You Will Not Talk to Your Mother That Way (and Other Great Things My Husband Said to Our Kids)

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I have a really great husband. We have spent almost thirty years together and have raised two pretty great sons together.

He’s not a perfect husband. . . which is just fine. I’m not a perfect wife.

I am so thankful that Tim has always set such a good example for our sons. He’s one of the quiet dads, he may not say much most of the time, but when he does, it’s generally worth listening to.

Here are ten really great things he has said through the years that are worthy of passing along to the dads out there who are working to find their way in the parenting world.

1) You will not talk to your mother that way. She is your mother.

2) Let’s help your mom clean up.

3) Keep going. Don’t quit.

4) You keep driving from your direction. I’ll start from mine. If the car breaks down again, stay where you are until I get to you. If it keeps going, we’ll meet up and caravan home.

5) Great report card.

6) Hop in the truck, let’s go for a drive.

7) We’re going for it. If we have to turn back, we will. But if we make it, we’ll have one of the best times of our lives. (By the way, they made it, and they did, indeed, have one of the best times of their lives.)

8) I’m proud of you.

9) Good effort, son.

10) This is who we are. This is what we do.

Both of our boys have an overwhelming admiration for their father. He is strong, quiet, faithful, hard working and industrious. And he loves us. We know that, not just because he says that with his words, but because he models it to us every day in the little things he does and in the examples he has set.

Dads, I’m always telling the moms, “It’s the little things that are the big things.”

Be the dad in the little things, because those will be the biggest things in your kids’ lives.

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On and one more:
#11) Real Men Hold Their Wives Purses.

Thanks to Sam McGhee for allowing us some time for silly snapshots during our family photo session. To learn more about Sam’s work go to http://www.sammcghee.com

Ten Signs You You Need to Slow Down to Parent–Dadderdays

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One of my all time favorite movies is Spielberg’s Hook starring Robin Williams. In this classic film, Williams portrays Peter Panning, the grown up Peter Pan. Although Peter started out with a healthy motivation to work to provide for Wendy and the kids, he became overly entrenched in the grown up world. So much so that Wendy has to warn him, “You’re missing it, Peter, you’re missing it.”

Ever feel like you are missing it? You might be. Here are few warning signs that you might need to slow down to get your parenting adventures back on track.

1. You are reading this blog post or your wife is reading it to you.
2. Work is your life. Hobbies are your life. TV is your life. Your kids’ events are your life.
3. You don’t have time to stop and evaluate what you’re doing, or you’ve stopped looking forward to the end goal in your parenting.
4. You are never home on the weekends.
5. McDonald’s is the place where everybody knows your name.
6. You are skipping church because you are worn out from work and your kids extra curriculars or sports.
7. You’re not really sure what the term “date night” means because it’s been so long since you had one.
8. You haven’t talked to your kids since, well, since. . . .hmmm, when did you last really talk to your kids?
9. You aren’t growing in your knowledge of God and His Word.
10. Love, Laughter and Kindness are not words your children would use to characterize you.

Remember…the time we have with our children in our homes is short. Our goal is never to be busy parents, but we do need to be busy parenting. We want to be effective in all we do.

As Christian parents, we are raising little “Christ followers.” In our home our main parenting goals were to help our kids know Christ, follow Christ and share Christ with the world. But there were times when we got way too busy to do that well, or to do it at all. Taking time to reevaluate where we are on the journey, and then making the necessary adjustments to get back on track is a great tool to keeping the end in mind.

When we do, great adventures await.

Bangarang!

Hook

(If you’ve never seen it or haven’t seen it in awhile, a “Hook” family movie night could be a really great idea for some quality time with the family!)

Adult-ery

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Adult-ery. . .

. . .In its simplest form is a grown up thing. Yet, it is a grown up thing that affects us all–especially our children.

During the month of October in our children’s ministry, HiSKidZ were challenged to memorize the 10 Commandments. Towards the end of the month each small group chose a commandment and then decorated a pumpkin to represent that commandment. My older son joked from Russia, “Who’s going to get adultery?” Well, with 8 small groups and 10 Commandments, that one fell to me.

I created the simple pumpkin above centering more on the honor side of the commandment than the dishonorable side of it. (This worked, in part, because we were also studying about honor in the Bible last  month. Besides, what else would you put on that pumpkin????)

As the kids were coming in they stopped to check out my pumpkin. A couple asked what is meant and I told them it was commandment #7 “Do not commit adultery,” and one replied quite nonchalantly, “Oh yeah, my dad did that.” Broke. My. Heart.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know that  dads are not the only ones who  either initiate or commit adultery, but just because moms and people without children do it, too, does not make it right.

But since today is a “Dadderday” post, I want to talk to the dads for a second.

Dads. Don’t do it.

Walk away.

Run away.

Count the cost.

Live with honor

Model integrity.

Express self control.

Keep your vows.

Get right with God.

Parent your children.

Stop

what

you

are

doing

now.

For your sake, for your wife’s sake, for your children’s sake, for the sake of the name of the Lord, for the other person’s sake. . . .

Stop acting like an adult-erer and begin acting like a child of God again.

Matthew 26:41 says, “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

So often we read this verse and we center in on one part of the verse and are like, “Oh man, the flesh is weak, what can I do?”

What can we do??? We can look at the other four parts of the verse that’s what can do.

Keep watching.

Keep praying.

Don’t enter into temptation.

The Spirit is willing.

That’s 4-1 in favor of victory, and the fact that “the flesh is weak” is in there isn’t an excuse for sin; it’s a warning against it.

Dads, I have no idea where you are right now in your life, your job, your home, your walk with God, but I know that there are little people watching everything you are doing, and your actions have consequences and cause responses and reactions, some of which you will have no control over. But this one you do.

When it comes to the Ten Commandments, we teach HiSKidZ that the 10 are 2 and the 2 is just 1. The ten become “love God and  love others.” And the two become one, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” For when you live out the one, you want to live out the two, and when you are living out the two, you are living out the ten.

So do whatever it takes to live out #1, and #7 will take care of itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh Those Guys!–Dadderdays

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You can’t really see them in this picture. Well, you can see Matt. He’s standing right behind our ice cream loving group of female volunteers. Timmy is somewhere over to the side adding up the points trying to figure out who won from his team. Jerry is sitting with his wife, Debby, on a bench, and my husband, the slightly infamous, “Mr. Tim,” is taking the pictures.

Oh those guys!

We spent last night playing putt-putt golf as part of what we call “Destination Unknown.” A little event I try to plan every year for my Wednesday night leaders’ team. This is the first time we included the men. Sure, they were a little nervous. But they were great, and we had a great time with them there.

These guys are those guys who are the guys who make me smile! They are those guys who are pretty darn humble. They are those guys who are standing by their women. They are those guys who are serving in children’s ministries. They are those guys who are doing things that make them a little uncomfortable sometimes–like going on our destination unknown night, suspecting they could be going to a flower arranging class, but showing up at the church anyway. (I, btw, would never take my leaders to a flower arranging class. Not that there is anything wrong with flower arranging. It’s just not my thing. Therefore, while I am in charge of planning the “destination unknowns,” we will not be flower arranging!)

As usual, I digress.

These guys are those guys who are investing in kids lives whether their kids are grown, they’ve yet to have kids or their kids are part of the action. They are those guys who love God. Guys who, regardless of their age, continue to learn what it means to be a man of God. They are those guys who, though imperfect, do their best to lead, love, and live for Christ and to show their families, friends and our church what things like love, sacrifice and commitment mean.

Oh those guys! I love them! I am thankful for them and I appreciate them more than they will ever know.

There are others, and I believe there will be others. Other men who will refuse to stand down, continue to stand up, stand in and stand on making a difference wherever God leads them.

If you are one of “those guys,” I applaud you. Literally, right now in my living room, I am giving you a verbal shout out and a ginormous “praisallujah!” As always on Dadderdays, I want to encourage you to stay the course (even in putt putt), don’t give up and don’t give in. Be the man God has called you to be today and every day.

And have yourself a very happy Dadderday!

Would You Walk 500 Miles?–Dadderday

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One of the sons and I often have debates about the greatest song ever. His top favorite–“Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. Mine is “500 Miles” by The Proclaimers.

While “Sweet Caroline” definitely scores high as far as notoriety–just play a few bars and people automatically start singing along. But I still say “500 Miles” wins hands down in the category of “what women want.”

Seriously. Just think about it, except for the getting drunk part, the song is filled with the character qualities most women are looking for in a man. The qualities we want to be instilling in our sons. The qualities our daughters are looking for in the men they date and will someday marry.

Check it out:

When I wake up, (when I wake up),
Well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who wakes up next to you,
When I go out, (when I go out, )
Well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who goes along with you,
If I get drunk, (If I get drunk)
Well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who gets drunk next to you,
And if I haver, (if I haver)
Yeah I know I’m gonna be I’m gonna be the man who’s havering to you,

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles
To fall down at your door

When I’m working, (when I’m working, )
Yes I know I’m gonna be I’m gonna be the man who’s working hard for you,
And when the money, (and when the money,)
Comes in for the work I do
I’ll pass almost every penny on to you
When I come home (when I come),
I know I’m gonna be I’m gonna be the man who comes back home to you
And when I grow old, (when I grow old),
Well I know I’m gonna be I’m gonna be the man who’s growing old with you

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles,
To fall down at your door

Da da lat da (Da da lat da)
Da da lat da (Da da lat da)

When I’m lonely,
Well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s lonely without you
When I’m dreaming, well I know I’m gonna dream
I’m gonna dream about the time when I’m with you
When I go out (when I go out),
Well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who goes along with you
And when I come home, (when I come home, )
Yeah I know I’m gonna be I’m gonna be the man who comes back home with you
I’m gonna be the man who’s coming home with you

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles
To fall down at your door

And I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles
To fall down at your door

In this song I see faithfulness, hard work, reliability, sincerity, sense of humor (havering), perseverance, honesty, longevity, monogamy and love.

Character qualities often missing in today’s society, and dads, these are qualities that need to be lived out and modeled to our sons, daughters and future generations.

Would you walk 500 miles? And then walk 500 more. I hope so. I hope you are that guy. I hope you are raising your sons to be that guy.

Be the guy who would walk 500 miles, and then walk 500 more. Go that extra mile, don’t give up. The “sweet Carolines” of the world need you!

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Me with the man who walks 500 miles for me every day! So thankful for the 28 years I’ve had with this guy!

Dadderdays

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I’ve learned a lot since I started this blog. I’m not sure I’ve learned a lot about blogging! But in making the transition to daily themes, I learned that my Saturday day of rest theme is not a good choice for me. Although I’m getting better at resting and slowing down, I’m nowhere near ready to blog about it in order to help someone else on the “learn to slow down” journey. So out with the old and with the new. “Take a Seat Saturday” is now “Dadderdays!”

Not that I know that much about being a dad. After all, I am a mom. But I have a dad, my husband is a dad. I work with dads, and I trust my heavenly Dad will lead me in this endeavor. So here goes. Dadderdays-part 1!

This past January our sons were ordained into the ministry. It was a pretty special day to say the least, and something we would have never expected as we raised our sons. Full time ministry wasn’t a goal, but ministry was. We simply wanted them to grow up into men who would love God, follow God and serve God in whatever ways or places He led them. (Not knowing, of course, that He would lead them literally to the other sides of the world/nation!)

Anyhow. . . I digress.

Each son spoke that day at the ordination. Each son did a great job. But one said something that applies especially well as I begin the “Dadderday” posts this Father’s Day weekend. He said something like this:

“I kind of laugh when people assume I’m in children’s ministry because of my mom. You know her being “Ms Dawn” and all. But the truth is, I’m in ministry because of my dad. While my mom may be the one everyone sees, my dad has been a strong presence all through my life. As far as I can remember my dad never missed one of my ball games. My dad took time to shoot baskets with me, or go to movies with me, or take me to my first college and NFL football games (with free tickets he had been given by a friend). When my car started breaking down on a cross country trip, my dad got in his truck and started driving towards me while I continued towards home keeping in contact with me by phone along the way. My dad taught me what is was to be a man, to love God, to go to church when I might not have wanted to and to work hard and not give up.”

Now, my husband is a pretty fabulous guy and a great dad. But I believe that day our son’s words touched his heart in ways he couldn’t have known possible, because like all of us, he’s human and he can sometimes see his short comings rather than his strengths–especially when it comes to parenting. I think many of his memories were long nights working and areas where he may have felt lacking, but Trevor’s memories are just the opposite.

I guess the point, without getting too personal about my somewhat guarded men’s lives, is this. Dads, you are probably doing a better job than you think. Don’t give up. Keep going. Keep spending time. Keep hanging out with your kids. Keep teaching them what it means to be a man. Keep working hard. Keep being a man. Because our kids need real men in their lives, not perfect men. Just real men.

So Happy Dadderday to my dad, husband, father-in-law and all you dads out there! Thanks for being awesome!