What a special treat for us last night - my Dad came to visit! Chris was on duty, so it was a bummer that Dad and Chris didn't get to see each other, but Jake and Cole definitely enjoyed a visit from Papa Dee (or Dapa Dee as Jake often says) :-) My Dad is at a conference this week at Pawley's Island, SC, which is about 3 hours from us, but.... he made the drive yesterday afternoon and got here around dinner time last night - and had to leave around 6am this morning. It took him 4 hours to get here, b/c of Charleston traffic ..... to me, that is some LOVE! I was thinking as I went to bed last night how wonderful it was to see him and hang out with him. It is always great spending time catching up - and laughing (and laughing we did)! I have always had so much respect and admiration for my parents. I've always been so thankful for the Lord blessing me with them! Growing up with your Dad as a pastor probably isn't the easiest thing - mainly because your family is pretty much under a microscope. I never could understand why pastors' families were held to a higher standard?! However, I have looked back and realized how well my parents handled that. They were so great at giving Jul and me the opportunity to make our own decisions and make our own mistakes - with no pressure to be "perfect", but providing us with a strong foundation for when we were having to make those decisions. I think once YOU become a parent, you have a whole new appreciation for your own parents - at least I do. Especially lately, I have realized how important and vital parents are to really molding their children into the person they become. Proverbs talks so much about this, "Train up a child in the way he should go - and when he is old, he will not move from it...." "My son, obey your father's commands, and don't neglect your mother's teaching. Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck." I am so appreciative of the role my parents have played in my life, and continue to play. I am thankful for their love and training and unending support. These were just some thoughts going through my head as I was falling asleep last night, thinking about how great it was to have spent some quality time with my Dad. I don't think I will ever be able to express to them how thankful I am for them, but I do know that I feel very strong about the verse Proverbs 17:6b, "Parents are the pride of their children." All I could ask for is that Jake and Cole feel the same way about Chris and me as we do about our parents when they are our age. Being a parent is FUN - but not easy..... but I know through the Lord's direction, sweat, tears, lots of work, and some guidance - Chris and I can also be the type of parents where our children will take pride in us - that's one of the many things I pray for, at least :-) Thanks, Dad for the visit! I love you!