The more I’m around, the more I realize how truly wonderful my parents are. I can’t imagine how different my life would be or how different I personally would be if my parents had failed to instill any of these qualities.
If you’re a parent, and you love your kids, keep it up! You’re already doing great! If you give them love, affection, food, shelter, and clothing, you’re seriously awesome!
I wanted to give you some encouragement this Christmas season: no matter what material gift you give your kids, regardless of what you can or can’t afford, every parent can give their child priceless gifts. One that doesn’t break down or fade with time. Instead these gifts increase in value as the years go by and become more precious with age.
And as a side note, if your parents aren’t in your life – for any reason – or if this is a sore subject because of past hurts or regrets, my heart goes out to you. Our Heavenly Father loves you unconditionally – more than anyone ever could – and He understands.
I consider this more of a thank you note to my parents than anything else. My childhood wasn’t perfect. Whose is? But still I’m indebted to my parents for so many reasons! Here are just a few (alphabetical because I couldn’t decide on an order of importance):
An example of work hard – hard work wins out in so many areas!
Contentment – if I never received another thing, I’d still have a full, satisfied life
Christianity – the most important gift of all: a relationship with our Creator God through the Savior, Jesus Christ
Christian education – I was given an incredible, loving environment in which to learn and develop
Consequences for actions – I don’t know if there’s a better lesson I could’ve learned. Every action – good or bad – has a consequence
Earning what you want – if it’s worth having, you’ll work to earn it
Gratitude – we were taught to be grateful for everything, whether we wanted it or not, and that lesson lives on
Honesty – I don’t remember questioning my parents’ honesty to us, their employers, or anyone for that matter.
Humility – we never lived our lives trying to make impressions or keep up with anyone, and my parents never tried to make a showcase out of us
Love – I never wondered if my parents loved me or wanted me around
Sacrifice – my parents sacrificed a great deal to keep their priorities in their correct places (family and Christian school are the two major priorities I think of)
Sense of humor – Life is hard; make it fun and funny when you can!
Support – Having three kids and working a full-time job an hour away, my parents still made every effort to come to all of our sports games and cheer us on
The importance of family memories and family time – I can’t tell you how many times a sweet memory came to mind and brought such joy on a long day
Time – Though my parents worked full time, I don’t remember ever lacking for their time or attention…and I still don’t!
I’m sure I’m missing things, but I think these are some of the “big ones.” How about you? What are some lessons you’re glad your parents taught you? What are you endeavoring to instill in your children? I hope you can take some time over the Christmas holidays to create some family memories and evaluate what priceless gifts you’re giving your children. You won’t regret it, and your children will be indebted!
Photo credit: Dreamer