With my kids I’m famous.
Right now they think dad can do anything and everything and everything that dad does is the best. During the Olympics, my youngest son asked if I would go to the Olympics and win a gold medal. I realize this season will not last much longer. Soon it won’t be that everything dad does is the best but dad you don’t know anything. Dad you are embarrassing me. And dad why are you such a bad dancer?
I’m at the halfway point of my kids in the house. And as a result I’ve begun to wrestle with an old question in a new way. I believe what Michael Hyatt said is true, “Our lives are shaped by the questions we ask.” This question is certainly shaping my life and parenting in a fresh and powerful way. In the midst of all the noise, distractions and demands this questions has brought incredible clarity.
It was on a trip with my daughter that I began to wrestle with this question.
This past year I took my daughter on a trip to Mexico. We visited an orphanage called Rancho De Sus Ninos. Ever since my daughter was very little she has had a heart for orphans. She would talk about, cry for and pray for kids without a mommy or daddy. So I reached out to my friends who run an orphanage and we booked our flight.
Honestly, I was incredibly nervous and anxious about taking my little girl to Mexico. So many things could go wrong. In the weeks before the trip I began to obsess over them.
Was this really the wisest thing to do?
What if the drug cartel kidnaps us?
What happens if there’s a medical emergency?
I was losing sleep.
One of my goals as a dad is to take my kids on a trip when they turn ten that would expand their view of who God is, grow their faith and foster the passions God has placed in them. But now that was being put to the test.
It is one thing to trust God for yourself.
It is a whole other thing to trust Him with your kids.
I think sometimes in our effort to protect our kids we can unintentionally pass on a faith that isn’t very compelling, attractive, or captivating. We say we believe in God but our kids never see us believe God for anything. We say put your faith in Jesus but then never step out into something that requires any faith.
And so we were off to Rancho De Sus Ninos for 2 packed days to visit the orphanage.
On the return flight home I sat safe and sound with my daughter who couldn’t stop talking all about our trip. She excitedly recounted every part of our trip; playing with the kids at the orphanage, sharing Jesus one night in a very poor neighborhood, playing soccer with a crew kids in the street and of course the amazing taco stand.
I couldn’t help but sit back in my seat and really ask:
What do I want to be known for as a dad?
What do I want to make sure I pass on to my kids?
When my kids talk about me as adults, what do I hope they will be talking about?
How do I want to be remembered?
On this trip Ella got a glimpse of who God is and how He is working. And on this trip I got a glimpse of who God made me to be as a dad and what he was calling me to do.
In the hurry and hustle of life we get caught up with a list of demands and to do’s. Life has an unrelenting way of continually coming at us. Like waves in the oceans, one after another. Sometimes it feels like you barely have a chance to get your head above water.
And rarely do we stop long enough to truly ask the question,
What do I want to be known for?
You are going to be famous for something by the closest someone’s in your life.
What do you want to be remembered for you?
Busy. Successful. Tired. Irritable. Kind. Present. Anal. Unpredictable. Fun. Loving. Absent.
This is the legacy we leave behind. And what’s remarkable is we get to determine what we are known for. The decisions we make and the responses we have determine what we’ll be remembered for.
So, what do you really want to be known for?
We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1v2-3