Search

TruthNotes

Timeless truth in a changing world

Tag

Parenting

Sweet Words

baby-2616673_1920

By all accounts, yesterday was a completely sub-par day. Work was…meh. My toddler had been fighting a cold for a couple of days. My wife had picked up said cold the previous night and was drained of energy. We were hosting a guest at the house who—you guessed it—was also sick. I had just returned from picking up my toddler from a not-so-good day at her daycare, and I still had to finish up my own work day. Then I had to address and work on some other business matters. Oh, and I had to make dinner, too. Yeah.

Our evening wound up being what my wife and I have coined a “Jekyll and Hyde” night. One minute was all smiles, giggles, and happiness. The next was a complete 180° turn filled with fussiness, crying, attention-craving, and meltdowns. So it was up to me and my five-month-old son to take care of our lovely ladies and house guest. While it wasn’t the most difficult situation, neither was it altogether easygoing. But we managed and got through it. Our toddler was put to bed at her normal time, and the rest of us were able to take a few minutes to decompress and relax before hitting the proverbial hay ourselves.

Then 10:15 pm came. Toddler was awake, wailing, and needing another dose of medicine. And then it happened. In the midst of her crying, I heard that sweet word: “Daddy.” My heart both broke and melted at the same time. Just over two hours ago I wanted nothing more than a break from adulting and parenting. But now, in her time of need and distress, all of that went out the window. Nothing else mattered. She wanted and needed me. And I was more than happy to do whatever I needed to do to help her.

As I sat and cuddled with her after getting her calmed down, I thought of how hearing my child’s voice crying out to me compares to how our heavenly Father feels and responds when any of us, His children, cry out to Him. It doesn’t matter how or why we call to Him. It could be a simple thank you. Or a request for something we want or need. Or an utterly desperate plea for help in a moment of our deepest distress. No matter the case, our Father loves to hear us call His name, and He, like all parents, will do anything to help His children.

My mind then turned to the book of Psalms, and how many of the Psalms are written in a state of need and distress. A couple of verses I found particularly apropos were:

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. – Psalm 17:6

I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. – Psalm 18:3, 6

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. – Psalm 116:1-2

It’s comforting to read verses like this, and to know that there are many others throughout the Bible that talk about God listening to and answering us when we call to Him. He truly is our loving Father. And now as a father myself, I am coming to understand more fully how and why He loves us so unconditionally and will always be here for us. It doesn’t matter what we have done, what sort of a day we’ve had, how long it’s been since we last reached out to Him, or even how we seek comfort in Him. Nothing else matters to Him. He knows that we need Him. And He is more than happy to do whatever He needs to help us.

 

(Special thanks to guest author Anthony Hessler for the post!)

Advertisements

I’m Just a Mom

E056921F-1CA7-4DB3-BAE5-9B433B79413A

Being a mother can be a thankless job. Much of what you do goes unnoticed unless it doesn’t get done. Your kids will rarely, if ever, thank you. Quite the opposite, actually. From a toddler throwing a tantrum to a teenager slamming a door in your face, your kids may well give you the distinct impression that you’re ruining their lives. A mother’s daily tasks are repetitive and mundane. Oh, we try to glamorize motherhood. We’ve invented clever terms like “domestic engineer” and “household manager” to describe the mother’s role in the home. But at the end of the day, the truth is that every domestic engineer is just a mom.

(Click here to continue reading the original 5-13-18 post on the website Raising Godly Children.)

 

Are We Failing Our Kids?

people-2564425_1920

“There seems to be a general sense that the current generation of parents in America is failing their children. We aren’t preparing our kids for adulthood or teaching them the life and social skills they need to know. Kids are in something of a crisis, growing up not knowing how to be grown up.”

Do you ever worry that you’re failing your children? I do. And sadly, many parents are failing their kids, but not necessarily in the way you might expect. Read more about it in this article I wrote for Raising Godly Children, Are We Failing Our Kids?

What Does This Mean? (Beyond Confirmation Class)

4978069221_695d06bbfd_b_d

I can practically sing “Phantom of the Opera” in my sleep. My son is in the marching band, and their program was “Phantom” this year. Besides the fact that he practiced it at home, we also have the advantage of living but two blocks from the school, and therefore we can hear the band when they practice outside. We heard “Phantom” every school morning, every Monday night when they had three-hour clinics, every halftime show for home games, and every weekend in October for competition.

But here’s the thing–the harder the competitions got, the more they practiced. You’d think by the time they’d done it a few times, they had the thing pretty well under their belts, but no. They worked on fine tuning the performance, sometimes quite literally. They held chords to figure out which instrument was out of tune. They played the same sixteen measures over and over to make sure everyone was stepping exactly where they ought. They needed to know every single detail about their part, and know it well. It was inspiring to observe their focus and dedication. And it’s a good lesson on what it means to live as Christians in the world.

Continue reading “What Does This Mean? (Beyond Confirmation Class)”

Caution: Work in Progress

9B2B9AE3-F6AA-4D8A-B3F5-DB278B3A6439

Had anyone stopped by my house yesterday, they would have been greeted by complete chaos. The kids and I were taking down the Christmas tree, so ornaments, boxes, storage bins, and strings of lights were strewn about the living room. Branches of the artificial tree were tossed around haphazardly. My two-year-old’s blocks and wooden train track pieces were mixed in with the Christmas stuff. One could hardly walk through the room, it was so cluttered. It was a total disaster. But that was okay. It was, after all, only temporary. It was a work in progress. Continue reading “Caution: Work in Progress”

When You Feel Like a Horrible Parent

image

For anyone who has ever felt like the worst parent ever, this article originally written for and published on the Raising Godly Children website is for you!

Five Parenting Mistakes You’re Probably Making

I have a confession to make.  Back when the weather was really nice, there were a number of days when I spent perhaps a grand total of five minutes with my children from the time they got home from school until we ate dinner.  No educational activities together, no family bonding time, no outings.  I just let them play.  For the most part, I knew where they were.  They played with each other and with other neighborhood kids, rotating between their houses and ours.  They played in the huge cardboard box-turned-play-fort in our yard, climbed trees, and had a great time.  From time to time they’d wander in for a snack or a drink, but mostly they kept to themselves.  I learned later that some of the things they did included killing bees with a baseball bat, “fixing” the cardboard fort with a hammer and nails, and patrolling the neighborhood like secret agents with their Nerf guns to keep us safe.  I guess I’m glad I didn’t know what they were doing after all!  So now I ask you- does that make me a bad parent?  After all, who would let their kids run around mostly unsupervised for three hours?  What kind of parent would let their kids use a hammer and nails without adult supervision?  Or kill bees with a baseball bat, supervised or not?  Or for that matter, play with toy guns?  And besides, shouldn’t parents be spending time with their kids, playing games, reading books, going to museums, building memories?  What kind of a parent does these things anyhow?  Turns out, a good one.

Continue reading “Five Parenting Mistakes You’re Probably Making”

New School Year Confessions from a Tired Mom

I remember the day my oldest child started preschool. He had a bag full of brand-new school supplies, all carefully labelled and placed just so in his pencil box. I had his clothes laid out the night before, down to socks and shoes. I got up early to make a special breakfast and got there early enough to walk him in and get him adjusted before I left. Then I went for a walk with my good friend, whose oldest was also starting preschool that morning. It was a great day. Now here I am, seven years later, with three kids in school, another at home, and yet another on the way. I’m not nearly as organized and peppy as I was way back when. Allow me to explain…

Continue reading “New School Year Confessions from a Tired Mom”

Mommy’s Little Helper

My five-year old can crack an egg like a pro.  Whenever I need an egg or two cracked, I call her and she happily comes running to comply, proud that she can help her mommy.  But it wasn’t always like this.  You see, I’m a perfectionist in many ways.  You’d never be able to tell that given the state of my house, mind you, but in those areas where I can be in complete control, I’m all about perfection.  And frankly, allowing a preschooler to crack an egg is far from perfect.  It’s messy.  There were a lot of egg shells that ended up in the bowl and lots of gummy egg white dripping down the side of the bowl and onto the counter while she was still learning.  It galled me to no end.  But each time she tried, she got a step closer in learning how to crack an egg properly, and now she loves to show off that skill every time I need her help.  Although I have a long way to go, I remind myself of a saying my brother likes- Don’t let perfect get in the way of better.

Continue reading “Mommy’s Little Helper”

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑