Archives For parenting

Focus

February 2, 2015 — 3 Comments

I have a hard time with focus sometimes. I’m sure I’m not the only one. We’ve all got a thousand things asking for our attention. I’ve recently made some strides toward some major goals that I have and I thought I’d share real quickly how I made that happen, in case it’s helpful for you.

Here it is:

I said NO to those thousand things. And then I said YES to these two:

  • I wrote the email and pushed “Send.”
  • I took my daughters to lunch and talked about their dreams, their friends and their future spouses.

See, one of my goals has been to gather a group of ministry friends together. The other goal has been to intentionally date my daughters and have meaningful moments with them. But all around those goals were other things screaming at me: plumbing issues, roof issues, trips, sermons to write, books to read, bills to pay, emails to answer, dishes to wash, bags to pack, a desk to clean, conversations to have, FB messages pinging, Twitter feed filling up, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…. You get the point.

Focus it seems, is about saying NO. And then saying YES.

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Single Parent

June 24, 2014 — Leave a comment

I’m a single parent – for about eight days anyway. My wife is out of the country and I have no way to even communicate with her, so at least for now – it feels like I’m on my own.

But that’s where the comparison stops really. I don’t want to compare my week solo with what thousands of moms and dads do every single day – parent on their own. It’s only day four and I’m losing the battle. So far I’ve made my kids cry with a frustrated moment of voice raising, I’ve sat them in front of TV / iPad / video games way more than I’d like to admit, and I put the car in drive with the door open and had my youngest fall out. (He’s fine by the way.)

Parenting is one of the toughest jobs in the world. And that’s just the part where we try and keep them alive and dressed and half way clean. But for many single parents, that’s the easy part. There’s also working and trying to earn enough on one lousy salary to keep a roof over their heads and food in the fridge. Add to that the important task of teaching kids about life, how to be a good man or woman, helping them succeed in school and trying to keep up with what their friends are doing. Sometimes those same parents are trying to undo what their kids are learning from a less responsible parent.

Single mom and single dad – you are the most amazing people on the planet. What you are doing is so hard. But please don’t quit. Don’t give up. We see you. All your hard work, all your sacrifice, all your frustration. We see it. You are doing an amazing job. You really are.

In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the 2014 NBA MVP Kevin Durant talking about the influence of his single mom on his life. (Jump ahead to about 2:54 if you’ve only got a couple of minutes.)

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Lucy

December 3, 2013 — 6 Comments

Tiffany Walder_0492My daughter and I have been reading through the Chronicles of Narnia together. We’re currently about two thirds of the way through “Prince Caspian.” She is captivated by the story, and truthfully, she doesn’t have to beg very hard for me to read more than we had planned. Of all the characters in the Chronicles, she loves Lucy the most.

**Spoiler Alert** ¬†Tonight we read part of the story where Lucy sees Aslan (the Lion, who is also the Christ-like figure of the story) and finds herself in a place where she’s the only one of her company that can see him. He speaks to her and tells her she must follow him even if the others won’t. Lucy goes back to her brothers and sister and tries to convince them that they should follow her. She’s the youngest, and it’s the middle of the night – so as you can imagine it’s a hard sell. But because Lucy was once the first to lead the kids into Narnia, they eventually go along with her, but mostly because they don’t want her to be alone. Lucy leads the crew through the night down a chasm, across a river, and back up the other side – all while keeping her eyes fixed on Aslan. Eventually all the others start to see him too and are convinced that Lucy has been right all along.

After reading this passage my daughter begged once again to read more. Reluctantly it was time for bed, but she excitedly told me “I wish I was in that situation some time, following Aslan through the dark forest.”

And that’s where I start leaking fluid from my eyes.

The fact is, there will be a day, probably many, when my little girl will have to walk through a treacherous season in her life, leading the way even when others don’t believe her or think she has any idea what she’s doing. And all she will be able to do is fix her eyes on Aslan, follow his lead, and start walking.

I think as parents our tendency is to want to insulate our kids and teach them to be safe at all costs. But following Aslan isn’t always safe. So I’d rather model for her what it means to walk after him, to trust him, and to courageously follow him. It doesn’t mean I won’t freak out someday when she tells me she wants to move across the country and plant a church. But I hope I will have the wisdom to get out of the way and cheer her on.

(As I was writing this, it all sounded somewhat familiar to me – sort of a “did I write this before?” type thought. Turns out, I kind of did. Back on my old blog here¬†almost 5 years ago now.)

 

*Thanks to Tiffany Walder for the great photo from our trip to South Africa in 2007.

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Rescue

August 21, 2012 — 2 Comments

IMG_2017I have a two year old named Isaiah. He’s going through this phase right now where he gets an idea in his head about how he wants something to happen and unless it goes down exactly like that – he gets upset. So he doesn’t just want his cup, he wants his mom to get his cup. If I get it, that won’t do. He will actually put it back how it was just to have mom get it for him.

Yesterday he was trying to climb out of his chair and sort of got himself in a precarious stuck position. A little too far from the ground, and yet too far down to try and get back in the seat. So he cried out “help!” I got up and lifted him onto the ground. But apparently he wanted mom to rescue him. So after his normal “Nooooo daddy” he climbed back up onto his seat and proceeded to intentionally put himself into the same precarious position as before – this time awaiting the rescue of his mom.

And it immediately struck me – sometimes the rescue we want doesn’t come in the form we expect.

Continue Reading…

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