Category Archives: Family

Joy and a Razor

I taught my son to shave yesterday.  I can’t believe I just typed that, much less actually handed him the razor.  But I did, in a quiet, low-key ceremony without pomp, I handed him the razor. And now my mind seems to be stuck in slow motion, as if to rebel against some perceived speed infraction of life traveling by.

“Slow down life!”  No response.  Mist, indeed.

I gaze deliberately around my mind’s corners and see years stacking up like yellowing newspapers towering on a hoarder’s kitchen table.  My eye pauses and strains to see wrinkled headlines of memories past.  There’s one.  It’s the time when Abbigail cut her own hair, hid the evidence, and with a poker face that would have caused the biggest, Vegas high-roller to squirm with envy said, “I did not cut my hair and put it behind the couch.”  A smile.

There’s another.  One of many tea parties with Emily no doubt, filled with high-pitched, but awesome British-ish accents, invisible crumpets, and names like Misses Dinglehoffer and Mr. Farggennewton.  She starts college in the fall.

The problems of then seem so much smaller than the problems of now.

Images flash on.  The happy scenes are many, but the trials seem no less vivid.  Life can be hard on this groaning ball.  There’s real pain here – big, bold pain that brings the gears of life to a screeching halt.  Tears.  Then the gears turn again, slower than before but gaining speed now. Normalcy, but not really.

God says it’s never meaningless.  Questions remain.

We’re here, and then we’re not.  Blink, it’s gone.  So what do we do?  Make mud pies and hope for the best?  I’ll pass.  I want more, I want to give myself to joy.  If joy won’t have me at the moment, if the inn is full, I’ll suffer meaningfully.  May it be so, Lord.

Christ reigns.  He decides, not me.

I want Him to have all of me.  And snippets like yesterday, when I pause and struggle to find my bearing because time seems to be winning, I want north to be Christ.  Always, eternally focused.  I want to spend my life experiencing the awkwardness of being in the world, but not of the world.  Homeless, but homeward-bound.

My story… my mist, is part of His story.  And His story is one of glory and grace, mercy and meaning.  That’s the mast I’m nailing my colors to.  The joy I’m after lies in His story and is of the all-sufficient, deep, abiding type.  No cheap thrills, no emotional highs, no shallow platitudes…

…Joy that can break in on a small bathroom, as a father hands his son a razor for the first time, and sadness lurks near.  Yep…

I did, I handed him the razor.  A smile.

3 Prayers for My Family in 2013

2012 is gone.  It has been thrown onto the ever-increasing pile of bygone years amassing itself in my rearview mirror.  And according to that pile, time really does fly.  2013 has arrived on scene and started its clock.  The holidays are over, the government is still dysfunctional, and we’ve yet to put away our Christmas decorations (but we’re in the south, so were fine).  Even still, the beginning of a new year is a great time for reflection on where we are and on where we want to be in life.

For many, 2013 has been launched in hopes of bettering themselves in some way.  Losing weight, saving more money, being more organized, managing time better, and a plethora of other commitments and resolutions have been made.  I think all of these are great and I hope if you’ve set some of these for yourself you will stay committed all year and see them through to success.

I personally have never been one to make resolutions, and I didn’t really make any this year either.  But I do have some goals, more like prayers really, for myself and my family.  As I look back over 2012, I see where God has moved in unmistakable ways.  His blessings have overflowed for my family time and time again even amidst the trials.  It is as though He was (and still is) heralding His promise of Romans 8:28 from the shadows of our limited understanding in His sovereign ways.  So as I peer anxiously into 2013, I see no reason to stop believing His promises.  I see faint silhouettes of what He has lined up for us but nothing more than outlines.  And that’s where my prayers come in.  I share a few of them with you in the hope that they may encourage you and your family.

I have and will continue to pray that God will use our family for His kingdom in whatever ways He sees fit.  Meaning, I will be intentionally looking for ministry opportunities for my family to be a part of, whether through church (though not necessarily) or just meeting the needs of those around us.  I want to truly live out the Christian life in boldness and without fear as a family this year more so than ever.  The word “RADICAL” comes to mind when I think about the possibilities.

I have and will continue to pray that God would be glorified amidst our everyday interactions as a family.  Meaning, as husband and father, I will be intentional in fostering an environment where at every opportunity, we lift one another up with encouragement and love.  I pray that our home will become even more of a refuge of safety and comfort and unconditional love amidst a chaotic world.

I have and will continue to pray that we as a family grow in the knowledge of the Lord during our times of family worship.  Meaning, as the spiritual leader of my home, I will be intentional in keeping our family devotions firmly grounded in Biblical truths and pray for growth together in God’s Word.  I pray that our time together will be meaningful, understandable, joyous, and Christ-exalting.

“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Romans 15:5-6

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