Date Night

My husband is out on a date tonight...
with a six year old.

She was so excited getting dressed for her "date".
A little girl and her daddy...

I remember when I was that little girl.

My own daddy took me out on many dates, but a few stand out in my mind, never to be forgotten.

Most memorable date of my life:

A hurried Sunday morning, mama dresses and feeds all her wee ones, and one 5 year old in particular is being difficult. "Grumpy" turns to "naughty". The station wagon pulls away from our tiny home near the seminary and crosses Fort Worth. The drive to church is just long enough for "naughty" to turn to "disrespectful".

My daddy parks the car. We all get out. I don't remember what the final straw was. I probably hit my sister or talked back to my mother, but I do remember my dad stopping in his tracks and saying, "Julie, take the kids on inside. Deborah and I will join you later."

I went too far, and my heart sinks just recalling that moment. I knew what was coming, and I deserved it.

Mom walks across the parking lot with all my siblings. My dad turns to me, takes my hand, and we walk back to the car. He opens the door, buckles me into my seat, drives to a restaurant, and never mentions my horrible behavior. Instead, he orders breakfast and tells me a silly story about tigers chasing a boy and turning to butter.

I didn't get what I deserved. I got my first lesson in grace.

Not a bad first date.

Another daddy-date I treasure came about 15 years later:

I was in college, and my daddy drove all the way from Fort Bragg to Lynchburg to fix a printer and cheer up his discouraged daughter with a paper due the next day. I don't remember where we went to dinner, but I will never forget the hug he gave me before he got back in the Suburban to drive the 4 hours home.

I married a man very much like my dad. My precious daughter is so blessed to have my husband as the first significant man in her life.

So, I am home with boys, my little men.
I could not be happier to be left at home tonight;
because there is something special about a daddy's love.
Seeing her joy fills me with a double portion of my own.

The love of a father...
When a Daddy loves his little girl, he shows the heart of God.