Tomorrow, our family will begin our version of the twelve days of Christmas. Each morning, when the kids get up, they will listen to the story from Luke 2:1-14 about Jesus' birth. Each day, a new aspect of the story will come to light.
I am using short videos to help as a visual aid and they include some funny things based on jokes that have floated around our home. This all leads to a clue the kids have to solve to find Joseph, Mary, and the donkey hidden somewhere in the house. Along with the figures, they find a little gift. These figurines represent Joseph and Mary traveling to Bethlehem, which in our home, is the Nativity set. On Christmas morning, they will be at the nativity with the baby Jesus.
I cannot reveal everything involved yet, as it might ruin the surprise (my kids see this website), but we are simply working through one part of the Christmas story and letting it reveal new things to the kids. I'll share as I go on here, so check back.
When our kids fight one another or when I lose my cool with them or my wife, it is more than a temporary upheaval and pain in the neck. It is an opportunity to demonstrate the process of forgiveness. This is related to my last post about the word "sorry."
It has become popular to think we should just "forgive each other in our hearts." Forgiveness is highly misunderstood and debated among Christians. What is forgiveness?
An angry brother hits his sister. Siblings call each other names. Mom snaps at Dad over dinner. We often teach our kids to solve these conflicts with little more than the magical, amazing word, "Sorry." Before long, the kids begin to believe it can even make the consequences for their choices disappear (since it often does), so they use it...a lot!
We have taught our kids to stop using the word "Sorry." Well, sort of.
Like modern American preteens, my kids have all asked for iPhones. This was good as it has led to several conversations about what it means to have a phone and more importantly about responsibility and stewardship. My children are 10 and 11. Are they ready? How do parents decide?
Sometimes, we all feel rejected. Rejected by those we love or seek to love. Rejected socially or professionally. Adopted children can often have a continued sense of rejection.
How do we fit in and gain that sense of belonging? How do we endow a sense of belonging to our children and others?
I feel slighted when the kids do not immediately say "Thank you" when I do the daily grind of providing for them in multiple ways. Be it meals, cleaning the house, yard work, making their lunches, teaching them life skills, etc. Why can't they just say thanks or show a little gratitude?
One of the hats I wear is that of a stay-at-home dad. Because of the thankless days, I can feel slighted because they don't seem to appreciate my sacrifices for them. I can feel anger and unappreciated. I can feel like it's a worthless use of my time and energy because they aren't responding to it. This can easily transition to me letting them know how much I "sacrifice" for them. Then I play the martyr, the martyr of manipulation, but...
Today is Macayla's birthdays. Yes, plural. She was born on Earth on this day in 2001. Yet, at 11:25 p.m. on this day in 2010, she went Home to Christ and celebrated her birthday in heaven.
It has been a tougher week than usual. Normally, her birthday week, for reasons unknown and unexpected, has not been difficult, but this year its is. Memories are mysteriously sweet and painful.
Macayla is a gift. Her life is one to celebrate. I miss that life, of course, but I am so thankful for it. As much as I want her back, I cannot be so selfish as to wish her back from the healing and wholeness she now has. Her impact on us and others has been greater than we could imagine and we do not yet fully know all of the impact. I thank God for her and for giving her to us.
Happy Birthday, Macayla! And thank you for the gift you are and the joy you brought to our lives! Thank You, Lord, for allowing us to be her parents. Thank You for saving us and we look forward to seeing you both, face-to-face, one day!
I had a real taste for beer during my college days. I went to school in Charleston, South Carolina and that town provided plenty of locations in which I could indulge. There are plenty of bars and watering holes to choose from in the downtown area.
But in all of those weekends out on the town, I never found a watering hole I was willing to call home. You know, like Norm in that old TV show Cheers. A place where "everybody knows your name."
Ironically, I found out I was looking in the wrong places for such a watering hole! I discovered the perfect place! Here's why...