My Father’s Daughter

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I have only had one person ever tell me that I look like my father.

I asked them if they had ever met my mother and they said “no.”

Ever since I can remember I have been told – “You look just like Esther!” I never have minded that, primarily because I think that my mother is an attractive person. Having three daughters has caused the comparison of appearance to be passed down. I have written this before but I think it bears repeating – someone once asked my mother – after saying how much I looked like her – whether our daughter Abigail reminded my mother of me at that age. My mother quickly replied, “Oh, no. Abigail is much prettier than Gayle ever was.”

So, I don’t look like my father, but I have inherited or acquired several of his traits.

* we both love to teach
* we both love plants and love to care for them, new blooms excite us!
* we both enjoy eating watermelon – the sweeter the better
* we enjoy biographies and reading about people’s lives
* we love to hear a good sermon
* we both enjoy gospel music sung from the heart

I am my father’s daughter. His love of teaching as a calling and a profession has had a profound influence on who I am. My father’s father and grandfather each spent some time teaching, although each held other career positions as well. My father was always proud of what he did and when I entered high school, I realized that he was respected by faculty and students alike. I am so thankful that I attended the school where my father taught because it gave me an opportunity to see him through my peers’ eyes.

I think it is important for us as parents and grandparents to share about our work with our children. Our attitudes about our jobs will be picked up by children whether we intend to share them or not. They will start to develop attitudes about work and careers by the things they see us say and do.

My favorite chapter in the Bible, Romans 12 gives advice about work, among other things –

Romans 12:9-13 NLT

9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

I am so thankful to be my father’s daughter. He has given me a legacy of honoring God through the work I am called to do. What a blessing!

Genetic Implications #2

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Yesterday was Father’s Day and I am still blessed to have my father with us, in fact my parents live in our home. In thinking about the qualities that I most appreciate about my father, it is his faithful example of being a godly man that most stands out. He taught high school Biology for 40 years, 33 at Wheaton Central High School in Wheaton, Illinois, and after taking early retirement, he taught at a mission school in Taichung, Taiwan for 7 more years. He never lost his passion for teaching or his wonder at examining the uniqueness of God’s creation. My father was respected by his peers in education as well as his students. I know this because I attended the high school where my father taught. He has a natural ability to command respect in his quiet, but firm way.

When I was a high school senior we were setting up for an art show in the lobby of the school. In those days, there were windows facing the hallway from the biology lab. (What was the architect thinking?! My fellow artists and I delivered a load of pedestals for displaying the art work using a rollong cart. On the way back – of course I rode down the hall – laughing as my classmate pushed the cart.

As my father was teaching, he glanced up, saw his daughter riding down the hall on the cart, and without missing a beat said “I wonder what the genetic implications are?” I must have heard that phrase repeated a dozen times the rest of the day as fellow students reported what they had heard my father say.

My father’s conduct in and out of the classroom was consistent. His fellow teachers saw that he lived what he preached and I was the beneficiary of that reputation. The implications of the integrity of my father’s life continue to bless me to this day. I know that his godly example of unconditional love has help me accept my heavenly Father’s love.

We know there are no spiritual grandchildren, yet I have inherited a rich treasure of spiritual ‘genes’ from my father. How much more our Heavenly Father wants us to be blessed by the spiritual treasures of our life as His children. He has SO MUCH to give us, yet we must be willing to receive from Him. Look at what Scripture says –

1 John 3: 1,2

1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Thanks be to God for blessing me with my father, Clayton Barker.