Category Archives: family

Smelling Roses: Part 1 of 3

mt marcy

mt marcy

Growing up my dad and I took time each summer to backpack. I look back on those times very fondly and hope that I will begin backpacking with my kids as they get older. Almost all of my backpacking took place in the Adirondack Mountains in New York State. Some times we would hike 15 to 20 miles in a day so that we could ascend to the top of one of the 46 high peaks. The views were always so wonderful once you got to the top.

As a young kid much of what I stopped to enjoy was the views from the peak. I always thought my dad was goofy for taking pictures of flowers and spider webs. As I would rush up the trails to get to the destination and then fly down the mountains to get back to camp my dad would always try to get me to slow down and enjoy the views along the way. I remember times when he would stop and have me come back to him so I could look out over a cliff and see a beautiful view. For me it was always about the destination and never about the journey. I couldn’t wait to get to the top to say that I had completed the journey and tackled another of the 46 high peaks.

I have found that it is so hard to stop and enjoy the journey! I want to get things done and play when the task is completed. This causes me to be driven to get things done. At times this can be quite valuable but I find that it also means that I get to miss the enjoyment of the process. I miss the joy of the people along the way because I push hard to get things done. This push relegates people to tools to get things done. Parenting is another things that I often want to see accomplished rather than enjoying the journey with my kids. By God’s grace I have been given a view of what I would like to see our kids be like as they grow older. I work towards that view understanding that the view can change. Understanding the importance of each moment, of the journey means that I will also maximize the enjoyment of life for both myself and my kids. God is also helping me realize this and to slow down. To enjoy the journey leads to us getting the most out of everything that is accomplished. When we complete the task without the joy of the journey we not only miss out on many teachable moments but we also miss out on the opportunity to grow with others. As my dad (of course the statement isn’t original to him) would always tell me:

Stop and take time to smell the roses!

In my next post we are going to explore further this idea of smelling the roses but next time we are going to explore why this idea is not complete.

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Becoming a Man

Over the last year I have been away from home on two different occasions. As many of you know Amy and I have four kids, 3 girls and 1 boy. Each time I have been away I used it as an opportunity to help my one son, Noah to become a man. One of my desires for Noah is that he becomes a responsible young man and that he also becomes chivalrous. I want him to know that it is a good and honorable thing to take care of women and to serve them. Even at the young age of six I want him to know that he has a responsibility to his family to care for them.

Each time before I left I had a conversation with Noah about his responsibility to the women of the house while I was gone. That because I was gone he was now the man of the house and it was his job to make life easier for everyone else and to serve the girls. As I shared this with him I took time to tell him what this looked like. I even asked him what he thought it meant and how this looked. To my surprise Noah had a really good idea of what it meant. As I wrapped up the conversation with him I told him that I would be asking him how it was going and how he was taking care of the family when I talked with him on the phone.

Noah is growing into a fine young man! Both times he took his role very seriously and did more than usually around the house to help Amy and his sisters. These are a couple of the things that represent how Noah took on the responsibility. When Amy was doing laundry he would carry the basket of clothes for his her. He also took on the responsibility of collecting all the trash and wheeling the 96 gallon trash bin out to the road. Noah isn’t that big yet so that is quite the job. A final example is the 10 foot bundle of sticks that he dragged to the road after his grandpa cleaned up one of our bushes. I am so proud of Noah and the servant he is becoming.

After each trip I made sure that I got him something that represented the young man he was becoming and to let him know that I was proud of how he stepped up to help his mom and sisters. This fall when I was in Seattle I picked up a sheriff’s badge for him, which he still keeps by his bed. This time while I was in England I decided to get him a Swiss Army Knife. To all those worried that I got him a knife at six, don’t be. The knife is made to be dull so that he can’t hurt himself. My prayer is that these small gifts will remind him of the man his is becoming!

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Becoming a Man


Over the last year I have been away from home on two different occasions. As many of you know Amy and I have four kids, 3 girls and 1 boy. Each time I have been away I used it as an opportunity to help my one son, Noah to become a man. One of my desires for Noah is that he becomes a responsible young man and that he also becomes chivalrous. I want him to know that it is a good and honorable thing to take care of women and to serve them. Even at the young age of six I want him to know that he has a responsibility to his family to care for them.

Each time before I left I had a conversation with Noah about his responsibility to the women of the house while I was gone. That because I was gone he was now the man of the house and it was his job to make life easier for everyone else and to serve the girls. As I shared this with him I took time to tell him what this looked like. I even asked him what he thought it meant and how this looked. To my surprise Noah had a really good idea of what it meant. As I wrapped up the conversation with him I told him that I would be asking him how it was going and how he was taking care of the family when I talked with him on the phone.

Noah is growing into a fine young man! Both times he took his role very seriously and did more than usually around the house to help Amy and his sisters. These are a couple of the things that represent how Noah took on the responsibility. When Amy was doing laundry he would carry the basket of clothes for his her. He also took on the responsibility of collecting all the trash and wheeling the 96 gallon trash bin out to the road. Noah isn’t that big yet so that is quite the job. A final example is the 10 foot bundle of sticks that he dragged to the road after his grandpa cleaned up one of our bushes. I am so proud of Noah and the servant he is becoming.

After each trip I made sure that I got him something that represented the young man he was becoming and to let him know that I was proud of how he stepped up to help his mom and sisters. This fall when I was in Seattle I picked up a sheriff’s badge for him, which he still keeps by his bed. This time while I was in England I decided to get him a Swiss Army Knife. To all those worried that I got him a knife at six, don’t be. The knife is made to be dull so that he can’t hurt himself. My prayer is that these small gifts will remind him of the man his is becoming!

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Alexa’s Baptism

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Reflections: 10 years

IMG_6520Yesterday Amy and I were married ten years ago in Centerville, OH at Franklin St Baptist church. The ten years together have wonderful. To celebrate we took this weekend away from the kids. We have ended up in a fun hotel in Florence, KY called the Wildwood Inn and Suites which is home to theme suites and a safari village. The best thing about the weekend is simply being together.

My first reflection on our ten years of marriage is that we are so blessed because we still simply enjoy spending time together. We don’t need anything crazy to keep us entertained or to keep us engaged but by doing whatever we are doing together makes it worth it. For instance last night we were in the hotel room and just enjoyed watching a couple episodes of Lost together. Prior to that we spent some time walking around a mall in Florence. No those things in themselves are not special but doing it with Amy makes it special. For Amy and I this has been nothing new. When we first started dating one of our favorite things to do was to go Perkins and get coffee. Clearly I was settling for less than the best coffee. While there we would spend time in conversation while we colored together. When we would finish our pictures we would always write a love note to each other. I am so grateful that after ten years we simply enjoy being together, wherever that may be.

Sanctifying would be the second thought of reflection. Marriage to Amy has been used by God to draw us both closer to Him as we learn to love one another. Over the years the depth of my sinfulness has been exposed. From my selfishness, to my fear, to my laziness, etc. I could go on but then this could get depressing. In all of it Amy has always chosen by the grace of God to forgive. Never once has she ever held anything over my head or been critical towards me as a result of my sin. This has been a true picture of the grace of God. Amy has also been such a big supporter, encouraging me to pursue the God and at times putting aside her desires as a result. This has been a picture of God’s sacrifice for us and His desire to see us grow. God has also used Amy to sanctify me with her mouth. She has never been afraid to speak up and tell me when I am acting stupid and following Christ. This is such a blessing although at first it can be a bit painful. I praise the Lord that Amy loves me so much that she is not afraid to speak up.

Amy and I have truly lived as one flesh over the last ten years. When I think back I am amazed at how we have made choices together and patiently waited for one another when we weren’t quite ready to make a decision. I was given a great piece of advice when I got married about the importance of unity when it came to making decisions. The impact of this has been great on our marriage. Whenever something comes up and there is not unity, I am driven to my knees in prayer that God would make whatever adjustments are neccesary in either of us so that we may have unity. Without fail God has answered this request everytime. The truth is neither Amy nor I have been given the blueprint of our lives from God so we are both seeking Him and His will. Either of us can miss what He has for us for different reasons. As we seek unity the Lord refines us and helps us die to those desires that may be guided out of selfishness or something else. Everyday I praise God for a wife who I know is seeking God and that her first priority is to honor Him.

There are many more reflections that I could write about and maybe I will take some time to write more tomorrow. I would like to wrap up with one more. Amy and I are daily in need of God’s grace and presence to have another amazing ten years together. If it were not for the gospel we would not be where we are at. Our marriage has been amazing and will only remain amazing if Amy and I continually look to the gospel. In Esphesians we are called to love our spouses. Wives are to submit to their husbands as to the Lord and Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. All of this is built on the grace of God being at work in our lives because of our coming to Christ in repentance and faith. I am too sinful to be able to make this marriage work and to work well, but because of Christ at work in me, I am able to love Amy and die to myself in marriage. As we focus on Christ our marriage will only grow stronger but if we take our focus off Him will only be a matter of time before we focus on ourselves and our marriage grows weaker and weaker. So by the grace of God we must cling to Him everyday as individuals and as a couple. He is so good! Thank you Lord!

If I had one prayer for us it would be that Amy and I would walk with God as individuals and as a couple. I pray that as one flesh we would have no greater desire than to know Christ and Him crucified (Philippians 3).

Amy I love you so much and I praise God for you everyday! You are truly my best friend. lover and wife! I simply want to spend my life with you serving our great God and Savior!

PS- Sex is truly one of the great privileges of marriage!!!

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We are shepherds- Please respond!

The kidsLike arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.

Psalm 127:4

Friends and Readers,

I am always curious what others do to riase up their children in the Lord. Moses told the children of Israel to make sure that they pass things onto their kids and it is the desire of my heart that I do that with our three children. I find it easy to think that as long as I have our kids in church and Sunday School that they will learn the Bible and grow up following the Lord. I know that is not the case but rather as Amy and I live lives of faith in Christ our kids will pick up the truth.

Would you please respond with comments and share what other ways you shepherd your children. What is it you do to pass on your faith to your children? How do you implement the things of God into your everyday life so that your children see?

Again please take a few minutes to comment.

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God: a better parent

This taken from “Think Orange” written by Reggie Joiner. He reminds us that God is God and that we need to trust Him with our kids.

“I am not trying to make them happy;
I want them to really live.

In the middle of their pain,
I can be a better friend than anyone,
even you.

I am the only one who can really
love them unconditionally,
forgive them forever,
and be a perfect Father.

So maybe you just need to trust Me
enough so they can see Me.

Besides…
with all your issues,
I think it’s probably better
for them to trust Me more
than they trust you.

Isn’t it more important for them
to love Me more
than they love you?

I can heal their hearts;
you can’t.

I can give them eternal life;
You can’t.

I am God;
you’re not.”

Pg 56 “Think Orange”

May each of us realize the truth of this as we seek to raise our kids to love and know God! Parenting can be scary, in those times we need to trust God more!

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