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Father’s Day: Blessings in 3s

Father’s Day: Blessings in 3s 150 150 Nicole

img001Three is a holy number, and this Father’s Day I am reminded of blessings that have come to me in 3s. I am privileged to have several amazing men in my life, all equally marvelous fathers. Howard #1: Though my father died when I was 11 years old, it was sufficient time to know the effects of one who loved being a father. There was never question in our home that my three younger brothers and I were priorities to him. What strikes me most is the manner in which he spoke to us, to me. He conversed with me with such candor, not treating me as a simple child, rather, assuming I could understand: social justice, spirituality and seeing angels, theology of grace and mercy, he entrusted to me—in confidence and conferred . . . . And, I have come to find that my life trajectory has taken many turns toward directions he wished to follow. How beautiful the endowment of such a father.

that 70s family


While it is easy to trace the gifts my father left for and in me, I see them in three other men in my life: my baby brothers. Gregg, with his disarming wit and loving wisdom, unrestrained, cares for his children—born to him and bestowed upon him!—with cache to share with nieces and nephews. David’s analytic sense of justice, tempered by kindness, suffuses hospitality to his community and abandon to his own children. And, Todd in his quiet strength and expansive compassion extends his home (and himself) to any who have need of it. Such honor to call them brothers.


Howard #2: is father to our 4 children, ever constant, steadfast and true. His commitment to co-create a home of peace and community has defined how we do family, and helped to guide and mold our children. And, I cannot imagine anyone else to have journeyed with, to parent with me in such a way as this man. But, he has also continued a legacy that my father began in me, and, that his father, as it happens, also conferred.


Howard #3: my father-in-law who has loved me as his own daughter, continues to encourage what was begun by my father, while seeing what God now works in and through me—as in and through his grandchildren. How amazing is that?!


Three Howards and three brothers—my life is truly rich. Happy Father’s Day to these remarkable men!

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About the author


Nicole Oliver Snyder’s expertise lies in the areas of leadership, gender issues, and mindfulness practice as it affects both. Leadership, particularly in an urban setting, requires community-relations skills, and an ability to clearly convey justice issues as they relate to felt, spiritual ones. Dr. Snyder is author of Leading Together: Mindfulness and the Gender Neutral Zone, and specializes in teaching mindfulness leadership development, formative spirituality, counseling, and Old Testament theology (emphasis on justice issues). She has a diverse background in international community-relations work combined with volunteer work in multi-ethnic communities, and with local institutions. She is an ordained Clergy; holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies, w/Education Certificate, an MA-Counseling, MDiv Equiv., holds a Doctor of Ministry and Advanced Certification in Formative Spiritual Direction, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (CO, MI).

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