Archive | Parenting

Parenting is the Most Frustrating (And Rewarding) Part of my Life

Seven years ago, my wife and I were in a barren place, both literally and metaphorically. Our efforts to start a family seemed to be in vain and our marriage was on the rocks. But these past seven years have taught me that difficulty and adversity are common denominators for anything deeply rewarding. At least that’s what I have to remind myself of, now, as a father to four kids under the age of seven. Being a dad is the most frustrating […]

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Becoming Dad

When my wife told our four-year old son, Matthew, that she was going to have another baby, his eyes widened, his face wrinkled, and he let out a puzzled question, “Mom, does Dad know about this baby?” For a moment, I think he was worried I was going to skip town. Believe me, there’s been a lot of fear, actually. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to fully love four kids. I’m not sure I love three that well. But today, I’m […]

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Cancer: A Year Later

I was lying in bed, my head resting on my wife’s chest, and I was weeping. I could feel her crying as well. Her hand gently stroked my hair, soothing my sadness. But it wasn’t sadness that caused the tears to flow that night—it was humility. Earlier that day, I had been diagnosed with cancer—spreading malignant melanoma. Despite this life-altering news, I felt remarkably close to God. Regardless of the prognosis, I felt certain that He had a plan. Listen to […]

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Confessions of a Wanna-Be Superhero

My three sons love to dress up. Everyday they embark upon a new adventure: pretending to fly, fight crime, or any number of other superhero fantasies. And although I’m hesitant to admit it, I’ve learned that I dress up as well. While they do it for fun, I do it because I think I have to. I put on capes as an attempt to understand my own identity. It’s funny to me that superheroes conceal themselves—their true identities—underneath average, everyday attire, yet in […]

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The Truth About Grace

MJ wanted to wear his superhero outfit. As much as I tried to explain to him that this birthday party wasn’t a superhero party, he just didn’t understand. He was furious and I was the bad daddy. But my four-year-old son’s reply showed his true feelings: “Daddy, if you love me, you’ll let me do what I want to do.” His words captured the depth of what he was feeling in that moment. Moreover, his words echoed my own when I talk […]

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Fatherhood, Faith, and Fighting

The two most important things in my life are my faith and my family—in that order. And both of those areas of my life seem to be constantly threatened. The other night, I happened to catch a few scenes from one of my favorite movies: Jaws. With the onset of beach season right around the corner, I suppose the networks wanted to conveniently remind me of the childhood nightmares that I’ve been trying to suppress for twenty-five years. There was a […]

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30 Things I Have Learned About Fatherhood and Boys

When my wife and I prayed for a family, we didn’t understand why God made us wait nearly three years for our prayers to be answered. All of the heartache and pain didn’t seem necessary. Why would a good, loving God drag us through a desert-like season that almost cost us our marriage? The wisdom of hindsight has revealed that God was simply preparing us for three boys. While infertility and marital struggles were challenging, nothing has been more challenging than parenting these […]

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