Lessons From my Dad

All three of my children adore my Dad. He doesn’t even have to pursue them, because they pursue him. It doesn’t matter where he is, if they know Papa is around, they are looking for him, “helping” him, and climbing on him. My Mom is the outgoing lively one, and they love their Nana so much. But for some reason, especially for Luke, Papa is it. If Papa is around he just has eyes for him and wants to sit on him and to have his full attention. We are so blessed to get to live close to my parents so that my kids can know their Papa. This picture was taken just a few weeks ago of my Dad and my boys. They really love their Papa.

So as I am thinking about Father’s Day today, I just keep thinking of all of the things that I have learned from my Dad. Since this is a blog about budgeting, I will keep it mainly to things relating to the topic (although no promises), but I wanted to share with you some of the “nuggets” that I have grown up hearing and that have so influenced me in my life and finances.

The first thing I have learned from my Dad is the importance of hearing the Spirit. I don’t think there is a single other phrase that I can think of that I have heard more from my Dad than “hearing God.” If God hasn’t said it, my Dad will not go, but if God has said it… he will go anywhere and do anything. He has lived his entire life like this and as a result, we have gotten to walk an amazing journey and seen God do amazing things. We live in America today because God spoke to my Dad’s heart and called him to America. My Mom and Dad moved here from South Africa in 1982 with four suitcases, two small children, and a word from God. Talk about scary financial circumstances! Yet my Dad’s passion is to live his life like Jesus did as he describes in John 5:19, “the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” And just like my kids have a wonderful earthly Daddy and Papa, our heavenly Father does an even better job at taking care of His kiddos. We saw miracle after miracle in the years after we moved to the states, and in that place of simple childhood trust in my earthly Father, I learned to trust in my heavenly Father as well.

We never lacked food or shelter. And even though as an adult I can look back and realize how incredibly “poor” we were, I had no idea as a child. My parents never used the phrase, “we can’t afford it.” They would say, “Let’s ask our heavenly Father if He wants you to have this, because if He says ‘yes’ then He will provide.” So not only did they protect me from fear or worry, they taught me to hear from God and look to Him for my needs. The thing is, it wasn’t just a gimmick. It is as true in my adult life as it was in my childhood… if God says yes and is in it, then He will provide for whatever it is. But they didn’t just protect my brother and I from fear, THEY lived in faith… so fear wasn’t a part of our home life. Every bit of the peace and faith that was all over my family and my home growing up, came from my Dad’s unwavering conviction that God had called us and He would provide… and He was absolutely right.

The second thing I have learned from my Dad is a passion for truth. My Dad is one of the most upright and truthful men I know (well, with my husband of course, and my darling Noah who absolutely cannot stand injustice, misrepresentation, or anything else besides the whole truth.) This passion for truth has lead Him straight to the heart of Jesus, and when he preaches, you feel truth just radiating from him. It’s like the Bible comes alive when my Dad preaches. You see things so clearly. Whole chapters will suddenly have vibrant color in your heart and it just makes you want to read the Bible more. Anyone of you that have heard him preach knows exactly what I mean. But what I want to add is that that passion for the truth is in every area of his life. It makes him curious about his world, and always wanting to learn more. He reads all the time, he studies, he learns. At 62 years old, he is still growing and changing and just becoming more like Jesus and I think that that should just be a huge part of everyone’s retirement plan. Don’t just plan on going on vacation indefinitely at 65, plan on still learning, and growing and being creative and beginning things in the world, rather than just “closing up shop.”

A passion for truth is a beautiful thing in my Dad’s life, but it is also beautiful in anyone’s life, because it means that you are after the heart of God no matter what your circumstances. What it has challenge me to do is to always keep learning and growing. If I ever reach the place where I think I know it all, then please Jesus take me to heaven and get my head straight. 🙂 We will never know it all until we see God face to face, so in the meantime, pursue truth and you will be a much richer, fuller, and happier person and everyone will want to be around you because you are always taking the opportunity to learn from whoever you are around.

So as I am writing this, I keep feeling that I am barely scratching the surface here. There is so much more to say that I have learned from my Dad about grace, and forgiveness, and the goodness of God. Maybe I should write a book instead of a blog! However, for today, I just want to say thank you Dad. Thank you for your faith which has moved mountains, your total commitment to hearing the voice of God, and thank you for your passion for truth. I am so glad that my kids have a Papa like you and I am so glad for the heritage that you have given me. This blog would not be here without you… although, neither would I, and on both counts thank you. I am so grateful to be your daughter. Your life has touched so many people, and even on your very rare Sunday off, your life is still preaching. So here is a great big hug from Luke and all of us, and have a really happy Father’s Day, Dad. You definitely deserve it.