Lessons From My Dad…#1

april 18, 2018

Fourteen long months ago, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. We were told at the time that it would be an easy battle, it would be over quickly, and in one year, we would hardly remember it happened. Yet, as I type this, my dad continues to fight one of the toughest battles he has ever fought. I will admit, some days I feel strong and confident…other days I feel weak and defeated. But every single day, I feel helpless.

So I got to thinking. When you feel helpless…you do something about it, right? Crying doesn’t seem to get me anywhere, even though I will admit it sometimes makes me feel better. I want to feel like I am making every day count, rather than wasting it away. So I thought about it…even though all I feel like doing right now is driving a few hours, running in the front door, and climbing into my dad’s lap, like I did when I was a little girl, I know that the reality is that I can’t. So, while I’m away, I want to honor my dad. I want other people to know him the way that I do…to know what an incredible man he is and how blessed I am to have him in my life.

So I decided to use my photography blog as my outlet. Let’s face it, I don’t really feel like writing about other stuff right now anyway; writing about my dad seems like much more fun. So I am going to start a little series of posts entitled, “Lessons From My Dad”…give you a little insight into why I think he’s pretty much the BEST.

So…here we go.


Lessons From My Dad…#1

Even when it doesn’t go as planned…GOD IS IN CONTROL.

Even though my parents looked like they had it all together from the outside, it was tough when they started out. My mom was 19, and my dad, 23. They had their entire lives in front of them…and then they learned they were parents. Sure, they loved the heck out of me…but it wasn’t in their “plan”. They got married, and began their journey together as husband and wife. Then, a few months later, I was born. I was the first baby my dad had ever held. Mom said he was pretty clueless…and I think he’d agree.

But they both learned…together. My mom’s faith grew quickly, while my dad’s was a little bit more gradual. It wasn’t always as strong as it is now, it developed more and more each year, but as I grew, so did my love for my dad and his faith. I could always depend on him to follow where God was leading, even if it wasn’t in his “plan”. When our family packed up and moved from everything we loved, to the middle of Missouri, he knew God had a purpose for us there.  When life took its detours, or presented us with hardships & challenges, he would remind us that God was still in control.

When I had my heart broken for the first time, he reminded me that God’s plan was always better; that someday a man would show up & love me completely, like Christ’s love, and it would be worth the wait. When I would get anxious about my future, he would remind me to put God first, and to follow that still, small, voice…to trust in where He was leading, because it was always best.

I will never get too old to ask my dad for his advice…and he’ll never get tired of telling me that no matter what I try to “plan”, God’s way is always better.

Although my dad taught me so much about God while I was growing up, I think I’ve learned more from him in the past year than any other time in my life. I’ve seen him stand firm with an unwavering faith. I’ve seen him trust in a plan that we don’t comprehend or understand. Even now, he reminds me often that even though things haven’t gone as we’ve planned, God is in control. That “God is GOOD, all the time…all the time, God is GOOD”. He strengthens me as he assures me that NOTHING happens to us without first passing through the hands of our Savior.

I honestly don’t know how he does it. I think of what he faces each day and it fills me with fear…yet he faces it with peace.



My dad has taught me that God is in control, no matter what, no matter when. That our “plans” for this life pale in comparison to living for Him and glorifying Him with everything that we have in us.

 “But we know that God works all things out for good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose…” Romans 8:28

When life gets shaky, there is a firm foundation. My dad stands on it…and I will, too.



@ jeni.aohphotography

my everyday adventures