A proud dad

My kids were with me this weekend for Easter and we had such an amazing time together. I cherish the weekends I get them because they makeup the majority of my time with the kids. The pressure to get the most out of the time from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening is immense some times. But weekends like this one remind me how lucky and blessed I am as a dad.

The weekend started with my 12 year old Stephen sharing with me that he won the essay contest at his school and is one of five sixth graders to be selected to attend a banquet. His essay will also be entered for the county wide essay contest. I remember reading through his submittal and thinking to myself what a natural writer he is. It was really good (and you can read it for yourself here).

On Friday, our church had a special Night of Worship and Prayer for Good Friday. It was a powerful night! I get a unique vantage point as a worship leader because I get to see how others are connecting with God through song or prayer. After communion, we started playing the song How He Loves by John Mark McMillan, a powerful tune that our people have always loved. During one of the choruses, I look over on the front row where my 8 year old daughter Ella is standing and I see her singing her heart out with her eyes closed and hand raised in the air. I couldn’t stop smiling! Later that evening, I broke down what happened with her, talking about why she raised her hand and what it means. She said she is usually shy at church and she felt God telling her not to be shy! I can’t begin to describe how that made me feel.

On Saturday morning, my 10 year old Zane had a soccer game. I enjoyed watching him hustle around the field, making great defensive stops and even scoring the game winning goal! He is the type of kid that could excel at any sport he wants to because he has the mentality, the physical ability, and size to succeed. But the coolest thing ever is his attitude. He’s humble, kind-hearted, and wants to have fun WITH his teammates. It isn’t about him, it’s about the team. One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen was when our goalie missed the ball as the other team scored. Zane’s coach had the whole team go and pat him on the back and congratulate him for his hard work. That’s a good coach!

Then on Sunday, as I’m leading worship again, I noticed my oldest son, Austin, who is 15, singing along with every song. Now, he isn’t much for expressing how he feels. But I could just tell that he meant everything he was singing. In that moment, I realized that all of the Instagram posts he puts out there to share his faith are 100% legit. Not that I ever doubted it before, but it was confirmation that he really does love Jesus.

To close the weekend, we went to some of my girlfriend Julie’s family’s house for dinner and games last night. All of us were outside either playing a fun new game called roller ball or swinging or whatever. I had to step back and just savor the moment. Here I was with people I love and care about just having a blast together on a gorgeous Easter evening. I can’t help but say thanks God for putting an amazing godly woman in my life with six kids that I’m so proud of. I’m a blessed man to be able to be apart of all of their lives.

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