My siblings and I have been blessed with the best Dad. Ever.
Yes, we’re a little biased, but it’s hard to find another who is consistently showing us how to live life to the fullest. Here is a list of some of the many things our Dad exhibits on a daily basis!
There is always room for grace. Always. If someone made a mistake, hurt you, or is just plain being a selfish, grace is always part of the solution, if not THE solution.
Listen. Be it with a smile on your face or a concerned brow, listen to understand not just to fix it and move on to the next thing.
Be humble. When life is really amazing and everything you have worked hard for is finally happening, don’t brag about it.
Stewardship. You have been blessed! Whether it be with little or much, care for what you have to the absolute best of your ability.
Show some respect. Respect your elders, yourself, others, and respect the blessings you have been given and the God who gave them to you.
Work for it. If something is important to you (even something small) and you want it to be successful, you’d better work. Hard.
Lead by example. Your family and the people around you are watching. Through good times and especially the bad times, every one of us is an example whether we like it or not. Make the choice to be a positive one!
Pray. Even if you think you are in control, the simple fact of the matter is you’re not. But you have the ear of Someone who is, a Savior who can help you get through whatever mess you have gotten yourself into.
Now, whether we can actually live up to our father’s legacy is to be seen! I believe one of the reasons this man is such an inspiration is because people see his heart on a daily basis. A heart that above all else strives to follow his Lord, the ultimate and perfect Father. As a family, we are very thankful to have been blessed with such a solid, encouraging, caring man of God!
My earliest memories of Pake include him teaching me how to perfectly peel an orange, the new pink (!) barn boots he would bring me when mine where about to give way, and the way he would sing, all day everyday. My Grandfather loved to farm, it was his lifelong dream and he achieved it!
As Dutch immigrants, my dad’s parents often had challenges to deal with, but you would never know from the way they would talk about their lives. The first thing they would tell you is how absolutely blessed they have been, and nothing happens without the will of God. Now I want you to imagine this. Walking out to the milking parlor as the early morning light washes over Mt. Baker. Pausing as you hear a baritone voice joyfully singing hymns to the Lord. This was not someone singing to themselves quietly, but a clear, booming voice you could hear from across the yard! Seriously! My Aunt Ruth will tell you she used to open her windows in the morning so she could listen! Can you tell this is someone who loves his life and his Lord with all his heart? To this day, Pake is remembered for his gentle, but strong, personality, ready smile, and his beautiful voice. However, if you ask someone who knew him, they will tell you about his incredible faith and the impact his wisdom had in their lives. A real legacy.
I’ve always been a “daddy’s little girl”, but as I grew older, married, and moved out, I’ve started to recognize the similarities between my Dad and Uncle and their father. They love to farm! These brothers will happily talk about cows, land, and future projects for hours. They would love nothing better than to sit on a tractor all day. They both have beautiful voices and sing as often as they breathe! But more importantly is how seriously they take their relationships with the Lord. These are a couple farming brothers who are daily living examples of grace, humility, and honesty to those around them. To me, they have become invaluable sources of wisdom as I contemplate the future and the choices it holds.
These are the foundations we have built our farm, cheese plant, and now the store around. A legacy set in place before my generation was even born. We are truly stewards of everything God has given us! Everything from our families, to the land, and the cows, are blessings and we are going to take the best possible care of them we can. It’s our responsibility!