I have a perfectly reasonable explanation for why nothing has been posted for a few weeks.
I’ve been busy.
No, but seriously. Today I actually want to share with you something that I wrote for my parents this past month. Their 20th wedding anniversary was at the beginning of this month and my family and I put together a big party for them… the best part? It was a complete surprise!
Well, let me back up a second. My dad knew we were putting together something. But the only thing he knew what when and where. We kept him in the dark about everything else! Except for the almost disastrous slip ups I made that were so close to giving everything away. Apparently I am a bad liar. But that’s a good thing, isn’t it??
The night was PERFECT and I can’t thank everyone enough for all the help they were!
Among the things we did that night, I read aloud a letter that I had written to my parents. I wanted to go ahead a share it on my blog so I can let everyone know just how much I love them!
Dear Mom and Dad,
Over the past week while I was working on this party, I wanted to say something to you guys – so I started thinking about the things I have learned from you both. Here is what I came up with.
The very first thing that came to mind is this:
I have learned that family always comes first. This isn’t just something that you have said to us children growing up, but you have led us by example. You have always made family nights important, never put friends or social gatherings before us, and taught us what a family should look like.
I learned that hospitality is important. I have so many memories involing you guys welcoming people into our home. Whether that meant opening up our home for an evening, a weekend, or even the majority of a deployment. Loving on people and sharing the comfort of home has always been a passion of yours.
I learned the skill of getting back up and dusting off. Both of you are caring, but you never allow us kids to feel bad for ourselves. As I grow up I a trying to cultivate this life skill and I thank you for that.
I have learned that joy is not the same as happiness. While I have heard many parents say, “I just want my kids to be happy,” I don’t ever remember you guys saying that. Instead, you have instilled in me how necessary it is to know the difference between simply being happy and finding pure joy in Jesus Christ.
I have learned that there needs to be a healthy balance between generosity and frugality. Dad has always been the spender and Mom the saver. Seeing you guys learn to work together has been really beneficial to me.
I have learned to always be eager to help others. Whether that meant making a meal, letting a family stay in our home, helping them move… and I could go on. JOY truly does mean “Jesus Others You” and you have taught me well to love others.
I have learned that siblings are built-in friends. Even though the YouTube video quote, “siblings are my bestest friends” was made as a joke, there is some truth in it. I am learning every day how to be a friend, not just a sister, to my siblings. That is all because from the time we were little I remember you telling us that we should be each others friends.
I have learned to work well with other people. You both took the time to teach me the quality of both hard work and working with other people. Because if it, wherever we kids go people are always amazed at how well and how quickly we get things done.
The single most important thing that I have learned from you is that only two things in this world will last: God’s Word and human souls. As I grow up, I have come to realize just how rare it is to have parents who daily give it all they have to raise their children up to be passionate about their Savior, Jesus Christ, and who love to serve others. Thank you. I hope I can do the same for my family some day.
I have learned that you never, ever, ever talk bad about your family to others. I remember the first time I came across the word “gossip”. When I asked Mom what it meant, the first thing she said was, “we never do it.” Ever since then, I have made it a point to remember that. Mom, you have always set a good example of this by never giving in to the temptation of gossiping about family, even when it would have been so easy to do. I have admired that about you all my life.
I have learned that support is necessary. You have taught me to always lean on and rely on God. But that we also need to make sure we are there for each other. Especially during hard decision-making times, deployments, etc. Knowing that you have your family’s support is invaluable.
I have learned that there is always something to do. There have been many times a child would say (including myself) “I’m bored”. Mom’s answer was always the same, “then go clean something.” We were never allowed to be bored. There was always a book to read, a sibling to play with, a room to clean, a game to play, SOMETHING! This has served me well… I haven’t been bored in YEARS!
Growing up I have had the privilege of watching you two as a married couple who truly love each other. I have learned how a man should treat a woman; by loving her, protecting her, only having eyes for her, and putting her needs before his own. I have also learned how I should treat a man; by serving him, caring for him, and building him up both in his presence and to others when he isn’t around.
There are also a few things that I am still working on learning from you guys.
Turning off lights when I leave the room,
Putting the parking brake on,
Putting the keys away properly so other people can find them,
And getting home when I say I will instead of fifteen minutes later.