Sunday, June 15, 2014

Of Dog-Doors and Dads

by Becky Porter


I was pulling skin off of chicken pieces—slimy, gross work, but I was looking forward to the fried chicken we would have for dinner.  As I stood at the kitchen sink, busy with my task, I listened to the hum and chatter of family life behind me.  Jeff had arrived home a bit early from work.  The kids were bouncing around, telling him about the newest exciting thing in the Porter household: a package had arrived that morning.  We were finally installing a door in the wall for our two dogs, Sally and Georgie.

Jeff pulled out his power tools; the kids grabbed safety glasses and, later, gloves.  I looked forward to the project being done but had no desire to be a part of the process.  The kids clearly felt differently.

{the youngest three...waiting outside for a hole to appear}

It was while I was seasoning a drumstick, mid-pepper-shake, that the thoughts began to stream through my brain.   I quickly washed the mess of chicken, spices, and flour from my hands and grabbed my camera.

As I zoomed in on the details, I listened.


“This is insulation.  Do you know why you have to wear gloves to touch it?”

“Josh, grab a screwdriver and help me with this part.”

“Put on your safety glasses.”

My heart swelled with gratitude for Jeff.  He turns every mundane task into an opportunity to include the kids and to teach them.  He gives them important jobs to do and shows them how to accomplish those tasks.

I went back to the chicken.  We had a delicious dinner and got the kids to bed.  It wasn't until I stretched out in bed myself that I had time to reflect on some of my other thoughts.

I spent fourteen years of my adult life writing to my dad and visiting him in prison.  There was a time in my life when I felt a vacancy—I was like that wall my husband had cut a hole into.  There was an empty place, a void.  Thankfully, I knew where to turn.  I knew that there was a Master Carpenter who could fix that gaping place in my heart.  I learned that the Atonement is not just for sinners.  I learned that it is for healing heartbreak and fixing wounds.  And much later I learned that, through the Atonement, Jesus Christ could even turn that hole into a door, a portal that connects me to others, giving me empathy and understanding for their struggles. I learned that there are many kinds of fathers and that our Heavenly Father can fix anything.

This Father’s Day I am grateful to be married to a man who loves me and my children.  I am thankful that he loves Heavenly Father and lives an honorable life.  I am constantly in awe as he teaches our children.

This Father’s Day I am grateful for my own father.  Despite the major detours of his life, I learned immense amounts from him.  Yes, in some ways he taught me what not to be, but he also taught me a love for the scriptures.  Because of him, I learned about forgiveness and repentance and so much more.

Above all, I am thankful for my Heavenly Father.  He knows me and He loves me.  I have felt his love in sacred, quiet moments.  I know that He sent His Son to atone for all of us.  I am grateful for my perfect Father, for the holes he has fixed and the doors he has opened in my life.  What doors is He opening for you?

10 comments:

  1. This is absolutely beautiful, Becky. "I learned that there are many kinds of fathers and that our Heavenly Father can fix anything.” I love that. I love how you made the analogy between how our earthly fathers fix physical things and our Heavenly Father can fix the non-physical things as well. So beautiful, especially when earthly fathers do have so many flaws that can leave those holes in our hearts. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Kasey! I am grateful for the chance this blog gives me to share my testimony.

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  2. Oh, Becky, this is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and for this tribute to, above all, our Heavenly Father. He loves us so much that He have us His Son to heal all of our pain. What tremendous love!

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    1. Thanks, Katy! Every time I think of the Atonement, I am in awe of our Heavenly Father's love for us.

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  3. Yeah I agee this was beautiful indeed

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  4. This was beautiful, Becky! It's easy to get busy and miss those simple, precious moments. But now that my kids are teens they want me tell them about when they were younger and the cute things they did. Sometimes I think we will be the same way with our Heavenly Father, wanting to hear His perspective of our antics on earth.

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    1. Nikki, I love the imagery of Heavenly Father sharing his perspective of our lives with us! The longer I am a mother, the more it has influenced my understanding of Heavenly Father and His role in my life. He is wonderfully patient with me and my antics! :-)

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  5. I agree, this was a sweet, revealing post. I, too, found that, once I was a mom, I understood more clearly how God's love figured into my life. We just don't get it fully until we love someone of our own unconditionally, and as much as we love husbands, it's creating a child that seems to make it God's love more understandable. Thank you for sharing this lovely post.

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    1. You're welcome, Mare! Thank you for your kind words!

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