On Mother's Day I wrote about my wonderful mom and mother-in-law and the things I have learned from them over the years. Today I would like to write about my father, John Putney, and my father-in-law, Vic Carpenter. Both have been wonderful blessings to me!
I remember, when I was little, seeing Dad on his knees in his study praying. That image is burned into my mind; I never had to ask where my father got his guidance and wisdom. He led our family in daily devotions, and stressed the reading of the Word, the memorizing of verses, sharing of prayer needs, and praying together as a family. When I was little I took this all for granted; surely everyone had a family like this! But now that I'm older and wiser I realize how unusual it was, and thank God for it. Even now, my dad and mom pray for all of us kids, and all of our kids, every day. If I have any prayer request, from the most trivial thing to the highly urgent, I know that I can call my parents and ask them to pray.
I learned many other things from my dad. My dad taught us to work hard (one of these days I'll blog about the Chore List) and yet imbued our lives with a sense of fun, too. He sang silly songs in the car (do you still do that, Dad?) as we drove along. My teenagers still enjoy "Mareseatoats" and other crazy songs. Dad made sure that we went to the beach together as a family for breakfast on the beach every once in a while (thanks, Mom, for all your work in that, too.) We saw the beautiful sights of Puerto Rico along with living the daily grind of school, work, housework, and church activities. Trips to El Yunque and Luquillo Beach were day-long adventures of fun; as an adult I now realize just how much work went into planning those trips, and it inspires me to do the same sort of things with my children.
Dad taught all of us the importance of consistent, loving discipline. I will never forget being in his study, having been disciplined for some naughtiness or other, and Dad giving me a huge bear hug, telling me that he loved me very much and wanted me to be a grown-up who loves the Lord and lives to please Him. Through his loving discipline I learned self-control and self-discipline.
I thank God every day for Dad, and realize just how blessed I am to have him as my daddy.
When I met and married Eric, I gained another dad, Vic, my father-in-law. God has blessed me greatly through him, as well! Who knew, back in 1985 when I took French 1 at Houghton College, that my French professor would one day be my father-in-law? Vic has a great sense of humor, and has endured much goofing-off on my part over the years. He can make a pun out of nearly anything, much to the we're-groaning-but-we-love-it dismay of the kids. He and I can make cross-lingual jokes out of things, and while I help him learn Spanish, he can continue to help me learn French. Vic inspires me to keep learning throughout life; he has learned multiple languages as an adult and continues to both take and teach classes at a local senior center. He shares his knowledge with others and maintains a personal quest to learn more all the time. He plays tennis as his life-time sport, continuing to play despite having both hips replaced about fifteen years ago.
TO SUM UP: I have been greatly blessed through my own parents, John and Ruth, and Eric's parents, Vic and Char. They have taught Eric and me by their example how to have a good marriage, how to raise our kids, how to manage our finances, and how to serve the Lord and keep Him first in our lives. I don't deserve any of these blessings; I consider them unmerited favor, or grace if you will. I praise the Lord for His enduring kindness.