Sunday, September 21, 2008




I can't believe it's already the 29th anniversary of your 21st birthday! At least your wife is older than you, so that's gotta make you feel young.

In thinking about the most evident things that stand out about you as a father, three things come to mind.

1. Your love.
There is no doubt in my mind, as your daughter, of your love for me. You express it regularly. In the way you give generously of your money, the way you pray for me, the way you lead me and give me wisdom and counsel. Your endurance with me- bearing with my sin, forgiving me, when I don't deserve to be forgiven. This is gospel love. Overlooking my many wrongs against you. Rebellion, dishonor and disrespect in high school, and my self righteousness in my "in between year" back in Virginia. Your patience to help me better understand submission and leadership in our relationship is such a gift. I cannot express how grateful I am for it. If I ever get married, my husband will be so indebted to you for the countless hours of conversation, disagreements, and pain that I've caused you (that he will hopefully be spared) in the midst of those.

2. The way you are proud of me as your daughter.
This you also express regularly. I always hear, "I'm so proud of you." It's in the way you talk about all of your children. We hear what you say to others and the joy with which you talk about us. You get most excited when you talk about our relationships with the LORD. I love it.

3. Your love for the LORD and desire to see your children follow His will for our lives.
This is absolutely completely evident. In EVERY question I ask you about my "next season", whether its moving 800 miles away, or 4,000 miles away, or just from house to house in Orlando, you have sought to point me to the LORD's will. His desires for my life, and not your own. Many times, they have countered your own. I recently read in a book that "obedience is the only sure evidence that we love Him." And Daddy, in the way you lead me (even in the decision to be here, so far away) and in the way you and Mommy litterally dropped everything you loved to go to Norfolk where you knew nothing and no one, with no idea why you were there- your love for the Savior is deomonstrated. And it is glorious.

I pray you experience the pleasure of the LORD today as you reflect on His faithfulness in your life.
I love you, Daddy!
Happy Birthday!
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Vanessa said...

Happy Birthday Pappa Leach! I love you so much and miss you dearly!
love vanessa

Daddy said...


Thank you so much for your kind words on my birthday, how terribly humbling to think that any of my kids would think of me this way. You have all seen how terribly I fail at every point you mentioned, you all have seen the ugly side of me, how gracious of our loving Father to give you amnesia to my numerous faults. I was ready to go to heaven when I finished reading your sweet note. I decided I should stay here with Mommy for a while longer, as I think she would miss me. You may have to work a little to make up for that comment about Mommy being older, she did not think it was funny. HaHaHa Thank you again for such kind words and I promise we won't argue about this point of view. ;-) I am truly humbled and flattered that you would say such nice things about me. My life mission is to bring glory to God in all I do, thanks for helping me to see that I might be accomplishing that in some small way. I love you, I'm so terribly proud of you, and miss you.