praying to parent better…

ParentingI’m a Dad and all too often I am reminded by the actions and words of my kiddos that I am still figuring this whole parenting thing out.  I have two wonderful kids.  My six year old girl is a firecracker who is full of life and does everything full speed ahead.  Sometimes this leads to her being overly persistent even after she has been told no to something and losing doesn’t always go over that well with her.  My five year old little boy is as sweet as they come, but he does struggle with some speech and learning/developmental delays.  These issues definitely give him his own struggles and issues to overcome.

Each day, I realize that each of my children have their own issues and struggles and that as unique little individuals I have to respond to them in ways to unique to each child.  My daughter is fiercely independent and my son is not.  She needs more words of affirmation and he needs more quality time.  With my daughter sometimes you have to be louder to get her attention, that same volume though can break my son’s little spirit so he needs a quieter gentler tone of correction.

The problem with dealing with my kids and meeting their individual unique needs is that I am a sinner.  As a Dad I don’t always respond the way I should.  I let my own issues, fatigue, and life in general all too often color the way I parent.  Too often my responses have more to do with me than that of what my child is doing or needs.  This is an issue that God has definitely been dealing with me about one the past few months and it has led me to a simple prayer that I pray daily, if not several times a day.  I pray and ask  God to allow me and my wife to be the type of parents that point our kids to Christ in all that we do and say, and that we show His love to them in all that we do and say.

This prayer convicting to me, because it points out the times that day I have failed to do what I’m asking.  Also, it comes to my mind when I am in the middle of some form of parenting my children and helps me slow down and think about the love, kindness, discipline, and guidance that I may be about to give.  I know I am a fallen sinner, but I want to seek my God so that my kids see Christ in me and want a deeper relationship with Him.  I never want to be the parent that breaks his kids down and drives them away from Christ.

I am praying to be a parent who is reflecting Christ well and ask that you pray for me in this area to!

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a pink weapon…

Maeven showing off her new weapon!

Maeven showing off her new weapon!

Well, last week it finally happened, even though I had made it 34 years of my life without it happening to me.  One of my kids got their first broken bone.  On Thursday, last week, my sweet little girl Maeven took a dive off some monkey bars and broke her wrist.  It took us till Friday afternoon and several hours in doctors offices and x-ray rooms to get her all set straight with her cast.  Thankfully she has been great and really likes showing everyone her neon pink weapon.  Why do I call it a weapon?  Well, before she left the doctors office, the doctor pulled Maeven aside, and let her know she wasn’t to hit her brother or anyone else with it.  So far she has been great about keeping this pink weapon from hitting anyone purposefully.  Although, as a good Daddy, I have learned that hugs can be painful when that hard cast makes contact with my head!  All, this to say, I am glad the fracture wasn’t more severe and that my little girl is recovering from what looks to be the first of many bone injuries for a very outgoing child!

time for thanks…

As we are getting ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow morning, I am reminded of how much I have to be thankful for.  More than anything I am thankful for my family both immediate and extended.  I have been blessed by God with a beautiful wife who truly loves the Lord and loves sharing Christ with others.  She is a wonderful mother and the time and love she gives to our children amazes me.  I only hope that I am half the father that she is a mother!  She is truly an amazing woman.

I am also blessed and thankful for my children.  Not many people know this but we lost babies both before Maeven was born and also in between Maeven and Judah.  Knowing this and that God blessed us with these two very sweet children often overwhelms me.  While my kids aren’t perfect, I couldn’t imagine any children ever being better.  Hearing “Daadeee” and “DahDah” are by far the sweetest words I ever here.

I am also blessed with Godly parents who not only verbally shared Christ with me, but have had an amazing testimony of faithfulness to Christ.  When I look at the lives of classmates whose parents didn’t have expectations and boundaries for them, I see even more where God was protecting me through my parents.  At the time it may have felt like they were cramping my style, but God was still in control and today I am thankful for that.

I’m also thankful for my sister, Amanda.  She has a great heart for the kids in our area and gives so much of herself to serve them.  Whether that be through teaching, volunteering at camp and the Rec Center, or wherever.  It’s so awesome to see the way God has used her to impact lives.

I am also thankful for all in in-laws both mother and father and sister and brother in-laws.  I have heard horror stories from friends who just have really bad relationships with crazy in-laws.  God has blessed me with a second family that truly loves Him and serves Him.  And most importantly they raised a Godly daughter whom I love with all my heart!

I have so many extended family members that I wouldn’t even know where to begin with my thankfulness for them.  But, I will say I am so thankful for the loving extended family God gave me and their love and kindness to always take in “extra” family members as well.

My God is great and good and I can’t begin to thank Him for all the ways He has blessed.  While my salvation will always be what I am most thankful for, tonight I just want to let my family and everyone else know how grateful I am for them!

seven checkpoints….

Today I had the opportunity to do some studying and get prepped for our after school Bible study at Lee County High School tomorrow.  We have slowly been going through Andy Stanley’s The Seven Checkpoints Every Teenager Should Know over this school year.  Currently, we are on the Sixth Checkpoint which is Ultimate Authority.   This section deals on how God is in control of all people with authority and how only through God’s ultimate authority do we have true freedom.   We have been looking at how most teens feel that God only is about rules and regulations and don’t realize He truly wants to make them free.

It’s been very interesting doing this study with teens and discussing how often our view of authority figures distorts for us seeing God as authority.  When discussing this with teens who have issues with parents and teachers and so on the discussions can be quite eye opening and intense.

Today as I prepared for this weeks lessons, I realized that it will be one that could be pretty intense as we talk about how our attitude towards those God has in authority over us is ultimately a reflection of our attitude to God and His ultimate authority.   So often we blame those in authority over us for all of our problems and give them little to no respect.  Yet, even if we disagree with them, they are who God has placed in those roles in our lives.   The example of teens being disrespectful when you are preparing a teen Bible study always pop into your mind, however, there is so much truth for myself as an adult too.

One of the great things about studying the Bible is no matter what age group you are preparing the study for you can always find convicting and challenging lessons for yourself.  As I have been working through the 7 Checkpoints that’s been the case in my life.  I highly recommend this study if you work with teens or if you just want a basic refresher on common truths that really will make a difference in your walk with Christ!