My dad has taught me a lot of things over the years.
Everything from a mean cross-over dribble in basketball that’ll make a defender fall on their keister, to how to handle online banking, to how to decode and respond to a guy’s text message with just the right amount of sass and interest.
And I thought that today, on his birthday, I’d just reflect on a few of the classic lessons I’ve learned from my dad. (And perhaps a bad dad joke thrown in for good measure.)
1. Perturb to learn.
I am a notorious people pleaser. As in, to a fault. I’ll go practically to physical harm in order to make another person happy or comfortable. So advocating for myself is…well…not something that comes naturally.
But my dad has always taught me never to be afraid of putting myself out there. Work hard, and don’t be afraid to ask the right questions. And sometimes you’ve gotta shake things up in order to make things happen. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, as he always says. 🙂
2. You are who you are when no one is looking.
And this is one that he’s never really come right out and said. Be he communicates this through his actions. His generosity and charity are never broadcast or shown off. He is humble and strong. Don’t let your right hand know what your left hand is doing.
We were driving home from dinner downtown the other night, and there was this weathered, gaunt and wrinkled homeless woman. It was about 19 degrees outside, and my dad pulled the car over and went and gave her the meal we had gotten “to go” from the restaurant for lunch the next day. “Could you use a warm meal?” he said, as she just lit up and shed a tear in gratitude.
Little things go a long way.
3. What’s black and white and red all over?
A wounded nun rolling down a hill. (dad joke)
4. Invest in people, and they will invest in you.
Ah, the “emotional bank account deposit.” Growing up, my brothers and I used to give my dad so much crap for that little metaphor. We thought it was “Off the Richter” in cheesiness. But the older I get, the more I realize that he was right on the money. Everything goes back to relationships. And people remember how you treat them…and others.
5. Lastly, he taught me that I am precious.
There are certain things that a daughter can only by taught by her father. And that is that she is a treasure.
A father’s love on earth is a reflection of The Father’s love in heaven.
We experience what it feels like to be protected. Taken care of. Fought for. Delighted in.
A daughter learns from her father that she is precious.
So happy birthday, dad. I just don’t know what I did to deserve you as a father.
I am profoundly grateful for you, the one who taught me, through example, the deep and powerful love of God.
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