My Mother’s Best

This is a blog post for all you mothers out there. There’s a lot things I could write. But instead of trying to appeal to your struggle, or your frustration, or the feelings of inadequacy, failing, fear, worry, anger (only sometimes, right?), or not being good enough, I’m going to talk briefly about something else…

 

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…my mother’s best.

 

I never got it until now. But now I do. My parents did their best. Well, not all the time, but who can actually say that about their parents (if you raised your hand, I declare you a liar). Here’s some things I’ve learned about your family/parents that you grew up with:

 

  • They’re sinners, and have their own “baggage.” The more spiritual term I would use is strongholds. They have tendencies that they carried from their parents. And now you have to live with it. We all have it. I’ve seen it in myself several times, and I hope my child (singular at the time of this writing) can show me grace in the future concerning my shortcomings. My mom reacted to situations in her own way. The cool thing about my mom is that she’d be the first to admit she isn’t perfect. And I’ll back her up on that….and then get in line right behind her….because I’m not perfect either.

 

  • Parents have a lot of stress. There’s a ton of junk that parents have to deal with, on top of actually raising small humans. The list is endless, and would waste a lot of your reading energy, so just insert your list here: _______________________. I will only say that I never realized how much there was to do, until I had kids. Wow.

 

  • They did their very best. No good parent does you harm (although there are plenty of bad and wicked parents out there). I know my mom did her very best. That’s all that can be expected. Doing your best. There are days where things seemed to be going worse than others (just like every other family), but we got through it. We survived.

 

I know my mom did her best, and I’m sure yours did too.
So keep that in mind next time you see them. And make sure that you carry on the tradition…and do your very best.

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4 Lessons I’ve Learned from Becoming A Dad

Here’s one thing I was told (and often): “Sleep now, because you won’t be sleeping once the baby comes.” Yeah, dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. You can’t bank sleep, only catch up on it. But that is typically the advice I was given as a first time dad.

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For our story, we didn’t have a perfect first-time birth. There were several complications, and some of them came back to bight us in the months following. But we’re here, and we’re alive, we’re sane (sort of, haha), and we’re wiser. There were several lessons I had to learn on my own. In fact, when I shared one of my learned lessons with a guy I know who was about to have his first child, he responded, “Thank you. I haven’t heard that one before.”

 

That got me thinking that maybe some others can hopefully learn from the things I’ve learned. That’s what the Bible talks about in 2 Corinthians 1:4 when it says “[God the Father] comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

 

So here’s 4 lessons I’ve learned from becoming a dad.

 

  1. Take care of your wife. Sounds obvious right? But here’s the thing. When you have a baby, everything changes. Simple tasks aren’t that simple anymore. She’s deprived of sleep, energy, and usually needs some time to heal anyways (She just pushed a human out of her body, for crying out loud). It can look like:
    • Doing the dishes
    • doing the laundry
    • getting the baby up, and bringing them to her so she can stay in bed.
  2. Inviting other moms over. This is one I wish I had done. It will be hugely encouraging to her to have other moms to talk to, even if only for a little while. And while it’s fantastic to have her mom over, I’m talking about also igniting young moms. Mothers that have gone through the same experience within the last five years.
  3. Take care of yourself. This also sounds obvious, but hear me out. You will be running ragged, adjusting to your new lifestyle. You will be way to tired. But in the middle of all that, you need to make sure to take care of yourself. If you don’t, eventually you won’t have anything to give to your wife and child. Take a short nap when you can. Maybe play your favorite video game for 30 minutes to unwind.
  4. Talk with wisdom. When you go out in public, a lot of people are going to ask how you are doing. What I would advise is to be careful with whom you share all the details. Obviously I’m not saying put yourself at medical risk by saying nothing. But if you’re having a really hard time and want to talk (yes gentlemen, you can talk with another guy about this), then do it with your very close friends. Go to your pastor, or better yet, invite them over for a brief visit. My point is, if you are having struggles, share it with the people that can actually help, that know you the best, and that truly care for you.
  5. Have your Quiet Time. Wish I was more consistent with this when our daughter was born, because I felt my need for God more then than I ever have before. You need God, bro. You will totally burn out if you ignore Him. It’s not guaranteed to be easy, but He will give you strength to get through it.

    I would highly recommend Pastor James MacDonald’s Act Like Men devotional*. I think it’s the best devotional for men in part because it’s actually written for men. Short chapters, short paragraphs, plenty of examples, and biblical truth that cuts to the heart. Also, it’s 40 days long, so it will get you through the first month and a half of having a newborn.

 

“If you are having struggles, share it with the people that can actually help, that know you the best, and that truly care for you.”

 

*I do not receive any compensation from Pastor James MacDonald, Moody Publishers, or Amazon for promoting this book. It is simply a recommendation from me to you.

2 App Features that Could Lead Your Kids To A Dangerous Path

We’ve all heard at the warnings and dangers of Snapchat since their beginning. All about how it was meant as a sexting app. All about the way it has been abused. *snooze*

I actually have a Snapchat, and somewhat to my surprise, I enjoy using it. It has fun filters and they’re equally fun to send to my wife, family, and friends. But there are some downsides; downsides that parents and teens need to watch out for.

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Snapchat: On your left you have a list of your conversations. In the middle, your camera and filters. On the right however, is the thing to watch out for. It’s all a page for businesses and magazines. Whenever I have checked there, almost always there is a sexual or inappropriate article, usually following the Kardashians or Selena Gomez’s latest pose. At the moment, there is no way to customize what you see there. It’s whatever Snapchat wants to push at you.

 

Why is this bad? Because the subtle effects these articles have will build up over time. Looking at women who are 90% naked isn’t good for anyone (unless it’s your wife. What? It’s true).

Instagram: Instagram is one of those apps that is really cool. I love that you can share pics of your life with your friends and make them look really neat, even if you have no professional skills. *Raises hand*

 

But recently that added a new feature that has a serious creep-factor to it. Under your profile tab, there’s a “Saved For Later” button. Under any picture (ANY picture) you’ll find a ribbon. Click that, and the picture is now “Saved for later.” The creepy part is that no one will ever know that you saved their picture. To put it bluntly, it’s a great way to save sexy pics (or worse) in one spot, without anyone ever knowing. It lacks accountability, and is very hidden.

 

I would highly recommend having a conversation with your kids about this feature. Not one of those “Don’t you dare ever do anything behind my back” talks. Because those work so well. Instead, have a talk about why you’re concerned about this feature, and of the dangers and temptations it can lead to.

 

The important thing is to constantly have open discussion with your kids, teach them the principles of God’s Word, and then trust them to do what’s best. Will you need to set up ground rules? Possibly. That all depends on you and your situation.

 

What have you found useful in talking to your kids about their tech?