He’ll never leave you or forsake you

I help administer a private group on Facebook for foster and adoptive dads, and posted this today for encouragement, because I needed it myself:

So lately I’ve been struggling with the strong wills of my boys, and of my own. The constant tug-of-war. My wife and I were talking about it over lunch today, because she shares in the frustration (she’s strong-willed as well), and I reminded her, as much as myself, that they act this way because they feel securely attached to us.

“Well, it would be nice if they weren’t complete JERKS about it!” she sighed. She didn’t use the word “jerks,” but I’m trying to keep this family-friendly.

I mention this because I know I’m not alone in being a dad frustrated with the behaviors of his kids from hard places. Especially when they’ve been in our home for so long (birth for two of them, 9 months old for the third, and they’re 16, 11, and 8 now), and it just doesn’t feel like things are getting better.

Then God decides to plant a reminder on you in an unexpected way. In an email newsletter unrelated to parenting, there was this verse of encouragement from Hebrews, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” God always has our back, and we just need to go to Him with our frustrations, seek His peace.

And because I’m an ’80s metalhead, this verse and the feeling behind it will always be enshrined for me in the opening song from Rage of Angels’ self-titled, 1989, debut album:

Our ballplayer

IMG_3950-2

This spring, Davis started playing baseball. At the six and under level (6U), it’s coach-pitch. He did pretty well, and we saw improvements in his fielding from that first practice to the last game this past Saturday (May 22d). Hitting wise, he did awesome, going seven for eight in the first half of the season. He hit a slump, but rebounded for the last two games.
To see more photos, including a couple from the game, check out the rest of the set.

On the narrow path

Tony Woodlief:

I remind him to watch the cars, to look the drivers in the eye and make sure they see him. His brothers and I sit in the minivan while he goes to the curb and waits for a chance to walk out to the girl. Finally a car stops to let him pass. The girl’s face is turned down; she sees nothing but the ground. I watch my son’s narrow shoulders as he crosses the drive, and I am praying that no harm will come to him, not now or ever, that someone who is this loving will be spared the pain of the world, which is when I remember that it is Christmas, the time when we celebrate precisely the opposite, the coming of pure love to suffer for all we who sit with faces turned down, not even knowing what to ask for, knowing only in our crusted-over hearts that anything will help.

Seven

Wow. Seven years as of yesterday.
Seven years ago, I had a great job. A career in IT.
Seven years ago, we hadn’t been in our new house even a full year.
Seven years ago, we were churchless.
Seven years ago, we were childless.
Now, I do not have a career in IT, but I do have a job: being a stay-at-home dad. And it’s awesome.
Now, we’ve been in the house nearly eight years.
Now, not only do we have a church, but that church has given me my best friend, and yet another purpose: leading some of our collegians in Bible study.
Now, we have two wonderful boys, six and thirteen months. They are absolute joys.
I’m blogging less. Twittering more. Chasing a little guy all around the house. Having fun.
It’s not all a bed of roses, but there are more ups than downs, and I thank God for all of these blessings.

Left-footed

Last evening, after arriving home from dinner, our family decided to take a walk. Our neighborhood has a small green belt with a walking/biking trail through it, the air was cool, but not too cool, and it just seemed like the right thing to do.
Our six-year-old, Davis, wanted to ride his Razor scooter. Donning his bike helmet, he did so, coasting ahead or behind us, as his pushing and balancing allowed.
At one point, while he was ahead of us, I noted his problem keeping the scooter fully upright while pushing. I thought it might have something to do with the fact that our normally right-handed son was using his left leg and foot to push the scooter along.
I verbally made note of this observation, and suggested he try switching his feet, placing the left on the scooter and pushing with his right. He tried this for a few moments, felt it was worse than before, and switched back.
My wife, thinking along the same lines as I, remarked that he hadn’t really given the right-foot push enough of a try. His reply?
“I’m just left-footed.”