Parenting


On Robyn’s 7th Mothers Day:

Seven Lesson I Hope Our Kids Learn From Their Mom.


1. Love God with Your Whole Person
2. Cherish the Wonder of All People
3. Creativity is Liberating
4. Recognize the Positive Things Around You
5. Have Fun by Working Hard
6. You Can Go Beyond the Status Quo
7. Find Yourself by Living Beyond Yourself


Below is a post from my wife’s blog. May we all live more like this four year old.

I walked in the back door and the kids were sitting at the kitchen table, talking into hubby’s cell phone.

“Gram’s on da phone!”
“Hi, Gram! Hi! I’m out of breath, but hi!” I had just gotten home from running for a good 50 minutes.
Before I knew it Babydoll said this, “Oh, I can give you some of my warm breath right now– here…” And she leaned over and before I even understood what she was talking about, she was breathing into my mouth. “Open you mouth, Mommy, here…” And she was being completely serious.


minutes later she was still giving me breath 🙂
And then I burst out laughing.
She was giving me some breath because I was “out” of it.
And not just any breath, warm breath. She intuited I’d be cold.
She is instantaneously sweet, deeply selfless, and cute beyond compare.
Seriously, there are times I want to entirely absorb her into my being. I want to think and love as quickly as she does. She is so focused on things, that she solves problems quickly. But the deeply enticing part of her is not only her creativity, but her selflessness. It’s as if she’s quick to say, “Oh, you don’t have that? I do. Here, take mine.” Time and time and time again.
You need a pen? Some milk? My breath? Take mine.
Sister may run me to my daily ragged ruins with her activities and ideas and requests and messes, but she has got a heart in her that fuels me when I thought I had nothing left for the day.
She is marvelous.
“I can give you some of my warm breath right now– here…Open you mouth, Mommy, here… take mine.”
I want to be like my daughter.

I have posted a couple of times ( here & here ) about conversations with my 6 year old about his desire to be a “prophet of God.”

My wife just got this email from our son’s kindergarten teacher:

Jackson told me about being a Prophet of God today.  He told me today’s message from God was to stop people from chasing the girls.  When a friend reminded him that he usually chases the girls he said, “That was before I got the message from God.”  Just the smile I needed today!

Recently, on the way to the car …

Jackson (age 6): Dad, I want to be a prophet of God when I grow up.

Jim (age 36): Oh yeah? What would you like about being a prophet of God?

Jackson: I would like to travel around and give people messages from God, like – “Be nice to each other.”

Jim: That is great Jackson. That sounds important, and you would be good at that.  You know that first thing that you will need to do is know God, and listen to God, so that you know what God has to say.

Jackson: Yeah, but dad, it is hard to listen to God. Sometimes it is just silent.

Jim: You are right. Sometimes is it hard to know what God is saying. That is why we spend a lot of time talking to God and listening to God, so that we get to know God better. It is also why we read what God has said in the Bible. That helps us know what kinds of things God says. Does that make sense?

Jackson: Yeah dad.

Jim: And Jackson, knowing God is the most important thing, even if you are not a prophet.

Jackson: That is right dad!

Last week my six-year-old son casually tossed out a powerful leadership truth.

After several minutes of patiently working to repair a wheel that had broken off of a toy ambulance, Uncle Carl apologetically informed Jackson, “Sorry, I don’t think that we can fix that wheel, buddy.”

Jackson responded matter-of-factly: “If you don’t think that we can fix the wheel on the ambulance, then I don’t want you on the team in charge of fixing it.”

The rest of the family burst out into laughter at the response.

Then we paused and recognized that Jackson had uncovered a crucial principle.

Belief in the mission is the paramount requirement for membership on the team entrusted with the mission.

Are you on any teams or groups where you no longer, perhaps you never did, believe in the mission?

It is time to re-engage or move on.

Where is the buy-in level of the people on your team?

If it is low, then you need to re-inspire them or find new partners.

 

school front old

It is pretty easy to collect theology.
It is a bit more difficult to apply it.

Tuesday was one of those days when I had to remember what I say I believe. Tuesday was my son’s first day of school. Sure, he has been in pre-school for a dozen hours a week, but this is big time: Kindergarten for 35 hours a week! I was looking forward to this day, until I Monday when a few thoughts sobered my excitement.

“We will not be able to see him as often as we have in the past.” “He will be under the nurture and teaching of other people for much of his time. What if it is wrong?” “What if other kids are mean to him and I can’t protect him?” 

I spent a lot of time expressing my emotions and concerns to God.

I also spent time thinking about the situation through the general Christian worldview. Here are some of my thoughts on the first day of school in light of the biblical themes of creation, fall, and redemption. 

Creation: (Genesis 1 & 2) God created everything. God called it good, and excellent in every way. Education is about observing the world that God created. All truth that is expressed there is God’s truth. There is no topic that will be covered that God did not create. It is good to explore God’s world. Beyond the content, God’s presence will be there.

Fall: (Genesis 3, continuing today) Human rebellion disrupted the peace and harmony of creation. Things are not as they were intended to be. There is still goodness, but it is not excellent in every way. This brokenness will display itself at school. There will be pain, conflict, and untruth. We need to be prepared for that. However, this brokenness has had an impact on every area of life, not just his neighborhood school.

Redemption: (The rest of history. Highlights: Resurection of Jesus, Today, Rev 21&22) God continues to love creation. God is in the process of healing all things in this fallen world. He invites humanity in this journey. Education then has a goal of being equipped to join the work of healing the broken world. My son is in preparing for that in his vocational life. He also gets to do that in the present. He can be a force for good in his school.

Remembering these truths helped me to relax more, and regain some excitement and even a sense of worship about the first day of school. Of course, seeing my son beaming with excitement also helped!

obama_family_2006_xmas_card

Regardless of what you think of politics, all of us can appreciate what President Obama is doing for fatherhood in America.

Social conservatives have long advised (I think correctly.) that fathers in America need to step it up and be more engaged in their families. They note the important roles that fathers play in the development of their sons and daughters. When a father is checked out, physically or emotionally, the family suffers.

“Pro-family” conservatives have a strong ally in the fight to improve fatherhood in the Democrat Obama.

This is an issue where there should be common ground between parties. Better fathers would help make better families, which would make better neighborhoods, which would make a better nation and world.

Obama is using his rhetoric (perhaps his greatest gift) to call us to be better fathers. He calls us to act like men not boys. Obama points out that manhood is not required to make a child, but it is proven in having the courage to raise a child. He calls dads to turn off the TV and tune into their children.

I do not question that others believed those things, but I do not remember hearing fatherhood emphasized by any other president.

More striking to me than Obama’s great speeches about being a father, is his example of being a father. I like seeing him with his children. I can not imagine his work load or stress, but I like that he still chooses to do fun things with his kids. While cynics say it is just for photo ops, I think it is crucial for our nation to see the president spending time with his children.

It is important for America to see the importance of being a dad.

Here is an AP story: http://tinyurl.com/mglmmj

Next Page »