It's hard work to be a good dad. It's a hard core dedicated, extreme makeover type of a adventure. I'm stretched daily, sometimes hourly and I'm never the same man I was when I woke up that particular morning. The seven talented, unique individuals that God has loaned me have forever changed the man I thought I was going to be.
I remember a line from a song Franky sang...mistakes, I made a few...I cringe when I think of them. Yet, they gave opportunity for me to become humbler, less hard in my approach...as I asked for forgiveness from my children. We spend a lot of time talking in my family and even greater time listening...probably the hardest work of all. My wife and I have invested hours in this great act of love and the dividends are rich.
Yes, my work as a Dad is hard, costly and pushes me to the limit of who I need to be for them. It's also deeply satisfying, wonderfully enjoyable and blesses me continuously. This past Monday my family celebrated my birthday with wonderful words of affirmation. My wife Christine, my kids Josh, Sarah, Matthew, Michael, Daniel, Isaac, and Becky filled cards and notes with sweet reminders of who they see me as...I was overwhelmed.
I shared these hesitantly...believe me I am not bragging about how great of a Dad I am...no, I'm still a work in progress. Remember all the hard work I mentioned, the investing? It's ALL worth it...all the time spent, all the hours listening, talking sharing, imparting...forgiving and being forgiven. I share these snippets of my life to encourage you to stay at it, stay engaged in the lives of your kids, purpose yourself into their hearts...don't ever give up.
What my Kids said...(these were posted on Facebook)
True Men are a rarity, true fathers are even more rare. Happy Birthday Dad,thank you for being both to me! - Josh
56 years ago the man I hope to be like was born. He is my hero, my greatest coach, but most importantly my Dad, I love you Dad, happy birthday!! - Matt
Happy Birthday Dad! Thanks for being the best Dad ever. - Michael
And from my Daughter Sarah...a blog post she wrote to bless me. You can read it here
"Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the LORD your God." Deuteronomy 12:28
My job is not done...neither is yours... Blessings, Jay