I don’t claim to be an expert in the potty training of little boys, but I have been involved in a few rounds of this process.

If you’ve never done so, I need you to… well, let’s just call it imagine.

A young parent has this bouncing, rough-and-tumble little tyke that they really feel like is old enough to begin the process. They start at bath time or when changing clothes and such by just placing the little guy on the throne.

You veterans know what is going to happen here.

The mommy says, “Come on, go potty in the big potty for mommy!”

And, despite evidence to the contrary in many ways, the little dude really does want to make mommy happy. He grunts a little—making a genuine effort, mind you. And then mommy sees the pale yellow stream and is stricken with the horrible realization that there is a trajectory problem here. He’s doing what was asked in a heart of joyful obedience.

But he’s peeing right through the gap under the toilet seat.

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That’s My Boy

May 19, 2018

The caboose.

That’s what I used to call my Danny boy, the youngest of the Peercy Posse. He was the one that would bring up the rear, the last car in the train.

Then he came home from his first day of kindergarten and announced that he didn’t want to be called the caboose any more.

He was always having to speak too loudly to try and be heard above the noise of the crowd of siblings. He has been bossed and occasionally bullied and sometimes left behind. But I have watched him learn to navigate the maze of people in our home as the one who would get along with anyone.

He has had some legendary one-liners – especially in his very young days when his vocabulary had outgrown his enunciation. When he flatly assured one of his brothers, “That’s hi-wa-wious. You’re hi-wa-wious” (hilarious), the car-load of people roared with laughter. When he felt his oldest brother’s words were contradictory to his actions, he informed me, “Dad, Mickey’s being a democrat.” (No political commentary intended, just confused the word democrat with hypocrite. Supply your own joke in whatever direction you want to take it.)

All along, despite his hindrance with Bell’s palsy and other frustrations, he has had this drive to be a part of something bigger than himself. He has grown up with a recognition of the need for community—the need to share life with others. He loves being on a team whether it’s a worship team or a soccer team or a leadership team or his biggest team, the band.

For his last end-of-year band banquet last night, he was asked to share some thoughts. He was honest and kind of emotional (which we know as transparency). He was clear-spoken and accurate. He owned old mistakes and celebrated grace (in his band director’s restraint from taking his life when he damaged a tuba at a marching contest while playing hackey sack). And he ended with one of his greatest strengths—pulling his peers together in their traditional “D-town” chant.

And the audience stood to their feet in appreciation of a kid showing his heart and sharing his passion and being real… and expressing what this whole band thing really is.

It was a proud moment for his old man. I was proud that he did without my coaching what I try to do all the time. Though he was so incredibly nervous, he put the fear behind for the greater purpose before him.

That’s my boy.

 

Sitting on the porch this morning reflecting on that sweet moment, I realize that this feeling of joy in my heart as I see that young man doing what he was made to do, what he was raised to do, I had a moment of recognition.

I have written much about the fact that God has taught me more about Himself through my kids than through any book I could read. And in this moment of reflecting on the pride and joy I felt over my son last night, I see this truth again so very clearly.

When we lean into that purpose for which we were created, it brings delight to the heart of our Creator.

To this end the Psalmist implored:

Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them. (Psalm 69.34)

As I sat and watched my son do just part of what he was made to do, my heart was full, saying, “That’s my boy!”

And so our Father, when I do what I was made to do, is filled with joy. No doubt He too whispers, “That’s my boy.”

Hanging Up The Hat

May 15, 2018

I like hats.

I wear a lot of hats. Some I wear to pretend I’m someone else. Some I wear when I do particular things or when I go particular places. There are different hats for different circumstances and different hats for different seasons.

I wear a lot of hats… figuratively as well as literally. By that I mean that I fill many roles for many different people. I am a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a friend, a neighbor, a pastor, a mentor, a board member. Occasionally I’m an actor and sometimes I’m a teacher and at times I’m a counselor.

I wear a lot of hats.

About 16 years ago I put on a new hat. I became a Band Dad when my oldest son signed up for band. When you connect that occasion with the fact that I was a band director for seven years before I started pastoring, you see that it was a significant thing to put on that new hat.

Tonight I will go to my last concert as a public school band dad.

It’s weird, I tell you.

I have been to at least a couple of public school band concerts every year since 2002. I’ve been to SO MANY marching contests and football games and band booster meetings. And the fundraisers—Oh my WORD the fundraisers…

I’ve traveled many miles, met many friends, and made SO MANY great memories through band. I’ve grilled more chicken breasts and quesadillas than I can count.

I’ve watched three of my kids find their spouses just like I found mine – in band.

I’ve seen two of my kids go on to earn some serious scholarship money through band.

It’s been such a huge part of our lives. And it’s not entirely over. We still have a few of our expanded brood significantly involved in band into the future. But my public school band dad days are coming to a close.

I’m hanging up that hat.

It’s a season that is coming to a close. And, with it’s passing, a new one begins. I don’t know all of the hows and whys and whens and wheres, but I know that there are great things ahead. I know that there are concerts yet to come that I can choose to attend as a pastor and friend cheering on the kids that he is so proud to support. And there are so many other ways to grow and learn and experience.

It’s hard to hang up this hat.

I like hats.

I wear a lot of hats.

As I hang up an old one rich with memories, I trust the next one I pick up will bring as much joy as the last.

To all of my band family, thanks for helping me enjoy this hat.