Note to self: for fathers of daughters

inviteEvery dream, pretend, and imaginative story! Every time she calls you her best friend and her prince. When she wants to 'help' you work in the garage or cry over nothing. These are invitations for which your actions cannot help but RSVP

If you continue declining the invitations they will grow less frequent and I fear you may not be invited to the real moments of her teenage years

Why my 2 year old needs makeup

makeup I was washing dishes, and Bryleigh came into the kitchen saying, "I'm putting on make up, Dadda, to be pretty." I asked, "What?" in that way fathers do when they know exactly what they said.

"I'm still putting on make up. I'm not pretty yet, Dadda."

There are moments as a father, which are weightier than others, and you have to be present enough to catch. This is one of those moments.

I realize my daughter has dug into her mother's makeup bag because it is fun to do what mom does, but her statement struck my heart in a way I would not pass over. This was an opportunity.

"You do not need makeup to be pretty, Bryleigh. You are so pretty."

That was not hard to say nor did it take but a few moments of being present enough to seize. My 2 year old playfully saying, "I'm still putting on make up. I'm not pretty yet, Dadda" was an opportunity to be a Dad before there is an emotional belief behind that statement.

I am not against my daughter putting on make up (later), but I am vehemently against my daughter ever believing she needs makeup to be pretty.

Gone forever: challenge to pastors and ministry leaders

gone Upon reflecting on any regrets he had, Billy Graham said, "Every day I was absent from my family is gone forever."

While we realize physical absence certainly has an affect, I am thinking today of the realities of emotional absence. As a pastor and leader, you are expected to be on-call and at the ready at all times. You are to be fully available for everyone at all times, and we too often justify this as "the life of ministry".

Pastors, ministry leaders, those days you are absent (both physically and emotionally) are gone forever. [TWEET THAT]

Look at the ministry you have and realize that everything you do can be done or shared by someone else. Only you can be husband to your wife (or wife to your husband). Only you can be mom or dad to your kids.

I am trying to challenge myself to lose less and less days forever.

My daugther's security

"Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge." Proverbs 14:26 My girls can know the safety and security of refuge if I fear God with my life enough to find MY confidence in God alone. My fear of God is a fountain of life for myself and my family (vs 27). 

Do my children know that I fear God? Do they feel secure by my confidence in God? Can I improve my confidence in God, and thus security for my family? What is my attitude toward God TODAY?

How many kids do I gotta have

Before I had kids, one thing they frequently said to me: "You have NO idea! Wait until you have kids."

Once we had a child, they told me:

"You have NO idea. It is a whole different story when you have two."

We had a second child, and I thought I had finally arrived at this mark of maturity and adulthood that seems to keep eluding me. Then I get the congratulatory email:

"It's when you have three that it gets real interesting."

How many kids do I need to have?