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Five Lessons my Parents Taught Me


I have talked a lot about my father in law since I started this blog a year ago.  He made a huge impact on my life and I needed to write in order to navigate the waters of grief as he was dying.

Today,  I want to talk about two others that who have made the most impact on my life - my mom and dad.  I have been one of those fortunate and very blessed people who had amazing parents and then married into great in laws.

As I contemplated what I wanted to write today I decided to talk about five marks they indelibly left on my life as they raised me.  There are so many more that I am sure I will talk about later but for today,  I will talk about these.

1.  Never leave your passion.   My parents sacrificed a lot for their passions.  They could have had more money.  They could have led a more comfortable, a safer life.  But they never settled for less than the real genuine call that they had on their life.  They never compromised.  They have always been as solid as rocks sitting on the mountainside.

2.  Never stop giving.   My mom and dad are the biggest givers that you will ever meet.  No matter how much money that we had or didn't have as I was growing up,  my dad NEVER missed giving to the church his tithe.  At one time in my life,  that bugged me.  But now, as I look back on it,  he taught me a principle that is carved in my soul - you can't outgive God.  Always give to God because he will take care of you, he will see that you are provided for and he will see you through.  It isn't only God that Mom and Dad gave to.   They were always quick to give of their time, their food and their money to family and those they loved.

3.  Never stop praying, believing, hoping.   I owe my passion to my parents.  No matter what our lives were going through, no matter where our journey led, they have never given up on the values and beliefs that they hold so dear.  If they believed it, they were propelled by an incredible passion to go forward against all odds.

4.  Never give up on each other.   My mom and dad have had their share of disagreements and arguments.  Sixty years together shows a tenacity, a fierce loyalty even in the face of shaky ground all around.  Even as all their peers were separating, they found ways to work it out.  Sixty years together is something to truly celebrate!

5.  Never, never give up.    I think my dad’s favourite phrase in Japan was “gambate” (I am sure that I am spelling that wrong).  What it means is “keep on keeping on.”  There were literally seasons in their lives when they planted one foot in front of the other day after day, week after week, because that was the only option.  Keep going, keep believing, keep making the right choices, keep walking - one foot and then the next.  I applaud solidity like that.  It has taught me to do the same in my life when everything in me wanted to give up and walk away.

I am forever grateful to my parents for their love, for believing in me, for investing in me and for walking with me.  I know that this is a day late but  Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!

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