In the Disappearance of Today.

hope Hope.

I often wonder of tomorrow, when I am older and time runs beyond me, when my bone and muscle move much slower than my heart leads, when I have more space in each day for thoughts to circle.  Thoughts of how life will be for them and what life’s pressures feel like then.

I remind myself: they were created for that day ahead.

And it waits for them.

“Dad, do you think I can be . . .”  You fill in the blank because my little girls ask about them all.  My strong reply always echoes the same.  “Yes, you sure can.”

They will meander close behind me and stray in the distance as my daughters grow, get  older and begin to stand surer in life.  There will be many instances where I have little control.  I feel their strings pull a bit more as their day gets closer.  The truth is I have very little control over their course in life.  God has allowed my opportunity to reflect His glory and nature into their lives, but it is He alone who owns the days ahead.



DEEPER FAMILY :: the peculiarity of gratitude.

“Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)

Peculiar words, I’d say.


What of days prickly and unending, too sharp to stand without bleeding and too long to see end?  No break or respite.  Only the breaking of will, the loss of hope and ability to be okay.  Those days, rejoice?

Yes, in days cursed, in moments heavy, in the breaking of security and even in the violation of things most beautiful and sacred in life ...rejoice, friends!

When life pulls and tears, rejoice.  In the thick and thin, rejoice.  In danger and disturbance, in expected and unexpected, in the collapse of life and the ruin of happy, rejoice.  Find full reason, drive your stakes deep into the soil and hold on with a tenacious desperation ...and rejoice.

Continuing reading at Deeper Family


parent as prophet.

The architect must be a prophet... a prophet in the true sense of the term... if he can't see at least ten years ahead don't call him an architect.Frank Lloyd Wright

The same must be true in parenting also.  Architect, one who shapes and builds.  Prophet, one who sees the form before the build.

With the complexities of culture changing and evolving, media shaping perspectives and acceptabilities and a world moving much too fast, it is more than easy to get lost in parenting techniques.  It seems as though many strategies given to assist and guide good parenting are geared more to contain the child in good behavior rather than preparing to unleash them into the life waiting for them.

And more so everyday, I am convinced that it is the latter parental ambition that should be reached for.

An architect must have a plan to raise a structure from a brick to a building.  It is no more luck than it is chance.

Buildings are not just built.  They are constructed by design and with intentional, planned effort.  Careful attention is given to measurements and incremental values that may seem insignificant to those simply observing the structure being built, but the architect marries himself to the details for he knows that the future, the success and the strength of what he is building lies in the attentive detail to the parts forming the whole to be.  It is not so much the exterior that the architect is concerned with.  He is painstakingly obsessed with the structure from the inside out.  Even when the eventual outside will boast of innovative design and personal genius, the inside must be correct, inch by inch and detail by detail.

Much like parenting in techniques, I’m sure it is quite easy for an architect to reduce his genius to a builder of buildings rather than one who sees the form before the build and raises a structure to life.

The architect must be a prophet who sees not only a finished product but a form finding purpose and significance now while belonging still to the future ahead.

Is this not parenting also?

The parent must be a prophet... who builds now based on what he has glimpsed ahead, carefully building, constructing and reinforcing, the child for the life ahead of them.

...a prophet in the truest sense of the term ...if he can’t see at least ten years ahead don’t call him a parent.

For me, and I assume the same for you as a parent, if I am merely conditioning my daughters to react to ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and right and wrong - giving attention to formless details rooted in immediate response and good behavior - what confident hope do I have that my daughters will one day become all that they can be?

I am trying to rid myself of attitudes aiming at quick, get in line, kind of behavior and reaching to be the parent unleashing them, exposing them and preparing them for the life ahead.  I want them to live with a deep, intrinsic sense of purpose in life, hearts burning with passion and form strong enough to stand.

I don’t have the answers.  

I’m often more confounded by the trivial than confident as a parent, often more lost stumbling insecurely than always strongly leading them, 
often saying things I don’t necessarily mean in emotion and anger than speaking love and truth often worried that it all won’t be enough than faithfully putting seeds in the soil of their heart often ill concerned with the exterior, what others might think, than diligently tightening bolts within their loose little hearts

...so I pray for prophet eyes to see ahead, the possibility of all they can become, and I glimpse the form of God’s hand lifting dust into life.

It is there that I try to parent from the most.  I speak to them as if they have an already accepted day ahead that they belong to, not in terms of a career choice for them, but in a life where they live now leading them to the who, what, when, where, why and how of it all.  As a parent with prophet eyes, I share with them the significant glimpse and together we spy God together and the reason holding within them reveals clearly.

The vision holding in my heart for each of my girls is a day when I will let them go from my hand into another day.

We will look into each others eyes, they will not wilt, as she says goodbye to only my daughter and embraces the woman she has been becoming.

That day will be familiar as I will have visited it often by then, crossing the line of present to future, creating and shaping them from there.

*an innovative design of Frank Lloyd Wright calling from years ahead of its build

A Deeper Family :: tipping the scale.

The day never holds enough minutes and moments. It never seems enough; the effort given, the time split, the little sacrifices made here and there, the want for more quality time, all feel like sand slipping through fingers.


It always moves faster than we think in the moment.  One day we are holding a tiny newborn nearly too nervous to even move with them in arm.  The next we find ourselves chasing them as they pedal their bike down the sidewalk and reviewing rules when readying them for sleepovers at friends’ houses.  And before we have time to be fully ready, they will be driving themselves around, shaving their faces or their legs, or both and be talking of college, career, dreams or even marriage.

Time doesn’t wait, not for you to learn how to get parenting and family right nor for you to grow unselfish enough to see or catch up to opportunities fleeting.  Like sand sliding through the skinny of an hour glass, time is constantly going.  And so are the days with it.

I had this terrible thought recently.  I only have about 8 years until my oldest daughter moves into the world off to college or work, chasing dreams and meeting love.

Continue reading my new post at A Deeper Family...

how cooking saved us.

“I love you, Daddy.” Those four words uttered unprompted and purely spoken from the heart, not simply the mouth, sets my world on ablaze.  Everything is alright then.

No argument is too thick to separate, no struggle too tangling, no misunderstanding too alienating, no hurt too deep; in the hearing and in the give and take of those words, all is set aright, and I’m reminded that we are okay again.

Parenting requires full effort. I should be clear.  Effective parenting demands full effort.

And, of course, prayer ...lots of prayer.


When I became a single parent, I no longer had a choice in how much effort I’d give.  The girls looked to me for everything.

“Dad, what should I wear?” “What should I get my friend for her birthday?” “Can you do my hair?” “Can we go and get a manicure?” “Can you meet my friend’s mom so she can sleep over?” ...the friend, not the mom:) “Dad, I think I need a bra?” “Dad, what is sex?”

The first few months as a single dad felt like an absolute whirlwind.  I was widowed and they were half orphaned.  Emotions ran deep and erupted frantically at times.  Many of those early days were spent just getting through the day to find any space to feel comfortable in our own family.  An obvious void rested heavy, them motherless and grieving with an inexperienced single father.  Granted, I had the enormous support from my mother who has been nothing short of amazing, but at the end of the day and in the settling dust, I am my daughters’ only parent.  It is both my privilege and responsibility to show them the way, teach them how and lead them into tomorrow.

I say to them often, especially in tougher times when they are hurting or frustrated, “God gave you me and me you.  And he didn’t make a mistake.”

Honestly, I was as lost in parenting as I was in grief.

So I went for a walk and under a starlit sky, glowing alive, I lost that part of me dying and came back a different man.

I wasn’t a dad, and I wasn’t single.  I was, and would be from then forward, a parent, open-hearted to life with my three beautiful daughters through the pain, the hurting, the confusion and the lonely.

The stars just made perfect sense in a whole new way that night.  The way they hung perfectly, positioned precisely and shined brightly millions of miles away, as if broadcasting a message of hope in the endless panoramic expanse of the night sky, whispering order and security and future, raptured me from living as a victim in a day I felt I didn’t belong to.  Instead, I felt closer to God that night standing under the stars, his stars, and asked simply of him to just help me build the family that we, my wife and I, once started together.

Slowly over the next few weeks, we began to grow again.  I wasn’t as concerned with how to necessarily raise three little girls however little girls should be.  I would raise them in the exact context we newly lived in.

I introduced them to adventure to keep their hearts curious and growing.  We attacked our weaknesses together.  I learned how to do a pony tail, and they learned how to fish.  They taught me how to paint nails, and I showed them how to scout a hiking trail.  Our life together will always be my most beautiful treasure.  I absolutely adore it.

Tonight, as on most Wednesday evenings, we continued on with one of my favorite new family traditions: family cook night.  It’s quite simple of a tradition.  We cook, together.

For us, the kitchen is definitely an adventure.  Our measurements are generous, and each of us thinks we really know what we’re doing.  Emily’s a pro at cutting anything; Elizabeth expertly dabbles in everything; and Chloe can stir like a boss.  Honestly, it’s crazy stressful watching it all happen, but the payoff is magic.  Our hearts are open, conversation flows freely, music typically plays in the background and we just go at it celebrating our togetherness in a new family way.

When the kitchen lights are turned off and the sink is full, half of dirty dishes and half clean, those four words find me, and again, I’m reminded that we are all okay.


Not many parenting techniques will pay off quite like the simplicity of simply being together fully in the moment.  Everything thick and troubling is cut right through.

As parents, time is a commodity that we sometimes don’t have much of, but the more you generously give of the time you have, fully invested into the lives of your children, the greater and more fruitful of a payoff you’ll share in the years ahead.  Together.

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