It’s been about a month and what has been made clear to me is that change is necessary in my life. Involvement in too much is a big one… involvement and concern for too many things that are important but do not have to be me that has to do it. My struggle is that I want to help others… sometimes (ha – I probably kid myself when I say that) more so than myself and my family. Sure I can rationalize and explain many different ways all of this, and all of the things I get myself involved into… but in the end, it’s not about me. It’s all about God and His paths. So maybe I’ve went down some of His paths, but maybe I don’t need to be the person who keeps going down it… maybe that’s for someone else to continue with. But that’s hard because I want it too much to be about me.
It’s funny because I don’t consider myself selfish. I don’t want to buy things (or for others to buy things) for myself. I don’t shop much less want to look at things for me. I don’t do this blog for myself. I don’t get involved in helping others with some things I might be good at for myself. But deep down, maybe I do in some twisted weird way.
So… that needs to change. And boy is that going to be a struggle. So what is it that I need to do more? Be there for my family… be there for my wife. Put them first. Not just outward ways, but little things. Daily. Now I just know I’m going to screw up (because don’t we all? at everything?) a lot. What I need is a lot of support in this arena… from other men which I have been really blessed with in the past several months. We’ve also attended a few different things (events including one coming up at our church! and small groups) with a local ministry called Peace in the Home dedicated to strengthening, equipping and supporting parenting, marriage and families as a whole.
I’m somewhere in the middle of reading a book which has been very encouraging, called dynamic dads – how to be a hero to your kids. But I wonder what I’ll do with it after putting down the book. It talks about following Jesus’ example of the role of servant-leader – and how a father must be that for his family. I don’t see myself as being very good at this for my kids. I see myself struggling over and over in getting really angry at little things, in particular with my son but even my girls. Feeling like they don’t listen when I (or my wife) have to repeat ourselves in telling them to do things over and over again. Not being patient, even for my 3-yr old (seriously – why in the world can’t I have patience with a 3yr-old??). Not enjoying the little things most of the time. Now I can’t beat myself to a pulp over being the worst father – I do know I am capable and have done some things well. I do actually apologize quite a bit to them (which by no means is as good as not doing it!) after-the-fact, and ask for their forgiveness. I do explain that I make mistakes – a lot of mistakes – and that God offers us forgiveness but we need to recognize it and seek forgiveness from Him. I pray with them every night. I read books, do homework with them sometimes, play games and puzzles sometimes, go to the park or the river (a lot! I really enjoy our times at Maymont, Rockwood Park, the James River, etc.). But sometimes I’m cheap about just having a good time with the kids and going somewhere… like a vacation or trip somewhere.
As I’ve been writing this, I think of a song that the kids sing called Inside Out; I’m not sure if it is the same one as the song occasionally sung during worship at our church – but that song is From the Inside Out:
A thousand times I've failed Still your mercy remains And should I stumble again Still I'm caught in your grace Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame In my heart, in my soul, Lord I give you control Consume me from the inside out Lord Let justice and praise become my embrace To love You from the inside out Your will above all else, my purpose remains The art of losing myself in bringing you praise Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame In my heart, in my soul, Lord I give you control Consume me from the inside out Lord Let justice and praise become my embrace To love You from the inside out Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise From the inside out Lord, my soul cries out