Thank You

 

Every day you work hard to provide for our family but that’s not what makes you amazing.

You get down on the floor to wrestle, change the princess dresses, play hockey in the drive and run around the playground but that’s not what makes you a terrific father.

You help me demonstrate every single day what a loving, healthy marriage looks like, that fun and love, apologies and respect are all part of the daily give and take but that’s not the thing that makes you such a titan among dads.

What makes you the example I thank the Lord daily for is the bible verses in your email, it’s the passion for understanding God’s will, it’s the desire to do what he calls even when it’s not what you “want”.

Our children are so blessed to have you, science can show the impact of a father on almost every area of a person’s life from self esteem to education and earning potential but it can not quantify the impact a Christ following father has on eternity. The seeds you are sowing in our family will sow seeds in their families and so on through the generations. I am thankful for the quanitifable impact you have on our kids but more so for the things that can’t be seen, those are the true treasures.

 

Not all Fathers are dads, Not all Dads are Fathers

Some fathers aren’t dads. They are men who biologically help create life but their contribution to your upbringing is inconsistent or nonexistent.

Some dads aren’t fathers they may come to you by marriage, adoption or happenstance but they are the men who are there teaching, guiding and helping you grow.

Some dads have children you can’t see hidden in wombs or heaven or missing and lost. Dads are always dads even when they can’t hold their children.

I am thankful that my husband is both. He is the father of our children but so much more than that he is their daddy. He is the one they drop everything to run and tackle when he comes home from work. The one they want to hold them when they are scared. He would work five jobs to feed them, take a bullet to save them and embarrass himself to make them smile.

Everyday he is painting a picture, however imperfect because of our humanity, of our Heavenly Father’s love for them. He is showing them that he will always be there for them, love them and try to help them so how much more do those things ring true for God?

I am so thankful for him and all the other Dads out there.

Happy “Father’s” Day! 

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Where Have All the Good Dads Gone?

Society has a tendency to portray dads as unintelligent, expendable goofballs who make a nice addition to a family but really aren’t necessary. But what does the Bible say and is it attainable?

I am by no means qualified to discern the primary responsibilities of a father from scripture so I am using going to share a list from Pastor Scott Harris of Grace Bible Church in NY, you can read the full context here. For my purposes I am pasting the list, I feel that provides a nice overview of the basics of a biblical father.

Now here is where it gets tricky. Is this attainable? I myself grew up in a home of multiple divorces from each parent so my relationships, not only with my father, but with my stepfathers also, were sporadic at best and they did not fulfill many if any of these items. Luckily I have a another personal guinea pig, my husband. So I am going to analyze his fulfillment of each one.

1. Provide for his family (Mt. 7:9-11 Tim 5:8)

I am now a stay at home mom, nuf said. He is willing and able to work enough that our family can exist with me home caring for our children. Even before this he has always worked and provided, not just our needs but most of our wants as well. When the bottom fell out of our economy and he was laid off for a year (before we had kids) he actively sought new work the entire time.

2. Instruct his children (Prov. 1:8)

My husband teaches our son everyday in direct and indirect ways. Directly, like when my son gets 3 year old frustrated and decides to speak angrily to me I know I will hear my husband step in lovingly  “Joel that’s not how we talk to Mama, you need to….” or indirectly, like showing him how to respond to people in need (running back across the parking lot to open the door for a man with a walker even though we didn’t see him until we were almost at our car because that’s the right thing to do and convenience should not be considered).

3. Exhort, encourage and implore children (1 Thess 2:11)

My son’s biggest fan may be Mommy but his biggest cheerleader is Dad. My husband is always there to encourage Jidge whether things get hard or he’s already excelling.

4. Punish unruly children (Dt. 21:18-21) & 6. Discipline his children (Heb 12:7)   *I am combining his two because they seem pretty similar to me. *

I am with our children more so I handle the day to day punishment (and honestly at this point in their lives our little ones still don’t need alot since the oldest has a usually teachable spirit and the youngest is an infant). But when the situation warrants or when I am not being given proper respect by a boundary testing preschooler I can count 100% on my husband backing me up, stepping in, whatever is needed.

5. Raise the children in the discipline and nurture of the Lord without provoking them or exasperating them causing them to lose heart (Eph. 6:4;Col. 3:21)

Without ever raising his voice or losing his cool he encourages and nurtures a curious, strong willed preschooler, enduring the neverending questions about God and life, laughing at the jokes that don’t yet make sense and gently guiding him away from paths and choices that would bring harm.

7. Love his wife (Eph 5:25,28,33)

I admittedly make this difficult at times I am certain and yet he unfailingly loves and me and reminds me with his actions of my worth as a redeemed member of the body of Christ. (Plus he makes me feel pretty 🙂 )

 

So I declare that despite the weighty list of responsibilities placed on a father I am seeing it lived out daily and biblical fatherhood is attainable and realistic. I am so thankful to have a husband who relies on the power of our heavenly Father to be a husband father.

 

Comment with why your husband or father  is one of the “good ones”.

 

Happy Father’s Day my dear 🙂

dada

I’m a Better Mother Than You.

Booyah.

I’m better than you, let me tell you all the reasons my parenting choices are better than yours.

If you know me you knew I wasn’t actually making that statement seriously and yet all over the land of internetdom that exact sentence is being screamed, shouted, cried and begged in so many more words.

Yep. The Mommy Wars. They don’t exist…or do they.

They have left a deep scar on the collective psyche of women in their parenting years so there must be some truth to the term. If you look to Merriam Webster and find the definition of war as ” a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism” then you can safely bet your paycheck the mommy wars are real, happening and destructive.

The topics are endless…. I mean seriously endless. EVERY issue a parent has ever faced can become a skirmish. Even issues almost no parent has ever faced but still theoretically could pertain to parenting cause the tongue lashings to begin.

Breast, bottle, organic, processed, cosleeping, cry it out, potty training methods 1 through 793, gender neutrality, gender roles, baby education, benefits of child classes in various art forms, child led weaning, daycare, stay at home, working, father roles, technology, seriously no joke this list could just keep growing for eternity and NO ONE WOULD EVER BE RIGHT.

But what about the benefits of…Nope.

But science says that…Nope.

But my friend does …Nope.

[Disclaimer, I am OBVIOUSLY not referring to matters of safety, I am talking about issues where it is all subjective and the child is not endangered. That’s a crime not a parenting choice so please don’t pull out the lunatics who refuse all health care, people who give their children dangerous substances, etc.]

I’m talking about good old fashioned preference. Whether you have science, your doctor, six generations of your family or anyone else backing you up on these choices they are still just that: choices.

Every kid is different. Really. I can’t say it enough because our society seems to hear it as every child is special (and beautiful and unique and blah blah blah) but that’s not what I am saying. I am saying that every child is a tiny human being with emotions, personalities and preferences. What works for one kid will not work for all kids. Period.

For every method there are success stories. AND a bunch of failures too.

If we could stop telling ourselves that who our children become is entirely on our shoulders and recognize that within the confines of any healthy loving home most kids are going to turn out just fine we might could stop the wars.

If you didn’t think you were solely responsible for whether your child becomes obese some day you might not go postal over the thought of them tasting a non-organic snack once in a while.

If you didn’t convince yourself that the deciding factor between your child becoming a CEO or an exotic dancer is her exposure to the arts you might stop putting her in a dozen dance, art and music lessons and judging everyone who isn’t.

So maybe these wars exist, although I contend it is largely within the confines of the great anonymous portal we call the internet and that out here in the real world women aren’t judging each other this harshly. (Because it’s harder to pretend your kids are perfect when people can actually see them (you know awake and stuff).

So next time you see an opposing view (that’s wouldn’t cause child protective services to raise an eyebrow) think about what your saying before you say it and if the other person is going to read it and hear you saying “I’m a better mother than you” just don’t say it.

Even better, next time someone is sharing just listen. If they want advice they will ask. I promise. Until then it’s ok just to listen even if they are making choices you wouldn’t make. By listening you may gain their respect enough that they will actually WANT your advice sometime. 🙂

 

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