Fatherhood has taught me forgiveness

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The whole concept of a dad can be challenging for some men. Many have grown up without having a dad in their life. Some of us even had dads that had to work outside of the home, for days on end, to support the family. Anger, resentment, and even a quest to fill that dad-shaped hole can occur.

I am thankful for the men that God brought into my life, as my dad was out working to provide for our family.

I am thankful for my Grandpa Ayers. For him sharing his love for the outdoors, radio controlled everything, and tabletop games. For showing me and my brother that slingshots, knives, and guns are cool toys (when properly respected) to play with. I’ll never forget our late nights playing Chess OR my Grandpa letting my brother and I build our own fires (FIRE!). His unexpected death at 60 years of age still haunts me in some ways. I have found that grief is ever changing but forever there. I am thankful for the time he invested in my siblings and I; thankful for the time that I got to spend with him.

Photo by Jordan Sanchez on Unsplash

For the longest time, I retreated into negative emotions concerning my own dad. Unable to see the bigger picture of what it means to provide… unable (still unable) to see through the family fog-of-war of the example his dad left him with when it came to interacting with family. For years, even as an adult, I’ve wanted more from my dad… But I’ve learned that whatever it is I have wanted from him, I have built into my relationship with Wyatt. Letting the past go, letting anger go, has allowed me to see my dad for who he is instead of who I wanted him to be.

My dad, Steven, is an amazing guy. He is funny, insightful, and a hard worker. The older I get, the more I appreciate him AND realize how much I am like him. I wish I had been able to push past what is deemed, in Christian circles, as a “father wound” sooner. Arriving at a point where I can accept my dad for who he is is priceless. Being able to see the bigger picture, where other men were allowed to step in and teach me and my siblings, and not resent that, is liberating.

All of the above to say, Father’s Day is this weekend. Chuck Lawless reposted a piece this morning that resonated with me titled “8 Reflections on Being Childless and Celebrating Father’s Day“. I encourage you to check it out.

These greeting card holidays can stir the emotions!

Happy early Father’s Day.

From Across the Net – “5 Most Common Mistakes Dads Make”

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BJ Foster, with All Pro Dad, writes on the “5 Most Common Mistakes Dads Make“. I especially liked this one (bolded emphasis mine):

2. Being Overly Critical

When it comes to teaching our kids we have to choose our spots, especially when pointing out when they have erred. Our kids need to know that we are their best ally, not their worst critic. You don’t need to have a discussion about every mistake they make. They probably are aware already that they messed up. Instead, ask them questions about how they feel, what they think they might have done different, and then give them encouragement. Tell them stories of your own failures at the same age. Listening and empathizing will earn you currency. Also, make sure you get excited and ask a lot of questions when they experience success. That will be their favorite subject.

You can read more here

What I’m Learning: About Stress

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In this season of life, I work as an administrative assistant at a local architectural firm. Essentially I spend my time balancing the front office (clients, ordering, etc.) all the while providing assistance to 2 bosses and 7 employees of varying titles. I often find myself being dragged and pulled in opposite directions based upon some sort of cryptic hierarchy of needs. While my position can be stressful, I do enjoy the field I work in.

When I am not at work, I am a:

  • Husband
  • Father
  • Son/Brother
  • Friend
  • Blogger/Writer
  • Bible Study Host/Teacher
  • Video Game Connoisseur

I also spend various evenings and early morning hours devoted to learning the craft of web design. We all need a dream, right?

Something that I have been learning, lately, is not to let other’s stress become my own.

Putting stress within its proper context, is an art that everyone should practice daily. Below are a few examples of deflecting stress:

.: Example A :.

You have designed a web site for a company and have given them the keys. You no longer have anything to do with the site. Soon after, one of their employees comes to you wanting to change a portion of the site. Happy to help, you listen as the employee describes something the site was never built to do. Graciously you smile, tell the employee to check with the companies designated web master, and you move on.

.: Example B :. 

It is 4:30PM on a beautiful Thursday afternoon. Office supplies have dwindled down to the last paperclip. A fellow employee vents to you that they are about to use said paperclip and that you need to go out and get more, stat! In the most professional manner, you assure your co-worker that supplies will be ordered tomorrow. The paperclip crisis, small as it is, has been averted.

Stress isn’t worth it.