My husband, daughter, brother and mom all celebrate birthdays in September .
I really enjoy buying gifts for them, and I try to spend a lot of time coming up with presents that each one of them will really love. However, this month I was really stumped. I couldn’t figure out what to get any of the adults on my list (my daughter is easy – if it is a horse or a doll she is thrilled.)
As I tried to think of ideas, I began to recall some of the best gifts that I had been given. Some material things came to mind, but (maybe because I was working with some lazy teenagers that day) I realized some of the greatest things that my parents had given me during my lifetime were character traits. A hard work ethic, generous spirit, and hope for the future are all things that are a core part of who I am. I am so thankful that they instilled these traits in me (even though I didn’t enjoy it at the time)!
Hard Work Ethic
Whether we were at a 4-H meeting, church event, or family gathering, my brothers and sisters and I were always taught to pitch in and help. We set up tables, folded chairs and cleaned up before and after dozens of events. Though we weren’t happy at the time, my brothers and sister and I always cleaned out our own calf stalls at the fair too.
Laziness is an epidemic among teenagers and I can’t help but be thankful that my parents made me work hard and look for opportunities to help others.
My mom was always willing to bake something for an event or bring a dinner to someone in need. She never counted the cost of the ingredients or time. My folks are probably some of the most generous people on the planet.
I am not nearly as generous as they are, but I always feel compelled to increase how much time and money I give to others.
Hope For the Future
My parents are big dreamers. When I was growing up my dad was always thinking up a new invention or idea to make owning a few cows and farming a reality. To this day my dad is always helping me come up with new book ideas or ways to start an at home business.
Hope can go a long way to help a person during hard times. I am so glad my parents inspired me to hope big for the future.
Though giving my kids material blessings is a great thing, I also hope to instill in them some great character qualities – gifts that will last them far longer than a new doll, horse or tractor.