And The Things That I Learned From My Parents
So, I was sitting here thinking this morning. As I’m fixin to enter a new year (age wise) of my life I figured it would be a good time to ponder things I’m grateful for in my life. So I started at the beginning of my life. I was thinking of my parents. I’m grateful for my parents who had me, raised me,loved me, provided for me and taught and showed me many things I’m thankful for today.
There is a saying out there, or many but I can’t recollect the one I’m thinking about at the moment. My paraphrase is You’re always speaking even when your mouth isn’t moving. Most of these things that I will share,that I learned from my parents, were things I learned while they were just living their life. We were not big on having long talks about things in my family. These were just inward traits that they modeled. Probably without even thinking of it.
My blog last night was on faithfulness. I started thinking about that in regards to my parents. They were good examples of faithfulness. Hard working, both of them. My Dad faithfully went to his blue collar job everyday to provide for his family. I never heard him complain. He had health issues at times but still he went to work. Standing on his feet working in a factory, even when he had leg ulcers and was in constant pain. Faithful.
My mom was the same way. Faithfully taking care of her family. Both of them working hard to be sure we never missed a meal. We had five kids in my family and I marvel sometimes at how they were able to do that. We may not have been wealthy or had everything we wanted but we always had a home and never went hungry. After my Dad died my mom worked two jobs for many years to be sure she wasn’t a burden to her family.
They taught me hospitality. Our door was always open. People felt free to drop by if they needed to talk or just to say hi. We always had people at our home for holidays. With five kids in the family we didn’t get invited out to often. We always had an assortment of relatives around the holiday table or friends or sometimes those with no place else to go on that day.
They taught me about respect. Respect for my parents, my elders, those in authority. They were of the generation that worked for whatever they got. They did not want or expect the government (which really means your fellow citizens) to take care of them. If they couldn’t afford it they didn’t buy it. I remember one time my Dad was out of work for an extended period I believe for a back issue. We kids had to go on the free lunch program at school. I’m sure that was hard for my parents. You can bet as soon as he went back to work we went back to bringing our lunch.
I could go on with more. Honesty, integrity. Standing up for those you love. But, lets bring it back to the present. We can ask ourselves the question someday when our kids; either young or already grown think about us, what will they remember that they learned from us? Maybe you don’t have children but you work with kids. Or you have nieces or nephews or children of friends. One thing you can know about kids. They are observant. Always watching what’s going on even when you think they aren’t.
What examples are we giving them to remember? Let’s face it we all make mistakes and none of us is perfect. Do we strive to model good behavior for our children? Are we giving them more good examples than bad? Will they remember that they saw you treating others the way that you wanted to be treated? Or will they think that what they want or what they think is more important than others? Will they remember if you taught them to trust God with their lives? Did they see you trusting God and walking by faith? Or did they learn not to trust anyone?
Some of you may be thinking my kids are all grown its too late for me. It’s true you can’t go back and undo the past and undo any mistakes you might have made. But you can move forward. It is never too late to change. Let your family see who you are now. Ask forgiveness for things you did or didn’t do. When the Lord shows you an area you need to change don’t be afraid to change and to share what you learn with your kids. Grown or not. Young children need to know their parents aren’t perfect.
I wonder if my parents were alive and I was able to ask them what they thought they had passed on to me; if they would even know the tremendous amount of good they passed along. In the end isn’t that what is most important? Be thankful for the good, forgive what needs to be forgiven and walk on.