Love as Clear as Mud

Sometimes ultimate frisbee games are just ultimate frisbee games.

Sometimes they’re flashbacks to when I was eight years old, reminding me of how wonderful my dad is.

After a torrential downpour on Monday afternoon, our ultimate frisbee fields were left quite soaked for the game we played on Tuesday morning. There were trenches of water running through the middle of both of the fields we played on, as well as in one of the endzones. It was uncomfortable at first (no one likes wet socks), but once I realized the fun of splashing through an ankle-deep puddle to race someone to a flying frisbee, it got a lot better.

At the end of our second game, most of the women in my college decided that since we were already a huge mess, we might as well slide head-first into one of these puddles. We got a running start and all splashed in at the same time. Sister Peter Marie (one of the Dominican sisters who has been playing on our team) said that from behind, it looked like we had jumped into a pool!

We laughed so hard. We took pictures. We went to the cafeteria for breakfast covered in mud.

A post-mud-jump picture of all the women on our ultimate frisbee team. [We're actually only any good because of the sisters!]
A post-mud-jump picture of all the women on our ultimate frisbee team. [We’re actually only any good because of the sisters!]
It brought me back to a moment when I was eight. We had recently moved into our new house in a developing neighborhood and it was summer. My dad took my sister and I to the park, but while we were there, it started raining. For some reason, my normally ultra-clean-freak Danny-Tanner-like dad decided to let us walk in the mud the entire way home. Sarah and I jumped around and got dirtier than we had ever been in our lives. We ran and splashed in all of the puddles.

We laughed so hard. We got to be children. We were hosed off outside the instant we got home :)

This is one of my favorite memories. My dad let us be free.

Love is messy. Whether it’s loving your children (especially if you’re a very clean person) or loving the women you’ve been living and growing with all summer, the best way to love someone can be unclear. Sometimes it takes a little mud, a little mess just to let someone become a better version of themselves.

Both of my parents are incredible humans. I would have no idea what self-sacrificing love looks like if it weren’t for them. My dad serves and works and gives until he has nothing left. And even then, he keeps giving. My dad teaches me about finances and sports and takes pictures with me every year on my birthday. My dad passed on his crazy fantastic memory to me, so that when I hear him share a story about something that happened to him in 1972, I just get it.

I needed a picture with my dad for a class. He just so happened to be washing my car when I needed to take it, hence, the gloves. #talkaboutservice
I needed a picture with my dad for a class. He just so happened to be washing my car when I needed to take it, hence, the gloves. #talkaboutservice

At FOCUS training, we’ve been learning a lot about God the Father and making connections about how much influence our own fathers have on our spiritual lives.

Because of my dad’s love, I know that God loves me. I know that He cares for me. I know that He works His butt off for me. I know that He would give up literally anything for me.

For my dad, and for all the dads out there, I pray that YOU may know the love of God the Father as well. I pray that you are able to balance working and relaxing, serving and receiving, loving and being loved. I pray that you know how much you are appreciated and how much of a difference you make in our lives. I pray that you continue to love our mothers and help us see what true love looks like. I pray that St. Joseph may be a model for your fatherhood, a model of protection, service, sacrifice, and deep love despite fear and hardship. I pray that you may be a leader in the faith as the head of the household, helping the rest of us get to heaven where we can all adore our Heavenly Father for eternity.

I love you, dad!

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