You are my sunshine.

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away”

My daddy woke us up almost every morning with this song. We used to pretend we hated it and that he was sooo lame but the truth is that it is one of my favorite memories! My dad was always using songs or movies or cliches to teach us about life. I was watching Girl Meets World and the daughter on the show was telling Cory that he didn’t have anything else to teach her and I know I’ve said that 100 times but she learned at the end of the episode that daddy’s never stop teaching you.

1. “Can’t never could do nothing.” I heard this a million times growing up. “Whether you think you can or think that you can’t, you’re right.” Can’t was not an option in his house. You sit there until you figure it out. I am so beyond thankful for this lesson. My daddy never let me give up on anything, from weeding that awful flower bed to now, in college.

2. “Do you need the Rocky speech?” My daddy knew that life was hard sometimes but that was not the important part. The important thing was that you picked yourself up, dusted off, and went again. My daddy has a big heart and no matter how many times you tell him no or he’s not good enough or he can’t do that, he will prove you wrong. “You can do anything you put your mind to.”

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

3. My daddy taught me to have a servant’s heart. To give more than I take. That people matter and we have to take care of each other. My daddy is one of the most giving people I know. Whether it is some random guy at a gas station or the walmart parking lot or starting an outreach project at church, we have to give back. He taught us early on about doing the right thing and showing God’s love to everyone we meet. He likes to tell stories of how I used to run around with my bible as a kid but does he realize who taught me to do that?

4. It wasn’t always rainbows and sunshine with my daddy and me. Partly because we are so alike. We are both so passionate and opinionated and our way is the only right way. We saw things differently from time to time, because he was an adult I thought he meant he was the only one right but then he would say things like “Even a child is known by his doings.” That man confused me sooo much as a kid but I get it now. It wasn’t necessarily that I had a difference in opinion or thought. (Even though sometimes it was.) It was my attitude when I said it. I didn’t show respect. He had more years of experience and life knowledge and he knew it. I was my daddy’s strong willed girl though. So, when daddy said something I didn’t agree with I had to tell him. I felt like I had to teach him as much as he was teaching me. (Even though that drove him crazy sometimes.)

5. The most important lesson my daddy taught me that I am a princess, his princess and God’s. He taught me that I should be treated with respect and that I should be valued. He taught me how to wait and have patience. He taught me that I am worth waiting for.

“Hide your love away
Wait for me, wait for me
I will do the same
Wait for me, wait for me”

So, I pray that my daddy knows how much I love him. I pray that he knows he is useful and valued. I pray that he knows that I am still learning. I pray that I continue to see all the good in me that my daddy gave me. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Ain’t no mountain high enough.

Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

My mama called me today because she was so excited. She and her friend  from church started to memorize a bible verse every week and this was the first one. I have not memorized a verse like that since I was a kid and it was the coolest thing to do. Our Sunday school teacher would give us a sticker if we could say the verse to her each Sunday. (I liked stickers!!) I wish we all still had the hearts of children and couldn’t wait to learn more. I was so proud of my mama that it got me thinking about other things she taught me.

1. My mama taught me to take the high road. I had a little trouble learning this. It is so easy to be mean back when people are mean to you especially, in middle school when mean is all you know. It wasn’t until much later that I actually got the message. My mama is full of grace and she tried to teach me that people make mistakes and sometimes you just have to forgive them even when they do not ask for it. If you don’t, you let hate into your heart. You forgive them for their benefit and yours.

2. My mama taught me to think positively. When I was growing up, I discovered the word “whatever.” So she decided to make me say the “whatever verse” every time I said it.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

I must have repeated this verse to her a million times. I could not forget it now if my life depended on it. I thought she was just trying to teach me not to say the word whatever. I had no idea that she was teaching me so much more than that. She was teaching me to take something negative and make it positive. She was teaching me to change my attitude and my thoughts. “Change your thoughts. Change your life.” I didn’t realize my mama was giving me the power to change my perspective and my outlook on life.

3. My mama taught me that girls are just as good as boys. She had to teach my daddy a couple of times too. My daddy told me and my sister that we couldn’t wear camo pants one time because boys wear camo. So what does my mama do? She took us to the store that day and we came home with pink sparkly camo pants! My daddy laughed so hard I think he cried. This was during the Mean Girls era and it was cool to wear camo pants. We wore those pants everywhere.

4. My mama taught me that no one will love me as much as she does. I watched Step Mom as a kid and feel in love with the song “Ain’t no mountain high enough.” The mom gets a hair brush and starts singing this song to her kids and they are just dancing and it is like the most adorable thing ever. The movie is about these two women raising these kids after the dad decides to remarry and I realized the other day that I have both mothers. I have the eccentric, fun, young, and creative mama but I also have the wise, strong, and perfect mama.

“There ain’t no mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough
Ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you”

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that my mama knows she is loved and that I learned a few things from her. I pray that she knows just how strong she is. I pray that I grow up to be half the woman she is. I pray that I take Psalm 27:1 and apply it to my life. I pray that she continues to share her light with the world. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.