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Lessons from Dad.

I write a lot about my mom around here.  I miss her like crazy, and the person that my mom was and what she went through was and is something that the Lord uses so much to teach me.  But I want to take a moment as we approach Father’s Day and brag on my awesome Daddy for a minute.  Fathers have SUCH an important job, and to those who are daddies to daughters, the job that the Lord has gifted you with is a sweet one.

To say that I’m blessed to have the dad that I have would be an understatement.  For Mother’s Day, I wrote about lessons that my mom taught me, so for Father’s Day, I’d like share with you some lessons from my dad.

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My dad and I doing some acting together when I was in children’s choir and he was one of the leaders.

My dad taught me about hard work.  I’m not sure there’s a harder working person out there than my dad.  His favorite saying is, “Opportunities are often missed because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work” (or something like that).  He works hard at his job, and his days off aren’t usually days off because he uses them to work around his house or to serve someone else.  And he does all of this without complaining.  I rarely hear negative words come out of his mouth (unless he’s painting… ha!).  I’ve got lots to learn about from my dad when it comes to working hard.  He’s the best of the best at this, for sure.

My dad taught me what a first down is and basically everything else about football.  If you wanted to find my family and me on a Friday night in the fall, we’d be at the local high school football game.  If you wanted to find us on a Saturday in the fall, we’d probably be watching the Gamecocks play football.  Especially before my brother and I filled our Saturdays with cheer and band competitions, Carolina football games were a family event.  Thinking back, I’m sure I drove my dad crazy asking, “What’s a first down?” and “How do they get that yellow line on the field?” when he was trying to watch a game, but he didn’t show it.  He answered my questions, and we enjoyed that time together as a family.  My husband is now thankful for this!  Dads, what are you interested in?  Maybe you love hunting or music, but whatever it is, take time to do what you love with your kids (even if that kid is a daughter).

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Sitting with my dad was a halftime tradition of ours when I cheered.

My dad taught me how to encourage.  I can’t really think of a football game I cheered at or a cheer competition that my dad missed.  He even wore a “Bulldog Cheer Dad” shirt my senior year of high school.  I’m done with my cheerleading days, but now he encourages me more than he will ever know as I’m in this “young mom” stage of life.  When he comes to my house and Hunter’s room is messy, he just says, “Richie’s room was the same way.”  He’s always quick with encouragement like this, and it means the world.  It reminds me I’m doing okay as a mom, but boys won’t be perfect nor will my parenting be, but we’re all doing okay.  My dad has helped me see that sometimes, the best ways to encourage somebody is by simply saying, “Me too,” or to lend a listening ear.

My dad taught me about being selfless.  My dad is always putting others first.  Always.  He selflessly took care of my mom when she was sick without thinking twice about it.  People were in awe of him, but to him, he was just serving as any husband should.  But even besides her, my dad always selflessly served in church whether that was in the 11th and 12th grade Sunday school class or by showing off his acting skills in Judgement House.  He opens his house up to anyone whenever they need a lake day.  He’s always willing to help with my boys.  I could go on.  Like I said, he taught me how to be selfless.  He’s got a servant’s heart that I could learn from for sure.

My dad taught me to have a sense of humor.  Ask any of my friends, my dad always made us laugh growing up.  He had some hilarious (and interesting) “characters” that he would pretend to be.  Or he would make my brother and me laugh by coming up with acronyms that he’s sure will take off (KIT- Keep In Touch.  Feel free to start using that if you want.  Ha!).  He now makes my boys laugh by taking popular children’s songs and changing the words to them (my boys will be so confused when they learn the real version!).  I’m so thankful that I grew up in a home of joy and laughter!

My dad taught me how I should look to be treated by my husband.  I’ll never forget the Valentine’s Day that my dad picked me up from school, let me pick out an outfit at Limited Too, and then took me to dinner at Steak ‘n Ale.  That’s one of my sweetest memories.  My dad was (and still is) quick to compliment me on a new dress and never shies away from telling me that he loves me.  Daddies of daughters, you’ve got such a big role to play when it comes to this.  Show your daughter how she should be treated by a boy from a very young age by how you treat her and how you treat her mom/your wife.

My dad taught me how to trust in Jesus, even in the storm.  In all of the process of Mom’s cancer and her passing away, my dad never wavered from trusting in Jesus.  He knew that Jesus is the Rock that He could lean on and that God’s plan was perfect.  He knew that his strength came from the Lord, and that God is bigger than anything we faced or will face.

Most importantly… My dad taught me about Jesus.  When I was much younger, my dad wrote a song about my brother and me and in one of the lines he talks about how he is “to be the one to tell them of His grace”.  My dad knew He had a big job as a parent to teach my brother and me about Jesus and to disciple us.  He taught me about Jesus, His grace, about the importance of church, and so much more.  Jesus is the best lesson that my dad has ever taught me.

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I surprised my daddy at my wedding by us dancing to part of the song he wrote for Richie and me.

I could go on.  My dad has taught me so much and still is.  Like I said, I’m blessed with an awesome daddy.  He’s an awesome gift giver, the host of lake days, and was the painter of my nails growing up (he’s given up this job… ha!).  Dads, what are you teaching your kids?  You’re teaching them so much whether you realize it or not.  Invest in them by spending time with them doing what they love and/or by teaching them about what you love.  Teach them about Jesus.  Take them to church (and don’t just drop them off.  Let them see you there and serving too).  Make them laugh.  And yes, for those dads of daughters, even paint their nails if they ask!

Maybe you don’t know your earthly father or don’t have a good relationship with him.  You have a Father in heaven who is perfect and who loves you more than you know.  The Father loves you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.  Jesus offers us His free gift of salvation, we just have to accept it.  The Father adopts us as His children when we are saved.  He loves us, cares for us, and values us more than we’ll know.  I’d love to share with you more about this!

So, to my dad, Happy Father’s Day!  Thank you for all that you have taught me.  Maybe one day you’ll teach me to love Costco just as much as you do!  Friends, what has your dad taught you?  I’d love for you to share!

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