Ten Incredible Pieces of Advice My Mom and Dad Gave Me

My son, Art, gave me a journal of about 200 pages to complete. Every page asks a question about me and my life. He wants a record of my life in my own writing to give to his sons and then to their children.

Though it will take a few months, I plan to complete the entire journal by hand. I will have it scanned to give to my other sons, Sam and Jess, and my wife, Nellie Jo.

I thought I would share a page I’ve completed. It asks, “What is the best advice you got from your mom and dad?” My parents lived through the Great Depression, and my dad fought in World War II. He saw many horrors, including the deadly beaches of Normandy on D-Day. They were two of the most selfless people I ever knew. Their advice was like golden nuggets to me. Though my words are not likely precise, I can hear each of them today articulating these ten pieces of advice:

    1. Never let your circumstances determine your failures or successes. – Dad
    2. Read. There is no better exercise for the mind. – Mom
    3. Generosity should be second nature to you. – Mom
    4. Loyalty is a trait that will define your life with joy. – Dad
    5. Understand history well. It will prepare you for the future. – Mom
    6. Silence is often a good response. – Dad
    7. Love your children. They are your greatest treasures. – Mom and Dad
    8. If you are worried and troubled, take a nap. It will do you wonders. – Dad
    9. Encouragement is the greatest gift you can give your children. – Mom
    10. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. – Mom and Dad

I grieve that neither Mom nor Dad got to see their grandchildren grow up. Dad did not even live long enough to see all his grandchildren born.

But this one thing I know: I will see them again.

Posted on August 1, 2022

With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
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