I am amazed at the way that God teaches us and uses other people to speak into our hearts and lives. Last week, I talked about how much I learn from our team members at Simmons. Last night, my 7 year old was the teacher. I was reminded last night that some things are just “more very important”...
It's been awhile since I mentioned my kids in a blog. At the most recent count we have three running around the farm: Caleb (7), Caitlyn (3) and Claire (1). It was not my idea to name them all “C” names, that would be Miss Val. There is a country song out right now called, “You Name the Babies, I’ll Name the Dogs” and it's the story of my life. Actually, I wanted to name our first son, “Boone” and my smokin’ hot wife just looked at me and said, “You can name a dog "Boone" someday, but not our son.” She wasn’t kidding. So, I got a dog.
We (actually just Val) are pregnant with another little boy - due in July. Truth be told, I only really wanted to have two kids and she always pictured out family with four kids...so we compromised, and we are going to have four kids.
Parenting has been an interesting journey for us so far. I remember when Caleb was a baby. It was not what I expected. He just laid there. Ate. Cried. Pooped. Slept. Repeat. I couldn’t wait until he was big enough to walk, play and talk. Then they get big enough and then you just wish they would sit still and be quiet for like 5 seconds...
Then these two girls come along and they have their Daddy’s heart around their little pinky. I grew up with two brothers and the world of girls is completely new to me - and I love it. Most of the time. Just about every night I get to be "The Beast" or "Prince" to two princesses and dance with them in the living room. I also find myself asking multiple times a week what in the world everyone is crying about! Most of the time, they don’t know. I’m excited to add another boy to the family and give us a fighting chance...who am I kidding?
I spent the last two weeks in Delaware and had a few evening to myself. I thought alot about my family and the blessing my wife and kids are to me. Some of my greatest memories and chapters of my life have been written these last few years with them. I keep trying to enjoy these moments with them because every parent I talk to mentions how fast times goes. Before we know it they will be leaving our home and starting a life of their own.
That thought upsets some people, but it's a matter of vision for me. I think about the day my kids leave my home as a goal, not something I hope to avoid. The way we are making memories together, disciplining, teaching, coaching and loving our kids today is to prepare them one day to leave. We recognize that the character we help them build now will directly impact who they are in the next 10-15 years.
Val and I pray for their future spouses often. Even at 7, 3, and 1, we pray that if they are to marry, that God would be watching over their future spouse.
We also believe that discipleship begins in the home. We are thankful for an incredible church that pours into our kids throughout the week. But we know that it’s one thing to hear about these truths on Sunday morning and Wednesday night. It is another to see Mom and Dad living them out at home.
What I love about kids is they can surprise you with something so deep and thoughtful sometimes. Caleb and I were coming back from checking cows awhile back. He was in the backseat and said, “Daddy, what is heaven going to be like?” Wow, that’s a pretty cool thought from a 7-year-old! We talked about it for two minutes or so. It was quiet for a few seconds and he followed that up with another deep thought, “Do snakes have a butt?” I had to google it. I love raising boys.
He had another moment that was pretty cool last night. He brought home a paper that he had done during class. His teacher had prompted the class to write a paragraph in response to the question:
If you had to choose between skipping your birthday or Christmas, what would you do?
Here was his response…
“I would skip my birthday because I would not want to skip Jesus’s birthday. It’s on Christmas. Birthdays are just for fun anyway. Jesus’s birthday is more very important.”
Seeing it again now makes me smile. I love that kid. I hope to continue to encourage his love for Christ and others. What a blessing it is to be called to be a Mom and Dad to one of these precious kids. I will have to look at this and be reminded of what I just said the next time he breaks a window or flings a corndog across the table at his sister…