Category Archives: Time

9.10.17 ~ A Post on Sharing Faith

My faith is important to me and naturally, is something I want to share with others, including my sons.  I am careful and prayerful in my approach, and trust in God’s love for and pursuit of my sons.

As a follower of Christ and as a minister my desire is for my sons to have an intimate relationship with Jesus.  Their own faith, not mine.  My other desire is that I won’t mess them up too much in my endeavors.

During a conversation today, the topic of pastor’s kids who struggle in life or walk away from the faith came up.  I’m aware of this reality and because I am aware of this reality I have made some decisions, right or wrong, for my family.  I also understand full well that I cannot force my faith on to my children, but I can do my best at following Christ, journey with my sons, and point them to God.

Here are some of the decisions I have made that may or may not help guide the faith of my children.

1) While some “church” activities are optional, worship is not.  We attend worship together as a family, and my prayer is that in this setting they will commune with Christ and experience the power and ministry of the Holy Spirit.  I hope this time will deepen their interest and relationship in Christ.  In worship my sons have always participated as members of the congregation.  No technology to entertain them.  We have always had the expectation that they needed to experience worship in their own way, within their ability, and with their giftedness.

2) Some other “church” activities are optional.

3) We pray together as a family.  We pray at meals.  We pray at bedtime.  We pray at other times as prayer is needed.

4) We have lots of conversations about faith and following Jesus.  In these conversations Heidi, my wife and I, try to be as real, open, and authentic as we can be.  We share what we believe, we share why, we share our struggles, we include Scripture, we share our experiences, and we share our hopes and dreams.

5) We make Bible’s available to our sons.  They all have one.  They all know how to read.

6) I pray for my sons.  I haven’t read a lot of parenting books, but one of them I read had to do with the importance of parent’s praying for their children.  Praying for your children is important.

7) The other parenting book I read had something to do with the importance of and ways to worship at home.  This is important as well and we have done this by singing songs, reading stories, reading the Bible, praying, and having conversations.

8) We involve them in opportunities to reach out and minister to others.  One of the best ways to teach our children to love and follow our faith, in my case a relationship with Jesus Christ, is to engage them in reaching out to others.  When we do this, with our sons engaged in the ministry endeavor with us, we have opportunity share our reasons for helping others as followers of Jesus.

There might be other things, but these are the ones that come to mind at the moment.  Some of the rest may just happen during the normal routine of life.

Speaking of routine, my oldest son Samuel likes routine.  The label is “Autism Spectrum,” and like all of us Samuel is a unique child of God who has a story to live out and important things to share with the rest of us.  Anyway, Samuel likes routine.  After worship on Sunday, Samuel rides home with me.  Heidi, and the other two boys head home, and Samuel helps me lock up the church building.  He gets the lights, I lock the doors, and then we head out to my SUV (Semi-Useful Van) for the ride home.  Sometimes, like today, we have other jobs to do, and he helps me with those as well.  Today we changed the church sign before we went home.

Once we get in the SUV our routine continues.  We get in and buckle up, I turn the car on and back up into the main section of the parking lot, and Samuel turns on the radio and adjusts the setting to his favorite Country Music station 92.3 FM.  Then I put the gas pedal through the floor and we make the gravel and dust fly as we leave the parking lot of the church building.  I don’t know if he feels the same way, but this ritual is one of the highlights of my week.

At the moment, these things work for us.  Some have been in existence for a while and some have changed over time.  As parents, raising the children God entrusted to our care, we trust that God is helping us along the way, and will guide us to make changes in our approach when change is necessary.  For now, we carry on, and I encourage you to do the same.

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6.28.2016 ~ Time

The other day I had to run some errands in town and when I asked if anyone wanted to go with me, my youngest son suggested that he would.

Our stops were uneventful, our conversation was good, we learned a few things along the way, and we almost found everything we needed.

Upon getting back home I said simply, “Thanks for coming with me buddy.”

To which he quickly replied, “Thanks for letting me!”

At dinner that evening we went through our highs for the day.  His and mine were the same, running errands together in town.

We are in the custom and habit of eating dinner together as a family, and actually right now we have been eating all of our meals together as a family.  One of the things we do on a regular basis when we sit down to an evening meal is to go over the high lights of our day.  Family members aren’t forced to share, but it is definitely encouraged.  We usually don’t need help with conversation around the table but sometimes checking in with each other at the end of the day, especially when life is busy, is a good place to connect with one another.

As I thought about my son’s response of “thanks for letting me” and his high light being the same as mine I spend some time reflecting on how important it is for us to spend time with our children, and how really our time is all they really want from us.  At least at the age and stage of life my youngest is in.

He says he hates going more than a day without seeing or talking to his parents.  This can happen when we travel our work gets us out the door early and home late, so we have to do a good job of connecting when we can.  Technology helps with this, as does impromptu car rides to run errands.  Once in a busy season I stopped by his school and got him out of class just so we could see each other.

This is also the kind who when he was a toddler would run and pick up a phone to say hi whenever my name was said.  I was gone a lot for work, and talking on the phone was one of the ways I could connect with my sons.  I didn’t keep that job very long.

My encouragement to parents today is to spend time with your children, even if you have to postpone doing something important.


6.20.16

I woke up this morning in the backyard.

Last night my oldest son, Samuel, made it known that he wanted to camp out in the back yard again sometime this summer.  He thought sometime after we were done with the GAPS INTRO, or after we get back from vacation.  I said, “How about tonight?”

We got the 3 person tent out and set it up quickly and without any swear words being muttered under my breath.

We loaded up with the essentials, including of course flash lights and books, bid good night to the rest of the family, and retired for the evening.

Fortunately the temperature is still cooling down at night, and with the tent windows unzipped, the cool air was relaxing and nice.

We read for awhile, said good night to each other, turned the flash lights off … and dozed off to sleep.

Zoe, our 8 year old black lab, was in the tent with us, sleeping on Samuel’s bag.  She doesn’t like to go inside when we are sleeping out there.  At least not at first.  In the middle of the night, when I had to get up to relieve myself, she made it known that she wanted in the house.  I obliged, grateful the tent wouldn’t smell like dog any more.

I woke early to first light, and the sounds of the neighborhood and nature.  I was refreshed, and except for a little soreness in my back my body felt good.  I laid there in the stillness, resting, listening, praying, thinking, and enjoying every bit of the moment.

The simple things in life are good.

When my son inquires about sleeping out in the back yard it is hard for me to say no, except for when my body is to sore from sleeping on the ground.  Lately, it is has been hard to say no when any of my boys ask me to do something with them.  They might get a “not now, in a little bit,” but I have been doing a better job of following through and spending time with them doing what they want to do.

Trampoline.  Bike rides.  Basketball. Game night. Back yard camping.

We all need to spend time doing fun things with our children.  Especially in the summer.

Makes life more fun, at least it has been for me.

Now I have to go … evidently the camp out is going to last at least 2 nights.

 

 

 


A Decade of Life

One evening during dinner seven or eight years ago one of my sons asked “Hey Dad, what are we going to do together after dinner?”

Evidently I had set a precedent for spending time with my sons in the evening doing something they enjoyed.  I think that evening we ended up in the parking lot of the school across the street from our house riding bikes and scooters.

This practice continues.  I usually try to say yes when one of my sons asks me to do something with them in less already have something else going on, in which case the answer is “later.”  Sometimes later turns into the next day but hey, I’m still trying to get this fathering things figured out.

Last night was no exception and I went for a bike ride around town with my youngest son.  We have been doing this a lot lately, and besides the conversation the highlights include seeing how far we can coast in one section, and a one lap race around the track.  I’m up 2 to 1 in the races in case you are tallying the results!

Son number 3 turns 10 today and he has a fun day planned, if you subtract having to go to the school for registration.  The highlights will be floating the Boise River this afternoon, and spending the day together as a family.

Son number 3 is such a great person, and a fine young man.  He is a creative type loving to build with Legos and wood, and enjoying drawing.  Passion and intensity run deep in my third son and it is fun to see him put these traits to good use.  I enjoy watching him care for animals and other people, and the time we spend reading the Bible and having spiritual conversations.  His sense of humor and joy for life are contagious, I love it when he makes me laugh!

Happy birthday B! Here is to year number 10 being a great one!


Meridian Speedway

I just came home from watching the races at Meridian Speedway in Meridian, Idaho.

There were eight of us all together; my boys and I, my brother and his kids, and my dad.

We had a great time, and I am a new fan of the Legend Cars.

My dad has been going to the races since he was a kid, with his first trip taking place sometime in the mid 1950’s.  He started going with his dad. When I was younger I can remember going to the races with my dad.  Before tonight though it had been a good 20 years since I had visited a track, and tonight was a first for my boys. (Disclaimer: It was my oldest sons first trip to a small track, he has been to a NASCAR race.)

While some of the young drivers we saw tonight will continue to have fun and advance in their racing career, most of the drivers were simply their because the love cars, they love racing, and they have fun doing it.  For most of them, this is as good as racing is going to get for them and they are completely happy with that reality.

Afterwards we walked around the pits and met and talked with the drivers.  The kids got autographed pictures, and sat in a few of the different cars.  But looking beyond the could be your neighbor drivers, the few up and coming stars of tomorrow, and the 4-cyclinder buckets of bolts the youngsters and newbies race, I saw the specialness of the evening.  Three generations going to the races together, continuing a tradition started by my grandfather.

I suppose the activity doesn’t really matter, and that the real tradition or practice here is simply parents and children spending time together.  Spending time doing anything together is go but perhaps we can spice it up every once and awhile and go watch cars turn left around a circle, catch a game, or attend the rodeo which is already on the docket for next week.

 


Blogging 2.0

I haven’t been consistent at writing on this blog.  You may have noticed.

I don’t know if I will be more consistent now, but I am going to try to be as I slowly move this idea of mine forward.

I think I might even set some writing goals and actually try to reach them.  Baby steps.

A couple of nights ago my youngest came outside where I was sitting at the round patio table enjoying the summer evening and asked me if I wanted to play catch.  I of course said yes, not wanting to be the “dad” who turns down a game of catch.  Think Field of Dreams, “Hey Dad. Do you want to have a catch?”

So we had a game of catch.  On my end there was more throwing and running after the ball because of someone trying to imitate Mariano Rivera, but we still had a great time.  When we were finishing up my sons simply explained how he had “needed some more parent time.”  I’m guessing that often in our busy and technology filled lives that often our children just want a little more parent time.

Parents, giving them that time is up to us.


Board Games and Re-Start

Two weeks after starting this blog I fell back into my normal pattern of starting something (a great idea) and keeping it in the idea phase. Not his time though. Consider this a re-start.

For those who don’t know, I coach basketball at the high school level, the Junior Varsity team to be exact. Now that our season is over I can devote my mornings to writing, instead of heading to the gym to open the gym up for practice at 5:30 AM. I’m not making excuses, but am recognizing a reality that I was trying to cram too much in to my day, and my creative moments of quiet found me struggling to stay awake. Here’s to another try!

Last night after dinner I played checkers with two of my boys, while their older brother finished homework, beating them soundly each game. Most of the time I like playing games, board games, card games, etc. with my boys and last night was no exception. Game playing gives our family a way to spend quality time together while engaging the mind and having conversations that generally improve our relationships with one another.

A few months ago I was meeting with some members of our community about starting a “homework club” for some of the students in our schools. During the course of our conversation I shared that just playing simple board and card games with the children would be a meaningful experience. One of the people present also worked in our elementary school and shared how a good number of students in our schools have no idea how to play board games.

While this makes me sad on many levels, I also see the opportunity to teach these young people, and also to encourage parents to spend time with their children playing games. The alternatives of playing video games, and watching television and movies for hours on end do not excite me, nor do they stimulate the minds of young children the way conversation and a board game can.

Take some time to play a game with your kids today.


Post 4: Realizations and Reminders

I left the house this morning at 5:20 and I got home tonight at 11.  During the day I came home for a half an hour at lunch.  I saw Heidi, my wife, for a few hours this morning at work, and at lunch.  I didn’t see my sons at all.

I’m not happy about how today went down for several reasons, with the main one being what was supposed to be a family night at home did not happen.

My work-related reason for not being home tonight was valid, and for privacy won’t get in to the details, but I still don’t like that I missed dinner, doing homework, and relaxing with my family tonight.  Tonight was one of two nights at home this week, and I was really looking forward to our time together as a family.

While themes of boundaries, priorities, and saying no are running through my head I have also had some realizations and reminders as I reflect on my day.

1.  I have to trust that since this is not a normal occurrence that my sons will not be scarred for life because I missed dinner and an evening at home.

2. I love my family and spending time with them is one of the most important things to me.

3.  In the midst of busyness, family time is important.

  1. I am thankful for Heidi and her presence and role in my life and the boy’s lives.
  1. While my “calling” might lead me to spend time helping other people, the most important time I can spend is with my family.

Post 2: Time

I’m a part of a “Man Club” (my name for it), that meets on the first Monday of every month at my friend’s house.  Our second such gathering just finished an hour ago and I am happy to announce that none of us have cried yet.  We get together, guided by a video and workbook with questions, to discuss matters related to manhood such as parenting, marriage, faith, work, and being the best versions of ourselves.

At one point tonight our discussion turned to practical and concrete ideas for ensuring good relationships with our children both now and into the future.  We were not looking to make a list but our conversation focused on time, honesty, and making sure to tell our children that we love them.   Today’s post will focus on time.

My oldest son received several model airplanes for Christmas this year and because he needs help with activities involving fine motor skills I have been helping him build the first model, a B-17 Bomber which will hang from his bedroom ceiling upon completion.  I don’t have time to fully introduce my oldest son to you in today’s post but I want you to know that Asperger Syndrome does not define him but rather allows him to approach and embrace life from a perspective different than my own.

On the day we first started working on the model plane my oldest son shared with me that working on the model was a good project for father and son bonding time.  Evidently, as it came out in the course of our conversation he was under the impression that things had not been going well between the two of us and we needed this time together as father and son.  While I assured him everything was good between the two of us, I couldn’t agree more that spending time together as father and son was always a great idea.

We work on the model together when time allows.  This involves me and my limited model building skills doing most of the work while my oldest son helps where he can while sharing with me facts and stories about B-17’s.  We have a good time together until the fumes from the paint and glue force us to take a break.

Time with our children is time well spent for several reasons, some of which I will mention here.

1) Our relationships with our children are important and we must spend time nurturing these relationships.  Perhaps as our children grow older a nurtured relationship will keep us close with them.

2) Spending time with our children doing something they enjoy or are interested in shows them we love them.

3) As we spend time with our children we have the opportunity to talk with them.  Not only do we learn more about each other, but opportunities for teaching and learning life lessons also occur.

4) Families are supposed to spend time together.  Parents and children are supposed to spend time together.  In a world of busyness, time spent with our children shows them they are important to us.

Time is important, and since I only have a few minutes to post this to reach my goal of posting something every day of the week except for Sunday, I must finish this brief and perhaps unfinished post.

As parents time spent with our children is time well spent.  I’m still learning this lesson after 14 years of parenting, perhaps you can learn this with me, and even teach me something along the way.