Category Archives: True Confessions – First Time Dad

True Confessions of a First Time Dad: I Love Changing Diapers

No, that is not just some cool title to get you to read this blog.  I really do like changing diapers!

Call me dumb or naive, but any time I get to spend with my daughter is worth it.  Even if it is while I clean up something that the US Government should probably do testing on because it may or may not be considered toxic waste.  Usually,as she is on her back waiting for the quick change to take place, this is where we get to "talk" a little.  I mean, she doesn't really have anywhere she can go so I have her seemingly undivided attention.  

It's a perfect time to give a few raspberries on her tummy, tickle her "pitties", or even just let her babble about…well…I have no idea, but it sounds very interesting.  I just love spending time with her anyway I can get it.  However, when I'm changing her diaper I feel like I am actually making her life a whole lot better.

Considering her life before was a cargo load of pee and now it is a freshly wiped, newly powdered, maybe even lotioned booty topped with a new ultra absorbent diaper I think it is safe to say "Life is Good". 

Can I just tell you gang that is exactly what God wants to do for us. 

His deepest desire is to see us come to Him with the diaper full of mess that we've made with our lives and let Him change us.  He delights when we stop trying to fix ourselves and submit that He is the only One that can clean us up the right way. 

Sure, we try to clean things up ourselves, but that usually looks something like those monkeys in the zoo that do the nasty stuff with their diapers if you know what I mean.  That is about as clean as we can make ourselves without God.

Listen, He doesn't ask us to clean up before He helps us!  A pastor I admire says it this way, "God is not looking for some future, better version of yourself."  God knows you have made a load in your proverbial diaper and you need a change.  He knows. 

Just like it doesn't take a neurosurgeon to know when Aniston has refunded the corn and ravioli she had for lunch, it isn't surprising to God when you have made a mess either.  I'll say it again…HE KNOWS. 

So maybe it's time we stop smearing the mess of our lives around thinking it is making things better and start letting God do what He does best. 

In love, cleaning you up and delighting in you as He does it.

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True Confessions of a First Time Dad: I Prayed For a Boy

Ask anyone of my friends.  Close, distance, enemy, brother-like, any semblance of a friend I may have had throughout my life and they would tell you I prayed that God would give me boys. 

You must know, I grew up in a house of all boys and we are all boy to be sure. 

We did every sport possible, beat each other up, didn't shower for days, left at sunup didn't come back until mom yelled, never knew the toilet had a seat to put down, would pretend clothes hangers were guns or bows, burped, farted, sometimes at the same time, and we could all spit within an inch of our targets. 

We were BOYS!!!

A huge part of me had dreams of wanting that kind of relationship with my boy, but the other part of me thought of how tragically messed up a little girl would be under my stunted direction too.  That's why I thought it safest for everyone involved that I had boys.  So I prayed and asked God to give Cherie and I a boy.

That's why when the doctor held up our first born, just 12 short months ago, and announced "it's a girl!" I never thought I'd love Garth Brooks so much. 

What?  Bear with me.

In one of his famous songs Garth wrote these lines:

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

I 'm so glad God didn't answer my prayer the way I wanted because I am hook line and sinker a daddy's girl and I love it!  Now I can't imagine life without my little Aniston or BG as I call her.  I love our "Daddy Days" each Friday when we play with her dolls and I tell her how much I'm going to beat up any boy that even makes her cry.  I've even come to grips with pink…wow.

Sure I still think about adding a little boy to the Hunt family in the future, but if God doesn't let a Y-chromosome come out to play with a X-chromosome…I'm good with that too.  (Yes, that was some genetics humor for you Aunt Katie :) )  Girls don't "drool" anymore…they are pretty stinkin' cool if you ask me!

It may be hard to swallow sometimes, but many of God's best answers in my life, and perhaps in your life, have been "no".  It's the kind of answer that hurt when you receive it, but looking back it was that Godly rejection that saved you years of pain.  

That's one of the attributes of a loving God that we lose site of sometimes.  The tough love He gives us that says "no" even when everything within your human flesh is screaming "please say yes!!!"  

Hopefully we can all one day get to a mature place in our relationship with Christ that even when He says "no" we know that He only wants good for us! 

I know for me the "no" He gave me has been one of the best gifts of my life!

 

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True Confessions of a First Time Dad: The Gospel According to American Girl

I had heard rumors about it…I've seen the effects of it…I even knew it was coming, but I wasn't prepared. 

Yep it's the American Girl store. 

Wall to wall dolls floating in sea of dresses, outfits, proportionally sized dogs, doll hospitals, hair salons with adult stylists, and aisle after aisle of passed out father's overwhelmed by the experience. 

It's an experience because it isn't just a normal day at a normal store getting a normal doll.  No, no, no. You see, American Girl develops a whole world for you to enter into with your doll. 

Each year they create a new doll and cast a young girl that looks just like her to bring the doll to life.  You can buy a DVD about the dolls.  You can have tea with your dolls.  You can get clothes for you to match your doll.  You can even get glamour shots with your doll for a Christmas card.  For crying out loud, even the bathroom stalls have holders for the dolls so you don't accidentally dunk them!

Even the shelving of the products was thought out since they are at two different heights for two types of people; the parents with the green and the little girls with needs. 

All this marketing genius is for a doll that will most likely be put in a Rubbermaid container after a few months with the other $5 toys.  But it works and has made getting a doll fun and down to the level of the kids. 

I wonder if we as Christians could learn something from this type of approach?

I mean, I wonder if we do a good enough job bringing the Gospel down to the level of the people we are talking to or even interacting with on a daily basis? 

Now, I'm not saying we should create a store like American Girl to talk to people who are interested in Christianity, but you'd have to think the Noah's Ark section of the store would be pretty sick (FYI, sick = cool).

However, there may be something to be said about tailoring the way we talk with people about God that is at their personal level which may be more effective.  Instead of trying to impress ourselves as we talk at them about all that we know, maybe we should start by asking what they know and start there? 

For instance, I'm certain the lady that styles hair at the store knows full well she is styling doll hair and not human hair.  I'm sure she could get paid way more if it were a human in the chair, but she knows that her role in the experience is for that little girl beaming from ear to ear at the counter in front of her.  At that moment it isn't about her needs as an adult, but about the needs of the little girl.  When we truly want to share our faith with someone, we need to remember it is about the needs of the person we are talking to and not ours. 

Who cares if you’re the CEO of the company and are talking to a floor worker at lunch about the church you go to?  Who cares if a mom takes her son out paintballing to talk about having Christ-like character?  Who cares if you take your wife shopping just to spend time talking about life and Jesus?  So what if you look a little foolish!? 

I'm telling you (and me) that we should care way less about how we look or feel and more about how the other person feels about Christ. 

At its core it breaks down this way: If I look foolish for a moment, but the person accepts Christ would I care?  Of course not!

I just think all of us could spend more time learning from American Girl's approach and less time with our small group of Christian friends that get together to talk about how much we all have it together.  We need those moments of sharpening and encouraging, but it doesn't do any good if we don't pop the Christian bubble and get out and impact our world.  Believe me…people are dying to know way more about a Savior, and not one that will get put in a box in the garage someday.  

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True Confessions of a First Time Dad: The Effects of a 1 Year Old on the Most Romantic Place On Earth

Recently my wife and I took a trip to France to visit my brother in-law Alex and his wife Katie.  Not only was this the first trip to France for both of us, but it was also the first international trip for our daughter Aniston.  I thought you may appreciate the effects of a 1-year old on the most romantic city on earth.   

  • International Flight + 1 Year Old = I think Bill Cosby describes it best when talking about Jeffery.  
  • Leisurely Walks Down Charming Streets + 1 Year Old = Carrying a dead-weight, jet-lagged, hysterical baby to a train station and throwing out L1-L5 of your vertebral column while every French person possibly condemns you with their stares.
  • Public Transportation Metro Trains + 1 Year Old = Carrying a stroller loaded down with no baby but a baby backpack, camera bag, souvenirs, and umbrellas up and down 15- 20 flights of stairs as we transfer to 3 different lines.  Upside is that in no way do you need to work-out while on vacation.
  • Quaint Persian Hotel + 1 Year Old = Cramming your jet lagged child into a newly purchased tent big enough for a 1 year old at 2:00 in the morning as she is screaming.  This can only be compared to the grandma who wrapped up her cat for a present in Christmas Vacation.  Then finally giving in and letting her sleep on the bed with you which requires you and your wife to contort your bodies to form what can only be described as a UFC octagon to keep her penned in. 
  • Relaxing Pillow Talk With Your Wife + 1 Year Old = Whispering so quietly to each other (so as to not wake your child that finally went to sleep) that CIA microphones could not pick up the sound. 
  • Romantic French Bistros + 1 Year Old = Trying to order a grilled cheese sandwich that isn't lit on fire when it gets to your table while ordering food for yourself you can't pronounce. 
  • Flavorful French Cuisine + 1 Year Old = The most regular child on the planet who may break the record for most dirty diapers in a 9-day period of time previously held by an 88 year old man in Milwaukee.
  • French Crepes + 1 Year Old = Your daughter's new favorite food and the necessity to buy stock in Nutella.   
  • Watching an International Basketball Game + 1 Year Old = Only two words needed:  Despicable Me.  
  • Vineyard Tours + 1 Year Old = Dad left in the backseat of a Volkswagen Golf while the 1 year old that missed her nap writhes and screams so much that every window in the car fogs up.  The silver lining turns out that she likes writing in the fog she created on the windows, but there was still so much of it that my wife had to knock on the windows to see if we were still alive. 

The Final Verdict:  One of the coolest trips I've been on and I loved every second of it with my family. 

You see that is what we are, a family. Families include all the good stuff like giggles and impromptu hugs, but also screams and tantrums.  Families include parents that kiss each other and parents that want to strangle each other.  Families include good times and not so good times, but through it all it is a family.  

Don't get me wrong I love time alone with Cherie and we are not opposed to taking a few days to our self while someone watches Aniston, but that's not the norm.  The norm is that we do things as a family, live life as a family, and represent God as a family.  

You don't give up on a family when things get tough.  You don't call it quits on a family when you hit a bump.  You don't leave one family for another family that looks better. 

Nope.

You enjoy, work, encourage, endure, mold, pray for, laugh with, and honor the family God has given you through good and bad. 

I know this trip allowed me to take stock on how blessed I am to have the family God gave me.  Maybe you can take a step back and look at the family God has given you   Perhaps you need to realize that your family may not always be the most romantic thing to look at, but it is a blessing that He gave you and in the end it's always worth the effort. 

 

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True Confessions of a First Time Dad: I Drive Slow Now

 

My best friend and I used to be maniacs when it came to driving back home. Neither of us had cars that were lighting fast, but we sure thought they were.  How could you not when one of us had a S10 Pickup and the other had a Ford Bronco II!?  I mean, those are the definition of speed and handling in my book.

Regardless of what we were driving, there was no question that how we were driving was a little nutty.  We had an itch for that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you're on the borderline of flipping your car as you tuck around the corners of the winding roads we lived on.  Looking back we put ourselves and others in some serious danger by our road antics, but at the time we didn't think about that stuff.

Advance a few chapters in life to the present day and things are different.

Adding Aniston into the equation of life has made many things change for me including how I drive.  I'm sure all of us can remember driving home from the hospital for the first time with our new born baby and honestly feeling like you were driving your car in an episode of Star Wars with how fast the cars seemed to pass you by.  You'd lay on your horn and yell "slow down psycho!" as you literally travel slow enough that an old lady walking backwards could pass you.

But it's not just that trip that slows your driving roll.  You are forever more aware of stop signs, red lights, yellow lights, and school zones than you ever were before.  Looking both ways is not good enough when entering and intersection.  No, now you ask your wife to confirm that it is safe to drive through and you don't even mind the double check! 

For heaven's sake, I even use cruise control in town so I don't accidently go Dale Earnhardt Jr. on someone that cuts me off. 

I've changed the way that I drive because there is something greater at stake than me now.  I've slowed down because I want to enjoy the moments I have with Aniston even if it means getting somewhere 7 seconds slower.  I don't think any parents would argue this to a man, but would our actions match our words?

Allow me to carry this analogy beyond the roadways.  Parents or those who desire to be parents one day, how has/will your life slow down for your family?

  • Dads, do our kids know how much we love them all the time or is it only when Fantasy Football isn't in season?
  • Moms, is your anxiety about how they are dressed, what kids will think, if they'll skin their knees, or how they feel after that girl broke his heart keeping your from enjoying the brief time you have them?
  • Parents, has the pursuit of "giving them more than you had" come at the cost of giving them less of us physically, emotionally and spiritually?

I really hope that when I utter the phrase "wow, she grew up fast!" I'll be able to quickly pull up tons of memories with Aniston.  But I know some of you will struggle to remember even a few because you will have lived life never slowing down long enough to make any. 

I pray that today you are able to pull back the zoom lens of life to 30,000 feet and see what your life really looks like.  Then take the bold step of slowing down.  Not in a lazy, playing video games all day kind of slowing down, but in a getting rid of the unnecessary, self-induced, frantic pace of life kind of way.  

You'd be surprised what you will see when life isn't a blur in your rearview mirror.   

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I Drive Slow Now

My best friend and I used to be maniacs when it came to driving back home. Neither of us had cars that were lighting fast, but we sure thought they were. How could you not when one of us had a S10 Pickup and the other had a Ford Bronco II!? I mean, those are the definition of speed and handling in my book.

Regardless of what we were driving, there was no question that how we were driving was a little nutty. We had an itch for that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you're on the borderline of flipping your car as you tuck around the corners of the winding roads we lived on. Looking back we put ourselves and others in some serious danger by our road antics, but at the time we didn't think about that stuff.

Advance a few chapters in life to the present day and things are different.

Adding Aniston into the equation of life has made many things change for me including how I drive. I'm sure all of us can remember driving home from the hospital for the first time with our new born baby and honestly feeling like you were driving your car in an episode of Star Wars with how fast the cars seemed to pass you by. You'd lay on your horn and yell "slow down psycho!" as you literally travel slow enough that an old lady walking backwards could pass you.

But it's not just that trip that slows your driving roll. You are forever more aware of stop signs, red lights, yellow lights, and school zones than you ever were before. Looking both ways is not good enough when entering and intersection. No, now you ask your wife to confirm that it is safe to drive through and you don't even mind the double check!

For heaven's sake, I even use cruise control in town so I don't accidentally go Dale Earnhardt Jr. on someone that cuts me off.

I've changed the way that I drive because there is something greater at stake than me now. I've slowed down because I want to enjoy the moments I have with Aniston even if it means getting somewhere 7 seconds slower. I don't think any parents would argue this to a man, but would our actions match our words?

Allow me to carry this analogy beyond the roadways. Parents or those who desire to be parents one day, how has/will your life slow down for your family?

  • Dads, do our kids know how much we love them all the time or is it only when Fantasy Football isn't in season?
  • Moms, is your anxiety about how they are dressed, what kids will think, if they'll skin their knees, or how they feel after that girl broke his heart keeping your from enjoying the brief time you have them?
  • Parents, has the pursuit of "giving them more than you had" come at the cost of giving them less of us physically, emotionally and spiritually?

I really hope that when I utter the phrase "wow, she grew up fast!" I'll be able to quickly pull up tons of memories with Aniston. But I know some of you will struggle to remember even a few because you will have lived life never slowing down long enough to make any.

I pray that today you are able to pull back the zoom lens of life to 30,000 feet and see what your life really looks like. Then take the bold step of slowing down. Not in a lazy, playing video games all day kind of slowing down, but in a getting rid of the unnecessary, self-induced, frantic pace of life kind of way.

You'd be surprised what you will see when life isn't a blur in your rearview mirror.

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