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Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

It’s the day after Fathers Day. My Facebook newsfeed was overwhelmed with tributes to dads literally around the globe. I love Fathers Day. I love celebrating the lives of influential men. Because I had a wonderful dad, I want others to experience the unconditional love of a heavenly Father. I am blessed to have so many examples of exceptional dads and it’s never too late to honor them.

First, though the title says five dads, in actuality, I am grouping a few. And the order isn’t really relevant either. These guys are amazing and would make any list of top dads.

I am so thankful for this guy. He has raised (along with his wonderful wife) four beautiful children, including my “new” daughter-in-law.

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Ric Lumbard & daughter Tristen

My son is blessed and so, I am blessed as well. I know this girl was raised to love God and to love others. Her dad modelled what it means to be a godly husband and father. She was raised knowing about commitment, faithfulness and prayer – all essentials for a successful marriage. Thanks, Ric, for being a great dad!

 

 

 

 

Three of the greatest blessings of my life are my brothers-in-law, two of whom are fathers. Even though two are Cardinal fans, and the other one roots for the Packers, they are all wonderful guys, who have raised great kids and love their family well.

I love my brothers. At my son’s recent wedding they all showed up and absolutely made my day. They love me, love their wives & kids, love their nieces & nephews, and enjoy being together. We have more fun together now than we ever had as kids!

My boys didn’t have grandparents who lived close by so they were blessed with many men who stepped in as surrogate grandparents. One of them was Ron Dunmire. He treated my boys as though they were his own grandkids, loving them, taking them out to play golf, or eat, or even on vacation. We miss this guy so much. He was an exceptional friend and heaven is richer on this Fathers Day.

 

My daddy loved his girls. He’s been gone for 13 years but I miss him very much. There are days I think, “boy, Dad would have loved this,” or “Dad, I wish you could see your grandkids now.” He wasn’t perfect but I never doubted his love. I credit my dad for my work ethic, loyalty to my employer, and most especially, my sense of direction.

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Finally, my favorite dad is the father of my kids.

Don has modeled what it means to be a godly man everyday for his boys. He never apologized for loving God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength. He has always been an example of how to love your wife, how to lead your home, how to live for Christ. He is his own worst critic and yet he teaches and lives out the Word of God every day. My kids could not have had a better earthly father…one who consistently points to and relies on his Heavenly Father.My only regret? He’s a Cardinals fan. But it does add a certain spice to our marriage…

Thanks Dads – for all you do, for all you are, and for all you mean to your families!
P.S. – Did anyone actually count? I posted about six dads. Too funny to change it now 🙂

 

 

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Sean and David 1

Parenting is hard.

In fact, the actual act of giving birth is the easiest part. Once those big brown (or green or blue) eyes look into your soul and those little fingers get a grip around your heart, you are toast. And the pressure to be everything they need is overwhelming. It’s really the hardest and longest battle of any parent’s life ~ the battle to let them go.

It starts around age two. Some call it the “terrible 2s” – not sure why – just because my beautiful compliant baby has now learned the word “no” and refuses to wear clothes in public?

We work so hard to help our kids learn right from wrong. We teach them colors and numbers and letters…we listen and love…doing fractions homework and science fair projects…agonizing together through middle school, watching them struggle, succeed, struggle, succeed, over and over and over.

This parenting gig is gut-wrenching.

High school – late nights listening for the garage door to open or the text to ping. Meeting new friends… people of both genders passing through your living room. You pray the lessons on purity and kindness and integrity are being lived out away from your watchful eyes. Attending the “last” of anything brings out the waterworks – last band concert, last baseball game, last youth group, last family vacation, last Christmas together in one house.

That empty nest feels like a staycation…for about a week. Then the house is too quiet, the bedroom too picked up, the laundry basket and kitchen sink too empty.

It is not easy…releasing the chick to fly on his own. And now I know – releasing would be easier if you absolutely knew they would never encounter any obstacles.

So I sit and pray…listen and love…give advice only when asked but trusting always in the wisdom that only the Holy Spirit can give…to me and to him.

He must face life now, somehow without the seat belt we buckled him in 20+ years ago. The pressure on him is intense…pressure that I know can crush. If I didn’t trust in the only One who loves him more than I do, I would be lost. He faces struggles unknown – financial, emotional, mental – as all of us do in this life journey. The adventure which was once exhilarating is now lonely and dark and fraught with danger and shadows. Fear of failure threatens him – broken dreams and battered promises line his path. He must now rely on his own faith journey, without me or his dad as a buffer.

Parenting never gets easier. A pattern never develops. There is no book that has all the answers (even the Bible couldn’t help me with the “why won’t he wear clothes?” question).

I’ve gone from parent to teacher to coach to cheerleader with stints as referee here and there. Just when you think you’ve got it, you either have another kid who is the polar opposite or the first one changes personality and temperament overnight.

My husband and I pray every morning that our kids make good choices, that doors will open and doors will close, that they would be salt and light wherever they go, that they would have favor and financial provision and wisdom. Always wisdom. May they have the courage they need to fight each battle with bravery and conviction. And that they would never give up on themselves or their dreams.

I’ll pray the same for you today…as you parent your children. We love these little bundles of joy and heartache ~ may you be armed with strength and courage, love and kindness, hope and long-suffering. May the Holy Spirit guard your mind from doubt and give you wisdom for the darkest nights and brightest days ahead.

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YouGoGirl

I was recently asked to be the speaker at an upcoming homeschooling moms’ getaway. Truly humbled and honored, I’ve been attempting to come up with a bio the organizers could use for their brochure. Something short and pithy – humorous but elaborate. Something that would make someone want to come hear me. I got nothing.

Then I decided to try some free writing – not worrying about length or breadth or scope or humor or grammar and punctuation. It’s way too long for their purposes but hey – that’s what blogging is for, right? To give anybody an opportunity to write, knowing it probably won’t be read anyway.

Kris McGarvey – Who Am I?

I’m a former homeschooling mom and currently helping my husband as the president of WFM Missions Base in Robins.

I love trying new restaurants, reading stuff, experimenting with new tastes & recipes, learning how to run, walking for great coffee, setting new goals and then pushing past my self-imposed limitations, endeavoring to avoid saying “I can’t” until I’ve at least tried, travelling outside my comfortability (and making up words that my spell-checker doesn’t appreciate…like comfortability).

I’m loving the journey, embracing my own adventures, not particularly a lover of danger but thrilled with discovering the hidden treasures of life like small consignment stores, coffee shops and people’s stories.

I’m an amateur writer but a professional list-maker. I love shoes and the color purple (not the book, never read it). I say I’m silver-haired (because grey-haired sounds too old). I’m a novice runner but an elite chocolate and coffee consumer. I love lots of genres of music (and I really like the word “genre”) – hymns, worship, jazz, folk, singer-songwriter stuff and catchy pop tunes like “Happy.” I’ve never seen the movie “Frozen” and don’t know any of the lyrics to “Let It Go” and I’m okay with that. I enjoy a good guitar or piano solo but I’m learning the nuances of a really great drummer. I love the band NEEDTOBREATHE and don’t mind it when people call me a “groupie.” My kids don’t because I take them to concerts with me. They are not dumb.

I’ve embraced social media for the platform it gives me to stay connected to family and friends around the world and to encourage those who need someone on their side, someone who can say with confidence – “Trust Him – this too shall pass.”

I’m a sports junkie. If it gets played with a ball, I probably like it. Even curling and it’s played with a rock. I watch golf tournaments on TV with my family like others do the Super Bowl (snacks and everything). Though my 3 guys and I split up our loyalties to cheer for different teams (Hawks, Illini, Cubs, Cardinals, Rams, Falcons, Bears, Lakers, Nets, Bulls) – we do agree on one thing – we think Zach Johnson is awesome. I do live to see the Cubs in the World Series, so I may be immortal, not sure.

I love superheroes…they really exist and I’m pretty sure I’m married to one. I try to be a good sidekick to my phenomenally intelligent husband and I appreciate that he keeps me around to take care of those mundane things like computers, phones, taxes, and cleaning the bathroom (though I’m not very good with that last one).

I’m privileged to have birthed two sons – both of which are so much like their parents that they scare me, and yet so different from each other. They each amaze me with their maturity, wisdom, sense of humor and discernment, despite their upbringing. They are gifted with creativity, although it usually plays out in different areas. They both love fiercely and I’m proud to be on the receiving end of it.

I’m not perfect and I’m not trying to be. I’ve decided that life is too much fun and there’s just so much to do, that I can’t allow others’ expectations to rob me of my joy in discovery.

Most of all, I’m a lover of Jesus. He gives me life and breath and joy and unconditional love and grace and mercy. He picks me up when circumstances pull me under. He laughs with me and listens to me and holds me. He dries my tears and grins at my attempts at humor. He whispers to me in the night and shows me great and mighty things. He says he’ll be with me through anything, so I know I can be brave and try, because I won’t be alone. He tells me to “dream big” and then takes me outside my comfortability and shows me the stars in an endless sky. Most of the time He just blows me away.

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