15 June 2014

15 Things I Learned From My Dad





My dad is traveling this year for Father's Day so I had nowhere to mail a card. I looked at ecards and y'all there is a fine line between the cheese business and ecards. I decided he would like a blog post most of all anyway.
Here are 15 things I've learned from my dad over the years. In no particular order and somewhat random.
1. If you grab the sleeve of your long-sleeved shirt and hold onto it while you put on your jacket, your sleeves won't get all bunched up inside the jacket.
2. Root for the home team.
I can't tell you how many times over the years I have heard the story of why my Dad is an Alabama fan when the rest of his family are die-hard Auburn fans. (He decided when he was 5 years old that it didn't make sense to be an Auburn fan because he didn't live in the state of Auburn, he lived in Alabama).
3. There is value to having friends of all different ages.
This is something my dad has modeled for me for as long as forever. You ask him today and he could tell you the name of a friend who is 3 years old, one who is 30 and one who is 90.
4. Good communication is as important as breathing. Almost.
I don't know if this is something I have heard him talk about as much as just something he is naturally good at. My dad is in excellent communicator in almost every way. Public speaking, counseling, phone conversations, and writing.
5. He taught me how to fish.
He showed me how to bait the hook. How to not dip the tip of my pole in the water. How to wait quietly. How to know when to yank the fish up. How to slide your hand down the fish's fins so it won't cut you when you remove the hook. How to clean the fish and how to cook it.
6. It is very important to be a good listener.
7. While we cannot control other people's responses or emotions, we are always responsible for our own.
8. In the body of Christ, there is a need for recognizing and affirming gifts in others.
It is so encouraging when someone points out and encourages a gifting of yours and my dad not only does that in pastoral and counseling scenarios, but he does it naturally in his friendships and relationships on a regular basis.
9. Prayer shouldn't be our last line of defense, it should be our first. It's not a passive thing, but an active, aggressive approach to handling burdens.
10. The church is not a museum for the saints but a hospital for sinners.
11. Be an adventurer. Always be looking for adventure.
12. Try new things.
We used to have a game that we would play at cafeteria-style restaurants where we had to get as many different colors of food on our plates as possible (and eat them). The one who had the most, won dessert.
13. Change isn't always bad.
14. If you don't know what the Lord is telling you or you havn't heard His voice in a while, go back to the last direction he gave you. Chances are, you're not finished with that step yet.
15. Choosing the right planner/calendar is as complicated as finding a spouse.
I had just had my tonsels out as a 20 year old and was staying at my parents house to recover. About a week into it, I desperately needed to get out of the house for my own sanity and I also really needed a new planner. My dad patiently drove me to multiple stores to help me find just the right planner. I felt so bad and apologized for being so picky. He validated me and told me that choosing the right planner is just as complicated as finding a spouse. It's important to choose just the right one.
Happy Father's Day, Daddy! I love you so much!
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