Tuesday was my fathers 72nd birthday. That event has caused me to pause and reflect on all of the life lessons he has imparted to me. The fond memories I have of the times we have spent together, and most of all the love he has so freely given me all my life.
I am his baby girl.
We have seven kids in my family. Five of them are boys, so my sister and I had a very special and tender place in my dad’s heart.
I am right in the middle of all seven kids. So I have a very interesting personality. If you know anything about how birth order influences a person, you will know that as a middle child,
I am a peacemaker.
I am a negotiator.
I am resourceful.
I am also the BABY girl.
So I also have several qualities that the youngest child would possess.
I love the spotlight.
I am always trying to entertain.
I can be slightly self-centered at times.
But despite all of that…
My dad has always loved and encouraged me to chase my dreams.
I am, and always will be the daughter of one of the greatest men to ever live.
So today, I want to share with you some of the wisdom that my dad has shared with me over the years.
#1: The most important things in life actually ARE free.
What I mean by that is this:
As long as I never forget that my spiritual life comes before my material life, I will be okay.
Spirituality is not something you can purchase, but its worth defies description.
If you can develop a spiritual connection with your creator, life becomes a whole lot easier.
By learning to leave my sins, my fears, and my longings at the foot of the cross, I have been able to free up so much space in my mind for other more worthy things, that my life just naturally became more expansive and beautiful.
And that wisdom was something that didn’t cost me a single dollar…
Just years of trial and error.
#2: I should never judge a man for the color of his skin, his faith, the car he drives, or the clothes he wears.
A persons worth goes so much deeper that the things we see on the surface. He taught me to dig deeper and really get to know a person before I make a decision about their character.
#3: Every person alive desires to be seen and heard. So close your mouth and open your ears!
I had lunch a while back with a friend that I had not seen in years. When we sat down, I just looked at her and told her how much I had missed her. Then I simply asked her to catch me up on what has been happening in her life.
She called me a few days later to tell me that she has never had such an enjoyable time in her life. She thanked me for listening to her “yammer” on for over an hour.
That really drove home to me, just how lonely most people are, and what a priceless gift attention is.
#4: When you speak to someone, always do it looking them straight in the eyes.
Usually when it is hard to look someone in the eye, it is because you are feeling some type of insecurity.
My dad likes to say, “Never let them know your scared. Be courageous, and proud enough to look a man in the eye when your having a conversation.”
#5: I have learned that fear is just a state of mind, and nothing else.
(This one wasn’t straight from my dad, but he set a wonderful example for this truth, and by his example I was able to discover it for myself. That is why it is on the list today.)
#6:That I should be aware of how I see the world, because the world will be exactly as I see it.
#7: That a problem is not a problem, just an opportunity to learn the lesson and become wiser, stronger, and more well adjusted to life.
This next piece of wisdom is HUGE!!!
So stop and really let this next one sink in deeply.
#8: Everything in life is borrowed, only my dreams and my life belongs to me.
When the day comes for me to leave this beautiful planet called Earth, the only things I will be able to take with me are the memories of the things and dreams I achieved.
And the only things I will be able to leave are the good or bad things I did to make of this world a better or worse place.
My dad is a wonderful person who has touched the lives of many people. When He leaves this world, he will have left it a much better place than when he arrived.
There is a song that reminds me of the kind of man my dad is.
That song is: “DO SOMETHING” By Matthew West
Here is a link to the song.
Enjoy the music, then take the wisdom from the song along with my dad’s advice and go out there and DO SOMETHING with all your heart!
#9: Nobody owns the whole truth.
As a human being I am unfortunately, condemned to make mistakes: but knowing that I am not perfect will keep me humble.
I don’t need to lament my errors, just learn from them because when I do that successfully, my mistakes magically become lessons instead.
#10:That the most valuable thing I can ever hope to receive in life is the joy that comes from giving love to others, without asking anything in return.
Part of making that happen is the understanding that I should learn to respect others for what they are, not for what I would like them to be.
#11: That turning my life into a song of joy is a responsibility: life doesn’t owe me anything.
That the past as well as tomorrow are just dreams in my own mind,
So I must
A wise person knows that watching a shooting star and asking for a wish will keep alive the child that will always dwell inside of them, no mater how young or old they may be.
Sit in the grass and watch the clouds float by and see how many different pictures you can find in them.
By doing these small things my life will remain a song of joy.
#12: The only person I should compete with is with myself.
That finding the true purpose of my life is the most important mission of my life.
There is nothing more important for me to discover during my lifetime than who I am, and what God’s purpose for me is.
I hope that after reading this post today, you are a little bit wiser.
A little more kind.
And ready to get out there and DO SOMETHING!