a weekly date…

AFVEven though my children are still very young, my daughter is 5 and my son is 3, I am realizing more and more about how quickly time passes.  When we went to Disney a month or so ago, I stood back and watched my kids walking and realized I don’t have toddlers anymore, but little kids.  So, I have been trying to be more proactive in making time with each of my children so that I can treasure the time and they know how much I love them.

One of the things my daughter has loved is our weekly “Daddy/Daughter Date” where on Sunday nights before bed time we cuddle up on the couch and watch America’s Funniest Home Videos.  Getting Maeven to sit still and stay by me for a long period of time is tough with all that little kid energy. Yet each Sunday she starts right after the morning church service asking when “Funny Bideos” comes on.  Throughout the day I answer that question with a countdown of how much longer we have.  When it’s finally time for us to watch the show she will quit whatever she is doing, run to the couch and snuggle up with me to watch the show.  Maeven talks through the entire show asking me with all sincerity why people did something so crazy or asking me to explain a video she doesn’t understand.  When our show is finally over, Maeven looks up at me and says, “I love you Daddy, do you have another ‘Funny Bideos’ we can watch???”

While I know my sweet little girl will not always want Daddy to watch videos with her, I am going to treasure every Sunday night I have with her.  I am truly blessed with the sweet little girl that God has given me!

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my boy is 3 today!!!

IMG_5181Three years ago today, Erin and I were heading to Richmond, KY to the hospital.  Unlike when our daughter came things this time were scheduled out to the minute and we knew that in a few short hours we would be meeting our son.  We checked into the hospital at 9:30 am and by 1 pm our little boy had arrived.  Judah Andrew Owens was a healthy little boy weighing over 9 lbs with a full head of dark hair.

Three years later Judah still has a full head of hear only a little more blonde and a whole lot more curly.  He is truly one of the sweetest kids you could ever meet.  He loves his elephants, Winnie the Pooh, Baymax, and telling everyone how much he likes to “move it, move it!”  While he definitely get’s his looks from my wife’s side of the family there are definitely sure signs that he is my boy.  He can be stubborn, sleep through anything, loves his popcorn and pizza, and unfortunately for him has my big head that doesn’t always want to go through the neck hole of his shirts!

IMG_2628Perhaps the biggest thing that has happened this past year is the improvement in his speech.  Judah has not progressed as fast in his speech as his sister did or a lot of the other kids near his age, but he is finally starting to slowly put together his sentences.   The best sentence of all though, was a few weeks ago when I was putting him to bed and he said “Love you Dad.”

God has blessed me with an adorable, sweet, funny, cuddly, full of energy little boy.  I can’t wait to see how he is going to grow and change in year 3!

Photo Friday – December 12, 2009

I know if you are friends with me on Facebook or Instagram you have probably seen the picture below already.  However, I love and am so blessed by the two guys with me in this picture I wanted to share it again.   I am blessed to have such a Godly father who loved me and shared Jesus with me.   I am also blessed to have such a great son, and I pray that I will be as good of a dad as my father and reflect Jesus to Judah as well!

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a bit of reflection…

so thankful for my family...

so thankful for my family…

Over the past week I have been busy celebrating every thing from Thanksgiving to turning the big 33.  Both of these things have emphasized in my life that I have much to be thankful for.  First of all, I am truly thankful for my family.  Coming up the stairs on Monday morning to my little boy smiling at me while my little girl ran up and hugged me and said “Happy Birthday Daddy!” , was a great reminder of how much God has given me.  I also got to spend a good portion of the day with my beautiful wife, including a great bday dinner out.  It’s almost hard to imagine that about 6 years ago I was celebrating my birthday all alone and wondering if I had the “gift” of singleness forced upon me.  Little did I know the blessings that God has had in store for me!

Another big thing that I was reminded of that I have to be thankful for is friendship.  I have often struggled with being away from my closest friends since moving back to Kentucky.  Living rurally and on a missionary salary sometimes makes it rough to spend the quality time that I would like to spend with friends who have meant so much to me over the years.  However, even though I couldn’t spend my birthday with them in person, God reminded me about how truly blessed I am with friends and family that care so much about me, as I received countless birthday wishes via phone, card, and social media.

I know we shouldn’t need things like holidays and birthdays to be reminders of the blessings that God has given us.  At the same time, I love how the passing of another year causes us to have to think and reflect on how God has blessed us. When we look past all our complaints, frustrations, and sometimes just plain old whining, if we are truly seeking God will show us how abundantly blessed we are.  That’s where I find myself, a truly blessed man!

fed by podcasts…

podcastsI didn’t realize it at the time, but when I went to Moody Bible Institute for college I was pretty spoiled spiritually.  Between the amazing professors, our president, top pastors and ministers that were brought in, and some pretty amazing churches in the Chicago area I was able to sit under some world class Bible teaching.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved and tried to soak in this teaching as much as I could, but little did I know how much I would long to be fed again in such a deep way spiritually.

Living rurally and being in full time missions, most of the time in a ministry setting, I find myself more often than not helping or leading rather than sitting under teaching.  I try to be a self feeder as much as possible with devotions and reading, but sometimes I still desire more.  Over the past few months though, thanks to technology, I have found a solution that has really brought some much needed spiritual nourishment and refreshment into my life….the podcast.

Whether it be listening to my iPod on a walk or sitting outside with the dogs at night, or even listening in my truck on my way to and from the Rec Center, just hearing sermons from some of my favorite pastors and teachers has been a huge blessing.  I’ve enjoyed hearing speakers from all over the world teach about Christ.  Currently, I have been going through a series on being salt and light by Andy Stanley.  It’s been awesome to see how God has been using what I have been learning through this podcast to line up perfectly with what I am currently teaching our teen Sunday School class on Sunday mornings.  Being able to transfer what I am learning or being retaught to our students has been so great.  I’ve also just really enjoyed being challenged to look closer at my life and see what areas I really need to grow more in my walk with Christ.

Whether you live rurally, are involved in full time ministry, or just want to add something to your life to help you grow spiritually I challenge you to get online and find podcasts of some of your favorite churches, teachers, and pastors.  I guarantee you will be challenged and blessed.

thankful for lunch…

IMG_2326Yesterday was a very busy day at the Rec Center with two leagues and outreaches going on and lots of prep work for the upcoming week.  To be honest my kids looked like blurs as I rushed out the door to get started on everything Monday morning.  At lunch time, though I was blessed when the two cutest kiddos ever came bursting through the Rec Center door.  Maeven saw me, smiled really big and came IMG_2325running yelling, “that’s my daddy!”  Judah came screaming with the delight and toddling along after her.  I made hot dogs for them to enjoy along with their personal favorite Doritos.  Maeven kept running after me everywhere saying, “I follow you daddy!”  Both kids gave me big hugs and kisses before they had to head home with Momma for their afternoon naps.  I even got some loud, “Bye Daddy!” from them.  In the midst of chaos and busyness, I was once again reminded of how blessed I am with something as simple as lunch with the kids!

8:30 pm…

nclock-08-30_34104_lgWhat is 8:30 pm?  Well, for starters its a time that rolls around each evening.  Some might say it’s a half hour past the end of Jeopardy.  Many people have many answers for what 8:30 pm.  To me though it’s a special time where I get finally sit down and relax and catch up on the day and life in general with my beautiful wife Erin.  At 8:30 pm the work day is generally over and on most nights both of my adorable highly active kids are tucked into their beds and hopefully on their way to a good night’s rest.  During this first time alone together, it’s nice just to decompress and enjoy each other’s company.  Hearing about the ups and downs of each others days, the highs and lows.  It’s the time of day where there is someone who is listening to your problems and offering the only advice you really want.  Not only that, but you want to hear their problems and cheer them up as well.  There are times when 8:30 is a silent time where just being together is enough.  Other times are busy and fast paced as we cleanup from that day and busy getting ready for the next day.  No matter what is going on, or how good or bad the day, how loud our how quiet, I am thankful for 8:30 pm, because it always reminds me how blessed I am to be married to such a beautiful, wonderful, Godly woman…