People always talk about how dorky they were growing up. I heard a podcast once where Cindy Crawford described herself as a childhood nerd... so that really makes it seem like something everyone can claim regardless of truth. But I really wasn't in the know. 50 year old adults would say they loved my height and long red hair, but that mattered little when I was in junior high and all the girls were small and cute, with stylish blonde bobs and clothes from American Eagle. We weren't poor, but my parents had to be frugal and I never had clothes from the actual mall stores. I remember borrowing my dad's jeans once with a belt under one of his flannels (grunge era circa mid 90's) and I can only imagine how poorly I pulled that off. My dad wasn't the kind of father who called me princess and told me I was beautiful all the time, but somewhere in there I knew. For years, on my birthday he would come take me out of school for lunch and always give me a corsage which I wore with all the pride of a child of the 80's. Those flowers on my pink and navy blue striped sweater were from my dad, a mark of honor, of being special. When we went camping and played football in the streets with all the boys, wet fall leaves under foot and woodsmoke in the air, he would let me play quarterback and even as he grew serious in the heat of competition, he made me feel like I could do it. His laugh would boom through the air when we made a play and I knew I was an important part of his team. When I played volleyball in high school, though far from being a standout, he would come watch my games, never hinting I should have done more or been more. He was there just because I was his. He didn't have a game plan or a book on how to be intentional with your daughter-- but he did all kinds of little things and sometimes big ones, in the midst of life's pressures, that were like pebbles in my bag, weighting me, anchoring me to a place of security, of confidence, of trust, over against all the ways we failed each other, they were a mound of solid rock that covered over a multitude.