Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Apple of Our Father's Eye

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name” - Matthew 6:1

Seeing the river on the horizon that Johnny will be crossing over one day soon, can be a daunting thing to deal with. Thank goodness our Lord is here with us holding my hand, Johnny’s hand, and Scarlett’s hand. Especially my sweet Scarlett. She is who I worry about more. Johnny has the courage of a warrior. I have the strength that comes from years of wisdom and overcoming many other trials. But my sweet Scarlett is the apple of Johnny’s eye. She is “Daddy’s little girl”and all that that implies. She has a fragile heart that adores the man who has been the only true love of her life.

Will another man ever be able to love her as tenderly as her Father has? I hope so. Because he will have big shoes to fill. Johnny has never been a perfect man. But he has been a perfect Daddy. He calls her “HIS LITTLE BUNKINS” or his “girl baby.” Trust me. That’s movin on up from his first nickname for her when she was a baby.

In her early diaper days (for the record he changed ONE diaper I can remember) he had to babysit one time and she messed her diaper. He drove 20 miles to his nearest friend, Gary Lourcey, so Gary’s wife could change her. During those days he started calling her “fart-blossom.” I had to put my foot down there. That was not even REMOTELY cute and I didn’t want the nickname to STICK! (Excuse the pun.)

We decided when she was born that we would do everything we could to foster her gifts – whatever they were – to help her find her own path in life. We wanted her to maximize her greatest potential for happiness. I think this was especially important to Johnny because his dreams were dashed, at a young age, of having a professional basketball career. He didn’t have the kind of family support to help him overcome obstacles and keep him pointed in the right direction.

No one in his family had attended college. Johnny had started at Chipola College in Marianna, Florida but got detoured due to injuries and family circumstances. I think he always regretted it. He wanted to lead the way and leave a good legacy for his family’s name. His path took a detour for many years until Scarlett came along.

Scarlett was and still is his pride and joy. He has beamed as he has watched her bloom and grow over the years. Though she has many of my creative and artistic qualities, he is thrilled to see his own part of her that comes from only him. From Johnny she got a fighting spirit and a competitiveness in life to be the best at whatever she tackles. They are both zealous in whatever they undertake and they are great finishers.

They both attack everything they do with a passion for excellence. They both have hearts of gold but the memory of an elephant if you ever cross them. They both love deeply. They both laugh hard and cry hard. They both are not afraid to step outside the box and do things differently from anyone else. This is part of their secrets of success in the business world. The both see beyond the smoke and mirrors of things to the heart of the matter.

Johnny has made sure Scarlett understands the beauty of her Southern heritage. He greatly admired the qualities of his own relatives and their pride in their land and culture. He remembers when the local radio stations used to sign off with the song Dixie.” He remembers his school teachers recounting stories of local ancestors from the Civil War. He remembers a people bound together through values that seem to be fading with the wind.

Things like when a man’s word and handshake meant something. Or how everyone had a “garden” which was really an acre or two of seasonal vegetables and they shared them with each other. It was the kind of community where everyone watched out for each other and each other’s children. He remembers running out of gas miles away from home and knocking on someone’s door for help. They would reply “Oh yeah! You are Bernice’s boy!” This also applied to getting in trouble with mischief. There were no secrets in Jackson county!

Things like this are what Johnny wanted so much to pass down to Scarlett. Character counts. Your word counts. Your reputation counts. Church is important. Honor your elders. Work hard. Make a difference. Don’t owe anybody.

It sounds a lot like what our Heavenly Father tries to teach us. We too, are the “apple of His eye.” He sees us for what we truly are and tries to show us how special we are to Him by revealing our true nature – which is His nature. We don’t have to “get” anything – it is already there. We simply have to claim it. How simple is that?

Need courage? He tells us He has given us a spirit of power already to overcome ANYTHING. Need prosperity? He tells us we are already prosperous and gives us the path to discover what we already possess if we follow His instructions to it. Need love? We are love – because He lives inside our hearts.

We think like God. We look like God. We act like God. We are God in action. So take a look in God’s mirror if you are searching for the “real you.” You will see your true reflection of everything you inherited from your Heavenly Father in the greatest mirror of all – the Holy Bible. You will see the “apple of God’s eye” and all that you already are.

Just as Scarlett’s Daddy adores her – our Heavenly Daddy adores each and every one of us in uniquely different and wonderful ways. He too wants us to be all that we were created to be. Scarlett will always carry her Daddy in her heart, despite any physical separation that may come, and Johnny will live on through her in all he taught her.

Let us carry God on in the same way by accepting our inheritance and listening to everything He tries to teach us – which is always for our very best.

Beautiful Blessings!



jamiedelaine said...

I love this so much Mrs. Williams! So inspiring. I love your faith, it's something God has really been speaking to me lately. That is he is ALL that we need, and we just need to ask.

Laura Lu said...

oh my this is a simply wonderful post. i just happened upon your blog today and here i sit in goosebumps and tears. thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you to speak to my heart. i am committing to praying for your precious family.

Amna Hakim said...

Hello Mrs. Williams, I came to your blog from Scarlet's blog - I only know Scarlet through her beautiful work. I see how dedicated she is to her work, her family and her religion. Even though I have never met or spoken with is very obvious how much respect and love she has for her family. She is lucky to have such loving parents and you and Mr.Williams are lucky to have such a wonderful daughter.

I pray that God will make this time easier for you. At times like this it is the love and support of your loved ones that is really important.

Look forward to reading more from you.


Erin poticny said...

Wow, wow, wow! I try to read your blog at home and not at work, as I check it every few days, so I have to catch up...but I have now spent the last half an hour, staring at my computer, reading your beautiful words. May God Bless you all today as today is a new day. May the nausea subside so Johnny can eat more crab and lobster! (My kind of guy! :)) You are truly his angel. God Bless you, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

A New Farrar said...

What a fantastic post! What an amazing family you have! You are truly blessed! I love the images you paint here of the "old days" and how things should be! I too believe in the principles that Johnny has instilled in Scarlett- only from reading her blog, I can tell that she took his lessons to heart and learned them well! Bless you all!

Shelle said...

God Bless you and your family on your journey. I will keep all three of you in my prayers.

DeAnna said...

What an awesome post! Thank you for sharing your heart and your famiy with us! I am praying for all of you through this time. God is doing amazing things through your words, keep it up!

Rene Williams said...

Thanks to everyone sharing this journey with us. Words cannot express how much you touch our hearts and inspire us by simply caring.

I encourage each of you to do something today to show your own Dad how much you love him. We are not promised tomorrow. There is no love like a Father's love. And you only get one Father in thi life.