Father’s Eyes

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How do I describe what I see when I look at this picture?

Beauty? Absolutely. Joy? For sure. Love? Friendship? Connection? Simplicity? Peace? Yes! All of that.

But for me, there’s so much more. I see my daughter who is turning into an amazing young woman right before my eyes. At once, I’m filled with pride, excitement and unbelievable satisfaction. I’m torn between the joy of the moment, the memory of what used to be and the immediate future of what’s to come. I have visions of the little girl who used to stare Button, our beautiful boxer, in the eyes when she stood up. And now, take a look, she has to get on her knees to get a hug from her buddy. Seeing this, I realize that when we have traveled the same distance again, I will be staring directly into the eyes of a grown young woman.

And I wonder…

What will I see then? More than that – what will you see then? Will you see beauty? Joy? Love? Friendship? Connection? Simplicity? Peace?

Will you see what God made her to be? Will you value her as he does? Will you fight for her freedom? Will you love her sacrificially?

When teaching us how to relate to each other, Jesus said: “So, in everything, do to others what you would have them do unto you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12.) So I can’t help but ask, how are we doing concerning the daughters of our world? On a scale of 1-10, how would you grade out on your treatment of beautiful young women in our culture?

Jesus would and has given everything for them. How about you?

 

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Media Fast Follow Up

Social Media

At the first of February, I initiated a 40 day media fast. There were a lot of reasons for this. At Journey, we were in the middle of a several month vision discussion and I wanted to continue leading well. Kristen had started a new job and our family’s schedule was very full. And I had realized that my intentional one on one time with God wasn’t as consistent as I wanted it to be. In short, I felt the need to focus on God, draw close to him and quiet the distractions.

As I thought through how to prioritize my connection with the Father, I began to take an honest look at my life. I realized that I had developed habits with how I use my time. I began to notice that so much of my free time, a moment here or 15 minutes there, was spent on my phone using media in some way or another. I found myself checking Facebook a dozen times a day or more. When I came home from work, I would hit my Cowboys app and check out all the latest news from Big D. I would check this blog to see how many people had visited that day. I would check Journey’s Facebook and Reckless Pursuit’s Facebook. I would jump over to my ESPN app and see what I had missed that day. On and on it would go.

For years, I have arranged my life, reordered my schedule and even set up my office to prioritize people and relationships. It’s who I want to be and how I want to live. I felt like I was doing a fairly good job of that at work but I had begun to be less present at home – when I was off and could relax. I wasn’t engaging my family like I’d want to nor was I as connected with God as I needed to be.

So…40 days in the wilderness here I came! 40 days of no media. No TV. No talk radio. No apps of the phone. No internet. The only things I allow myself were talking on the phone, texting and emailing for work. After I cut those things out, I decided to take back media for the good. I added in Air1 radio, because it feeds my heart and I built a 40 day Bible reading plan into the notes app on my phone. Every day, when I had a free moment – instead of pulling up the Cowboys or Facebook – I would grab my phone and read scripture. When I came home, I would put my phone away and be present. I played with my kids. Sat on the kitchen counter and talked with Kristen while she cooked. Started reading Reckless Pursuit to my family and played games with them. It was amazing how much time I felt like I got back!

Everything wasn’t easy though. About 3 weeks in, there was struggle. I really wanted to just sit on the couch and relax – veg. I had gotten weary and longed for a break. For freedom from the discipline. The next week was hard. However, the last week or two of the fast was great. It was back to the earlier experience. I was present with my family and I was chasing God actively.

As I write this, I’m finished with the media fast but have come to live a bit different. I check Facebook a couple of times a day and hit my Cowboys app once or twice as well. But I am present both with people and with God. I can’t wait to initiate something like this again!