Statements to change your kids’ lives…..

While traveling last week, I heard a cool bit on KLOVE as I was getting ready for the day. It was three things you can say to your kids.

They were:

  • Do you need a hug?
  • Do you want to talk about it?
  • I’m so happy to see you.

As soon as I returned home, I started with the last one.

See link here — http://www.klove.com/blog/post/2013/02/07/3-Statements-to-Change-Your-Kids-Lives.aspx

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Poof…..

This morning I woke up and as I focused into consciousness and began my day, I was overwhelmed by a question I had never asked myself — when was the last time I held my kids?

Kind of a weird thing to think about at 5:30am in the morning. Have you ever asked yourself that question? If you have little kids, it might not seem like such a big deal question. But if your kids are grown or growing up and are beyond the holding stage, it might be interesting to think back on it.

A sense of melancholy ebbed into my soul as I realized that my time of holding my kids had past — they are ages 19, 14 and 12 — however, I did not cement into my mind the last time of holding each one of them. Those last holding moments now evaporated, I was a bit sad knowing that all my kid holding opportunities were gone, hopefully either sealed in my memory or captured in precious pictures. But, as with many of you, none of us knew exactly when the last time we held our kids would be. I can only be thankful that the ceasing of kid holding was a result of them growing up into adolescents, teenagers and young adults — not the ripping of a child through death (which is my ONLY fear in this world).

The thought was interesting because it started me down memory lane back to when the kids were holdable — either as babies, infants, toddlers or energetic children. I remember times of immense comfort knowing that someone so innocent of the world relied upon me for everything. The unconditional love an infant or young child gives you can make anything at work, on the news, or troubling your mind instantly disappear. The times I was accosted upon returning home from work after a long day as if I was king — although I don’t think kings get tackled with little arms of love…..and it is their loss. And the precious times of quiet sleep as my flesh and blood rested in my arms peacefully.

As a young dad, there were times when I made the concerted effort to be the last to let go, either when hugging or when holding. The kids didn’t know it but I would deliberately not let go if hugging or not move when holding. Only when THEY were done did I let go or move. That led to blessings of multi-minute hugs and holds measured in quarter, half and full hours instead of mere minutes. And although I did that consciously to ensure I received my share of dad-love, I now look back and wish I had done it more. You always want more of what you can’t have.

So for those of you who have babies, infants, toddlers, or young children, I implore, beg, and plead that you hold and hug your offspring every chance you get. I promise you that it will not be time or effort wasted. I also promise you, as someone farther down the same path you are on, that someday there will come a time where you will have your last child hold…..and POOF, it will be gone.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Postscript — I went up to my son’s room tonight with the special intent of holding him. He is 12 so it isn’t a normal thing. However, he is sick right now so he welcomed my intrusion. But…..it is not the same. While I enjoyed it, the thought of his little body (or either of my daughter’s) in my lap is a comfort I can only enjoy by memory.

Musical talent…..

My niece is learning how to play the trumpet. This week my sister lamented on Facebook that there should be a special place in heaven for parents of trumpet players. And while I can sympathize with her for about 3 1/2 seconds, my first thoughts were “Trumpet?? Trumpet??” (similar to the end of the commercial video below — “Playoffs?? Playoffs??”)

My response to her was:

“Trumpets?? Trumpets?? Is that all you got? Your nephew has been playing the drums for over a year and it’s just now getting to be tolerable. And I’m just thankful he didn’t choose the bagpipes.

Things can ALWAYS be worse.”

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

A niece quote…..

I am visiting family on San Juan Island and was able to spend the day with my folks, sister, bro-in-law and two nieces. We hit the local farmer’s market, grilled sausages for lunch, went on a hike to Young Hill (967 ft above sea level), picked blackberries for a dessert pie, watched deer 25 ft away eat apples from their trees, and thoroughly enjoyed a delicious dinner and dessert with great family company.

While on our hike, we spent time at the top soaking in the magnificent view. You could see Victoria, Canada, all the many islands in the area, container ships in the main shipping channel, and boats in the local bays. It was a gorgeous day with blue skies, puffy white clouds and miles of visibility. So when a tourist couple arrived at the top and began to take each other’s picture, I walked over and offered my Ansel Adams services to take their picture together. And this is where my niece made a quote that cracked me up.

Upon seeing my action, my sister said to my niece, “Isn’t Uncle Dan so nice”.

My niece, without hesitation, replied, “I bet you didn’t think that when you were little”.

She so nailed it!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Spectacular birthday cake…..

As I blogged before, my son’s 12th birthday occurred during Scout camp last week. Of course, he has been milking it and we are on our last “event” for his birthday. He is right now in the pool with 5 of his Scout and neighbor friends, will have cake when they get out, and will be having a slumber party in the basement which most likely means lots of video games, stupid boy fun and no sleep.

Below is a picture of the custom cake my baking daughter made him. It is truly out of control and she did a great job adapting his “dream” cake into reality.

  • bottom layer of chocolate chip cookie
  • white frosting
  • middle layer of chocolate cake
  • white frosting
  • top layer of white cake
  • chocolate frosting
  • topped with two Reese’s peanut butter cups
  • ringed with Kit Kats

While it looks great, I’m not going near it.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Happy birthday, D!…..

Today is my son’s birthday. Unfortunately, he is at Boy Scout camp. It is his first time away from me or my wife for that long and it is his first time away from us on his birthday. Last year he celebrated his birthday at camp as well, but I was there with him. However, now that he is a Boy Scout he needs to begin to spread his wings away from me and my wife and this is one of those first steps. It was a hard decision, especially seeing as he didn’t want to go to camp at all. However, as his dad I made a “tough love” decision to make him go. It was something he needed to do, not only for his Scouting efforts, but for his young man growth path that he needs to be on.

D, I love you more than you will ever know. My job as your father is to love you for your own good, not mine. If I do my job correctly you will not need me. You will not look back and you will have the skills to persevere, flourish and prosper for all the days you live. You will serve our God and you will be bold in the way you live your life.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” — Genesis 2:24

I will pour into you the skills my dad shared with me. I will impart the painful lessons I learned minus the pain. I will continue the faith legacy that was begun many generations ago passing on the faith of Christ and teaching the ways of our Lord God.

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” — Deuteronomy 11:18-19

And while I love you dearly and would do anything to protect you, the world is not like that. Therefore, I need you to grow to be able to protect yourself. I need you to be tough because quite often others aren’t and you might be called to protect the weak…. or to fight them (remember, bullies are weak, not strong).

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” — Edmund Burke

I need you to grow into a man of character whose heart is after God’s, whose commitment is to your wife and whose sacrifice is to your family. It will not be easy and you will quite likely be assailed by society, culture and others. However, do not let anyone snuff out the light that is in you. God gave you unique skills and talents to use for His glory. It is your job to put those to use, not for you but for Him. You were wonderfully made and can do anything when aligned with God, petitioned in prayer and powered by the Holy Spirit.

I am proud of you — who you are, the path you have taken, the young man you are developing into, the people you have served, and the road you have in front of you. You are in my prayers daily, as is your future wife, your children and their children. Be prepared and soak up the journey.

Happy birthday and I love you!!!!!

…..Dad

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!…..

47 years ago today my Mom and Dad committed to each other and to God to be married for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health til death do us part.

I am so blessed that my folks have weathered good times and bad, mountaintops and valleys to provide me and my sister with a model for marriage and commitment. And the apples don’t fall far from the trees. My sister just celebrated 20 years and I am still plugging away with my better half.

How refreshing it is especially in today’s culture to have strong, solid marriages that are decades old with the perspective of being buried next to one another as each one is reunited in heaven.

This is how God defined marriage and intended it to be for families, children and generations.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Happy birthday to my wife!…..

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
— Proverbs 31:10-12

Happy birthday to my wonderful wife — my precious gift from God!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Missed sermon…..

While on vacation last week and because we were driving on Sunday, we missed the prior week’s church service and sermon message. However, I feel very blessed in two ways — #1 the sermons are typically spot on and hit home so frequently that I never want to miss any and #2 the sermons are always available after service online or by podcast.

So this morning I used my morning commute to catch up on the sermon I missed back on June 3. It was titled “The Trials of a King” and focused on the trainwreck that was King David’s personal life. And while David was a “man after God’s heart” and an Old Testament hero, there are also many lessons we can learn and apply to ourselves and our families to hopefully prevent the wandering and sin and all the consequences that brings into our lives.

One verse of Scripture that was highlighted in the message was in Proverbs.

“Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.” — Proverbs 21:19

That verse got me thinking about how blessed I am to be equally yoked to my wife who is a Proverbs 31 woman. Sometimes God blesses us with things we don’t have and I am so blessed to not have a wife like the one described in 21:19 and instead have one like it says in 31:10 – one of noble character worth far more than rubies. The sermon message also got me thinking on how I can continually feed my marriage and family so they grow into the strong bonds and foundation that God can use to further His kingdom.

If you get a chance, go check out that sermon — http://vidego-http.multicastmedia.com/mm/flvmedia/2878/A/c/t/Act3_wk5-audio-1013123.mp3

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Great sermon message today…..

At church we are going through a series on families. Two weeks ago for Mother’s Day we heard about encouraging moms. Last week was on disciplining parents. This week it was on raising respectful kids.

As always, the sermons were very scriptural and spot on. (I encourage you to go check any of them out online — they can be streamed or podcasted at http://www.southeastchristian.org/?page=3477). Today’s sermon had a few quotes that resonated with me and I am sharing the gist of them here. Unfortunately, I did not write them down so I am going off my memory.

“If you have a daughter, you had better show her Christ’s pure love and appropriate touch, for if she doesn’t get it from you, she will begin to seek it elsewhere.” — James Dobson

“If you don’t want your family to turn out like every other family, then you will need to raise your children differently than everyone else.” — Craig Goeschel

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Post NOTE: I went back and listened to the online sermon and corrected the quotes above so they are accurate and attributable to who spoke them. What you are seeing is the corrected edits.