Wednesday, December 16, 2015


The lights are up.  The tree is decorated.  It even snowed this weekend. Christmas time has always been a great time of year, but thanks to my son Christmas has some extra magic. Twenty years ago I would have been anxiously anticipating opening the presents under the tree.  Although I will be excited to see my son open his presents on Christmas, the real source of my joy this season has been the thought of raising my son to be a generous, kind, Christ-like individual. He is blessed to have been born into a loving family, with the resources to be able to provide him with all of his needs in life.

As a child, my family often struggled to even put food on the table. Despite this, my father was always generous to those in need. I remember a Christmas tradition formed as I got older and my family was more financially secure. Through some local organization we obtained information about a family in need.  We would join with other family friends to provide Christmas gifts, school supplies, food, and clothing to a different family each year. Often times that meant we would only have a few presents ourselves. I hope I can raise a son who, regardless of his level of wealth, possesses a sincere love for his fellow man.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Peace at home

You don't know my wife, but I will tell you this. Both she and I are STUBBORN. And all those capitals are warranted. Sometimes peace at home takes some serious effort. But I will also tell you it is completely worth all the effort. I once had a church leader give me the most amazing marriage advice, and I want to share it here with you.

"You know," he said. "The marriage covenant is the only covenant Heavenly Father asks us to enter into with an imperfect person. All of our other covenant are with Him - a perfect being. Maybe this covenant is to help us understand how He feels."

It hit me so hard and brought me so much peace all at the same time. I'm grateful for the chance I have to work for peace in my home.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Taking risks

Did you build a tree house when you were a kid?  I always wanted one, but growing up living in apartment complexes doesn't really allow for tree-house building.  Fortunately I also grew up in Oregon, where trees are bountiful.  For most of my childhood we lived in an apartment complex with a forest directly behind our building.  To a child, 5 acres of forest might as well be the amazon rainforest.  I remember climbing high into trees, enjoying the view, and even attempting to build tree houses out of the various materials I could scavenge from the dumpster.

Yesterday, while my wife was painting one of the bedrooms in our new home, we turned around to find our young son had climbed to the top of an 8 foot ladder.  Lately, I have found him on top of nearly every climbable object in the house.  At first, I was incessantly worried that he might fall, and wished that he wasn't so adventurous.  But thinking back on my adventures climbing trees, I am now grateful for his independent and confident attitude.  I look forward to seeing all the great things he will accomplish in this life.