There is a well-known radio host who uses the phrase “talent on loan from God” to describe himself. I am often uncomfortable with his repetition of this phrase. It brims with a confidence and self-assuredness that I lack. Yet, there is something in the statement that always resonates with me.
Wrestling with my own self-worth has been a challenge for many years. Attempting to measure up to a mythical standard that only exists within my mind seems to be an endless journey. Just when I think I have kicked the ball far enough and in the right direction the goal posts move. Trying to feel good by pleasing others is a recipe for frustration.
Last weekend I traveled with my oldest son to a father-son event. It was a wonderful enrichment opportunity for our relationship as he grows into a young man. Almost 15 years have passed since I became a father for the first time. Where has all that time gone?
If you are anything like me, the days roll by much too quickly. The speed at which we move down life’s highway makes it easy for significant moments in life to become lost in a blur. My role as father is something I cannot take for granted. I encourage you to slow down and think about being a father or ponder the impact of a father or father-figure in your life.
Last week I celebrated one year of blogging. For most of this past week, I was unplugged from the digital world and spent time with my oldest son at a father-son event. Therefore, this week I am sharing some of the highlights from the past year.
One year ago this week I published my first blog post. Wow! I really find it hard to believe it has been a whole year since I started. I am SO VERY GLAD to have reached this milestone!
Over the past year, I have published a post every Monday. My writing has encompassed a variety of subjects but primarily focused on personal development. The weekly discipline of writing has been challenging and but definitely worth it. I have received feedback from more than one person that the writing has improved over time. Thank you! I agree and I appreciate those of you who have noticed.
Our founding documents codified the principle that every person is “endowed by their Creator” with certain rights, one of which is the right to liberty. This commitment to liberty stands in stark contrast to the history of the rest of the world. Most people throughout time have been subject to royalty, dictators, or some other type of tyrant. We are the exception to what is commonplace around the world.
For much of the history of this country, the U.S. military has fought to defend the cause of liberty around the globe. Today, Memorial Day is a day to commemorate those who have died while serving in this fight.
During our premarital counseling my wife and I took a test to determine our “love language”. It was one of the ways that our pastor used to help us get our marriage off on the right foot. A “love language” is the way that people speak and understand emotional love. The concept was originated by Dr. Gary Chapman who wrote the book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts.
The topic of the love languages comes up in conversation in our household with some frequency. Sometimes it revolves around how our children receive love. Other times it is because my wife or I feel an urgency to re-connect in a way that meets our emotional needs.
Prior to Mothers Day in 2014, American Greetings created the video below about the “World’s Toughest Job” – motherhood. To date this video has been viewed almost 27 million times! This is a testimony to the truth contained in the video and the way that it pulls at our heartstrings. Take a look and see if you can resist getting a little misty eyed.
Yesterday was a day to honor mothers. I determined I would continue that theme today. Here are six traits I have observed that are worthy to be celebrated in our moms.
This weekend I had the privilege of attending a Major League Baseball game with one of my sons. As we planned the trip over the past couple of weeks, his enthusiasm increased with each passing day. Our journey was several hours down the road, and we ate lunch together along the way. With each passing moment he continued to express his joy at getting to go on this trip with Dad. His excitement was contagious!
The experience of this trip with my son is not something he will forget anytime soon. And neither will I. Watching his enjoyment of our time together fulfilled a part of my heart. As a father I desire to give good gifts to my children, and this baseball adventure qualified. I also want to spend meaningful time with each of my children. Making fun memories together helps to tie the bonds of our relationship tighter.
Is it safe to say that children approach life differently than adults? This week I experienced an illuminating event with my youngest son who is three. One of my other children asked about participating in a community-service event. As I mulled this opportunity, the possibility of the three-year-old joining us was floated in general conversation. His little ears perked up at the mention of his name, and he immediately latched on to the idea. I decided that we would participate since I wanted to give my children the chance to serve others in our community.
Many young children will connect with an idea, and it will never venture very far from their thoughts. This was definitely the case with my son this week. He would ask me about the upcoming event since he kept forgetting the details he so desperately wanted to remember. The face of this little cherub innocently asking me questions is burned into my mind. It is a memory I will long cherish!
Years ago I read a story of a man named Jack who was taking an archery lesson from a state champion archer. The state champion, Tim, had Jack stand rather close to the target and shoot several arrows with his eyes closed. Tim wanted Jack to feel what it was like to shoot a good shot. Tim would tell Jack when he made a good shot so that Jack could remember what it felt like. After repeating this several times, Jack shot an arrow and looked at Tim for approval. Instead, Tim asked Jack if it was a good shot. Jack hesitated. He wanted to say that it was a good shot, but he immediately realized that Tim knew that it wasn’t a good shot. Before Jack could say anything Tim interjected, “Don’t ever lie to yourself. If you don’t tell yourself the truth first, you’ll never become a good shot.”
This weekend I attended a conference that encouraged a significant amount of self-evaluation. The focus of the self-evaluation was to illuminate areas of life that presented obstacles to personal growth. As I contemplated several aspects of my life, I recalled the story above. It would be easy to minimize any issues I find in my own life, but would that serve me well in the long run? If I lie to myself I short circuit any hope of meaningful progress. I am inspired that there are two absolute necessities to begin a journey of self-improvement.