Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Joy of Being a Parent

Being a parent is really a lot of fun sometimes. Don't get me wrong there are certainly challenges and it's definitely not easy, but it is a real joy for me to watch my children grow and learn and mature in every area of their lives. As my children are getting older, it's been exciting to watch them each discover their passions and talents and come alive as they pursue those passions. This is what every parent wishes for their child. I've been fortunate to witness this first hand in the last week with all 3 of my children.

Football camp started last week for my 13 year old son and practices continue throughout June in preparation for a tournament at the end of the month. Then it's a few weeks off before practice starts for the season. For my son, football is his life. It's what he lives for. It was so exciting to watch his face just light up on the first day of practice. Even as tired as he was after a brutally difficult practice last night in the rain, he still had a smile on his face and was ready for more. I'm very proud of his commitment and dedication. He worked very hard in the off season to get bigger, faster, and stronger and now he's seeing that hard work pay off. Good life lessons are being learned and it's opened a lot of opportunities to have conversations with him on how pursuing the passions God gave him honors God and is an act of worship. As proud as I am of his commitment, I'm even more proud of the way he carries himself. He's respectful and listens to his coaches, he's a good teammate, and he keeps his grades up in the classroom.

My 10 year old daughter played in a double header on Saturday and really played her heart out. She's played softball for a couple of years, but this is her first year of fast pitch and she absolutely loves to pitch. Watching her face light up as she prepares to take the mound or when she steps up to the plate is just a real delight for me. She goes from being this very polite, mild mannered, sweet girl to a real bulldog of a competitor when she's on the field. She gets this very intense look in her eyes once the game starts. Her skills are really starting to develop in all aspects of the game and she has so much fun playing. I have to admit that I even got a little choked up during the second game on Saturday after she had a particularly good inning on the mound. I'm also very proud of the way she carriers herself as well. She's a very mature 10 year old. Watching her doing what she loves is such a blessing for me as her dad.

We're in the process of getting my 7 year old daughter into a new dance class, which she is so excited about she can hardly stand it. She is constantly dancing around the house and just comes alive when she talks about it. But even more exciting than her passion for dance is the fact that this past Sunday, she professed her faith in Christ and took her first communion. She has been asking for the last few months about taking communion, but my wife and I wanted to have a conversation with her first to make sure she understood what it meant and believed that Christ died for her sins. My wife was able to have that conversation with her and she professed her faith and was able to celebrate communion with us. She was so excited. It's such a blessing that all 3 of my kids have accepted Christ as their savior. Watching them grow in their faith has been very exciting.

But as proud as I am as a parent, just imagine how much God delights in us when we honor Him in everything we do. When we commit every area of our life to Him is when we truly find our joy and our purpose. When we pursue the passions and the calling that God places on each of us is when we truly connect with Him on a deeper level. God gave us each different talents and calls us to use those talents in a way that honors Him, whether it's playing football, softball, dancing, working in our given professions, or being a parent. When we truly understand that our whole life is to be lived in communion with God is when we get a little glimpse of heaven.

God Bless.