As I reflect on what would have been my dad’s birthday today, I thank God for how He blessed me with amazing parents. This day and age, it seems that parents get a raw deal and people may not give them the credit for the sacrifice that they made for their kids. And most of the time people do not realize this until they are adults with responsibilities, homes, children, jobs etc.
So let’s take time to thank our parents in person, if you are blessed to still have them with you. And if they have passed away, to remember and thank God for them.
1. They supported me and my dreams.
Think of all of the things you were interested in along your life and how your parents supported you? Sports teams, art class, dance troupe, graduate school, whatever…they were there.
2. They were examples of a strong work ethic.
I know I have told this to many people, but I grew up with one family car. My dad took the bus to work. My dad left for work at 6:30 AM and returned home around 6:00 PM. Yet, he would still find time to play with us, to help us with homework, listen to our problems, and even have some fun!
3. They inspired me to always do my best.
My parents always told me to do my best. And I took that literally. Whether I was waitressing during a summer job or learning how to cook, I always did and will continue to do my best – because I saw them doing their best. It’s not even in the realm of possibilities NOT to do my best.
4. They showed us how to have good fun just by being together.
Some of the best memories I have as a family were sitting at home at the kitchen table or on the living room floor just hanging out together and talking, laughing, or playing a game. Many other fun times were spent helping my mom in the kitchen learning how to cook a new “ethic dish” (that was very advanced for mom way back then!) or baking Christmas cookies far into the night.
5. They taught me to treat all people equally.
Kindness just came naturally. We didn’t see color or race or ethnicity or disability. All people were the same. I remember when I realized as a teenager that not everyone sees the world this way. It was shocking. I am blessed to have that ingrained in me – especially in the times our country is now facing.
6. They were always there for me – no matter what my age.
Growing up, my parents attended every event my sisters and I were involved in. They took us to places we wanted to go as much as they could afford. They talked us through moving away to college and helped us become adults but yet were always just a phone call away. I remember sitting on my dad’s lap even as an adult. 🙂
7. They are encouraging but realistic.
My parents lived simple lives compared to most people. They were raised in the Great Depression. Thus they were more cautious and helped us evaluate whether something was a good idea or not.
8. They taught me to accept myself and expect respect.
I remember my mom having “the talk” with me. But that stuck with me to this day. Our bodies are a gift from God. They are to be respected. Nobody is to disrespect you or your body. Do not tolerate that – ever. At the time you don’t know exactly what that means, but it sure was meaningful as I got older.
9. They taught me the value of a dollar and to be grateful.
We did not live an extravagant life as kids. We did not go without but we didn’t have the “things” that others had. And you know what? I didn’t even realize it. We were happy with what we had. Stuff is just stuff. Relationships matter more.
10. They loved me unconditionally.