Train Up a Child

Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

I don’t know what you hear when you read this verse (or hear someone using it to tell you how to raise your child), but this is what I hear: “Raise your kid right. Teach him all the rules about how to live a Godly life and how to treat other people and when he is old, he will live that way. Train him to be a Godly man, and he won’t go down the wrong path. Whatever you teach him or forget to teach him, will determine how he will live and if he will be a productive member of society.”

Well..I hear something like that anyway. However, this is NOT what the Scripture says. I’m not going to debate all the ins and outs of what I hear, but I do want to point out what the verse actually says. Charles F Boyd says:

“The phrase ‘in the way he should go’ does not refer to some prescribed path that every person should follow. In the Hebrew language, the phrase is better rendered, ‘according to his way.’ And the Hebrew word for ‘way’ is derek, which literally means ‘bent’ and refers to a unique inner design or direction.” 

This verse is not about rules and a path, but about a relationship with my children. It means I’ve got to learn how God made them – their spiritual gifts, their skills/abilities, their passions/heart. I need to work at God’s side. God designed my children a certain way for His specific purposes and my role is to watch them closely, to recognize God’s handiwork, and then to join Him to strengthen and grow those gifts within them. I need to pay attention to the people in their lives and the opportunities that God presents to them. All of these things can be pieces to discovering God’s will for their lives. In order to “train them up in the way they should go,” I’m going to have to know something about the way they should go. Building close relationships is my best chance at getting that part right.

In the world we live in, it’s clear that people are able to accomplish more when they operate in the their strengths. That’s what this verse is about: finding our kids “strengths” (spiritual gifts) and then training them to develop those gifts to their full potential.

Magic Hugs

KesleighI was just playing around the other day with Kesleigh and was trying to convince her that my hugs were magic. I explained that if she hugged me, she’d be able to fly like Tinkerbell. My hugs are better than pixie dust. I’m not sure she was buying it.

Truth is: It’s her hugs that have the power to make a big daddy soar through the air like Tinkerbell. I lied about the power of my hugs as an excuse to get some of hers. (I’m a sinful man.) Her hugs and snuggles can redefine my entire day. My stress dissolves in her embrace. She has the ability to bring light into the darkness that runs around in my head. I’m so grateful for the joy that she is and the ways that Jesus uses her to touch me. I’m grateful for her magic hugs.

Prayer: LORD, Thank you for Kesleigh. She is such a precious gift and You’ve used her to help make me into a different man. I’m not sure why you entrusted her to me, but I’m very grateful. Please continue to grow our relationship. Help me to be the father that you have called me to be. Use me and my bumbling to lead her to You. Give me wisdom to guide her into the life You have prepared for her and help me to see the specific things she needs in order to be equipped for whatever comes her way. Hold each of us in Your hands and hold tight when we’re tempted to run away from You. You are our true father who has already given much more than magic hugs. Thank you! AMEN.

Falling is not Failing

Kesleigh BikeKesleigh and I went on a bike ride the other day. She’s 4 (almost 5) and is still a little wobbly on her “new bike.” (She got it for Christmas.) Our neighbor, Peyton (7yrs) joined us for the ride. We rode around the neighborhood a while but then I got a little bored and decided to take them off road. We found a little trail that led us to a ditch. (maybe 20ft deep) The sides were a little steep and I could see a little trepidation on both their faces when I suggested that we ride down and then back up the other side.

Kesleigh spoke first, “Daddy, you go first.” I did. I rode down the smooth part of the hill thinking they would follow me.

When I reached the other side and motioned for them to come on over, Peyton jumped off his bike and walked it down the hill. Kesleigh (I love this girl) just looked at him and jumped on her bike and started down the hill. She trusted me and the direction I had pointed her in.

No fear. Fully committed. I could see the concentration on her face. She wobbled a little, but made it to the bottom, hit a bump, and bounced off the bike and onto the ground. By the time she realized what had happened, she heard daddy’s cheers showering down from above. “You were awesome Kesleigh! Good job! That was cool!”

Her first words? “Daddy, I made it to the bottom.” No tears. Just a positive outlook.

She fell, but she didn’t fail. I was so proud to see her commitment and determination. She didn’t hesitate.  Fear didn’t have time to speak. She just went for it! She was all in! Her focus was perfect and even her attitude about falling was great. Daddy is proud!

That’s my girl!!!!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for Kesleigh. She’s a precious gift. Lord, help me to train her up so that she will grow in her understanding and love for You – so that she will give her life to You and serve you wholeheartedly. Lord, I also ask that You teach me to be like her – trusting the directions you point me in – not allowing fear to have a voice – having a great attitude about falling – being committed and focused – going for it and being all in when it comes to the things You’ve called me to. AMEN.

 

Learning Repentance

repent signMiranda and I have been working on teaching our children about repentance quite a bit lately. We never really use that word, but we’re trying to lay a foundation which will make it easy to understand as they grow older. Our practice is to teach them a few things to say when they have hurt someone:

1) I’m sorry. (Stop behavior)
2) I won’t do it again. (Turn around behaviorally)
3) Will you forgive me? (Restore relationship)

After listening to a sermon from Rob Morris (Love146) I’m considering adding another element. He reminded me of the Biblical accounts where the repentant sinner’s first action was to “right” the wrong he was involved in and to even go beyond “right” to make it better.

Remember Zacchaeus, the tax collector who gave back four times everything he had taken? (Lk 19:1-10)

Or when the rich young ruler went away greived because he could not bring himself to help the poor. (Mk 10:17-22)

In Luke 3:10-14, John the Baptist is preaching a baptism of repentance and when asked “What shall we do?” He tells them to give to the poor and to treat others fairly.

Evidently, our repentance should impact the poor and oppressed.

All this is to say, I need to find some ways to help my kids see that repentance is more than my three step lesson. It should have legs on it and actions tied to it. Repentance should impact everyone around us.

Maybe we should add the question: “How can I make it better?” (Restore/Improve situation)

Lord, guide us to model repentance for our children. Lead us to the strategies that will help us to encounter You – to be confronted by sin, and to recognize that our behaviors hinder our relationship with You. Forgive us. Restore us unto You. Change us. Empower us by the Holy Spirit to choose new behaviors and walk different roads and lead us to improve the situations that we have caused in our sin. AMEN.

Valentine’s Dance

I watched her giggling across the room as she danced. The flashing lights sparkled in her eyes which lit up as she noticed me watching her. Her smile expanded even wider. She floated across the dance floor and threw her arms open to me saying “Hold me daddy!” We danced. Well….I danced and her feet dangled a few feet above the dance floor. It was an incredible night and I’m so grateful that I took the time to ask her out.

valentineKesleigh is 3, almost 4, and I had asked her to go with me about a week before the big event. As her father, it’s my goal to love her like God loves her. I know I’ll never do that well, but it’s my responsibility to be an earthly representation of Him to her. That’s HUGE! I’ve got to do all I can and pray that God will use my even feeble efforts to reveal Himself to her.

I also wanted to make a special effort that night to let her see how a man should treat her. I know it’s early, but I want her to grow up knowing what to look for in a husband. I got dressed up for her – that may very well be the biggest expression of my love. I opened the door for her and was courteous. I bought her dinner (Yes it was McDonalds, but that’ll change as she gets older) and held her hand as we walked into the ballroom. I proudly introduced her to the people around us and waited patiently as she picked out candy for her snack. I asked her to dance with me and even embarrassed myself a bit for her entertainment. I laughed with her as I tried to teach her a few dances – Chicken Dance, YMCA, 2 Step, etc. I tried to serve her in every capacity and when the time was right….in the middle of a slow dance, I spoke to her gently and tried to explain how much she meant to me. I know she’s only three, but she truly seemed to grasp the significance of the moment and before I even finished talking, she looked directly in my eyes, and said, “I love you daddy.” as she wrapped her little arms around my neck. She just held me for the rest of the song. It was magical. The rest of the evening she wouldn’t leave my side. Even when I tried to get her to dance with her friends, she only wanted to be with me.

This is my prayer – that Kesleigh would grasp the significance of God’s love for her and that she would never want to be out of His presence again. LORD, may it be so.

P.S. – If you ask her what the best part of the evening was, she won’t mention any of these events. All she’s gonna talk about is the “Candy Bar” and how she was able to go back as many times as she wanted.

Kesleigh’s Words

I did a similar post about my kid’s command of the English language a few years back. This one focuses on Kesleigh’s words. I love listening in as she discovers new words and I want to capture these moments here so I can remember them later. I’ll never get these years back and once she learns to speak these words correctly, I know I’m gonna long to hear that cute little voice of hers saying things wrong again.

Anyway, here’s the list:

Quored = scored – “Kasen quored a goal.”
Lemalade = lemonade – “No root beer daddy, I want lemalade.”
Tab = crab
Fink = drink – “Get me a fink daddy.”
Peep = pee pee – “I need to go peep daddy.”
Chic a lay = ChickFila – “Let’s go to chic a lay daddy.”
My doggy = Peanut – She never calls him by his name, Peanut. She just always refers to him as “my doggy.”
Angee buds = angry birds
Fry = Cry – “I was fryin daddy.”
Bana = banana
Tookie = Cookie
Dirt = Dessert – “I ate all my dinner Daddy. Can I have dirt?”
Uh-hind = Behind
Birthday party = Birthday cake – “Daddy I want another piece of “birthday party.”

The other day, we were going by McDonald’s to get Kesleigh a sausage biscuit. She sang “Old McDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O, and on this farm he had a paper E-I-E-I-O.” (She never really sings about animals on the farm, just random things she happens to see while she sings.)

Kesleigh also recently told me she wanted a sausage biscuit no biscuit. When I asked if she just wanted the sausage, she adamantly said, “NO daddy! I want a sausage biscuit with no biscuit.”

This is a side note, but last night Kasen told me he was ready to “rock and roll.” I have no idea where he learned that phrase, but I started singing the KISS song, “I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day!” After a few times, he joined me singing, “I wanna rock and roll all night and POTTY every day!” Ha ha!!!

Fruck in Fractor

Here are a few funny words that my kids use. I hope you’re not easily offended. (especially with the 1st one.)

Kasen:

“Fruck in Fractor” = “Truck and Tractor” – Example: As we drive down the highway, Kasen says, “Hey daddy! There’s another one “fruck in fractor.” (He also uses the phrase “another one” instead of just saying “another.”)

“Bwink” = “Drink” – Example: In his most whiny voice, “I wanna brink.”

“Yesday” = “Yesterday” but it also means any day that has already past. – Example: As we read a book about Jesus, Kasen says, “We saw Him yesday.” referring to the live nativity we saw this past Christmas.

“Chawket” = “Chocolate” – Example: “I want some chawket milk.”

“Yogurt” = “Ogre” – Example: “Daddy, Why Shrek is a yogurt?”

“Pissin” = “Fishing” – Example: “Daddy, get my biderman pissin pole.” (“biderman” = “Spiderman”)

“G-aired” = “Scared” – Example: When he’s stalling and trying not to go to bed, he says, “Daddy, I’m g-aired somebody.”

“Uh-wy-ee” = “Hawaii” – Example: “Daddy, we go kating in Uh-wy-ee someday?” (“kating” = “skating” which also = “surfing”)

“Opane” = “Airplane” – Example: “My opane is fying!” (“fying” = “flying”)

“Mintin” = “Mint” – Example: “Mommy, I want a mintin?”

“Meese” = “Please”

“Kee-in” = “Skiing” – Example: “Daddy is kee-in with mommy in that picture.”

“Pwate” = “Plate”

Kesleigh: (Isn’t too verbal just yet, but she’s learning more everyday.)

“Yeah – sssss” = “Yes” – Kesleigh used to say “Yeah” until Miranda began correcting her. Now she still says “Yeah” but then remembers and adds the “ssss” on the end.

“Rash” = “Trash” – Example: When Kesleigh finishes her gogurt, she grabs the wrapper and says, “rash” as she heads to the trash can.

“Icccccce” = “Ice” – She says it correctly, but hangs on the “sss” sound a little long. Example: Holding her cup up when I’m standing at the fridge, she says, “Iccccce.”

“Yight” = “Light” – She points to the light fixtures and says, “Yight.”

“Bubba” = “Brother”

“Case” = “Kasen”

Kesleigh is Walking!!!

She’s just over 10 and a half months old now and she’s ready. She doesn’t like to crawl anymore and seems to want to walk everywhere. The video shows some of her very first steps, but since that time a couple days ago, she’s done a whole lot more. It won’t be long before she’s running with her brother!

Kesleigh Walking from Steve Corn on Vimeo.

Chocolate Milk & Walking Videos

These are just a few recent videos of the kids. Yeah – I’m one of those guys – the proud father who makes all his friends endure the antics of his children. Anyway, Kasen is learning to talk and some of his words are pretty funny. He’s very careful to speak words separately. “Chocolate . . .pause . . . Milk.” Kesleigh is so close to being able to walk – she’s got the strength and balance, but she just won’t do it. I’ll keep trying.

Chocolate Milk from Steve Corn on Vimeo.

Kasen really wanted chocolate milk tonight.

Daddy trying to get Kesleigh to Walk from Steve Corn on Vimeo.

Kesleigh with Walker from Steve Corn on Vimeo.

Kesleigh is Crawling!!

She’s been crawling a little here and there this week, but I was finally able to capture it on video. She was chewing on a plastic fish toy and so we set it out in front of her. It’s a bit intimidating to think about having 2 mobile children under 2yrs old in one house, but still very exciting times. Anyway, here it is:

Kesleigh Crawling from Steve Corn on Vimeo.

She’s been crawling a little bit all week, but this is the first time we were able to get it on film.

Here’s another with she and Kasen. She loves watching him and laughing at the things he does. He really had her cracking up with the watergun this morning.

Kasen & Kesleigh w/Watergun from Steve Corn on Vimeo.

Kasen can make Kesleigh laugh like no one else can.