I am one of the lucky ones. My dad is 84 and is still up and going. So many of my friends and family members have lost their dads, so I consider myself blessed to still have him in my life.
My dad is a very wise man. He taught me many, many things, but today I would like to highlight four things:
1. Don’t quit: My dad has survived bypass surgery and a terrible bout of pancreatitis. He also has Type 2 diabetes. In spite of health problems, he keeps on going. Not only did he raise myself, my sister and my brother, but he served as a father figure to numerous cousins. He is the “rock” of the family and is the one everyone goes to when they need advice.
Notice the picture of my mom on the dresser. My parents have been married almost 60 years. That says a lot about his ability to never quit, no matter how hard things get.
2. Prayer is an essential part of life: My dad is a prayer warrior. When I was growing up, we would have family devotions a few times per week. (We all know how it is, families get busy and we mean to do it, yet we don’t). My dad read a chapter out of the Bible to us and made us get on our knees and pray. Well my siblings and I would pray about 1 min. and we were done, but not my dad. He would go on and on and my sister and I would begin to giggle. My mom would give us the “evil eye” and we would stop for a minute and start again. But you know, God heard and answered those prayers and I am grateful that he prayed as much as he did.
When I was in college, I went through a phase where I wasn’t making the best choices and I knew my dad was praying for me. And I remember being mad at him for praying because every time I wanted to do something I shouldn’t, I remembered what my parents taught me and it kept me from making some devastating life choices. And I am grateful that he prayed as much as he did.
To this day, everyone who has a prayer need calls him and they know he will pray.
3. Something will always be on sale. One year I wanted to go shopping on Black Friday and I was bummed out because I didn’t have any extra money to buy myself another outfit. I was teaching and single at the time and had a closet full of clothes, but felt I was entitled to shop because school was not in session, I had worked hard and felt that I deserved to shop. Well I was complaining and lamenting because I was going to miss all the good sales. My dad looked at me and said, “There will always be sales and you can shop another day and who knows, you might find it cheaper.” Well that stuck with me and I realized that if I don’t have the money for something, I don’t need it. I can buy it when I have money. What a wonderful lesson to give a twenty-something!
4. Education is extremely important: Neither of my parents attended college. They wanted to, but finances and life circumstances go in the way. My dad is a very hard worker and was looked over for more than one promotion throughout his career due to lack of a college degree. So, he made sure that all three of us kids went to college. We had no choice. It was never if we were going, it was always where. And we all have at least a bachelor’s degree and our spouses do too. Not all the grandkids do, buy the economy is changing and in a lot of professions, a four year degree is not essential.
What about you? What did you learn from your dad?