Top 5 Lessons from my Father

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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197 thoughts on “Top 5 Lessons from my Father

  1. Sounds like our dads are pretty similar! I love #2 because it resonates so close to my father. Those little acts of kindness can leave huge imprints in our mind even from a young age! May we all find great qualities in our fathers and let it help us be the best we can be!


  2. Good for you. You love your dad. Not everybody does. And by everybody, I mean, me. But that’s only because I didn’t want to go to Montana, and he hit me so hard I got there before everybody else.


    1. I’m so sorry to hear that, Daniel. I fully appreciate that not everyone has a positive relationship with their father. It breaks my heart to then think that you were hit like that. Know that you did not to be treated like that, and it pains me to think that the man who should have loved and cherished and protected you failed to do so. Sending lots of love xox


      1. Well, thanks for your polite remark. No situation in life is perfect, I suppose, for anyone, you included with your what-do-you-call-it…anorexia… Dad’s sayings is, “If you ever get stuck, you just wasn’t goin’ fast enough.” And “If it don’t work, get a bigger hammer.” Me and the them sledge hammers got to be pretty good buddies. They are soooo underrated.


      2. No, seriously. Taking my favorite toy in the world and showing myself that I am not attached to it by the tremendous repeated smash of the 9-lb head 3-foot handle sledge hammer, feels like nothing else in the world. My life was forever changed when I could see I was no longer attached to my idols of my youth. (It was a Mask car, the hot red sports car. I got terribly punished for buying it–and so I loved it that much more!)


      3. that does sound like it would be an incredibly cathartic experience. I’ve done something similar by writing a letter to a person who really hurt me, where i got out all of my feelings and said what i would want to say, and then burned it. it was freeing.


  3. Hi Caralyn, I know it has been a long time since I have written or commented at all. I am way behind in reading emails also. Even though everything following the stroke is well, I am exhausted much of the time, sleeping or resting lots.
    Even though I have not been in touch, I think of you and your family often, as well as praying for each of you still. Even with your soft, gentle, loving, giving spirit and heart, it is possible to get worn down at times. I believe that the love you have for your Mom also is a factor, as you see her struggling, knowing that at this moment she is not the Mom you have known, and your heart breaks that you cannot fix things.
    I am glad you did have a few days away though, to refresh and recharge.

    Please give your Dad Birthday wishes for me. Also, congratulations to him and your Mom for the beautiful daughter they both have raised.

    God’s Blessings and Strength, Caralyn,
    Luv, and Hugs,


    1. Hey George! So great to hear from you. I’m glad things are still going well for you. You’ve been in my prayers since your stroke. And thank you for your continued prayers. It seriously means a lot 🙂 you’re right, the recovery process takes a toll on All involved. Thanks for the kind words for my dad. I will definitely pass along the sentiments. And hang in there my friend. Thinking of you and praying for your and your family during this healing period 🙂 Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a beautiful and touching tribute to your dad! He must be so over-the-moon to have you for a daughter. Thank you for sharing these wonderful life lessons. They are really keepers! My dad did not teach me any healthy life lessons, but through therapy, I am learning and growing from knowing him. I’m learning a lot about acceptance and forgiveness. It’s hard for me to comprehend a compassionate God, because it was never modeled for me. If it weren’t for people like you offering me a glimpse into the love that exists between you and your father, I would think that paternal love was just a fairy tale someone made up (I still pretty much think that). I’m really touched by this post, more than you know. Happy birthday to your dad! And many blessings to you both!


    1. Hi Lulu, thank you for sharing this. I’m just sending you the biggest hug right now. It breaks my heart to think that you have not experience paternal love. Because you are worth that love, truly. You are worth being cherished and loved by a father. You deserve that fairy tale. But thankfully, our Father in heaven gives us that love and compassion every day, and is showering down more love than we can ever imagine or receive. Oh Lulu, I love ya, sister. You are an incredible soul, and I am so grateful that our paths have crossed and that you’re in my life! 🙂 big big hugs to you xox

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much! I am so truly grateful that our paths crossed, as well. I am pretty sure that I am a better person for reading your blog. Maybe you don’t remember this, but when I first started reading I probably commented that I was very insecure speaking about my faith openly. Reading the way you are so open and forthright about your faith and your confidence in God’s love has been such a source of strength and encouragement, and I am gradually speaking up more and more!

        I think that God gave me the parents he gave me for a reason, and he gave me to them for a reason, in turn. Trauma is generational. It’s the sins of the father handed down to the sons well beyond the 7th generation. I don’t know how it started, and I don’t know what happened in the pasts of my parents that led them to where they are now, but God knows, and he loves us all. What I am learning from my emotionally and psychologically dysfunctional family is that we must learn how to heal, how to accept love, to trust in God’s love for us, and to trust in God’s mercy if we are ever to truly be able to love others. Only God knows the full story of each one of us. We don’t even know our whole stories. And God loves us. Thanks be to God that He is patient with us and never stops giving us second chances.

        Big, big hugs to you, my friend! I hope that this season of Lent is bringing you back to your center and leaving you with a sense of peace. God bless you! xoxoxo ❤️


  5. I love this post! I didn’t have the blessing of a good dad while growing up. However, a man and his wife adopted me as their Goddaughter when I was running competitively. A good dad is a treasure!


  6. Quite a lovely and loving tribute. As a father, I have no greater earthly desire than to pass on faith in Christ to my children. I’m sure your words bring tears of joy to your dad’s eyes.


  7. Hi BBB,

    I am sure it made your Dad’s day to get that special blog. Isn’t it funny what nuggets stay with us that our parents dropped for us to pick up? Keep making your daddy smile.

    In Christ,


    On Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 3:59 PM, BeautyBeyondBones wrote:

    > beautybeyondbones posted: “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 th” >


  8. Spot on I have to say. I often wonder what, if anything, am I teaching my daughter. This post gives me hope. I love my boys but there is something about “my little girl”. From the first time she ever said “I love you Daddy” she has had me wrapped around her little finger. For the past thirteen (13) years I have watched her grow and adapt. I am so proud of the person that she is becoming. Thank you for reminding me how precious she is to me.


    1. thank you so much for this thoughtful reflection. aw, it sounds like you and your daughter have a wonderful relationship and that you’re a great dad. Yes! that relationship is one of the best in the world. so glad you stopped by. big hugs to you xox

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I can relate to your #1. I honestly struggled to see the difference between love and pleasing others. I’ve come a long way and learned to that pleasing others doesn’t mean I have to compromise my own responsibilities. Thank you for sharing!


  10. I am in love with this. I am dealing with recovery from my own eating disorder. I have an addict around me and things can be especially tough. Your dad has given me a lot to think about.


    1. Thanks Lindsay, I’m so sorry that you’re going through that, and that hour history with ED connects us, but I’m so glad that you’re one the journey of recovery. Know that I am cheering you on. And gosh, that must be tough. I bet your presence and strength does more for that person than you know. Thanks for sharing this. Praying for you and yours. Hugs and love xox


  11. Dear BeautyBeyondBones,

    My teacher Gary Avants introduced me to your blog. I love what you write about. My dad has always told me to be myself around people and dont be shy. Show them how you are a loving person you are. He pushes me to do things that I’m afraid of trying. I’m a really shy person when being in front of people which is wierd because I am in colorguard at my school. Being the only daughter he tells me that I am precious and beautiful. My dad showes me that there is love out there.

    Thank you for your post,



    1. Hi ALH! Oh my gosh, thank you so much for this wonderful response! Gary is so wonderful, isn’t he! I wish he was my teacher! 🙂 I am so touched that he would pass along my blog, and that you would take a minute to stop by and read my words! That’s great advice from your father. Being ourselves can definitely be easier said than done, but you’re right – show who we are is a gift not only to ourselves, but to the other person as well. It sounds like you and your dad have a beautiful relationship 🙂 Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your heart. i hope you have a great evening! big hugs xox


  12. Good day,

    I have been following your BeautyBeyondBones blog for some time now. I am working on a new book for women and I would like to research your blogs and use a couple of your statements as quotes that can help others with their body image. Or…you could give me a quote that you know would be helpful to any woman who is struggling with being all that she can be. I am attaching what I have so far, but it is far from complete. Maybe by reading the start it will trigger a quote. 🙂

    I so appreciate your ministry to women. Sheila

    On Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 6:59 PM, BeautyBeyondBones wrote:

    > beautybeyondbones posted: “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 th” >


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