Category Archives: True Confessions – First Time Dad

True Confessions Of A First Time Dad: I’m Scared I’m Going To Leave A Kid

Ok, before you judge me too harshly you can’t tell me you haven’t thought it, dreamt it, or done it.  Losing a kid is like the worst nightmare a parent could have I think.

Unless of course you are my wife who still dreams that Aniston (now 3 years old) is falling out of our bed (which she’s never slept in), off my side (again she’s never slept in), and proceeds to lunge across the bed to catch her only to realize midair that it’s a dream and she’s about to land on her sleeping husband…again.

It was funny the first time, terrifying the second, and now the only thing I can hold over her head because she is virtually perfect. 🙂

But all of us…I repeat all of us as parents have the fear of losing or leaving their kid somewhere.  Especially if you have more than one!  I don’t know how that Dugger Family (aka Baby Making Machines) do it.  They must leave handfuls of kids everywhere they go for crying out loud!  I be they just pin little baggies of change on all of them to make calls back home when it happens.

My fear is that I will get Aniston all strapped in and leave Easton strapped in his carseat on the driveway or still in the cart at Target.  I fast forward the story in my mind to when I realize I did it and how quickly I hope the police arrest me before Cherie get’s a hold of me and kills me.

The only thing that gives me any semblance of peace is that even Jesus got forgotten by his parents.  Yep…you heard me right.

Check it out…

“Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. hen they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” Luke 2:41-48

The reason this encourages me is that even if I leave Easton in the dressing room at the mall I can always say “atleast I didn’t’ lose God!”

It also I believe is such a reminder from God Himself that we should not take ourselves as parents so seriously.  We need to realize that just because we have a small human developing under our care and depending on us for their very existence we can’t think we won’t screw up.

We will…believe me our parents did too and we made it through only casually scarred.

Not only do we need to remind ourselves of that truth, but our kids need to see that too.  The need to know we aren’t perfect and need the forgiveness of God just as much as anyone else.

Sometimes the best conversations we can have with our kids is the conversation that starts off “Daddy or Mommy really screwed up and I need your forgiveness for…”

The honesty and transparency we demonstrate in our life will be more impactful than showing them how to change the oil in the car or how to walk in high heals.  The habit of walking humbly and actively seeking God’s forgiveness is setting our kids up for a stronger relationship with God and us as their parents with every honest screw up we openly admit.

So whether you cut a guy off in traffic or forget a kid at a Sox game have the courage to admit you screwed up, ask for forgiveness, and remind your kids atleast you didn’t lose God.

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True Confessions Of A First Time Dad: The First Day Of School

The day actually came.

I can’t believe it.

Today was the first day of 3-year-old preschool for Aniston.

I know, I know…BIG DAY!!!

It’s a day Cherie and I hoped would come but dreaded that it would all at the same time.  Our little girl is now able to walk, talk, write, say her colors and numbers, brush her teeth, climb in the truck herself, put her “pack pack” on, and more things that even sappy parents don’t care about.

As I walked into her class today it was awesome to see her eyes get wide and her mouth stay open just a little bit as she took it all in.  We found her cubby where she hung her “pack pack” and I even got to show here what the little strap on the top it was used for.  I signed her in, helped her wash her hands, and then knelt down to say good-bye.  She gave me her Beeger kiss and rubbed it in my cheek and then one of her famous big hugs.

But something strange happened right after that I wasn’t expecting…she let go.

No cling on, no crying, no “stay daddy”, but just a simple turn of the head and into the fray of kids without a problem.

I thought to myself, “That little stinker!  Doesn’t she know that deep down I want her to cling to my leg, shed a few tears, and plead for me not to go?  I think I may need to do this to you just so you know what it’s supposed to look like!”

Fortunately inner monologues don’t go audible and she didn’t here me.

So after she scooted along, I scooped up Easton and off Lil’ E and I went.  By the time I got to the truck, strapped Easton in, and sat in my seat it might have been 10 minutes from parked to drop off.  It was over that quick.  Day one of school was in motion and my little girl was off and running.

Part of me couldn’t help but wonder why she was so ok though.

  • Was it the preparing we did weeks in advance when we got her supplies?
  • Was it her little buddy Gibson who she confidently walked into class behind?
  • Was it the awesome little girl God blessed us with in her natural confident nature?

It may have been a combination of all of those things, but deep down I think I know the real reason.

You see, right before we left the house today I made sure we took time to do something.  After I did her hair (as best as I could) I scooped my little Beeg up in my arms and we sat on the couch together.  I wrapped my arms around her and said “Can daddy pray for you?” and she looked at me with her big blue eyes and said “yes daddy.”

I prayed that she had a good day at school, was polite to her teachers, kind to her friends, but I also thanked God for her.  I thanked Him for the gift she was to her mommy and I.  I asked Him to help her to be brave and not scared at school.  I hugged her tight as I asked God to be with my little girl and keep her safe.  In Jesus name…we both said…Amen.”

I believe Aniston was ok today because I know she knows God is with her and He loves her.  She knows that because it wasn’t the first time she heard this.  We have prayed together, read the Bible together, talked about Jesus, and talked about the love of God since she was weeks old in the NICU at Christ Hospital.  She is covered with the love of God in her life and I guarantee she will continue to hear that as long as Cherie and I have breath.

We truly believe what Solomon says in Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

Listen, I know this doesn’t guarantee she will be a perfect angel her whole life.  I know she may get into trouble and we may be looking for the return policy on her from time to time, but right now I can see this being true in my little girl.

And I can tell you this with 100% confidence, that it makes this weepy, sappy, red eyed dad feel good knowing that although her daddy may be driving away, her real Dad is right there with her as she traces her hand and colors outside the lines.  God loves that girl more than I do and that must be pretty intense because, except for my wife, I’ve never felt a love like this before.

So I will continue to pray and train our kids up in the Lord because I know that it makes for amazing eternal rewards and easier drive homes.

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True Confessions Of A First Time Dad: Aniston’s Sweat Lodge

The other night my wife heard Aniston on the video monitor and it sounded like she was crying.  She went down to check on her and found our precious 3 year old sweating like she just finished the Chicago Marathon.  As sweat was pouring down her cheeks, Cherie was concerned that maybe she had spiked a fever so she hurried to check her temperature.

Fortunately her temperature was normal.  But as Cherie was putting the thermometer away, she noticed Aniston had packed several fleece blankets under her duvet cover and was snuggling up with all of them.  If you didn’t know better, you would think we made her sleep in a walk-in meat locker at the Jewel by the way she was covered up.

Cherie gently told her that if she was hot she didn’t have to use all the blankets and could take some off.  To which Aniston said, “I ok, I a hot and sweaty.”   She said ok, kissed her salty forehead good night and walked out as Aniston went back into her self-induced, princess themed, sweat lodge.

I’ll jump right to the point.

We do this kind of thing in our own lives all of the time.

Every day, we voluntarily wrap ourselves up with all kinds of stress, worry, anxiety, and bad choices.  As a result, we walk around sweating profusely like an overweight man forced to walk up a broken escalator.

What we fail to remember is that God never intended for us to walk around this way.  He never designed us to somehow endure life by trying to fix ourselves or carry our burdens as punishment.  God has a different plan.   A plan designed to free us from exerting energy on life’s garbage and instead using that energy on living a life glorifying to him.

Don’t take my word for it; listen to the words of Jesus.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”Matthew 11:28-30

So before you pass out from dehydration or ruin another shirt with sweaty pit stains, consider what unnecessary things you are carrying around.

What are you trying to bear down and fix yourself that God is asking you to lay at the foot of the cross?

Bring it to Him and don’t take it back.  He has much bigger things for you to be doing than playing peak-a-boo with Him under the covers of life.

Believe me, He will let you keep your junk if you want to.  But you may just find that there is a whole lot of fresh air that He is waiting to let you breath in outside of the blankets.

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True Confessions Of A First Time Dad: I Want My Daughter To Marry A Leader

I was listening to a message about a year ago by Greg Surratt a pastor at Seacoast Church in South Carolina.  I couldn’t tell you what the point of the message was, but at one point he was talking about his daughter and the boys that wanted to date her.

That perked my attention.

He went on to describe how he had a process by which he would “interview” potential suitors for his daughter by making them meet him at his church office. When they got there, he’d sit them down and ask them a series of questions.  Some were spiritual and some were just meant to poke around at their character.

All of them were great, but the most brilliant of all the questions was “What are you the leader of?”

I had thought of a lot of questions to ask Aniston’s future boyfriends such as “blood or urine?”, but until now I had never thought about asking about their leadership.  It now is #2 on my list after “Are you a Christian?”

Why should leadership get a spot that high on a daddy’s list?  Well here are a few reasons.

  • A leader takes charge of a situation.
  • A leader isn’t influenced by the crowd, he influences the crowd.
  • A leader is disciplined and enjoys correction.
  • A leader respects others and is respected for it.
  • A leader rises above average to pursue excellence.
  • A leader is self-motivated while motivating others.
  • A leader knows how to pull the best out of people.
  • A leader looks around for solutions, not excuses.
  • A leader charts their own course not the course charted by others.
  • A leader doesn’t have to be convinced to go to school.
  • A leader doesn’t consider college a possibility, it’s a given.
  • A leader looks at challenges as opportunities to rise above.

And that’s just the short list.

I want my daughter to marry a man who is a Christian and a leader because I know she won’t want to drag around a “follower” her entire life.  She won’t want to push an unmotivated “boy that shaves” to do something when she is laser focused on something greater.  She’s not going to be attracted to a couch potato, majoring in video games, and living in their mom’s basement because they are “holding out for a management position”.

No I want my daughter to be led, inspired, encouraged, and loved by a person that is driven for more than the next day.  A man that loves Jesus and wants to love her that same way too.

I want my daughter to marry a leader because I know she will be one herself and will settle for nothing less.  So boys between the ages of 2-4 you better step up your game and start leading if you want my daughter’s hand in marriage.

To my single men friends out there, I’d ask you to consider who you’re leading and where are you going?  Not so you can just settle down to do something with your soul mate, but so you can settle your soul’s desire to do something!

And single ladies, please, please, please don’t settle for a follower.  Be a leader yourself and don’t look behind you for someone dragging tail through life, but look next to you for someone running with their eyes fixed on the same goals as you.

Aniston I love you and I can’t wait to interview a few leaders for you someday.

Ok, maybe I can wait a long time 🙂

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True Confessions Of A First Time Dad: My Daughter Growled At The Babysitter

I can’t even call them babysitters.  They have become our family.

Rich, Angie, Anne, Laura, Carolyn, and Molly have become such a huge part of our family’s life that we can’t thank God enough for them.  They have loved our kids as their own and we are truly blessed to have them in our lives.

Ok, nuff mushy stuff, but it’s important. 🙂

A few nights ago Carolyn was watching Aniston and Easton at our house.  This was the first time we had left our little 2-month-old hand grenade with anyone, but we know Carolynn (aka Blah Blah) could handle the task.  After all Aniston LOVES her and has been around her for literally her entire life.

We came home from dinner, Carolyn said everything was awesome as usually until bed time.  She took Aniston down for her bedtime routine of pajamas, potty, teeth brushing, bedtime story, and prayers when something strange happened.  Carolyn laid out 3 options of PJ’s for Aniston to pick from, but when she told her to choose she folder her arms, glared her eyes, and started to growl…like a dog…to Blah Blah.

She regrouped and tried again, but Aniston growled again and said “I in charge.”

Never having dealt with a possessed 3 year old before she asked her if she wanted a timeout thinking that would flip the switch.   Unfortunately, instead of being crushed and apologetic Aniston said “yes” and happily went to the corner to growl a bit more.

Fortunately, “Toddler Wolf” finally snapped out of it and became sweet Aniston again.  She put on her PJ’s and went to bed singing a sweet apology song to Carolynn as she drifted off to sleep.

Ok…you can say it…I agree…that was straight up weird.

Cherie and I were so embarrassed and so apologetic to sweet Carolyn.  I hope we paid her like a billion dollars, but I can’t confirm that.  🙂

After She left, we huddle up to figure out the plan of attack for our little Werewolf the next day.

I have an amazing wife and her idea was to have her make Carolynn an I’m Sorry Card and then go to her house and apologize in person.  Here is what she wrote on the card.  See if you can guess what part Aniston added.

“I’m sorry I was not a good girl last night. 

I will be a good girl the next time you come over.  

I love your crayons.  I love you.  – Beeg”

Fortunately the Beil’s still love us and I even think Carolyn will continue to share her Crayons with Aniston so all was saved!

For me it was a great reminder about how important it is to seek forgiveness sooner rather than later in a relationship.

Paul speaks of exactly that in Ephesians 4:26 when he says “In your anger do not sin.  Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

The worst thing I see people do is sweep things under the rug or pretend something didn’t happen in hopes the hurt will be forgotten.  The reality is that as Christians we need to be initiating reconciliation early and often as a sign of spiritual growth within us.

If we are not the first to seek peace we are missing God’s direction.

Don’t let a growl turn into bark into a bite into a full on dogfight when a simple “I’m sorry” or “please forgive me” can cover a multitude of sins.

Because, believe me, if we don’t take care of things before the sun comes down that’s when the Werewolves really come out.

Ggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrr….

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True Confessions Of A First Time Dad: Golden Retriever Flight School

There is a small retention pond in our subdivision that is a wonderful little nook complete with a fountain, fish, odd smelling water with odder looking foam, and beer cans floating in it from the underage knuckle heads in the neighborhood.

Even though it seems like a mess we still like to go and stand above the water looking down to watch the fish swim and also the ducks.

It’s those flying friends that caught our attention this last time.  We noticed the momma duck in the water looking up at her brood of maturing ducklings pacing the retaining wall above the water.  They waddled back and forth as nervous as a freshman boy asking a senior girl to the prom.  There was something they wanted to do but we didn’t’ know what.

Just then the momma duck took off from the water and flew right by her adolescent crew landing with the precision of a F16 on an aircraft carrier.  She gave a quick look to her “class” to make sure everyone was paying attention and then waddled to the edge and pushed off the side into perfect flight only to land gracefully on the water below.  She dunked her head under the water quickly and flung her feathers dramatically upon surfacing with the panache of an Olympic swimmer taking their swim cap off.

We looked up to the ducklings that had a look of amazement, but yet resolve that said “I can do that!”  We thought for sure that these Titans of Fowl would quickly jump off and join their hero in the water.  However, for the next 10 – 15 minutes we watched them continue their anxiety dance on the wall only getting one webbed toe even near the edge.

With a 90 degree sun beating down on my fair skinned family I realized it was time to go before we all spontaneously combusted.  We packed up and started on our walk home, but as we got the corner we looked one more time to see if they had made any progress.  Unfortunately they were still gripped with fear all looking down to momma duck.

As I started to sink into a mini depression thinking I may have missed a real life National Geographic moment something dawned on me.  I realized I had something that may help these junior aviators accelerate their learning curve.

Pachino.

Our wonderful, 100 pound, drooling at the chance, frustrated by a house full of babies and Barbies Golden retriever.

I looked down at him and he looked up at me with eyes that said “put me in coach I’m ready.”  The next thing I know I see a streak of gold fur and slobber sprinting toward this group of delectable ducklings.

Pachino got within 5 feet before every duck butt and beak on that wall went diving into the water with the grace of Humpty Dumpty.  We all ran over to see how everyone was and thankfully all ducks were accounted for and swimming around with a confidence that said, “I meant to do that.

Aniston LOVED it, Cherie laughed, Easton tooted, and I thought it was flat out awesome.

Let’s face it sometimes we all have things that we hem and haw at.  Things that we say we want to do but never do.  Things we’ve been standing on the ledge to start but never jump into.

Our spiritual lives are not immune to this paralysis.

I know that God feels like the momma duck in the pond just waiting for you and I to take the first step knowing we will be just fine when we do.  Whether it’s accepting Christ, getting baptized, joining a small group, or even sharing your faith with someone God so desperately wants you to step off the ledge and fly.

But no one can do it for you.

God is not going to be send a Golden Retriever to scare us into a relationship with him we have to do it on our own.  Our friends can encourage us, our pastor can shepherd us, and God can provide opportunities but we have to jump.

I’m just telling you to get off your duck butt, dive in, and enjoy the ride.

Believe me God will be down at the bottom to teach you how to swim and Pachino will look down on you with a grin. 🙂

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True Confessions Of A First Time Dad: My 3 Year Old Chose Her Wedding Dress

It happened so innocently.

My wife and I were feeding Easton on the couch when all of a sudden Aniston announces, “I want a white wedding dress.”  Cherie and I look at each other and without missing a beat Aniston went on to describe this magical gown.

Here are some details:

–       It is white with long sleeves

–       It has flowers at the bottom

–       Her hair will be worn down, “not in a pony daddy!”

–       There will be pink and purple flowers in her hair like Rapunzel

–       She does not want a headband in her hair

–       The bridesmaids will be wearing pink and purple dresses as well

At least, this is what the paramedics told me when I woke up in the ER.  I don’t really remember much after I passed out and hit my head.  I guess the thought of my 3 year old getting married was too much.

The truth is that my daughter really just wanted a dress.  She wanted to play dress up and wear pretty clothes and on this day she wanted a white wedding dress.

That’s it.

What she didn’t want was to get married.  (Thank you sweet Jesus J )

You see getting married is a far bigger deal than playing dress up or even having a wedding.

Every day, lots of people play dress up and have weddings.  It’s called Vegas.

But very few people want a marriage.

A marriage requires compromise, submission, forgiveness, love, patience, and so much more I don’t have space to write them all.  Marriage is a commitment of a man and woman to each other until death parts them.   Marriage is covenant between them and God to love each other and to be there for each other through the good and the not so good.  Marriage is guaranteed journey that will be filled with ups and downs, ins and outs, smiles and screams, and will test everything about you.

This is why I see more and more people wanting a wedding more than a marriage.

They want the dress-up party, dancing, presents, and honeymoon way more than holding wrinkled hands at their 50th anniversary celebration.

Tragically, these marriages dissolve because of the selfish and fleeting desire of “happiness” one or both them are chasing.  It’s the pursuit of that “wedding feeling” every day of their lives, but when the music fades and the make-up gets washed off real life begins.

The people that bail on their marriages and run into the arms of money, freedom, independence, another person, or any other fruitless pursuit are the ones missing out.  They miss out on the aged beauty found in a long lasting relationship seasoned with time.

My friends please hear these next words.

If you are married, keep working at it even if it’s hard.  Don’t fall for the mirage of happiness you think you see in the distance.  Rub your eyes and realize God has you and your spouse together for the long haul for something far better than happiness.

If you are separated or divorced, it’s not too late.  Forgiveness is what God does best…just ask Jesus.  If you have chosen to believe the lies of happiness and have strayed from your spouse you can always turn back.  Humble yourself and get back in the fight for your marriage.  It’s worth it.

If you are single, get your relationship with God right first.  The best gift you can give your spouse is to have a strong relationship with Christ.  If you are able to establish your identity and joy in Him then you will not put unnecessary expectation or pressure on your spouse.  Find your identity in Him and praise Him for the chance to share love with the person He brings into your life.  Pursue God not happiness.

My prayer is that more people work to get past the new car marriage smell and realize the true design God had for marriage.  Don’t believe the lie that the best day of your marriage is the first because the best is yet to come.

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True Confessions Of A First Time Dad: “What’s Your Birthday Name?”

My daughter Aniston just turned 3.

Give me a minute.

I always have to let that sink in when I say it, because it seems like yesterday I was cleaning up her spit-up and swaddling here like a burrito.

Ok…better.

Well BG did turn three and it was an awesome day/week/month of celebrating for her.  I realize I’m biased, but we think she is really smart.  By the time she was 2 she knew her colors, shapes, and could count to 10 (sometimes 12 if the staircase was long enough).  She also knows her full name and even the day and month of her birthday!

In classic BG fashion she has her own twist on it though.  When asking people about their birthday instead of asking them “When is your birthday?” she will ask “What’s your birthday name?”

It melts my heart every time.

This got me to thinking though about another “birthday name”.  Our spiritual one.

Do you know the date when you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior?

I’m not talking about your feelings of “I know I’m good with God” or “I know where I stand”.  I’m talking about the day that you know without a doubt that you locked it down.  The day the weight of your sin, the gap it caused between you and God, the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, and the gift of grace He offers hit you right between the eyes and you accepted Him as your Lord and savior.

THAT day.

Do you know when THAT day is?

For me it was Sunday November 24,1996 at First Christian Church in Rapid City, South Dakota.  It was at the end of the 11:00 AM service when the invitation was given that I walked forward, talked with an elder named Larry Stevens, and was baptized that day.  That was my “birthday name” and I’ve never been the same since.

Why is this important?

Well let me risk asking too many questions and ask you a few more.

  • What year did you graduate high school?
  • When did you get married?
  • When were your children born?
  • When did the White Sox last win the World Series?

Let’s be honest.  You didn’t have to grab your planners to think about those dates.  You know them without thinking.

Why?

Because they mean something to you…because they impacted you…because they changed your life.

Let me press down a little harder.

How much more important is your eternal salvation than your High School graduation?

Ouch…I know.

I make a big deal about this because it IS a big deal.  I want you to KNOW what that date is not so you can get a tattoo on your arm to remember, but so that you are sure your soul is tattooed with the name of Jesus for eternity.

So if you don’t know your spiritual “birthday name” and you want to know without a shadow of a doubt then follow what the Apostle Paul says.

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” – Romans 9:9-10

To make the decision to follow Jesus say these words out loud.

“I am a sinner, separated from God, and I know that Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection is the only answer for that separation.  I accept him as my Lord and Savior, receive his free gift of Grace, and commit to follow him the rest of my life.”

Awesome!

One last thing.

Look at the calendar.

Congratulations…you now know your Birthday Name.

See ya in heaven.

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True Confessions Of A First Time Dad: Aniston Thinks Everything Is Chicken

I've decided that all kids are pretty much bipolar when it comes to food.

One minute they will eat everything you give them including the plate it came on and the next minute they will look like a French food critique with Irritable Bowl Syndrome at whatever you put in front of them.

Aniston falls into this stereotype perfectly.

She used to eat EVERYTHING we put in front of her including the nasty pea mush that not even the baby on the label looks happy eating.  Veggies, meat, fruit, you name it she would eat it.  Then she decided that she had standards or maybe “tastes” is a better word.

Phrases like, “I no eat salad” (for anything remotely green), “I no like dat? (for any type of casserole) crept in seemingly over night.  It got to the point where we thought the pediatrician was going to have to interrogate us with a spotlight for not feeding our child at the next visit.

But then through the sobs and pleading at the dinner table one night we realized something.

Chicken was cool.

I mean she loves it and would eat it all the time any time.

So what did we do as the grown, highly educated, Christian parents we are?

We lied to her.

Yep, from that moment on everything we put in front of her was “chicken”.  Steak, hamburger, tuna, salmon, mushrooms, sausage, anything she gave the stink eye to became chicken.  And I’ll be darned if it didn’t work.

Now before you report me to the Food Channel, I’d be willing to bet you’ve had your faux “chicken” moments.  In fact, I told Cherie the other night that I now know why everything tastes like chicken!  It’s because all of our parents lied to us!

Have you ever caught yourself eating a bunch of “chicken” in your spiritual life?

In other words, have you been living your life doing or not doing things because someone told you that’s what a Christian does, but you never really looked to see if that’s what God really said in his Word?

Here are a few to chew on:

  • Do you not drink alcohol because you think that’s something Christians don’t do?
  • Do you not associate with homosexuals because you think Jesus hates them and you should too?
  • Do you go to church on Sunday’s because you think that if you do God likes you better because of it?

The truth is that many of us accept the cultural perception of what a Christian “should be” without ever finding out what God said we should “actually be”.  The reason we don’t want to dig into that truth is because we won’t like what we find.  We will find that it’s not all “chicken” like we thought and that in fact we were wrong in many areas.  We will find we have to change who we are and that will hurt.

I know this is a constant point of shaping for me to this day.  It seems that daily I try to put my Brian-spin on Christianity when in reality I just need to honestly follow Jesus humbly.

My challenge for you and me is to not go through life thinking we know, but taking the time to know we know.  Dig into your Bible, listen at church, get into a small group, find accountability with people, and be willing to say “I’m wrong and need to change”.  If we can be honest and transparent about our shortcomings I know Jesus will gently meet us in our gaps and fill them with His love and grace.

We don’t have to go through life eating chicken because God’s menu has a way bigger selection to choose from.

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True Confessions Of A First Time Dad: 10 Things I Learned From A 2 Year Old At Christmas

10.  Travelling in a car with a 2 year old is the #1 reason why every parent should own an iPad preloaded with enough Disney Movies to make Mickey Mouse blush.

9.  It is hard to convince a 2 year old that it’s Christmas when there is more snow in the Wal-Mart parking lot than on the ground at Mimi and Papa’s house on Christmas Day.

8.  Christmas ornaments are much more fun to look at when they have pictures of mommy and daddy from when they were younger.  Especially the ones when daddy had hair.

7.  There is no such thing as “too many” soft fluffy things you can put into a Pack-N-Play.  Even if the amount in it makes it almost impossible for you to lay down.

6.  Sitting across from Poppa at dinner will guarantee that food will be slowly eaten and attempts at winking will be many.

5.  When wrapping presents for a 2 year old, less is more.  Especially when it is given to one that doesn’t like tape stuck to her hands, any kind of mess, and the patience of a neurosurgeon.  If you do not listen to this warning you will still be uwrapping presents on New Years Eve.

4.  Disney is a sick and twisted genius of a company.  The people they have locked away in a secret cave somewhere and are refusing to feed until they create new ways to repackage 8 princess is working amazingly.  Just when you think you have them all…

3.  The best way to see if a new dress is any good is to put it on and then spin in the mirror until your nearly fall over.  Any other method is just madness and you might as well wear pants the rest of your life.

2.  If you give a 2 year old a small Christmas decoration snowman that lights up and changes colors right before she goes down for a nap, make sure you remove the decorative snowflake attached by a wire on top of it’s head.  That was a close one Mimi 🙂

1.  You know your 2 year old understands the real meaning of Christmas when she is able to tell you about Jesus from birth, to him growing up, to him going to the cross, to his empty tomb, and ending with “Jesus is ALIVE!” all by herself at the dinner table.  It makes a mommy and daddy’s heart melt.

 

Gang, don’t believe the lie that children don’t understand or are too young to comprehend what Christmas is all about.  Heck, don’t believe the garbage that children don’t understand what’s going on around them in general.

They understand way more than you think so teach them more than you think you should.

Our kids are sponges of knowledge and I’d much rather take the time to have them soak up the Truth about Jesus early in life when their sponge is empty instead of when they are bloated with all the lies of the world.

Love your kids enough to teach them the Truth about Jesus now.   You’ll never regret it and neither will they.

“Train a child in the way he should go,

and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

Proverbs 22:6

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