverted man, but he loves people really, really well.  His stories from traveling overseas doing NGO agricultural work always have to do with the most recent friendships he’s formed, the meals shared and the lives he’s become part of. Some people call that networking. To me, I just saw my dad encouraging others by sharing his life and making space for people to share theirs.

My dad is coming to spend the weekend here with our family in Cleveland. Though we will likely sit around and drink a lot of coffee, take some hikes in the metro parks and I plan to introduce him to the Sherlock mini-series after we put the kids to bed, we will all be encouraged simply because of who he is.


My dad with chunky little Ozzy when he was about 1 year old

This post is part of Five Minute Friday– a blog-link up from Lisa-Jo Baker where people write unedited, spur-of the moment posts using one word prompt each Friday. Check it out to read some other posts about encouragement, or add your own!



  • Catherine

    I totally love getting scrawled mail encouragement! I love saving any written encouragement in an old shoebox as a reminder of being loved 🙂 I often tell people it’s one of the first things (after family members) that I would grab if our house was ever on fire.

    Like your blog set-up, Jessica! I will try to check in regularly – it’s a little more fun to read the blog of someone you have actually met in person…especially if they are as hilarious as I know you are!


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