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Kathy M. Dingus



Friends, I don't know about you but it gives me a kick when someone comes up to me and asks, "Are you Hoyt and Rachel Mullins' daughter?" I always answer with an affirmative "YES!" because I am proud of my parents and proud to be known as their daughter.

I know they were and are proud of me. Dad was known for his off hand manner of communication.

Those of you who knew him were probably the recipients of some of that offhand humor.

His friends were always waiting for Him to come up with something off the wall. You never knew what dad would do. He would help himself to the coffee pot in a restaurant, not because he didn't want to bother the waitress, but just because he could do it himself. He was spontaneous, much to our chagrin at times.

For instance, our family would all be together, typically at our Fall Festival, and we would be shopping together, (at least semi-together) in the local shopping mall. Dad would catch one of us kids off guard, come up behind us and yell "I'm Kathy's daddy . . . or Anna's or Jay's or Mark's", and point to whichever one was the marked victim at the moment.

We were active teenagers and knew a lot of people, and we were usually with a group of our friends at the time. This would typically embarrass us to death!

Looking back on this I don't think that was his intention (or . . . maybe it was) but it was his way of showing everyone in the mall, and us, that he was proud of us, and he loved us! (Secretly, it didn't bother us as much as we let on at the time, either!) We were proud of him too!

You know, I never grew too big to sit in daddy's lap, and even when I was a married woman with children he would often pull me over to sit in his lap. I would laugh and say I was too heavy (which I was) but he acted like he didn't notice.

Now that I am grown up, (and I guess at 39 years old I've earned that title), I am often associated with my mother. I hear statements like "You're just like your mother," or, "you sound like your mother on the phone," and "you do things just like your mother!" To me, this is the greatest compliment anyone can give me. I even physically look like my mother. That's okay too!

I think I have the greatest mother on earth. I can't imagine anyone who doesn't feel that way about their own mother. If you don't feel that way about your mother, then I really feel sorry for you. My mother and I really are quite a lot alike, and for that I'm truly thankful.

My mother is a strong woman, although sometimes she thinks she isn't. She is fiercely loyal, whether it's to family or church. She is a staunch defender/supporter of her grandchildren and she's just chock full of love.

She's overcome adversity, her childhood was not easy, she found the greatest love of her life, lived with him for 36 years, (they moved from one place to another over 50 times!) and then lost him to cancer within a 21 day period of time. She's lost her mother and father and one sister and brother. Still she stands tall and firm, deeply rooted in God's love and grace.

I love her very much. She's my best and greatest friend. I hope many of you here can say the same about your mothers.

As for our family antics, (dad was the trickster) everyone in the mall would laugh and smile, and we probably gave them a happy thought for the day about how nice families are.

You know . . . that's a true statement. How nice families are. Families aren't nice to each other all the time, and outside forces against them aren't nice all the time, but FAMILIES are nice in and of themselves.

Just the word family brings warm, fuzzy feelings, well, to me at least. Unfortunately, not to everyone. Since I belong to a pretty great family already, what more could I ask for? Well, I'm going to be selfish and pray, and hope for a little bit more . . . I want to belong to my heavenly Father's family.

Jesus Christ was identified by his father. He stated that if we knew Him, we knew the Father. Christ was called the Son of God, even though He paid dearly for it. He died that we may be identified with His family. He died that we may be called His brother one day, and that we can call His Father, our Father.

Are you glad to be identified? I want to be known as a child of God. I want people to look at my life and say "she's a child of God."

I want to do whatever is necessary for me to do, to become what God wants me to be. Just as I would do almost anything to see my Daddy once more, I would do almost anything to be in the Kingdom of my Heavenly Father.

You see my Heavenly Father loves me too! He would give anything for me to be with Him.

He gave his only Son to die that we could one day be together forever. He gave His ALL!

I know I need to give my all to my Heavenly Father! I need to make my everyday actions and thoughts His actions and thoughts, just as I have "picked up my parents mannerisms."

I need to "pick up" good things from my Spiritual Father.

Physical traits are so easy to mimic. It's not so easy to mimic spiritual straits.

These must come from the heart. We must be sincere and truly mean what we say and believe. God sees straight into the heart.

There's no hiding our true selves. God sees us as we are and He loves us anyway!

So . . . when I'm walking down the street and someone asks me "Are your Rachel and Hoyt's daughter?" I answer "Yes" with pride, and I'm waiting for the time when I can hear my Heavenly Father look at me and say,

Well, done, faithful daughter!

How do you identify?