The Honor Dare – Day 1

(part 1 of 14 of the “Honor Dare“)

Dare: Respond, “Yes, Mom” and “Yes, Dad” all day.  No questioning or ignoring.
Verse: Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
(Ephesians 4:2)

At 33 years old, I’ve had more then my fair share of anger, frustration and total annoyance at my parents.  Three years ago, however, because of what God did in my life, I’d like to think that my relationship with them has transformed as I’ve become more of the man that God has always desired I be.  Although it was my marriage that was near destruction, my parents once again showed the amazing kind of love and sacrifice that you have to stand back and be amazed at – even if you don’t see it in the moment.

When I finally started to “get it” at age 30, it was difficult sometimes to look back and realize how often I’d totally taken my parents for granted… how often I’d set my own desires and wants above theirs – and then expected them to serve me in getting what I wanted!  Trust me when I say, it will matter to you one day how you treated your parents and the amazing sacrifice they’ve made for you… even if it’s hard to see right now.

Today, you’re to practice the “first commandment with a promise” – a promise that deals with you directly.  The first step to honoring your father and mother is to learn how to submit to them humbly.  There is no simpler act of humility then to simply say “Yes, Mom” or “Yes, Dad” and not question or argue.  We’re sinners, we’re not wired to submit naturally.  But if you don’t learn to do this with your mom and dad, you will NOT learn to do it with the Creator of the Universe.  It’s impossible to say “I’m a follower of Christ” and yet not obey the first commandment dealing with your relationship to those around you… specifically mom and dad.

You have nothing to loose – except maybe a little bit of that selfish, me-first greediness that we’ve all grown accustomed to.  You do, however, have EVERYTHING to gain if you try it… really.  Imagine a home that’s peaceful simply because sons and daughters decided to say “Yes” without first saying “Why do I have to?” What do you have to loose?

Real Faith – Part 2

Watching the three people you love the most pull away at 5:45 in the morning for a trip to grandmom and grandpop’s house. I’ll be joining them on Thursday – but trusting my heavenly Father to go before them is something I have no trouble doing – and yet I can’t help but be in a continuous state of anxiety at the same time. Weird. The three best gifts I got as they prepared to leave were:

– A wonderful smile from 5 week old Lia
– “I really love you dad. I can’t wait to play with you…” from Vivienne
– A hug (and a kiss and a hug…) from Laura that just made me feel like the man I desire to be in her life (and the lives of our girls)

We have some great easter family pictures from yesterday – but they must be on the camera still. So, this is the next best one I could find of my three girls…

My girls…

Lia Monet Booz

For those of you that haven’t heard – or aren’t reading the much better blog by my wife – Lia Monet Booz was born on Monday, February 18 @ 3:07PM. Lia means “bearer of good news” and Monet means “to be heard”. Booz means… well, depends on the country and generation…. 🙂 For you men that will have to report to your wives the “stats” – Lia was 21″ long and weighed 7lb. 6oz. Seriously, a real cuttie!

From start to finish, Laura’s labor was 12 hours and although there were a few brief “take a sigh” moments, it was tremendously different from Vivienne’s more spirited (and long) labor process. When it came time to actually push, Lia was delivered in about 10 minutes. CRAZY!!

As far as not knowing that we were having “Lia” until she was born – it did feel very traditional. However, to be honest, I’m not sure I’d do it again. I don’t regret it one bit (partially because it confirmed a word I believe the Lord spoke to me a few years ago), both Laura and I really appreciated the ability to form a relationship with Vivienne for weeks before she was born.

In all though – it doesn’t really matter. We have a tremendous gift from God that just blows our minds away. YAY!

Some initial pics at:

The Centrality of the Home

For those of you that don’t know we’re about to have our second child… of course, I use “we” lightly because, well, I don’t really have to do the “having”. But regardless, in light of our pending family growth (which we couldn’t be more excited for!!!) we continue to try and understand God’s design for family. To this end, as I mentioned in my mind dump last week (Frustrated) we’re continually seeking out teachings and ministries that focus specifically on Biblical family dynamics. In most circles today, this would simply be called “conservative Christian living” – probably Southern Baptist kind of conservative. And this, quite honestly, is where the Church gets me sometimes. I listen to a message like the one below and shout “AMEN” through the whole thing. But then I realize that this same pastor would likely preach that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not for today – something that Laura and I are pretty sure Christ has given us opportunities to see that the are.

And that, to an extent, is what I’m working out. In general I’m seeing that the churches I’ve grown up in since becoming a Christian at age 21 do not focus nearly as much on the centrality of family in our faith. I’m not sure why, and I’m not really upset about it, but the more we learn the more I wish others were hearing it too. As our family grows and Christ continues to give us more and more of a passion for his full family design – I’m glad to have some other perspectives. I love having straight talk that’s not covered in anecdotes. I like being brought to Scripture and someone saying, “this is what is says. Let me show you how I came to that belief by teaching you the meaning. It’s OK if you disagree, but you better be able to back it up with Scripture.” Come on, don’t you love to be challenged by someone with that kind of confidence in the scripture?

Anyway there are two teachings the Voddie Bachman gives that are wonderful. The one linked below was the first one Laura and I heard by him, on a CD we got from Vision Forums – a homeschooling/family centered ministry we have grown to love. The message is VERY counter church culture. My entry into the church, by God’s grace, was to help with youth ministry while in college. I’ve seen youth ministry do amazing things in young adult lives. But as I grow up and examine what it appears God intended for the flow of faith from one generation to the next – this seems to make a lot more sense to me.

So, as a shout out to all of the men I’ve talked with that say they reading and homework, when it comes to learning Scripture, isn’t for them (yes, I’m a card carrying member of that club as well – but I’m slowly being transformed) – heres something you can listen to instead. 🙂 Please let me know what you think.

The Centrality of the Home – by Voddie Bachman

Poochy Pooch

As little V grows up (all of a ripe 2 years, 4 months), I have begun to notice that routine is a beautiful thing for a child and how much I’m going to hate losing it over time. I know it’s bound to happen, but I definitely don’t look forward to it. Here’s what I mean.

Laura and I have been pretty consistent on having a bedtime and making it a “routine”. Milk, potty, teeth, prayers… good night. Over the last few months as Vivienne has started to really dig patterns in life bedtime has become my favorite time with her. Laura graciously lets me take the duty whenever I can (which thankfully is most nights). There are many “on your marks, get set, go…” throughout the routine – but the end result is that I know I’m going to get some laughs each night. I know we’re going pray together. I know mommy is going to get a “… hug and a kiss and tell her I love her…”.  I know that I’m going to get a hug and a kiss. And… I know that Vivienne is going to get two flying kisses – one on her head and one on her cheek – from daddy. This is all an amazing thing to look forward to.

But back at the “… tell mommy I love her part…” is where I got stuck tonight. I was laying in Vivienne’s bed waiting for her to come back from saying good night to Laura (I wait in her bed so that she can find me, jump on my back and tickle me) when I heard her usual line… “I…. um…. poochy pooch you…”. At some point we were successful in teach our daughter some very keen language skills. For instance, “poochy tink”, “poochy pooch” or “poochy poink” will get you a laugh every time. That means that for the last three months, Laura always gets many “…I… poochy pooch you” before she finally gets a “I love you mommy”. And that got me thinking – Vivienne is probably not going to be saying “I poochy pooch you mommy” when she’s 7, or 10, or 15. At some point that routine will be over and we’ll move onto the next one. I got to wondering in bed when that will be. When will Vivienne not want a flying kiss from her daddy on her head and cheek?

I don’t know – but I’m going to miss it terribly. Each night, no matter how long the routine takes or how many other things I think I could be doing with that 30 minutes (or longer) – I wouldn’t ever want to give that time back for the world. Hopefully we can use Jingle Bells (Vivienne’s name for her baby brother/sister in progress) and teach him/her to do all of this stuff before it gets old for Vivi. It won’t be the same but at least it will prolong the memories for a bit longer.

Hey Vivi… I poochy pooch you!