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The week leading up to Father’s Day has been unsettling to put it mildly.  Last weekend, I was on retreat.  The abbey has no televisions, no telephones and wifi only in the library which is open about 7 hours a day.  Sure, I could occasionally find service if I wondered around staring at my phone but I decided to go with the spirit of things.  For approximately 48 hours, my cell phone was nothing but a glorified clock.

It also means that I had no clue what had happened in Orlando until after I got home.  We were out picking up dinner when I saw the news.  My son had to explain to me what had happened.

This was followed by a week of blogs and ads about Father’s Day.  What to cook.  What to buy.  The ten best things to grill.  After my stay at the Abbey and then Orlando, it all felt . . . trivial. No, I’m not saying my husband, father-in-law or father are trivial.  But this?  It was all about being Pinterest-worthy.  Not about being real.

So how are we spending our weekend.  Friday night, we went out for Father’s Day dinner.  Yes, two days ahead but it also meant that we didn’t have to cook after work.

Saturday we are going to a family reunion.  I’m really looking forward to seeing my father-in-law, the uncles and the cousins.

Sunday we have church and we’ll be taking a treat over to my dad at his apartment.  It won’t be particularly Pin-able but we’ll be spending time together.

When God directed us to honor our fathers, I don’t think He had a day of lavish spending in mind, a day of gaudily wrapped gadgets or ties.  If you’re into those things, that’s fine.  We’re more of a fishing and pick up trucks kind of family.  But overall I think it has more to do with listening and spending time together.  Breaking bread and sharing a cup. Spreading His warmth and love and grace. What better way to celebrate our Father than to do as His Son did among the peoples of Palestine?



Precious Lord,
Bless the fathers
that you have placed
on this Earth
to guide us,
to teach us,
to stand watch as we explore,
so that we can find ourselves,
and, in the process, find You.



How many of you find yourselves praying for God to give you patience with your husband?  You don’t want to nag, but you find yourself stepping in verbally and physically as he helps put away the groceries or dresses the kids.

The solution may be closer than you think – this Father’s Day give your husband a very special gift.  Let him be a father unsupervised.

Seriously.  It just might be the answer to your prayers.

I know that I had uttered a similar prayer myself as I parented our toddler.  “Please let my husband see the wisdom of doing things my way!”  Ok, I’m sure I was a bit more subtle than that, but only a bit.

Then  I went out of town.  While I was gone, I heard a woman talking to her husband on her cell.  Clearly she was giving him instructions on heating the meals she had prepared before leaving home, and just as clearly he was taking the kids out for burgers.  Her frustration was obvious.

Wow, I thought.  Why doesn’t she just let him take care of the kids?  They aren’t going to die of malnutrition in four days.  What a control freak.

You know how sometimes you can sense God crossing His arms and tapping His foot?  Let’s just say that I had one of those moments.  I can do everything my way and continue to fuss at God.  Or I can let my husband use his God given talents to parent.  Since our son is 12, I have to concede that my husband must be doing ok most of the time.  Sure, his idea of an acceptable meal differs somewhat from mine but he sure can make a sledding trip fun.

Maybe if you’ve prayed for your husband to be a better parent, the first step needs to be yours.  It isn’t easy.  I still occasionally find it necessary to leave the room.  Or go lie down.  Or at least close the kitchen window so I can’t hear what they’re up to.  God didn’t create the two of us exactly alike, but He did give us talents that compliment each other if I can have the Faith to give my husband the space to parent.




Have a Mary Little Christmas

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