A Boy and His Dream

This morning we did something that we’ve done a few times before. We took one of our kids to their next and most exciting adventure yet…and then drove away. It’s always hard, but this one was different.

My son Jon (about whom I have written before) is on his way to Basic Combat Training at Fort Benning, Georgia. In about four months he will come home and go to college. And, when he returns, he will be a different person – a different man – than the one that we hugged goodbye today.

I’m so excited for him. All of his life, from the time he could even formulate the words, he has wanted to be “an army guy.” He is living that dream – with all of the hardship and hurt and the exhilaration and adventure that goes with it.

And I’m anxious for him. He is away from friends and family. He will have very limited contact with any of us. And he will be pushed physically, mentally, emotionally, and probably spiritually like he has never been tested before.

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And They’re Off…

A couple of months ago I wrote a post called “My World-Changers.” (Read it here)

Today, we hugged these amazing kids of ours – who are, in many ways, far more grown-up than I am – and let them go. As I write this, they are taking off in Houston and in a few hours will be landing in Honduras. It’s exciting. And it’s terrifying.

As we have prepared over the last couple of weeks to send them on their way, I have sensed this resonant whisper in my spirit. It seems my Father’s constant reminder has been something like this: “This is what you raised them to do – to follow Me wherever I lead and to join Me in what I am doing.”

Of course, He’s right. He always is.

That doesn’t take the fear away or drive out the tears. But it does something much better – much greater. It’s makes them worth it. It makes the fear and anxiety and the sadness matter. It makes it mean something.
Continue reading And They’re Off…

My Best Teacher

Just over 22 years ago I became a father.

As I have written over the last several days, being a dad has been a laboratory in which God has taught me so much about His love for me and my relationship with Him.

One part of being a father that I have not yet touched upon has been the front row seat I have had for the most amazing mother I have ever seen.

My wife is a great wife – but that’s for another day. She is a world-class mom. The ways God has taught me about Himself by watching her be a mom have been amazing…and difficult…and priceless.

I have seen the way she has taught our kids, affirming the right things, correcting the wrong things, always pushing for more because they are capable of it. I have seen the way she somehow knew what they needed and what they wanted – and the way she somehow managed to get those things to be a lot closer together than it seemed to me.

In recent days, as I have seen her wrestle with the growing pains of a family that’s growing up, I have seen her heart break when she couldn’t get all of her chicks in the nest at once. But I have seen the incredible joy that overflows her heart when all of her kids gather around her table and she gets to feed them and care for them and laugh with them and just be with them.

This just might be the sweetest lesson I have learned – and the reason I am most excited about this Father’s Day. I get to watch my love revel in the joy of having (almost) all of her kids together.

But, as we begin our Father’s Day celebration by gathering in our Father’s house for worship – to sit at His table and laugh and sing and feast upon HIs Word together. And I think I’m beginning to understand, maybe for the first time in my life, what it means to Him.

For this and all of the incredible lessons, I have to say to my best friend, my partner, my lover, my life – my beautiful wife – thank you.

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: (Proverbs 31:26-28)image