Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Constantly checking...

It is 7:50 AM in Nashville. Like most mornings I woke up and my daughter isn't here and I miss her. I miss the feeling that my child is in the house with me...that I will take her to school, or to some fun place we wanted to go. I miss hearing her voice and seeing her smile.
She will be 11 years old next week. It is hard to imagine that 11 years have already come and gone and I am less than 7 years from seeing her go off to college. It all goes by so quickly. I am always reviewing my plans for her. Always running down an internal watch list...constantly checking. Have I been the best man I could be in front of her? Have I told her "I love You" enough times? Have I done my best? Have I prayed hard enough...long enough...fervently enough? Have I lived with integrity? If she marries a man like me someday...will I be okay with that, or will I dread it?
I only get one shot and no crash test dummies or do-overs. I have to do my best to get my arrow ready to fly. Have I made my mark in her life? Or have I left a mark?

Sunday, April 26, 2009


My new book is finished and ready for purchase!
It's called "Nowhere to Lay My Head...the Secret Confessions of a Homeless banker"
It's about the mortgage meltdown, foreclosure, homelessness, and loss. All things I experienced in the last 18 months. It's also about hope deferred and hope restored. About overwhelming failure and sadness...and about the grace that only God can show.
It's a wonderful tory and I hope you'll consider it. You can click the link in my link list or go to

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Accidental Moments...

I heard Dr. Laura yesterday on Focus on the Family and she used this term. I was very moved by it. She spoke of being there for our kids on a consistent, constant basis. Then we are more likely to witness "accidental moments" when they say something, or do something unplanned and priceless. I remembered my first such accidental moment with my daughter. Holly was 7 months pregnant at the time and I was in the habit each night of talking to Morgan via a paper towel tube pressed against Holly's tummy. I would say "Hi Morgan...it's your daddy...I love you and I can't wait to see you..." I did this every night for months. The night in question as we lay there I leaned over and said "Hi Morgan...it's your daddy..." and she kicked. She kicked quite pronounced in fact. Holly and I laughed and cried at the same time. My daughter wasn't even born yet and she recognized my voice and was excited to hear from me.
As a divorced dad it is harder to have those moments because our time is limited. So we have to work harder at developing real intimacy with our kids. We have to know them. We have to know what questions to ask to get a conversation going. Every person, young or old, likes to talk about the things they love and are passionate about. If I know what she loves, I know what to talk about. Then I can know her even more. Then she really feels like she matters to me. You can learn that and do it, or you can see your kids growing up and growing away from you. Someone is going to listen and someone is going to answer those difficult life questions. If it isn't me...then I have no right to complain about the results. I have to work much harder for my accidental moments...but that's part of my job too. Join me dads.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Semper Fidelis...

Everyone recognizes this as the signature phrase of the Marine Corp. Semper Fidelis. It means "Forever Faithful". Faithful to the Corp and it's beliefs and code of conduct. Faithful to other members of the Corp.
It's also a call to action for dads, and today I was reminded in a way I'd rather not be...
I got a frantic phone call at 5:20pm from my ex wife. "Do you have Morgan?" she asked. "No!...I'm not supposed to!" I replied. "Oh my God" was her panicked response. She was missing. Long and short of it...I raced downstairs to my car, went screaming out of the parking lot with tears already beginning to flow. Begging God to protect my daughter and remembering suddenly, all the countless thousands of prayers I have uttered in her behalf. Prayers for protection and prayers applying the blood of Jesus to her. I stand on this verse daily in Morgan's behalf: Rev 12:11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the Word of their testimony. And they did not love their soul even until death. In a minute or two I was suddenly sensing God's presence in that car with me and while I was scared witless, I knew I had prayed and been her defender and warrior. I had the presence of mind to make a quick call to my friend Creig and he was ready to meet me and help. I told him to pray. It was a seemingly endless five minutes later when Holly called me and told me she found her, and it was all a miscommunication. She had planned on going to her friends house after school but Holly had forgotten to give her a note allowing her to ride the bus and the school wouldn't let her. So she had gone next door to the library to and called Holly's husband and was waiting for him to pick him up. (He never told Holly about the call and so that's where the communication breakdown came in) It was a few more minutes until my heart rate slowed to normal. It's the worst feeling in the world...except, I'm sure, that feeling when you get bad news and it's definite. I was thankful that I've been consistent in my prayers for Morgan. There is so very much about this world I can't help or can't see coming. That's where Jesus blood comes in. It's power is limitless and I don't have to see where I need to apply it...I just have to believe in it's power. He does the rest.
Dad's...this is a vicious, sinful, wicked world. Many times the only thing standing between our kids and devastation, is the effective, fervent, consistent prayers of dad's who never stop being faithful to their kids. Men who divorced or not, with their children daily or not...never stop seeking God and never stop claiming the protection of God over their precious little corp. Be forever faithful to your little band of soldiers, guys. You never know when the difference you make on those long nights on your knees, will pay off in a day like I had today.