Smile….God Loves You!


Sometimes perspective arrives when we stop searching for it.

One of those days…….

Too many hours spent at work (if I can just get caught up on some things, I’ll have more time with my family)

Too many rude and impatient people (“I can be nice to anybody for five minutes.  I can bite my tongue.  I’m not offendable)

Too many things to do.  Not enough help to do it.  The demands and requests keep coming.  (I can’t figure out how to get it all done)

Too many places to be at the same time.  (If this day was 30 hours long, I would still be in trouble).

If one more thing goes wrong, I’m gonna lose it.  (and it always does)

“This too shall pass.”

I don’t believe this is actually in scripture, but I repeat it to myself often when overwhelmed with circumstances.  It does give biblical perspective, but sometimes there is no comfort in simple analytical thinking.  The weariness doesn’t go away.

My day finished with a long church meeting that left me arriving home at 10:30.  Little to no time spent with any family member in an entire day.  Great.  Weary……very.

I mindlessly watched TV for a while before bed.  Kal had fallen asleep in the recliner next to me.  When I picked him up to carry him to bed, perspective came in the most gentle and perfect way.

He had been sick and hadn’t gone to school.  Almost 9 years old now, I struggled to pick him up and carry his sleeping body.  His head rested on my shoulder as I started through the house.  I took just a few steps and felt his fevered cheek against mine.

Weariness, unrest, and anxiety gave way to an amazing feeling of peace.

God loves me.  That’s enough.

“God loves you” sounds terribly cliche’ and empty when tossing it out to others, but it’s powerful enough to bring you to your knees in moments like this.

For just an instant, with my son’s head resting on my shoulder, I was reminded how much I love this precious child (and all four of my children).  And as I gave thanks for this boy and the privilege of being called “daddy”, I saw so clearly my Father’s love for me.

And I saw great purpose again.  Not to survive the day and schedules and get things done……but to love.  To be the best dad I can be.

I may not get to spend as much time as I’d like with my kids tomorrow either.  But if I trust, honor, and obey God with my plans and efforts to do so…….He will provide a way.

In comforting my sick son, I found comfort in my Father.

God loves me.  He loves me enough to make me a daddy.  He loves me enough to send His Son to die on the cross for me.

I carried my son to bed with a smile on my face.


Life Is An Inside Joke

stop eating all our steaks

I find myself so many times these days simply giving thanks to God for laughter.  Lying awake in bed at 3am, afraid that I will wake my wife because I’m shaking the bed with laughter because a funny thought from a funny moment earlier in the evening just keeps returning to my mind.  A knee-slapping, laughing until the danger of vomitting becomes real, people coming from the next room to see what’s going on type of moment.  A moment I shared with my youngest son in this case.   A memory made (a clean one too).  Wouldn’t it be great if we could fill our days and those of our children with memories of uncontrollable laughter?

Life is an inside joke.
When we fail to share laughter with others, we miss out on the joke. We don’t get it.  When we spend a lifetime laughing, the same jokes continue to make us laugh, time after time.  Little things that have no meaning or humor to others trigger a smile or a laugh with you and your partners in joy.  Sharing experiences with our children. Who are they building a wealth of inside jokes with?  Or more importantly, who are you (specifically dads!) sharing yours with? Golfing buddies, co-workers, male friends in general?  Laughing at crude, adult humor that you wouldn’t find so funny in the presence of your kids?  Seems harmless….I guess. But what’s wrong with trying to start an example of purity in yourself that you surely hope to see displayed by and around your kids. Man up. Grow up. Clean it up. Look for opportunities to find humor in life WITH your kids.
Start building a lifetime of laughter and “trigger memories” with your kids (inside jokes). You will GET IT tomorrow, because you were all there together sharing in it today.   Share your life with your kids. If you wouldn’t say it, do it, or watch it when they are around……you get the point.
Search for things in life you can do with your kids, experiences that can be shared……laughed at….remembered……and laughed at again, over and over.  I don’t particularly want my kids to be goofy.  But I sure hope they always know how to act goofy.  And I hope they see their dad doing it plenty.  I’m ok with raising a comedian.  I just don’t want them to think they need to sound like Richard Pryor or Andrew Dice Clay to get a laugh.

A little unicorn Thanksgiving humor always works.  I don’t really “get it”, but I’m sure everybody else in our family does.  And I’m sure we’ll all continue to get laughs from it years down the road.

maddie unicorn

Enter their world.  Let them into yours.  Share the laughter.

Choosing Joy


When you have the right allies,
there is no need to worry about the
strength of your enemies.
Teddy, a 30 year old man with Downs Syndrome
displays joy in the purest form in this video from
an April 18th Cincinnati Reds game.
Serving in the role of bat boy in this particular game,
Teddy seems to have a special
bond with Reds 3rd baseman Todd Frazier.
Following a Frazier home run, Teddy rushed from the
dugout to greet Frazier with uncontrollable excitement
and enthusiasm after he crossed home plate
(with a meaningless run to make the score 11-1).
But the camera kept going back to the bat boy,
and every camera shot showed him smiling at the
top of the dugout steps, pumping his fists and
looking toward theskies as if to say,
“Thank you God! This is the greatest moment ever.”
As the game progressed, additional camera shots of
this wonderful young man showed that, to him,
pretty much everything is “the greatest ever”.
Retrieving a bat from the field, running onto the field to
give the home plate umpire a fresh supply of balls…….
same enthusiasm, fists pumping, looking toward the skies…..greatest moment ever.
Watching this young man with tears pouring down my
face, I knew there were lessons to be learned just from
watching him.  On the surface, it was easy to see that
this young man’s joy was so contagious, putting smiles
on the faces of the players  and obviously capturing the
hearts of the commentators and anyone watching on tv.
I’d also venture to guess that Teddy
has the ability to bring out a caring side in people with a
special talent that few others possess.
In Matthew 18:3 Jesus said,
“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” 
It occurred to me that Satan is the one who robs us of our joy.  And it would appear that God gives children and special individuals like Teddy a special protection that does not allow Satan to steal their joy (there was such a pure innocence in his joy).  Satan cannot take away ours either unless we allow him to.  When our faith increases, we draw closer to God.  As He becomes greater, we become less, and we grow in peace and JOY.  We can trust Him more, much in the same way a child trusts parents without question and fully realizes their dependence on them.  We  DO have the right ally and
we must lean on Him daily to defeat our enemy and
claim what is rightfully ours as his children…..
A full life of peace and joy!