It’s gotta be compelling

20130218-202043.jpgMy mind is constantly turning, thinking, analyzing, and dreaming. Sometimes when I’m watching Maebyn I find myself off in la-la land while she rolls circles around the floor, just thinking about life and its many mysteries (yikes, I need to be more careful sometimes, she is getting mobile). Today is no different and I feel like I’ve been kind of off the grid, not in reality but lost in thought. I don’t know if this post will make sense or if anyone will relate but this is what has been looming on my mind today.

Just last week we started another session of Story Formed Life. I’m not going to get into what SFL is but essentially it tells the “story” of the gospel in a way that has transformed my way of thinking. Has it been a lot of new information? Not really, but it has allowed me to view life from a whole different perspective. It has highlighted the power of stories and the profound effect that they have on our lives/beliefs. So what’s been on my mind all day? Well, I’ve been wondering what the story of my life is telling people and more importantly, how is it shaping my family.

You can tell a lot about priorities, values, beliefs, and what we hold to be important by the way we live our lives. Our decisions and actions don’t define who we are but they give a pretty accurate picture of where our hearts are. Everyday our lives are telling a story. So I ask myself, what story is my life telling, is my story compelling, and is it one that when I’m gone, my kids want to tell because it’s strengthened and encouraged them? These are the things I want to strive for. A faith and reliance on God that is compelling and life changing.

One of my good friends, Jordan Stone, is leading his family through something that comprises just what I explained above. Click Here to read his families blog. They are currently in the middle of a “sabbath year”. What’s a sabbath year? Well, read the blog and you’ll better understand but essentially what they are doing is taking a year off from work every six years and allowing the Lord to provide in that 7th year. Crazy, I know, but God is working in their lives and there is something so compelling about their “story”. Think of their kids and the excitement and faith that 7th year will bring to them, his wife and the joy she is experiencing having a full-time helpmate, and friends and family with more quality time being able to be spent. They will be the first to tell you that a “sabbath year” isn’t for everyone. It’s something The Lord put on their hearts and in faith they stepped into. To me, living by this kind of faith is compelling, it’s challenging, and it points straight to God. It looks different for each of us and that’s the exciting part. Where will God lead you? Me?

One of the hardest things I’m realizing as a parent is you cannot pass down your faith to your kids. You really have no control over what they chose in life. You can diligently teach, instruct, and discipline, but the only real thing you can do is allow the Lord to tell His story through you, by living a live submitted by faith and trust in Jesus. What’s more compelling than that?

An ever pondering mind…

Ross

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Thursdays use to be HersDays

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photo(22)Thursdays have become my most favorite and least favorite day of the week all wrapped up into one. How is this possible? Well let me explain…

Every Thursday I go to crossroads church from 11:30 to 1 to a fathers midrash. What’s a fathers midrash? Simply put, it’s a group of fathers that come together to try and understand truth, found in the bible, on how God is calling us to lead our families. It has had a profound impact on my life to say the least. I look forward to going every week and it has revitalized the way I read scripture. The fathers midrash along with Story Formed Life have allowed me to see that the role of an intentional father is the most vital thing that exists in a family. I have always wanted to be a dad but I guess I never really knew why. Being a good dad to me meant providing for the family and teaching them about God. Although these are things I still strive for I have learned that there is much more to a fathers role than just provision and teaching. I am responsible for the vision, identity, and guidance of our family. If I don’t lead who else will?

So I know it looks like Thursdays can’t possibly be that bad, right? Well, they have a dark side. Every Thursday morning MaKenzie wakes up at 5ish a.m. It’s her early day to go to work and its a rough one for her. She’s tired when she gets home and has little energy to do much else than get ready for work on Friday. She has never complained once about her responsibilities and if I didn’t know her so well I would say the long hours didn’t bother her at all. However, I know Thursdays take a toll on her. Every Thursday is hard for me because I wish it was me going out to provide for the family. Feelings of failure creep in as I watch MaK leave in morning. It’s the hardest part of the week watching her go to work so tired wishing I could take away her burdens.

The final reason Thursdays are just not the same is because before we had Maebyn, Thursdays use to be “Hers Days”. Anyone who has a mild obsession with their dog/pet will get this… so, before kids were in the picture, every Thursday we celebrated our dog Beazy and her many redeeming qualities: excellent barking skills, ability to identify squirrels that occupy our property and her three cheats on death itself (hit by a car, fell out of a tree, swam half a lake… don’t worry I’ll cover these in a future post). One of her thousands of nicknames happens to be “Hers”. Ah, a perfect play on words. Thursday = HersDay. Weird, yeah we know. It was fun though and we had some great memories. Those days are now gone and our dog Beazy is appreciated more than celebrated. I don’t think she minds but when I look at our dog it’s just another reminder of how Thursdays are just not the same.

Happy HersDay everybody,

Ross