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Sunday, June 18, 2017

An Open Letter to My Children's Father

Today we celebrate this man (my man) for the father that he is.  I wanted to share with the world (or those willing to read this humble blog) a letter I wrote him.

June 18, 2017

Dear David,

I know that it is our children’s role to wish you a Happy Father’s Day today, but I wanted to take the time to tell you how grateful I am for the Father you are to them.  I could not imagine doing this journey of parenthood without you. I am in awe of how God took two people like us, who where reluctant to be parents, and blessed us beyond our own understanding and ability with 8 children (and one waiting in heaven).  

 You play such an important role in their lives, one that can only be filled by you.  I love how you
have instilled a strong work ethic into them.  You have shown them that hard work is a worthy pursuit and one that they honor you with today.  You have modeled faithfulness and perseverance.  You have instilled in them the importance of critical thinking and taught them to think for themselves.  You have challenged them to search for truth and check what they hear. You have encouraged them to think outside the box and to see that there is more than one angle to view things at.  You have given them a love for history, music, old movies, adventure and politics.

I love how you have found a way to connect with each one of them and you find small and big ways
to pour into each on of them, from a burrito, Beatles memorabilia, hub caps, food for their friends, an In and Out burger or a weekly trip to McDonalds, to nurturing their hobbies with saws and sanders, jars to make candles in, special instruments and kitchen appliances to learn cooking in.  

You have spend many years investing in them everyday by going to work and cauffeuring them in the evenings and/or weekends. 

Thank you for taking them on special adventures and building special memories with them.  

I pray that you will know how loved and appreciated you are.  That you will see how significant your role in their lives is. 

I pray that you will never grow weary of investing in them and spending time with them.  
I pray you will continue to value the relationships you have with each of our children and you will see the great wealth that God has given you.  

David, you are a rich man.  I love you more than words can express and I say THANK YOU for being Nick, Brittaney, Alex, Aaron, Jonathan, Audriona, Angel and Shekinah’s Dad. Thank you for being YOU.

Hugs and Kisses,
Your Special K  (his nickname for me)  

As we celebrate today, I have reflected on some other post I have made in honor of him.  

Happy Father's Day - You are loved, You are honored, You are blessed

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Honor Your Father

In the span of two weeks my two oldest children posted these two entries to their Dad on Facebook:

On Monday we crossed the border into Jordan. We went up near Mount Nebo and took in the view that Moses would have had in Deuteronomy 34. For those who don't know the story, Moses got to see the Promise Land but was not able to go there.
As I stood there, I thought about how Moses must have felt.Think about it, despite his hard work for and faithfulness to Israel he did not get what he wanted. He instead got to see someone else live out his dream. How would you feel if you were him? These thoughts of Moses began to blend into thoughts of my dad (David Chellsen). It's always been his dream to visit Israel. I thought about how like Moses saw the Promise Land from a distance, my dad would be seeing these photos of my visit on Facebook. Essentially, he would be seeing someone else live out his dream. This emotional moment near Mount Nebo gave me a new love and appreciation for my dad. Like Moses to Israel, my dad's hard work for and his faithfulness to his family has allowed me to walk in my calling and follow my dreams. I would not be here today without him. And when I say "here," I mean that in every sense of the word.     I love you dad and I hope you can come with me next time!

This one's for you, Dad  :) #humphreybogart   #hollywood #walkoffame  #classic with David Chellsen at Hollywood.

Both of them living out a desire or dream of their Dads. What struck me was the honor they showed their Dad not only with their words but their desire to share with him the things he has not yet to do.  The significance they saw in this connection – in fulfilling their father’s desires, his dreams – the connection they have to his heart.  Now this man (my man) does not feel that what he does has great significance.  
Yet, over the years, he has received countless notes, cards and letters from his eight children sharing their love, appreciation and honor for who he is and for what he does. 

A few years back a wrote a blog post about this father’s love as seen through his children:

SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2012

The character of His children are a reflection of their Fathers love..
                            …children are a reflection of their Father.
The best of this man
       is reflected in each of our children.

In Nick -
I see your love for current events, politics and history
           and your gentle strength and faithfulness.
In Brittaney –
I see your all or nothing approach to life
        and your passion for this world and those you love.

In Alex –
I see your sense of humor, love for music
       and your love and compassion for children.
In Aaron –
I see your drive for justice
     and your inventiveness and creativity.

In Jonathan –
I see your wonder for life
    and your resilience and perseverance.
In Audriona –
I see your loyalty and competiveness
     and your desire to take care of those you love.

In Angelina –
I see your candidness, (Jersey attitude)
     and your heart for the underdog and sense for adventure.
In Shekinah –
I see your hot and cold range of emotions and quick wit
      and your desire to talk, and talk and talk -
                                        about the things you love.

A Father -
provides the fountain of strength, wisdom and hope
           so that his children may build their dreams upon it.
Thank you for providing that fountain of strength, perseverance and love... 
                                    so our children can build their dreams upon it.

His son is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact likeness of God’s being.  He holds everything together through his powerful words.   Hebrews 1:3

As I pondered these words: The character of His children are a reflection of their Fathers love... I thought about how our children are not only a beautiful reflection of their earthly father - they are a glorious reflection of their heavenly father. 
Andrew Murray said in his book How to Raise Children for Christ
“The deepest secrets of the Godhead in the fellowship of the Father and the Son by the Holy Spirit were to be shown in the family.” -Murray
Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus was a reflection of His father, a reflection of His glory, the exact likeness of His being. Our relationships here on earth - Husband and wife, parent and child, friend and friend are to be a reflection of this Heavenly relationship. One that is laced with love, grace and honor.

So, this man (my man) - the one who does not feel that what he does has great significance -
He is a reflection of His Heaving Father, as he is faithful in serving his family-

by chauffeuring them here and there and everywhere,
by encouraging them to live out their dreams and desires,
by sacrificing many of his desires to see his children be able to do them,
by getting up early to go to a job that is physically hard - day in and day out,
by paying attention to their interests and gifting them with special gifts just because,
by encouraging them to test the things they read or hear -even the things he says,
by instilling in them to be their own person and not a carbon copy of the world,
by loving them everyday the best he knows how.

His significance is shown in the character of his children.

His children are a reflection of his love.

David, we love and honor you today - just because.

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Our Dwelling Place

This week our Missionary Daughter will be coming "home"  from Brazil for a few months.  I use the term home loosely because home for her has taken on many faces.


 The home she grew up in,
       the home she ministered in India for 10 months at the age of 15,
         the home base she trained - lived and was sent out from at YWAM,  Chico,
            the home for the past 2 years in Brazil,

               the home we now dwell in ,
   the one she rests in when she is in the states.

The Lord has taught her many things over the years about the word home.

   that home is more than an address
     that home is our dwelling place
        that home is where your family is
           and we often have more than one family,
               that home is where our heart is,
                  that home is where Jesus is.

She wrote about it here: Wheres your Heart?

I have been pondering that word "home" as we have been preparing for her to arrive.
    Wanting to make a place - some space for her to feel she is home, she is loved, that she belongs.

       a bed that welcomes her, with her own blanket and pillow and invites her to rest,
          a shelf for her to place some of her belongings and makes her feel she belongs,
             a space in the closet that says hang your coat, and stay awhile.

  And while all these things are important, tangible reminders that we care...   I am reminded that the greatest thing I can do is just embrace her, and yet surrender her at the same time:

to the one who holds the keys, to her heart,
       the one who is her dwelling place,
          the one who says "your are mine,
             you are secure, you are home in me."

Psalm 90:1 says, 

"Lord you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations."  

I love how the New Living Testament puts it:

"Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!"

I am looking forward to hugging her deep, to hearing her heart, to mini adventures as a family, to watching her connect with each of her siblings in that special way she does, and above all to just resting in our dwelling place, our home together.

He is our dwelling place, he is our home.
Resting in his love for us, resting in Him,

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