1 min read
1. I pray for you and your mother daily.
2. I want you to always think you are the greatest kid in the world.
3. When things are hard, keep trying. You can accomplish anything.
4. School is important.
5. I am always behind you in all you do.
Inspired by 5 Back-to-School Conversations Every Dad Must Have With His Kids by Edward Lee at BlackandMarriedWithKids.com.
1 min read
What am I thankful for? Plenty, because I have been truly blessed. I’m thankful for her and them. Yes, I am thankful for it. I’m thankful for them because they always make me laugh, and for it because it always makes me smile.I am thankful for Christmas because it means Jesus was born. I’m thankful for Easter, because it means he rose. But more than anything today, I’m thankful for two things…grace and mercy. So I wanted to take 120 of my 86,400 seconds today to just say “Thank you for grace and mercy.”
3 min read
Malcolm and Matty,
It’s been a full year since my last letter to you and it has been a busy 12 months. In that time you have changed schools, made new friends, learned to swim and grown a lot. For the most part, I have enjoyed our many moments alone while your momma was away. We have cried a little, laughed a lot, and hopefully, for you, started a life that is fun and rewarding. It hasn't been a big shiny life, but it has been satisfying for me.
I don’t know if I was ready to be a dad before either of you entered my life but once you were born I knew I had to become one. I didn't know the first thing about raising children or raising a boy to be a man and you didn't come with instructions. But as your father, I like to think your mother and I are doing a pretty good job with you. We had to and still have to learn most things on our own, but much of the urgency of the early days are gone, and not by luck, but with hard work, making hard decisions, and lots of love.
Malcolm, as I find myself assisting and explaining life's little instructions to you, I can see that you are growing into such an independent man. I know at times I can be rough on you about cleaning your room or playing in church, but you are softening me up quite a bit. I promise that I will give you your space, but not too much.
Matty, When you were born I asked myself if I would I be able to handle another son? Raising you is a different experience from raising your brother for so many different reasons. Even at two I can see that you will be an extraordinary young man full of courage and heart. When I place your hand in my hand I notice how the size difference is not as much as it used to be. Sometimes I see my grandfather’s face when I look at you and I smile because of the great man that he was. Other times I see my dad and I remember what a strong man he is.
To you both I say: My wish for you, as your father, is that you find someone to experience the bigness of this world with and that you grow old with that someone. Your mother has been a great wife and is the most important noun in my life. When we met, she challenged me to be a better human being and made me shift my priorities and reassess my value system. I pray that you find someone to do the same for you and you are blessed to have children as wonderful as you are.
As each of you were born I realized I was responsible for helping you to become good men. As you are growing I’m willing to give you my time, my attention, my love, and my hugs and I am happy to give them all to you. You have been great sons, and I have tried to be a great dad for you both. I have no doubt that you will become tremendous men. I want you to always remember, I will be there for you, no matter what obstacles you may face in this life.
4 min read
“godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6 (New International Version)
Malcolm and Matthias,
As your father, I’ve had the opportunity to think about the life ahead of you and my role in trying to prepare you to be strong and men of God. When I looked at each of you closely for the first time, I struggled with the questions most fathers ask: “Will I be able to guide you?”, “Will I be able to provide for you?”, and “What kind of man will you be?”. The dreams and goals I had for you during those early moments have not changed. I not only want you to grow, but I want you to flourish. I want you to put your marriage and children first, and I never want my mistakes to visit onto you. You are at a wonderful stage of life with so many wonderful stages still to come. I don’t know what trials you will face in the coming years, but I hope to be there to help you through them. To help you prepare, I offer this letter and the words it contains.
Be open to new things, experiences, and people in your life. When your mind is closed to new people and you don’t open your heart to them, you may avoid pain, but you also lose the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Some of these people will be there for you during the toughest times of your life and create some of the best times of your life.
I must tell you that life is not a competition, but in your life you may meet people who will try to outdo you in school, in college, or at work. They may try to have a nicer car, a larger house, or nicer clothes. They may view life is a competition — they must do better than others to be happy. However, you should know that when you spend your life always trying to impress and outdo others you are wasting your gifts. Instead, learn to enjoy life. Make it a journey of constant happiness, learning, improvement, and most importantly love.
Love. There is no better rule in life. If there is a single rule to live your life by, it should be this one: Live your life by the rule of love. While success or selfishness rules the lives of others, you should be ruled by love. A life ruled by success can be stressful, unhappy, and shallow. A life ruled by selfishness and putting your needs above the needs of others can lead to a lonely and unhappy life. Love your wife, your children, your mother and I, and your friends. Love them with all of your heart. However, you should also show love to your neighbors, your coworkers, strangers, and