My daughter Adahlae had a birthday yesterday. She’s now three years old. No longer a toddler, now a little girl.
We waited a long time for her, and she’s proven to be worth the wait.
She’s articulate, funny, and full of life. If you get to spend a day with her, you’ll laugh hard and play hard. She’ll celebrate you, encourage you, and love you in a way that’s vulnerable and beautiful.
I love being her Daddy, and that endeavor has taught me a few things I’d like to share with you…
#1 – You’re not in control.
Perhaps it was the multiple trips to the ER during Amanda’s pregnancy, where she had kidney stones and great amounts of pain. I think there were three trips, and during every ride to the ER I got angry and acted like a jerk. Things had gotten out of control.
Maybe it was around Adi’s first birthday when we gave her her first peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She had an anaphylactic reaction to the peanuts, and we hurried our nearly passed out child with swelling lips to the ER.
So many times I’ve felt completely helpless with her.
That’s not a bad feeling, because it reminds me that she’s not mine. Adahlae Grace belongs to Jesus, and He is always in control.
Jesus is in control even when we don’t understand what’s happening. He’s in control when our little ones suffer with an illness, even a chronic illness.
#2 – Choose carefully what you trust.
My wife calls describes having your first baby as being admitted into the “Mommy Club.” As she recalls it, there was an almost immediate flood of parental camaraderie and advice.
There’s a lot of wonderful parent advice out there.
That’s the unique thing about parenthood: it’s a very common experience that many people from all walks of life and cultures all over the world share.
When you become a parent, you’ll get advise from every one. Even those well meaning, however ignorant, friends that don’t have kids.
What well will you go to draw the water than gives life to your family?
If you don’t trust Jesus first, you’ll lead your kids towards a life that doesn’t look anything like the life that Jesus wants for them.
If they’re His kids and we’re just stewards of them for a while, let’s trust Him first.
#3 – Kids are won over with time.
My daughter loves every toy she has.
I’m sure that if we charted her playtime, there would be great equity in the time she devotes to different toys.
You cannot give her a toy without her being EXTREMELY grateful and happy.
However, she cares a lot less about her toys than she does her Mommy and her Daddy (and her MeeMaw & her Grammy who watch her during the week).
She actually views her toys as treasures to share with us. She finds little value in playing with them by herself.
Adahlae was born a little over one year before we started Vortex. In her lifetime there have been weeks where I’ve worked hard and had less time for her. During those season’s I’ve noticed her heart slipping away.
I cannot buy her heart back with gifts.
It can only be won with my time.
Isn’t that how God loves us?
Jesus stepped into time to dwell and live amongst us. It is that closeness that creates the opportunity for us to know Him.
The greatest gift God ever gave us was Himself.
The greatest give we’ll ever give our kids is the same.
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What lessons have you learned as a parent? Share them by leaving a comment below: