Sweet 16 for my BGP!

She entered this world and grabbed ahold of my heart with both hands. To this date, 16 years later, she hasn’t let go…not even for a minute.

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From the moment I laid my eyes on this beautiful girl, I was clearly, eternally wrapped around her finger. She entered this world and grabbed ahold of my heart with both hands. To this date, 16 years later, she hasn’t let go…not even for a minute. Being the father of a daughter was not something I was prepared for. Honestly, I have a few problems with some of you in my life that didn’t even give me the smallest of a heads up. But, seriously, I’m not sure anything would have prepared me for the realities of having a little, precious girl look up to me the way a daughter does.

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There is this overwhelming and intense pressure that I think never really subsides. The pressure from the responsibility to protect this gift of a girl that God has brought into my life. I now understand that God has used that pressure to help grow, stretch, and change me for His, mine, and her good. Frankly speaking, I couldn’t handle being a dad to a daughter (or a son for that matter) without God’s gracious hand guiding me.

And…that he did. This relationship between me and my sweet daughter is something very special and deeply rooted at the center of my big man heart. I’ve truly never melted so quickly as when I see a hurt or sadness in my daughter’s eyes. Those times when she has been pushed to her ends, and isn’t sure how to interpret or respond to this life…those are the times God has used to strengthen our bond, and severely deepen my understanding of his love for me.

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My daughter has always been a source of fun, excitement, and positive influence to all who know her. She has a sincere desire to work hard and do her best in most everything she tries. That hard-working discipline has actually rubbed off on the rest of the family here and there along the way. We each get real inspiration from her; even if we all don’t readily admit it. She also loves others just about as hard as she works on projects, and always seems to have room in her heart for another. Her smile is infectious, her laugh contagious, and her personality simply charming.

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It has been such a treat to watch as that little, dark-haired bundle of joy has turned into the very beautiful lady I see before my eyes today. I’m so glad that she still enjoys hanging out with me…in public…where other people see us. She is my favorite 16 year old in the whole world, and I hope and pray that her next 16 years are even greater than the first.

To any guys out there with ideas: I take that God-given responsibility to protect her and help guard her heart incredibly serious. I know God might have a good one of you out there for her one day, but just remember that until that time, I am the man in her life. If you want to get to her, and try to win her heart, you have to get through me. 😉

She will always and forever be my Baby Girl Princess.

I Don’t Love My Wife

You read that right. It’s not something that I’m proud of, but it is 100% true. I just do not love my wife…at least not all the time. See, it is a desire of my heart to love my wife, and to love her well. Reality is, though, that I often do not love her. Instead, I choose to love myself.

You have to know that I’m not talking about the typical “love” that we throw around haphazardly. Anyone can say, “I love you” or send a quick “love ya” to another person. I mean, what kind of commitment does that require? We often throw those out in passing, when there is literally zero chance to prove that it’s either really true or show that it’s not. In those times we are really stating a status quo type of feeling-based sentiment.

“I do not have time to either show that I love you, or mess up and reveal that I’m not loving you right now. So…let me just give you a little ‘I love you’, and be on with my day.”

Clint Black wrote and recorded the song, “Something That We Do”, back in 1997, and for a country song it is full of wisdom regarding the reality of love. In the song he attests that love isn’t something that we find or have, something we are in, not just those words we said, or some place that we fall…it’s something that we do. Funny how a good song can help paint a picture that imitates real life, and make us think.

God had something very similar to say in 1 John 3:16-18.

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

True love, love like God shows us, is in our actions. What good does it do for us to say, “I love you”, when we are unwilling to do what real love requires? There’s not a whole lot of good to come from saying you love someone, when what they really need is a helping hand, or a nice warm meal. We know the love of Jesus by his giving of himself, and that’s exactly how we are to love. It’s the only way to truly love. And, it is imperative in a marriage.

I have to understand that while I do have a deep feeling of love in my spirit for my sweet wife, that feeling can come and go based on the varying circumstances of life. Disagreements, hurts, and confusion can quickly deflate that lofty feeling of love that I often have for her. And, in those toughest of times, if I’m not committed to active loving of my wife, I will simply not love her. In truth, I will hate her with my words, my thoughts, and even my actions.

This truth has made me rethink the flippant jotting down of “I love you” in cards and notes. Instead my wife will find “It’s my joy to love you,” “I hope you can tell I love you”, and “I can’t wait to love you”. We should strive to love to the degree that saying it is just not necessary…like Jesus loved. There simply was no question as to whether or not Jesus loved.

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