To celebrate Father's Day this past Sunday, I spent almost two hours on the phone with some of my favorite men–my father, brother, brother-in-law, and grandfather–celebrating what they mean to me. My grandfather celebrated his 58th Father's Day while my younger brother was celebrating his very first! Talk about legacy! This past weekend made us extra grateful to the special men in our lives, and we wanted to share some of the things we've learned from them over the years!
Growing up, my dad used to tell me and my sister, "Yangs never give up." It was frequently used whenever we got bored of mowing the lawn, fixing a broken toy, or learning a new skill, so we often just rolled our eyes and finished our task out of obligation. Today, though, that phrase carries the weight of our family's history of working hard even when the odds feel against you, and taking big risks knowing that you can always pick yourself up and start over again. -Nicole
My Dad taught me by example at a young age to be kind and offer help to others no matter their background. As a child, my dad owned an auto shop in a not so great part of town. Homeless people from the shelter down the street would pass by occasionally and ask for help. He would offer them jobs sweeping or little odd jobs here and there. He employed others who were recovering from substance abuse and the cast of characters who gathered around the Thanksgiving table was different every year. He made sure that everyone was welcome and felt like family. I'm grateful to him for the opportunity I had growing up and being exposed to all different backgrounds and seeing the small ways you can care for people who are in hard times. -Amber
Photo by Gina Zeidler
A lesson my dad taught me is to go after my creative pursuits just for the joy of it--even if they led me to not make a huge income. He just wanted me to use what the Lord had given me, and to my dad, music and art were just as valuable contributions to the world as medicine (his field). I know that's a rare encouragement from a parent, and I don't take it for granted. He's pretty special. Thanks, Dad! -Lara
My Dad is famous for having a number of phrases that were on repeat throughout my childhood, and they still regularly ring in my head even though we now live hundreds of miles apart. One that was a particularly hard lesson to learn was, "if you're going to give, give graciously." That meant that it wasn't enough to simply shove a coloring book across the table at my sister if I begrudgingly agreed to relinquish it; no, I was supposed to politely place it in her hands, ideally with a smile. My Dad taught (and still teaches) me so much about going the extra mile AND doing it with your heart in the right place, and for that, I'm grateful. -Emily
My dad is a man of few words, and he always chooses his words wisely. Growing up with three sisters, a chatty wife, and two daughters, he learned quite early on to choose his words wisely, in any situation. The thoughtfulness with which he speaks pushes me to fight my urge to ramble and focus on using my words purposefully. -Jess
I'd love to hear from you below! What have you learned from a father figure in your life! After you leave a comment, download our notecard and write a note of gratitude for him.
We know that while Father's Day is a joyful celebration for some, it is also a time of suffering for others. For those struggling with absent fathers, longing to be a father, those struggling with a family's past. We want you to know that wherever you are, we see you, and we hope this encouraged you to celebrate the men–father or not–in your life who have loved and encouraged you.