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A Letter to My Dad: Happy Father’s Day

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Dear Dad,

This year somehow feels a little extra special to celebrate Father’s Day. In the last few months, from moving to a new apartment to starting my own business, I am realizing just how much you have taught me through the years.

The older I get, the more I notice things I inherited from you — habits, pet peeves, sense of humor, work ethic, and more. And each time I notice something new, I become so thankful for the each one. There’s no better man I could learn from in this life, because I know that by imitating you, I imitate Christ just as you do.

As I adjusted to life in my new apartment, living alone and having a home of my own to care for, I realized I actually do care when people come in with their shoes on. I am increasingly annoyed by dishes in the sink. I even find myself turning on lights in broad daylight (something you do at home that drives Mom nuts! Sorry Mom… I guess I side with Dad on this one).

When I decided to start a side business in photography, I was worried what you and Mom would say. I braced myself for the questions:

  • Is there any money in it?
  • Camera equipment is so expensive; how will you pay for it?
  • How does photography use that college degree we invested in?
  • You’re not planning to do this full-time eventually, are you?
  • How do you expect to handle all the pressure of a wedding day?

But you didn’t ask any of those questions. You supported me from the very beginning. Not in the way some parents do, where they wish you luck and hold their tongues. Rather, you continually offer me your advice, your wisdom, your feedback, and your praise.

Having watched you build a beautiful and successful life out of self-employment, I have been consuming every ounce of those sweet offerings as they come. I look up to you not only in life, but in my business. You are my biggest cheerleader, my steady comfort, and my most perceptive strategist.

You taught me to treat my clients and fellows in the industry with respect, love, and a servant’s heart, just as you did in your business. Your ability to make friends with anyone (even strangers at the gas station) showed me from a young age how to love and serve the new friends I make along the way, as my business reaches out further than my own scope of influence.

You taught me to handle my resources and finances with wisdom and a heart of generosity. While making money doing what I love, the time spent watching you and mom always hold your resources with an open hand has taught me to do the same — tithing to my church, giving to those in need when the Lord guides my heart, and treating clients with extra attention to show them I emphasize their relationship with me far above the time or resources it takes to provide them with the best service.

There is so much I could highlight here, but they all add up to the same message. I am forever thankful for your love, support, pride, and guidance. I am writing this letter publicly on my blog to shout to my readers that any success and determination they see from me all comes from standing on your shoulders, with the grace of Jesus steadying us both. Wherever I go in life, I know has been made possible by the way you and Mom launched me into a life of abundance and opportunity.

And finally, even after all the praise I can offer you this Father’s Day, I know you would still have a humble heart to point everything back to the God you taught me so much about. He has been your guide your whole life, and I am so thankful He is mine. Thank you for being the earthly father that my Heavenly Father can be proud of! I know with all certainty that the sweet words of Jesus will be said of you, “well done, good and faithful servant.”

I love you so much Daddy! Happy Father’s Day!

Love,

Emily

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