Fathers and their sacrifices-Tina Rabideau
just thought it was polite to wait for all the children to sit down first.
We have just, you know, about half hour, 20 minutes left and you have me, Sorry. You know Sister Matthew's I thought that we were tight, you picked like the shortest hymns that were ever in the hymn book for today. And Brother Van Boerum, I'm sure we could have figured out some type of ward business to talk about today.
But, We're here. So here we go. And so just know that I'm going to try and not bomb this completely. So as you're driving home today and talking at your dinner, talking about how you know, what did you think about church today? How was sacrament meeting?You know and the acceptable answer would be well at least she tried hard. That is totally fine to say. Im good with that. So, before I get into the meat of my talk, a couple of housekeeping items, brother Jones has agreed to fill some time for me at the end, he'll be singing a solo. Here it is 219. He said, I only need to speak for 10 minutes.
So Father's Day. I wasn't given a lot of time to think about what to say, what to talk about. And you know I thought do I talk about the experiences that I've had with fathers in my life and those examples? Do I talk about my Heavenly Father, how he has impacted me. Do I talk about something that has nothing to do about Father's Day and just throw everyone off. And I thought about these things and they were swirling in my mind as I sat down at my computer and started to type. And nothing came out.
So this is what I'm gonna start with. I'm gonna start with some thoughts from some fathers, about what it is to be a father and what they think of their fathers. Here we go. You can tell what the best year of your father's life is because they seem to freeze that clothing style and ride it out. Having children is like living in a frat house. Nobody sleeps. Everything's broken and there's lots of throwing up. Whenever one of my children says good night daddy, I always think to myself, you don't mean that.
I take back my earlier statement, I could never fall in love with a girl who regularly poops her pants. I have not met my daughter yet and this one is my favorite. I used to say, I would take a bullet for you. I could never love anything as much as I love you. I would say that to my wife, but the second I looked into that baby's eyes I knew in that exact moment that if we were ever under attack, I would use my wife as a human shield.
So all joking aside and there's nothing that I could really say that would adequately express the amount of love, the amount of gratefulness each of us have for the men in our life, who have been there in our times of needs, who have sacrificed for us, who have picked us up when we've fallen and he was simply loved us.
Sometimes I think, guys get a bad rap. They're often the butt of jokes and their efforts sometimes are overlooked or overshadowed. You know that saying of behind every good man is a great woman? Well, I like to rephrase that by, behind every good woman I think is a village of incredible men.
Well at least I found that true in my life. Not that I'm awesome but that there's a lot of men that have contributed to my life and helped me to become what I've been. Whether that has been my father, my husband, my grandfather, uncles, church, leaders, neighbors, friends, you name it. I've learned so many things from them but I wanted to focus on four things that kind of stand out to me today.
And that's selflessness, compassion, joy and love. And so selflessness: I saw this really sweet video that the church put out there. If this wasn't Sacrament meeting I would show the video ad a PowerPoint presentation, all these fancy things, but I'll just explain it to you instead. So in this video and it kind of brought up all the unnoticed things about fathers, things that we just don't pay attention to that they do. Simple as the child who lets go of their balloons and dad hurries and runs after it, flies through the bushes to get that balloon and bring it back to that kid. And the kids happiness and excitement to have that balloon back. But do they notice the scratch marks all over Dad's arms that he's bleeding? They don't and dad doesn't say anything because all he cares about is the happiness of that child. There's the fun the kids have when they're playing in their backyard, playing soccer. Unnoticed goes the time the dad spent all night long, making that goal post for them, so that they could play soccer.
There's the sacrifices of his just own enjoyment so that we can have family vacations and do all the things that we dreamed of. It wasn't until I got older that I really started to notice that there were those sacrifices that happened in my life daily. It became more apparent to me.
A majority of my childhood I was only child, so it was just me and my mom and my dad. And my dad would go off to work every day. He would come home after work and all that I saw was my dad was at my games on the sidelines. We went on family vacations, there were awesome all the time. I just saw, you know, life was good. What I didn't see were the years that he spent working graveyard shifts all through the night. That he got little amounts of sleep so that he could help provide for our family but yet still be there. I didn't see the multiple hours of commuting that he spent going to work and we could afford a house that was about 50 miles away from where he worked. And in California time that's like two and a half hours of driving and he did that and he didn't ever complain. He didn't ever say, uhh this is horrible. I hate doing this. He just did it. And from my perspective, as a child was like, it was good, you know, nothing was hard but little did I see those unnoticed things that were happening?
There would be long nights that he would stay up while we were all asleep. Because he didn't want to take away the time from the family by working on stuff. And I learned that later when I was complaining to him, I'm so busy, I don't know when Im gonna do this. He says well there's lots of hours in the night to stay up to do it.
I thought well moms dont stay up and then I had that realization for my mom of that's what he did. He would stay up as long as it took to get his stuff done. So, it did not impact us. When I became a mother, I got a first row seat to see those unnoticed things that happen all the time.
I watched as Cameron sacrificed every fiber of his being with our kids. When Jade was first born, I was working full-time and Cameron was going to school finishing school up, but he was the one that was home with her. He was the one taking care of all her needs and he was the one not only doing that, but helping her to grow and to learn, and he did that all while trying to study for a test, while trying to do assignments. And on top of that, when I would come home, most of time he had dinner made for me. Most of the time, I was exhausted I would just lay on the couch and sleep lazily and he was around doing stuff the whole time. He would be up with me at night with them as infants, as the multiple feedings and changing and he's not really needed to do anything, but he would be up there for that emotional support.
It's all those tiny things that pile up and add up to what dads do for us. When Jade started school we got comments from the teachers of, "Wow, she is just really bright and she is above average" and I attribute that completely to the time Cameron spent teaching her.
Another example of selflessness is our Heavenly Father. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life. What an amazing selfless act. Have you ever really thought about that and what God felt when he made that selfless act?
When he had no concern for himself. When he sent his only begotten son into the lion's den. That gut wrenching turmoil, that horrendous feeling that he had, Have we ever heard him say anything about that? Any complaints? No. That's what dads do. They bare it all? And they don't complain about it.
Compassion: So, I read a story about a girl who was asked to give a talk for Father's Day. And when the Bishopric asked her, her reply was like, are you serious? She's like, I don't don't have the typical dad that everyone has. She hadn't spoken to her dad in many years. They were estranged. She didn't agree with most of the choices her dad made. And you want me to give a talk in Sacrament about Father's Day? And for whatever reason she agreed to do it. And as she sat there, pondering through, figuring out what she was going to talk about, she was reminded of a story from her childhood. They worked a gas station in a very rural area and her dad would allow her to have one soda a day. And so she would sit there with her cold soda on top of an ice box. It was horrendously hot in this area and she would sip her drink keeping cool. And one day, this family pulled into the gas station, and the car was packed with what seemed to be every possession that they owned. And there was barely enough room for these four children to kind of fit into this car. And she noticed that these kids, that their faces were sun-worn, and you can see that apparent through their sunken faces. And they were dirty and just didn't look like they're having the greatest time of their life. So the dad comes out of the car and yells, "you know filler up." I was with fill it up. They're filling up the car and the dad walks inside of this station and he starts looking through, you know, the refrigerator looking at all these cold treats and he looks around again and sees that the attendant is, you know, occupied. He starts taking those things and begins shoving them up his shirt and hiding them. And then the girl sitting in the gas station she sees this happening and against her own want to say, hey dad, look at this guy, stealing from us, she doesn't say anything. And she just watches what happens. So the man goes out to his car and he gives money to the girl's dad for the gas, just for the gas and proceeds to get in his car. And this girl Kelly, her dad promptly yells at him and says, "hey, are you gonna pay for that stuff?"
And he turns around, you know, looking down at the ground and just says, "I don't have any money." And her dad says, "So you're just gonna steal from me? That's what you're planning to do?" And the dad says, "I'm sorry, my kids are hungry. They haven't eaten for days. It's hot. I just I don't have any money." And her dad responds and says, "so you thought it would be okay for you just to steal in front of your children then and take stuff?" And the dad looks down at the ground embarrassed for what he's done. And Kelly's dad proceeded to tell him "Go, go, put this stuff back." And as he starts to turn and walk, kelly's dad says, " if your kids are hungry, we will feed them." And so he puts back the items that he was going to steal from them. And no quicker than she could even think of what was going on her dad had sandwiches, had apples, had food for this family to take and to give them, so that they could be on their way and their kids could eat. She reflected on that story of, even though her relationship was strained at this time with her dad, it didn't take away all the lessons that she had learned from him. The lessons of compassion and love that she had learned from this man. And that she still had that great love for him.
So joy: Dads are fun, right? If you ask my kids, who's the fun person in our family, they're not going to say, mom. They're gonna say dad. Dads the one that does the fun stuff. In our house we have a girl dad. So we got all girls. So fun times with dad involve doing dad's makeup and painting dad's nails and dad is happy to rock his purple glitter toenail polish with his flipflops. And he goes out without a hesitation .Dad's happy to make toys for them and surprise them when they don't even think about it. Make props for plays and is happy to play Barbies and Calico Critters and he's happy to get critiqued by the six-year-old when he does not say the quite the right phrase back that he should.
My dad was always happy to make things fun and he had no problem with doing it at his own expense. If yluchaou ask my sister, she'll tell you many stories of my dad coming out of nowhere with his Lucha Libre mask on and reenacting his best Jack Black impressions from Nacho Libre as he could. Dad's also like to teach us through fun. How many of you have been the recipient of the class on taxes from Dad? You know, the dad tax so that when you ask dad to open something, he eats 30% of it, Dad's like to teach through fun. Or what about the lessons that dad teaches us about being aware of our surroundings by hiding in the dark and scaring us to death any chance that they can get? You know, my kids will probably be awesome if they go into law enforcement or bounty hunting because they are constantly walking down the hall and aware of every corner of where someone may come out at them. And my dad tried to teach me that lesson too and that kind of backfired on him. He would like to sneak into the garage and scare me and my mom. And so, one day we were sitting in the house and it was at night and we heard the garage open. We're like were gonna get him this time. And my mom goes and throws the door open. She's like, "ya." and she looks and it was not my dad. It was someone actually breaking into the house. So even when things are not going to plan dads find a way to bring joy into the situation. They take the edge off of a situation by making us laugh and refocusing our nervous energy. So that everything is just better.
So, last thing I want to talk about love and this is not just the love that we feel through all the sacrifices that fathers made for us, but more importantly, how we can use their example to show all the men that have helped us along the way our gratitude.
Jesus Christ was one of the best examples of showing us how to honor our father. You read numerous times in the scriptures of how people came to him and were just praising him for his miracless that he did. How many times did you read about him saying you're welcome? That was me, like none. He always says it was my father. It wasn't me. He always honored his father and redirected any praise he brought to him. So how often do we take time to acknowledge all that we have, all that we have become because of our fathers? I don't think I would be half as driven as I am today with work if it wasn't for the example that my dad and my grandfather set for me. They were always extremely hard workers. I don't think my kids would have any level of skills at cooking if it wasn't for Cameron who has patience and takes the time to teach them how to do things.
I don't think I would have pursued my education as I did, if I didn't have a grandfather who was passionate about it and who would sit with his children at the laminate table and would do problems with them, writing them out, maybe through some tears, but helping them to solve that problem at the end of the day. I don't think I would understand the power of simple acts of love If I hadn't watched my uncle, take the time to show all those he knows love in any way that he could.
I don't think that the gospel would be as important to me, if it wasn't for the example of my dad, If I wasn't able to see his growth, through the years, to see his testimony grow. And to see the blessings that came from his efforts, the blessings that I received because of his righteousness, My kids are learning, whether they know it or not right now what it is to feel their Heavenly Father's love as they experience the unconditional love of that their father has for them. The sacrifices that he makes daily, the worries that he has constantly of them and everything he does to protect them. I will always be grateful for the examples of selflessness, compassion, joy, love in my life.
I'm grateful for those who continue to directly and indirectly impact me for their unconditional love & support. My wish is that we take time to recognize those unnoticed things that our fathers, that those male figures in our lives do for us on a daily basis and not just recognize them today, but really make an effort to recognize them as they have been every day, every week. That we don't waste time in letting them know they're important to us and how their sacrifice has meant something. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.