linen and salt gabbi byrd tarpley daddy lessons lemonade

I lost my Daddy a little over 4 years ago. It hasn’t been until now really that I’m able to view the situation with the clarity that it warrants. I was blessed with having my Daddy in my life for 25 years. When he passed I felt like that time was way too short…I still do. However, I’ve come to realize that he taught me everything he needed to during those 25 years whether it was directly through his words or indirectly from me being a to witness the way he lived his life. Here are just a few of the lessons he taught me on Life, Love, and Faith.

linen and salt daddy lessons the lemonade series


“He always played it cool, but Daddy was no fool…”

1.“You reap what you sow”-Eddie Moses

This lesson is one of the most important that my Dad ever taught me. It’s a simple concept that I see people ignore more and more as I get gotten older. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes at some point. But when someone is a consistently crappy person, they’re sowing seeds that will result in crappy circumstances.

My Dad got the phrase “you reap what you sow” from the Bible, but growing up I thought he had made it up on his own.

Bottom line: Be and do good-on purpose.

2. “You’re a Tarpley, you don’t mind working.”-Eddie Moses

My Dad made that statement to me one day when I started to complain about having to go into my old job when I was feeling overworked. I was immediately shamed.

My Daddy was a worker. I remember when I was younger him waking up at 5am and working until 3pm as an electrician. After that job he would come home, change clothes and go run his landscaping business until he came home around 8pm in the evening. He did this every weekday and I NEVER saw him complain.

On top of that, I don’t remember him EVER taking a sick day off from work. Having been raised by a man with such an awesome work ethic, I got to witness first hand how God will bless a person when He knows He can trust their character. It’s also the reason I get consumed with guilt and will rarely call out from work even when I’m sick.

Bottom line: Don’t be lazy. Sleeping gets you nowhere in life.

linen and salt daddy lessons the lemonade series


“My Daddy warned me about men like you…”

1. “If a man isn’t calling you, he’s calling someone else.”

What my Dad was trying to tell me was that a man treats you based on how valuable he sees you. Once upon a time I dated this boy in high school who was not good for me. Sometimes he would ghost me and I would not want to leave my house until he called (don’t judge 16-year-old Gabbi). One day my Dad told me that my “sometimes boyfriend” just wasn’t that into me. He didn’t use those words exactly but the point was clear.

He also told me not to settle for any man who could ignore me because if I wasn’t his priority then someone else was or he just didn’t see me as being worth his time. It was a harsh truth to hear, but it saved me from wasting anymore time on guys who weren’t worth it.

Bottom Line: “Know yourself, know your worth.” Act accordingly.

2. “Running around isn’t worth the hassle.”

Not much to say here other than he taught me that it’s more rewarding to perfect the relationship that I was in to than to look for temporary solutions elsewhere.

Bottom Line: The grass is greener where you water it.

3. Never Settle for Anyone Who Treats You Like Anything Less Than A Queen

So this last lesson on love is one that I learned through my Daddy’s actions more than his words. He was a true gentleman. He believed in always opening doors, taking the trash out, providing for his family, continuing to date his spouse after marriage, and protecting the ones he loved.

I started to think that my Dad was an alien after I entered the world of dating for myself. I continued to feel like that until my husband entered the picture. Although our relationship is not perfect and he and I had our “growing pains” in the beginning, he’s the best thing ever in my eyes.

God blessed me with what I prayed for which was someone like my Daddy to marry 🙂 My husband had and continues to have the utmost respect for my Dad. Sometimes when I thank him for being such an amazing husband and support system, he will say that he just wants to make my Dad proud.

Bottom Line: There are good ones still out there. (Don’t look at mine though because I’m not afraid for my life to imitate art. See tracks 1-4 of Lemonade.)

linen and salt daddy lessons the lemonade series


“he swore it on the Bible…”


Anyone who knew Daddy could not describe him without mentioning his faith in God which was the guiding force in his life. Any advice he ever gave me centered on God. So when I would call my Dad with any problem that was out of his control he would tell me to pray.

He would remind me that no matter how desolate a situation may seem that I would be okay because God was the one who held my life in His hands and that no matter what, His will would be done. Those talks with my Dad were the real beginning of me understanding what it meant to have faith. It’s been years and I can honestly say that God has NEVER let me down or left me without a solution to any problem. God always ends in “All is well.”

Bottom Line: Wake. Pray. Slay.

2. I can’t really summarize into a specific bullet point because I saw God in everything my Dad did. When someone would do him wrong or say mean things to him, he’d turn the other cheek. He never passed up an opportunity to give. He loved a peaceful household. He found joy in the simple things in life. He was an amazing father. He did right by people.

My Dad made sure to instill the importance of faith and understanding of who God was in my life up until the last words I ever shared with him. I am grateful that God thought I was special enough to make me the daughter of such an amazing man.

Bottom Line: My Dad was awesome.

linen and salt daddy lessons the lemonade series

(I want to say a huge thank you to one of my best friends, Heather, for making this picture frame for me as a bridal shower gift! I ended up displaying it at the wedding as well in memory of my Dad.)

Until next time, Lord’s Willing…(another one of my Daddy’s regularly used sayings),

gabbi byrd linen and salt

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1 comment on “Daddy Lessons: The Most Important Things I Learned From The Man Who Molded Me”

  1. Gabbi, your dad was awesome and his legacy lives on through you. Thank you for sharing your dad’s life lessons. I’m sure his words will help so many who didn’t have such a wonderful role model in their lives. It’s also a great reminder for those of us who did but still miss our dad’s too.

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