Tag Archives: daughters
She’s no longer the baby I could hold in my arms. If I hold her these days, it’s a quick hug, a slight embrace. Gone are the days when she would put her head on my chest and fall to sleep, completely trusting in me to protect and provide.
But now I pray she’d seek your embrace, your protection, provision, and peace in Your rest.
An evil lurks around each corner, in the valley where death hides in the shadows. No longer there, I can’t be her guide. If You are not her Shepherd, the shadows will prevail.
Watch over her as only You can do. Guide her, with pain, if necessary, to the prize at the end of her race. I’ll be in the stands cheering.
I haven’t been writing much, lately. It’s been pretty busy around here.
One thing that just happened was the graduation from college by my daughter Katie.
Katie’s first day at Bryan college was back in September of 2014 when we dropped her off at the dorms. I still remember getting back home, walking down the hall and looking into her freshly-painted, peach-colored, sparkly room, knowing those days were over. I cried a river as I leaned against her door frame.
The first picture was taken on that first day at Bryan. Here is myself, Haley (our youngest), and Katie, all sporting our brand new t-shirts to celebrate and remember the day.
Can you believe these are the same two girls?
Here is Katie with Dr. Stephen Livesay, the President of Bryan College.
Now, here’s the proud dad and mom with the graduate 🙂
So, Katie got a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education and Vocal. She could always sing, and she can write some beautiful music. Let’s view some performance history on YouTube 🙂 See if you can tell how much she’s matured by the last one.
Here is a video of Katie back in November of 2011 (8 years ago). This was the first video of her singing I ever posted on YouTube.
Here is a video of Katie from December of 2012 singing an original, one of the first songs she ever wrote.
Here she is from before her college days in a high school talent show playing guitar (they won 1st place).
Now, the video is not the best quality, but here is Katie and I playing for her high school graduation banquet. Again, this is a song she wrote…and she’s playing the uke better than I played the bass.
This is her senior (college) recital in January of this year. I get to play with her at the very end – because I played for her when she first auditioned for a music scholarship…which she received 🙂
Which brings us to the last video – the one made tonight at a church in Soddy-Daisy, TN. Now that Katie is on her own, a college graduate, and living back in Chattanooga with her sister, Haley, I don’t get to perform with her anymore, nor hear her sing in church. So, it sure was a blessing to see this video of Katie doing a wonderful performance of “Breath of Heaven.
This is what loving the Lord, 6 years of college, a lot of prayer, and tons of perseverance will get you. I’m a blessed dad to have such beautiful and talented daughters.
Hey, to anyone who casually assumes these preacher’s daughters will cower and pray – they sold a purse and bought a sword (Luke 22:38).
God bless America.
God bless the 2nd Amendment.
The following post was first published in March of 2015, but the truth is still totally relevant…please read…especially if you’re a father of little girls.
As I watched, my heart broke, my eyes flooded with tears, and I nearly had to leave the theater – that’s how I felt when I watched a particular scene in the movie Do You Believe?.
Alex PenaVega (of Spy Kids fame) played the role of a young woman named Lacey. Early in the movie she is shown sitting on a couch, on her cell phone, begging her father to either come to visit her, or let her spend some time with him (as I type this my eyes are beginning to water).
Totally desperate for his attention and affection, through barely contained sobbing, she cries out to her daddy, “pleeeease!”
Now I’m crying. Seriously. Read on and you’ll understand why.
Not long ago, Katie (my middle daughter) called me up in the middle of the night…then called again…and again… She was at college and really, really ill.
Long story short, she wanted me to come get her…in the early hours of dark morning…before I had to get up and drive a school bus! It was an hour there, an hour back, not to mention loading her stuff, and I needed to be on a bus at 6:20 a.m.! But what was I supposed to do? She was my daughter, and through tears she asked, “Pleeease, daddy, I want to come home!”
I made record time to Bryan College.
Yesterday was a long day, from getting up early after going to bed late, to church last night. Then, at around 9:30 p.m. my little girl, Haley, asked, “Daddy, would you watch a movie with me?”
I looked down at my watch…my eyes were already heavy…I thought to myself, “It’s not going to be long before she’s grown and gone like the others.”…What’s another long day, right?
“Sure,” I replied. “What do you want to watch?”
The reason the scene in the movie got to me was that there are so many little girls out there…girls of all ages…each one willing to give anything for a little time with Daddy. And where are the dads? What is more important to them than a little girl on the other end of the line, soaking her cell phone with tears, crying “Pleeese, Daddy! Pleeeease!“?
I like the way the New Living Translation renders Jesus’ words regarding fathers and their children…
“You fathers–if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” – Luke 11:11-13
My heart broke as I watched Alex PenaVega’s character weep for her daddy. It broke because the scene she was acting out was all too real – there’s a lot of hurting people out there who may never find comfort in a father’s arms.
Oh, would to God that men would be men and be the heroes their little girls need! Heaven only knows how many precious lives would be spared abuse, broken marriages, and life-long addictions if only daddies would be daddies!
How wonderful it is to know that we as believers have a Father in heaven, our Abba Father, who loves us more than any earthly father ever could! But does that excuse us dads from being our little girls’ knights in shining armor? Absolutely not!
A daddy’s role is to strive to be like our heavenly Father: one who is compassionate; one who listens; one who is patient; one who is strong as an oak tree, uncompromising, yet still available for make-believe tea or midnight retrievals from the dormitory.
Men…dads…be there for your daughter; God’s collecting her tears.
The impetus for this post came from an insurance commercial and a walk down the “princess aisle” at Hobby Lobby.
My Little Princess
Believe me, I get it. I have three daughters, so I am keenly aware of the need to make them feel special.
As a matter of fact, I have been known to go out of my way – actually, it really wasn’t – to make it known my girls are royalty. I have purchased the pink crowns, gone to the banquets, done the “daddy dances,” and participated in the high teas and fingernail polishing.
Every Dad should treat his daughter like a princess.
But What About Boys?
I shouldn’t have to elaborate very much because most of you probably already know how maligned the average male is in society, especially if he resembles anything masculine. However, society has yet to recognize the extent of the damage inflicted upon it by a radically-feministic and anti-gender agenda.
An anti-masculine paranoia has left men confused, scared, and spineless. Heck, even car insurance commercials (Liberty Mutual) tout the praise of coverage that can take care of teen boys who don’t know how to change a flat tire!
Proverbs 31 – It’s Not Only About Women
Now, whenever you think of Proverbs 31, what do you think about? The perfect woman? The high bar that is set for any woman who wants to be a model wife? Do you get stressed out with all of the expectations a male society is placing upon you?
Have you ever stopped to consider that Proverbs 31 starts out with a mother warning her son about other women? Have you ever noticed that the first few verses of Proverbs 31 contain words of affirmation…to a MAN?
Speaking of the tempting women and “strong drink,” this wise and caring mother warns,
“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings…” (Prov. 31:4).
What we need these days are more women like King Lemuel’s mother. We need women who will teach their sons about morality, ethics, duty, honor, responsibility, leadership, and genuine love…because they are kings.
We need parents who will pull the plug on the raw sewage put out by the likes of Yo Gotti and Nicki Minaj (I’m attaching a link to prove my point – viewer beware), and say, “It’s not for kings, my son, it is not for kings.”
The enemy doesn’t want to encourage biblical womanhood any more than he wants to encourage biblical masculinity.
So, empower your little princess; she’s truly precious.
But don’t forget about your prince; we need real men, too.
On Friday my middle daughter, Katie, underwent surgery to have her gallbladder removed. We appreciated all your prayers and well-wishes.
This morning (Saturday), as I sit here typing, Katie is across the room utilizing the recliner that was supposed to bring me joy and comfort after my rotator cuff surgery – it didn’t. I’m glad it’s helping her.
Hopefully and prayerfully…and please continue to pray for her…Katie will be up and going much better by tomorrow. However, I have my concerns.
Things I Learned
Katie is as unique as they come; there’s no one like her. She is uber sweet, persistently positive, the sunshine in a dark room, and the one person for whom saying “It’s my pleasure” when serving customers at Chick-fil-A is not good enough…she says, “It’s my sincerest pleasure!”
But Katie is also the least pain-tolerant person I know, and she hates needles with a passing-out passion. Therefore, anyone who gives her pain, or allows pain to persist, is likely to be served something other than chicken.
So, in bullet-pointed fashion, here are some things I learned on the way to the hospital, before Katie’s surgery, during Katie’s surgery, and after Katie’s surgery, including the first day of recovery.
On the way to the hospital…
- Maintaining a positive attitude is a good thing.
- Maintaining unrealistic expectations is a bad thing.
- Doctors and hospitals are always running behind, so it’s no use stressing; you’re gonna be late to check in – laugh about it.
- Make sure you bring a gender-appropriate bag in which you will be responsible for lugging around 25 pounds of clothing, books, snacks, and phone chargers while moving from room to room. A grown, masculine man can grow weary of “nice purse” comments when the virtual suitcase in which the items are packed is pink.
At the hospital…
- If you’re going to make use of the free valet parking, make sure all your important items are secure or on your person before giving your keys to a guy with questionable hygiene.
- It is possible for a nurse to think you’re a different patient, take you to the wrong room, prep you for a different surgery, all before asking if your name is the same as on the chart she’s looking at. Instead of having her gallbladder removed, Katie almost got a colonoscopy!
- Pray a lot, then just trust God to handle everything.
- Remember that sweet smile; it may be a while before it comes back.
- Don’t say “goodbye” as they wheel you away to be cut on.
- Boyfriends have a tendency to hog the visitation time.
During Surgery – the Waiting Time
- Bring your own food to nibble on, or else take out a loan to eat.
- One must take the initiative to make new pots of coffee in the waiting room – the staff doesn’t care to drink tar.
- Taking a book to read is a great thing, but be prepared for distractions… like worthless morning shows blaring on the waiting-room television, or visitors who don’t understand that one of the reasons you went along with the whole surgery thing is that you knew it would give you a couple of hours to get some guilt-free reading done.
- Hosptial Wi-Fi is crappy.
- Those intolerant to pain are nearly impossible to comfort.
- Uber-sweet, godly little girls who are intolerant to pain may surprise those in the room with their intimate knowledge of vulgarity.
- Dad visitation privilages trump boyfriend visitation privileges.
First Day of Recovery
- Calories don’t matter when making breakfast – at least for the ones NOT recovering.
- Whiny, pain-intolerant people can get on your nerves, but you have to love them anyway – just keep giving them pain pills.
- All it takes is one abdominal surgery to make an opinionated young woman reevaluate her beliefs on birth control and her desire to have children.
- My first grandchild from Katie will probably be Chinese or Korean.
Again, thanks for your prayers and well-wishes. If nothing else, I learned a few things.
I am a Christian.
I’m also a father.
Sometimes I’m called “dad,” while other times it’s “daddy.”
And, I don’t like it when my daughters cry.
If you want to find out how spiritual I truly am at any given moment, just make my little girls cry. On the one hand you may discover that I have complete control of my tongue; that I’m able to “be angry and sin not”(Eph. 4:26); or that I’ve mastered the discipline of taking all things to God in prayer before I act.
On the other hand, I may disappoint you.
Sanctification is a process.
I’m not always nice.
I’m not always quick to forgive.
Sometimes I forget to Whom vengeance belongs (Rom. 12:19).
Sometimes I fail to take all thoughts captive (2 Cor. 10:5), leaving a few violent ones to bounce around in my head.
I want to “walk worthy” of my calling (Eph. 4:1; Col. 1:10; 1 Th. 2:12), but sometimes I trip.
You see, I’m a Christian, and a father,
But sometimes I’m just a dad.
And I don’t like it when my daughters cry.
What I’m Not
I know it may offend some of you, but I need to get this out in the open right from the start – I am not a woman, nor do I feel like one…and I don’t want to.
I am very happy to be a man – one born that way – with no desires to experience female-related problems. Those males who do desire to “feel like a woman” seem to want to avoid those problems, too. For example, I rarely hear it reported that a sex-change operation will promise one the glorious ability to experience menstruation, heat flashes, mood swings, or endometriosis; that doesn’t appear to be a selling point.
And now that I think about it, should I ever – which I won’t – decide to become a “female,” I tend to think multi-tasking and “women’s intuition” wouldn’t magically appear with the removal of my guy parts and the injection of estrogen. So, if I couldn’t have those two advantages, why become someone who has to worry about hair, makeup, heels, fabric combinations, etc., etc., etc.
Oh, and if you think what I just said was stereotypical and sexist, it might have been. And if it was, then why is it that men who say they want to become women can’t become women in the masculine context in which they were born? In other words, why is it that Bruce Jenner had to turn into the stereotypical vision of what a “woman” is “supposed” to look like? Why couldn’t he, and every other trans, stay the way they were instead of trying to fit into the box of the stereotype? There’s MUCH more that I could say on this issue, but I will digress.
What I Am
Like I said, I know I am not a woman, and I don’t want to be. And because I am not a woman,
it might be hard for me to understand …scratch that… it’s nearly impossible for me to understand how women think. However, I do have some valuable insight based on years of experience with women; therefore, you might find it beneficial.
You see, even thought I am not an estrogen-producing sis-female (to be PC for once), I have lived a long time with a bunch of them. But what’s more important than what I don’t understand is what I DO understand, and that is the mind of a man.
I am a man… a red-blooded, stereotypical, gun-toting, testosterone-producing (no shots needed), stand-up-peeing kind of guy. I have a one-track mind, can compartmentalize like you wouldn’t believe, and love the smell of gunpowder in the morning.
What’s more, I am a faithful husband, a spiritual leader, and a father to three wonderful girls. That’s what I bring to the table today.
My daughters (at least the two younger ones) are eventually going to find husbands, one probably sooner than the other. The advice I would like to leave with not only them, but all of you other girls out there, is what to look for in a man you will marry. Take it from me – a man – I know the difference between a good one and a not-right-now-put-him-back-on-the-shelf one.
10 Words of Advice to Girls Who Are Searching
- Know your own worth.
- Don’t settle.
- Find a man who loves God more than you. Matthew 6:33
- Life is like a trip through the Atlanta airport – even the smallest of baggage gets heavy after a while.
- Never, ever assume the man you meet will become the man you want. Ain’t gonna happen.
- Accept nothing less than a spiritual/moral leader you can respect; if he looks up to you more than you look up to him, ditch him.
- It’s better to be single than smothered, abused, and/or controlled.
- Know who you are, what you are, and Who’s you are, then find a man who accepts and compliments (yes, I used that word) all you desire to be.
- If he doesn’t honor and respect his or YOUR parents, then he will most likely never be the kind of parent worth respecting – and he might not live long (Matthew 15:4; Ephesians 6:2-3).
- Lastly, make sure you like his family, and he likes yours… and that your family likes him, too. Marriage is meant to grow family, not destroy it.
Look, you don’t have to agree with any of my advice, but it comes from years of experience and professional observation. You have a choice in the matters of love, so don’t let someone sweep you off your feet without first doing your homework.
When you let the wrong man sweep you off your feet, you’re likely to fall from arms that can’t hold you.
You have probably heard it said before, but sometimes you have to pick your battles. At least that’s a common saying when it comes to parenting. Of course, there are sometimes when the battle chooses you, but for the most part, we can decide which battle should take priority. When it comes to my daughter getting her hair cut, well, I’ve decided that is a battle I am willing to invest few resources.
The other day my youngest, Haley, came to me and told me that she wanted to have her hair cut – and I mean CUT! I must admit, the idea of my beautiful little girl having her pretty hair scissored from her head made me sad. On the other hand, I was not as mournfully brokenhearted as Katie, Haley’s older sister. But, when she explained to me why she wanted it cut, and what she wanted it to look like, I just said, “OK, whatever makes you happy.”
However, since we are talking “battles,” don’t think “whatever makes you happy” will always be my response – no sir! Like I said, there are some battles worth fighting, it’s just that this one was not it. I mean, should she have come to me and asked if she could get her hair nearly shaved off and spiked and colored purple? Uhh, no. That wouldn’t have happened. And should she have come to me and asked for a tongue stud, or a tramp stamp… you get the picture… NO! And I would fight those battles.
Believe me, there are FAR more battles worth waging on behalf of our children, far more than ones over how short their hair should be!
But all Haley wanted was to have her pretty hair cut and styled shorter…and I wanted her to be happy…and there was really nothing wrong with what she was wanting to do. It was just hair – it can grow back.
But here’s the thing, folks. Should my little Haley gone out and done something that made me angry, something of which I would have strongly disapproved, would that have changed the fact that she is my daughter?
NO! Absolutely not!
If Haley had gone and got that tattoo on her back, or the nose ring, or the spiked hair…or far worse…yes, I still would have loved her, even though, as her dad, I would have been ticked. I would have been disappointed for my own reasons, but I wouldn’t have kicked her out of the house; she’s my daughter.
And that’s the thing about real grace. God loves us enough to let us live, even if our life choices prove to be out of step with the norm, or not what others would like. We are not talking about sin, but individual choices and decisions of life, where there is no real right or wrong, just the opportunity to offend or hurt. God’s grace allows us to be ourselves, within his boundaries, because He actually DOES want us to be happy.
Thankfully, though, when the choices of a believer DO cross the line and become sin, our Heavenly Father may be quick to discipline us, but He never stops loving us…we are family…we are His children.
So, the hair may be gone today, but grace isn’t.
How It Happened – In Pictures