This has been a really good couple of weeks...and that always leads to really obvious realizations for me. This week's?:
I have some pretty amazing men in my life.
1. I have a Daddy that has set aside special time for me since I was little. Tea parties at my Little Tikes kitchen, picnics in my playhouse, rides on the riding lawnmower, our exclusive Bourne trilogy dates, encouraging notes in the mail, pre-ordered flowers that show up halfway through his Africa trips, long phone conversations on anything from flirting to finances to faith. He's such a good daddy. He loves the Lord. He loves me. He takes care of me. I've realized lately that my relationship with him is an exception to the rule...not many girls have a relationship with their father like the one I have with mine, not many girls have a dad that doesn't complicate their view of God as their Father. I'm so blessed to have him.
2. I have a brother who graciously let me hang around and claim his as my best friend until I found another one. Poor guy, put up with his ten-years-younger little sister for a looooong time. He's taken care of me, hurt with me, protected me and prayed for me. He's my brother...and everything that comes with that.
3. My great-uncle, referred to by all of us as Uncle Buddy, was an amazing example of faith. He was funny, lovable, and fully committed to the Lord. He was crazy about his wife, and when she passed away, he couldn't wait to get to Heaven and spend eternity worshipping God with her.
4. I have the greatest brother-in-law ever. Seriously...jackpot. He loves my sister. He loves our family. He loooooves the Lord. I have known him for....65% of my life. He's pretty much just my brother...no in-law needed. I used to be horrified of him. He was sooooooo tall and sooooooo scary. He's still tall....but he's not so scary anymore. He's pretty good at the brother stuff too. When I was ten he sent me flowers after one of my surgeries. A couple summers ago, when I was literally trapped in an uncomfortable situation, he'd call periodically and check on me, reminding me that if I needed him to come get me, all I had to do was call and say "The eagle flies west on Tuesday"...and he would come. His love for connecting students to the Truth and the life found only in Christ is contagious. He's shown me how to serve God even when your situation's not what the way you wanted or expected.
5. This summer I, along with two of my friends, Brittany and Lindsay, invaded the Kiser space! Chris and Becky were so generous to share their home with us for the summer. They were an answered prayer for all us! If you haven't heard me talk about how much I love Becky...you don't know me at all :), but Chris has become such a great influence in my life as well. I got to see firsthand the way he loves the Lord, loves his wife, and loves his friends. I was so encouraged and challenged by the man of God that he is to be more intentional in my relationships with people. He challenged me to take small choices seriously and to use all of my time to its full potential.
6. I have a small, but priceless, handful of friends that I am blessed to call my brothers. I trust them and know that when they say they're praying for me....they are. I know that when I'm frustrated with one of them...or they're frustrated with me...we'll figure it out. I love them and lift them up as my brothers. They love me and take care of me as their sister. I always wanted "brothers" like this...and I'm so blessed to have them. And when I get those texts that say "I'm praying for you sis," it makes my day....because I know I can believe every word.
So yes....I have some pretty amazing men in my life...
They paint me such an intricate picture of what a man of God looks like. They constantly provide encouragement for me....silently reminding me that my patience isn't pointless. They reassure me that I won't be compromising anything by someday submitting to my husband, but instead gaining so much more. They challenge me and protect me, reprimand me and build me up. They each add so much to who I am.
In a world where so many women resent, and even hate men....
that's not my opinion at all.