Today at church our pastor talked about his father and the lessons he learned while growing up. As I thought of my dad and the lessons I learned from him I smiled a lot, thinking of so many different memories.
In honor of my dad these are some of the life lessons I have learned:
1. a strong work ethic — everything we ever did included doing the job all the way. Nothing was ever left partially finished or undone altogether.
2. pride in a job well done-– once the task was completed, having put in my whole heart and all of my energy I knew I would not feel shame for anything I had accomplished.
3. family matters–growing up I knew family was everything. Both parents came from a long line of strong family ties.
4. desire to do something you love— my dad has had a variety of jobs in his life and each position he held or task he did, he did it with all of his heart.
5. adventurous spirit– we went fishing, camping, canoeing, horseback riding. One summer I think we slept in the tent more than we slept in our own house. I loved that.
6. simple pleasures– my dad grew up on a farm. Hard work, doing without the “flashy stuff” was normal. He is still happiest when he can sit in his favorite chair and watch football on the TV, see the fire in the fireplace as it crackles and burns, and watch the falling snow. Simple, content.
7. togetherness– it kind of goes with family matters, but there was something about hanging out with my dad while he worked on various projects. Watching him process the necessary steps, seeing his face light up when he found a solution to a problem. It was special to be a part of those times.
8. he wants to know his family members–whether it’s my brother or me he really wants to know about us; what we are doing, how things are going, etc. As a grandfather of 5 he has made a point to attend every baseball, softball, cheerleading, basketball, or track event his grandkids are involved in at the time. Even if it means driving more than an hour to an event. Being there matters to him.
9. intentional about his legacy– my dad knows that someday he won’t be here. In light of that, he doesn’t waste time doing things that are only temporary. He has made a point to share how he cares about us, wants the best for us, that we matter to him.
10. Gratitude–when the day of work was accomplished and we were cleaning up, putting tools away, etc. my dad would make a point to say, “Thanks for your help today.” Sometimes he would even point out a particular task that we had done well.
So, “Thanks for your help Pop. I wouldn’t be who I am today without you.”