Over the years my daddy has said MANY things that have had lasting impact (i.e. "I'll wash your mouth out with soap."). Just this week he did it again and it made me think over some of the top words of wisdom he has given me that have shaped my life. I'm gonna share them with you! (I will use quotes to communicate what he said, but know that there is potential for paraphrase since I am closing in on the hill's top age wise.)
1. "If it ever comes down to choosing between you and your mother, I will choose your mother every time and you need to remember that." Daddy said this right after I called my mom a witch under my breath during Jr. High. He heard me and I had the ridiculous notion that he would sympathize with me in light of the injustice I had just been dealt by the woman who just "didn't understand me". (whatever) There was correction and discipline and instruction. Some people think that what my dad said is a bit strong but I have to tell you, there was so much security from understanding this sentence. My daddy loved my mommy. My daddy was committed to her first and foremost. Wow. You know what that statement did? It influenced me so strongly that it affected the choice of man I married. My Honey loves me first too.
2. "What God shows you in the light He doesn't change in the dark." Ever make a decision only to question it when the first complication comes along? Oh, don't you tell me that, of COURSE you have. Well, when things grow cloudy it isn't God who changed! This truth has helped keep me on course more times than I can tell you.
3. "Sometimes God gives you lots of good choices and just says do the one you want." I love that. How freeing. When I was trying to decide "what to do next" in 1998 I was faced with three super great options. I had been invited to go work with college students in Japan, teach English in China, or work with a team on a college campus in Australia. Wow! They all had their high points but I had wanted to live in Australia ever since I read "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day". My dad gave me this piece of advice and it has been so freeing in so many decisions. It's easy to get bogged down in "What is God's will?" but the truth is He is faithful and HE will do it. It's not like He is out to make us miserable. It could just be that He wants us to do what we are eager to do. Go figure.
4. "You don't have to verbalize every feeling you have to a human! He knows what you are feeling and wants you to talk to Him about it. If you feel like you have to say it out loud go out to a field and yell it to Him." Yea, I haven't really embodied this one yet, but I am certain it would change my life if I did. . .
5. "You are either guilty or you aren't. If you are guilty then repent and be done with it. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. If you aren't guilty, then it is the Evil One speaking lies. Choose truth and move on." He just said this one this week. Monday, as a matter of fact. I was cleaning out some Christmas decorations and shared that I felt guilty for getting rid of them. Moments later I was telling him about a book I had started reading that talked about options for helping a child with Autism. I told him that I struggled with feeling guilty that I hadn't done these things for Bubba. I'm a bottom line kinda gal and my dad's response was a bottom line response, "You are either guilty or you aren't." Truth is I didn't know about the options in that book until Monday. I am not guilty of negligence or sin - it was the Evil One whispering lies. Wow. Freedom.
I am so thankful for the Godly heritage I have. So thankful for the Truth I have been taught since I was a wee babe. So thankful for a daddy who has been and is willing to speak truth.