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Growing Up With Bobby and Bebe: A Series

Agree to Disagree

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When my parents moved to Colorado 6 years ago, they drove in from Phoenix and walked in my front door into the kitchen where I was standing at the sink. I heard in my heart (when God tells me something, it’s something smarter than I could have thought of…), “They are here for the rest of their lives and your job is simply to love them, not try to change them.”

I think I literally glanced up at the ceiling trying to get eye contact with God, as well as position my ear better to hear the response to my rebuttal, “Even my Dad?!”  

And God replied back to me just as sassy as my inquiry, “Yes, Adrienne, even your Dad!” I could almost hear the chuckle in God’s response as it wasn’t the first of these kinds of exchanges. See, I was all set. I would have a captive audience. Dad was in my state now and so I had dreams of dragging him, ahem, meeting him at the pool or Silver Sneakers to exercise. I’d make him green things and juice and he would embrace cruciferous vegetables and foods closer to the way God made them in the first place.

And, and, and…

 

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But instead, I paused. Some previous life lessons have taught me life is short, time is a gift, and people’s stories matter. So I listened to what God had put on my heart. I didn’t know the time frame, nor who would “go” first…I just knew it was a new opportunity to soak in and enjoy my parents. It wasn’t time to try to get my dad healthy and in shape, but to rather get to know him NOT even as my Dad or under personal expectations of what I thought, or didn’t think, a dad should be, but to really see his soul, love him as is, listen, watch, and learn, and get to know him as an individual void of roles.

3 of the most influential men in my life

3 of the most influential men in my life

I’ve had the exquisite opportunity over the past 6.5 years to also raise a little boy named Ryan. Watching him grow has given me insight into humanity, allowing me to explore empathy to a greater depth as it comes to parenting, as well as being a child myself. It has helped me to love and understand my own parents better. See, Ryan’s life has reminded me that my Dad was once a little boy, too. Realizing that obvious fact has allowed for the last 2.5 years since my Mom died to be more about friendship and compassion for me with my Dad, rather than an agenda on my part.

 

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My Dad and I didn’t always agree about everything. Many times we didn’t see the world through the same filter, but that’s never been the point. Looking back, I’m sure my parents knew this, which is why they were confident to watch three girls eventually walk out of their doors, but as a teenager, especially into early 20’s, I think there’s somewhere we start falsely believing our parents want us to be just like them, when, in fact, they lived out the same revelation years prior with their own parents.

In my youth, though I loved my parents and in some ways wanted to be like them, I longed for freedom to spread my wings and view and experience life through my own lens. Much to my Dad’s worry and fear, and ultimate faith and trust in a good, loving God, he saw over the years that it has, more or less, worked for me, and even told me he was proud…because clearly there are zillions of expressions of God’s multi-faceted beauty of how to live out this one life

As I head back to Colorado to be part of my Dad’s memorial service this weekend, I’m grateful for 45 years worth of knowing him on this earth. I’m in awe that in life and in death, the knowing and being known doesn’t disappear, but rather deepens and sows in us and others harvests and ripple effects we can’t even fathom our lives have been a tiny part of making.

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No one does it all right. That’s not the point of us. It’s not why we were created. That’s the lie: perfection, attaining, striving, pleasing…The beauty of the truth is we are God’s good creation, wonderfully made, the delight and joy and personal expression of an unfathomable Creator. None of it is contingent on our behavior, but totally and completely RATHER, on God’s expansive, extravagant love that He personally delivered into our midst.

Dad, I’m sorry when I’ve unknowingly not loved you well, expecting you to be perfect. It’s a silly notion we the living/broken project onto ourselves and others.

Thank You, Lord, for the insight in the kitchen years ago…I’ll take that and apply it to the one in the mirror and everyone else…because changing each other has never been our job, but allowing ourselves to be transformed by Your love has always been the point.

Dad, thank you for letting your life teach me. I promise to keep making you proud. I love you, Bobby.

 

Love, Boo Boo xoxox

Comments

  1. heidi jo says:

    oh sweet girl… what precious legacy your parents have given you… not in their perfection, but in their love – of you and of Jesus. i’m thankful for what they poured into you because it’s part of what’s made you who you are. and i like you an awful lot. :)

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