Saturday, August 22, 2009

Think like a child

Children teach us so much. I got an incredible lesson this evening. I was walking through IKEA today with my beautiful wife looking for a table for my office downstairs. We walk the entire IKEA as usual looking for an inexpensive drafting table. The store was full of families with young children aimlessly running around. A little boy saw me and with his parents by his side, began looking at me with these beautiful big, black eyes! He was so cute. As we continued to walk the store, a little girl holding pink butterfly wings looked up at me and said, "Look!". She held up the wings as I admired, not the wings, but her audacity to speak to a stranger. My son has often times walked up to complete strangers and said hi, carried on a conversation, or even hug them! I don't recommend that, though!
Children live in and for the moment. They could often times care less about their appearance or what others think. They make friends easily and know how to forgive and forget. What happened to us? I recently went to a training for school in which we were indirectly challenged to behave and think like children. I took on the challenge. I challenge you to do the same. We often times have to think like a child to understand them; just don't be one.
Lend me your thoughts. Tell me how you stay in touch with your children. I have no off season in learning.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Start Asking!

Dads, we often times are given advice, but are often times very reluctant to take it. Let's face it...we are men! We think we have all the answers and don't need any additional help. We say we can fix the kitchen faucet, although we have never held a wrench. We think we can put up drywall, but don't know the difference between a phillips and a flat head. We swear we know where we are going, even though our wives are telling us that we really are going the wrong way as she shows us the map....and looks at the GPS...and has a print out from Mapquest.

Advice is something we have confidence in giving, but often times find trouble in taking it (as my wife is giving me advice as I write this!) Well, this happened to me this past weekend. About what, you may ask? This blog! We drove the family down to Atlanta to my mother's beautiful home in the suburbs of Atlanta this past weekend. We were sitting at the breakfast table on Sunday morning eating sausage, eggs, and her famous biscuits while talking about a variety of things. The topic of my blog came up. How?...I am clueless. My mom began telling me how much she enjoyed the blog and how it can truly help fathers raise their children. I am starting to feel pretty good right here. My chest puffs out just a bit. She then begins telling me that I need to write a book! A WHAT??? A BOOK??? Hold on...I have never written... a book! She begins telling me that it would be great to do and how it would be so helpful, and so on and so on. It didn't help that my wife kept chiming in; not with words, but with those sly side looks like, "Umm...yep...see...I told you...". I'm thinking, "Woman, can you be supportive?" The big head I had from the compliments soon turned into a burst bubble with something to think about.
Dads, we have all shunned advice, but we should consider it more. Trust and believe- not all advice is good advice. We have to use wisdom to be able to decipher what will be best for us and our family. It is always good to ask clarifying questions to be clear on the advice. But we should develop a heart of humility that will allow us to see the bigger picture. We need to ASK! Ask about fatherhood, marriage, vocation, money, etc. There is a great verse in the Bible that says "Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise." Challenge yourself to find a friend or mentor and seek that advice. Dads, there is No Off Season for learning. Lend me your thoughts.