Tag Archive for legacy

The Story That Will Change Your Family Life!

newly married couple chasing each other in fieldThe TV sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” communicates a profound family principle in its title. Seriously…the story of how we met our spouse is one of those questions kids really want to know. Actually, it is more than a mere “want to know;” it is a boon, an asset, a huge benefit to children’s emotional health and family life. Research tells us that children who know more about the stories of their family and their family history have a higher self-esteem, a stronger sense of personal control, and a belief that their families function well. They also revealed greater resiliency, bouncing back more easily after stressful events. Adolescents who know more about their family history have a greater sense of self-worth, more self-confidence, and a stronger sense of identity!

Family researchers tell us that children and adolescents who have a greater knowledge of their family story have a strong “intergenerational self.” They know they belong to something bigger than themselves. They have come together with their family for family meals, family gatherings, and family activities and heard the stories of their family. They have learned about the good times, the hard times, the setbacks, the recoveries, and the successes. Through it all , they learned that they come from “something bigger than myself.” That “something bigger” is a family…a family that sticks together through thick and thin…a family that survives…a family that accepts struggles but bounces back…a family…and not just any family but their family!

So, go ahead and tell your children the story of how you met their mother or father. Tell them about your crazy aunt’s all-encompassing hugs, your grandparents hobbies, your own embarrassing moments, the obstacles your family has overcome, the day they were born, and…the list goes on! While you’re at it, you might tell the “stories” asked about in the research described above. Here are the 20 questions they asked children to see how much of the “family story” they knew.

  • Do you know how your parents met?
  • Do you know where your mother grew up?Father and Bride
  • Do you know where your father grew up?
  • Do you know where some of your grandparents grew up?
  • Do you know where some of your grandparents met?
  • Do you know where your parents were married?
  • Do you know what went on when you were being born?
  • Do you know the source of your name?
  • Do you know some things about what happened when your brothers or sisters were being born?
  • Do you know which person in your family you look most like?
  • Do you know the person in your family you act the most like?
  • Do you now some of the illnesses and injuries that your parents experienced when they were younger?
  • Do you know some of the lessons that your parents learned from good or bad experiences?
  • Do you know some things that happened to your mom or dad when they were in school?
  • Do you know the national background of your family (such as English, German, Russian, etc.)?
  • Do you know some of the jobs that your parents had when they were young?
  • Do you know some awards that your parents received when they were young?
  • Do you know the names of the schools that your mom went to?
  • Do you know the names of the school that your dad went to?
  • Do you know about a relative whose face “froze” in a grumpy position because he or she did not smile enough?

One last thing…my wife loves to watch home videos of family. She has the right idea–home movies are a great way to share the story. So, gather the family, make some popcorn, pull up a chair, and watch that baby take her first steps again!

Memorial Day

On Memorial Day we remember those who currently serve, and have served, in the military to protect our freedom. Each year I seem to grow more grateful for the sacrifices military men and women have made to grant us the freedom to raise our families in peace. Benjamin Disraeli once said that “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” We enjoy a wonderful inheritance of freedom passed on through great sacrifices. We have the responsibility to follow the example of those heroes who helped make that inheritance possible…the responsibility to live a life that keeps freedom strong. In a way, we all need to live the life of a hero—a life that passes that legacy of freedom and example on to our children and our grandchildren; a life that gives our children a great name and a great inheritance; a life that accepts the responsibility that promotes freedom. Today, as we enjoy our families, take a moment to watch this Memorial Day Tribute entitled We Gave Our All—remember those who have made great sacrifices so we can celebrate with our families in peace, without fear. And, contemplate how you can pass this legacy along to your children and your grandchildren.

Build A Family Legacy of Hospitality

One evening while in college, a friend, his girlfriend, and I were invited to enjoy dinner at the home of my friend’s grandmother. While she fixed dinner, someone knocked on the door. We opened the door to discover a traveling salesman advertising his wares…vacuums in this case. My friend’s grandmother invited him in and allowed him to demonstrate the amazing feats of his vacuum. We all listened while he told us about power, cleanliness, and pricing. She did not buy a vacuum that day. However, while he finished his spiel, my friend’s grandmother set the table, carefully arranging the dishes and chairs to allow for one extra place at the table. As he packed up to leave, she invited him to stay for dinner…and he stayed! That vacuum salesman did not sell a vacuum in that house, but he did enjoy a wonderful dinner before he left. I often remember that incident…a stranger invited in for a dinner, no charge, no expectation, just the hospitality of a good meal and conversation. That day, I learned a lesson on hospitality…I watched as a legacy of hospitality took shape right before my eyes!


Throughout my life, various people have shown great hospitality to me. They have allowed me to sleep in their homes and eat their food. Hospitable people have allowed me to watch TV with them and even let my clumsy hands help them with various projects. One hospitable person even met me at the border of Mexico, escorted me on a bus into Mexico, allowed me to stay at his home, fed me his food, and walked for over half a day to bring back fresh water for me to drink. That is hospitality!


Hospitality is a wonderful legacy to leave our families, a legacy our children can witness as they grow up and emulate when they start their own home. We can build a legacy of hospitality in a couple of ways. First, practice hospitality in your own home…model it. Invite others to share meals with you. Invite guests to visit in your home. This will mean making your home environment welcoming. I used to visit homes for work. Many homes I visited were very hospitable. Some, however, were not hospitable. In some homes I felt like I was not allowed to converse because the TV took priority…or the home was so filled with clutter that I had no place to sit and no one seemed to care that I could not sit. These homes were not conducive to hospitality. They were not welcoming. To practice hospitality, create a home environment that is welcoming to others. Make sure your teens know that there are chips, apples, and oranges for their friends to snack on when they come to visit. Have a place to sit where everyone can see one another and freely talk to one another. Be sure to keep a supply of games for all to enjoy.


Second, quit worrying about whether your home is spotless. Of course, we want it clean enough that no one is uncomfortable, but don’t worry about perfection. Instead of spending your time worrying about every crumb, every ring left by a glass on the coffee table, and every piece of dust, spend your time connecting with the people who come to your home. Instead of rushing around making sure that the food is perfectly prepared and a visual delight, invest your time in talking with your guests. Be a “Mary” rather than a “Martha.” Get to know your guests. Let them experience your acceptance. Connect with them.


A legacy of hospitality will provide you and your family hours of enjoyment and an abundance of positive memories. It will instill a sense of hospitality in your children that they can take with them anywhere they go. You may find them showing polite hospitality in a store by talking with a stressed mother and even allowing her to go through the check-out line first; or, friendly hospitality to the check-out clerk who is having a bad day. A little hospitality in the home will have ripple effects in your family and community.


I like what Lauren Winner says in her book Mudhouse Sabbath. She reminds us that the practice of hospitality is actually modeled after God’s example. God created the world and then invited us in. Although we have made our messes in His creation, He still invites us in. When God became a man and walked the earth as Jesus, He ate with us and entered into our lives. Today, God still invites us into His life. Even more, He invites us into His family! Now that is a legacy of hospitality!

Now That’s A Legacy!

I have heard adults talking about children and making statements like, “He’s got an anger problem, just like his father…” or, “She’s a gossip, just like her mother…” or, “He is so selfish. His grandmother was the same way.” What a terrible family legacy to pass on to our children! I don’t know about you, but I want to pass on a legacy better than “angry,” “gossip,” “selfish,” or any other negative label. I’d rather pass on a legacy of generosity, thoughtfulness, hospitality, gratitude, or kindness. I think I might like to begin the legacy with generosity. A study entitled “Give and You Shall Receive” found that giving generosity to one’s spouse led to greater happiness and marital quality. I like that idea. Moreover, giving generosity had a greater impact than receiving generosity. That finding stands in opposition to our cultural message that close relationships and even marriages “exist primarily to enhance individual happiness and [individual] growth”…in other words, to make me happy. Why would “freely and abundantly giving good things to one’s spouse” increase marital quality and happiness? I’m glad you asked.
     1.      We have to learn about our spouse in order to give her something she will find meaningful. Not everyone finds a bouquet of flowers meaningful; so, we have to become a student of our spouse to discover their interests, likes, and dislikes. We have to know what our spouse considers a “good thing” to receive. Perhaps, in terms of Chapman’s love languages, our spouse might think it a “good thing” to receive “words of affirmation.” On the other hand, they might not. They might consider it a “good thing” to receive “acts of service,” “quality time,” “physical touch,” or “gifts” instead. We have to become a student of our spouse to figure that out!

2.      Not only do we have to become a student of our spouse, we have to take the initiative to act on the knowledge we gain. We have to make practical use of that information. Having a “head knowledge” of what pleases our spouse does no good unless we put it to practical use…unless we act on it. Generosity involves the actual act of “giving” some gift “freely and abundantly.” In the end, “actions speak louder than words” when it comes to generosity.

3.      When our spouse receives a “good thing” from us, they feel greater self-worth. They know that we considered them valuable enough to learn about them. They also know that we find them valuable enough to invest the time and energy necessary to act on that information as well. In addition, their love toward us (the generous spouse) increases.

4.      When our spouse receives a “good thing” from us, it boosts their gratitude and appreciation as well. They become more thankful.
Overall, generosity in marriage increases the satisfaction of both spouses. That’s a “win-win” proposition. Even more, generosity in a marriage will impact the children. The children will witness the generosity of their parents toward one another and, most likely, be the recipient of that same generosity displayed toward them. They will witness the joy of giving “freely and abundantly” to the one’s you love. They will also experience the joy of receiving generosity. As parents model and teach generosity, their children will soon learn the joys of giving and practice the art of giving as well. We will have created a legacy of generosity that will outlive our lifetime and flourish in the generations to come. Can’t you just hear the statements of that legacy? “You are just like your grandfather; he was so generous!” “You really know how to give great gifts, just like your mother.” Now that’s a legacy!

Book Review: Generation to Generation

Family is the ideal environment in which to teach a child right from wrong and the value of relationship. Unfortunately, many families seem to abdicate this responsibility to churches, schools, and various clubs. Wayne Rice, youth worker, ministry consultant, and parent, calls families back to their role as leader in teaching values to our children. In Generation to Generation, he challenges parents to accept their unique position as spiritual leaders in their family, restoring their role as spiritual guide for their children. The material in the book was originally designed for a workshop presented by HomeWord, making it fast paced and easily digested.I appreciate several key aspects of this book. First, the author emphasizes the unique role and position of parents to “train up their child.” No other person or institution carries the same relationship, has the same invested interest, or spends the same time with a child as that child’s parents. Parents stand in a unique position, with unprecedented opportunities, to train their children in a manner no one else can even compare. Taking advantage of this opportunity demands that parents make a long-term commitment to connect with their family. Although this investment takes time and effort, the dividends are compelling and eternal–you don’t want to miss out on the results of this investment.

Generation to Generation offers a look at potential long-term family goals as well practical ways to connect with your children on a daily basis. This book also includes an excellent chapter on communicating family values to your children. Throughout Generation to Generation, Mr. Rice offers dozens of practical ways to connect with your children and instill family values into their lives. Overall, any parent who desires to raise children who “know and love God” will find this book an excellent and practical addition to their parenting toolbox, one they will constantly pull out to reference and use.

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Give Your Child the Gift of a Lifetime

One of the best gifts we can give our children is the ability to bounce back from failure, to overcome adversity, and to remain persistent in the face of disappointment. In a word, giving the gift of resiliency can impact a child’s life forever! What does a child need to develop resiliency? Here are some ideas.
     ·         Resiliency begins with close family ties. Resilient children feel secure in their family relationships. They feel accepted and valued by their family. Even though they may express some interests different than their family, they know that family members accept them and cherish them. Take time for your children. Learn about their interests and abilities. Show an interest in what they think and do.

·         Resilient children develop a sense of competence. Parents can help their children develop a sense of competence by accepting their strengths and giving them opportunities to develop those strengths. If they like music, give them opportunities to play or sing. If they like sports, get them involved in athletic activities. If they like to cook or draw or do scientific experiments, seek out opportunities for them to meet people with similar interests and become involved in related activities. Keep these activities fun. Do not push them beyond their desire. Let them guide the intensity of their involvement.

·         Resilient children have a healthy self-confidence. Interestingly, confidence grows when we overcome obstacles and persevere in spite of difficulties and disappointments. Confidence grows when we learn to view adversity, struggle, and even failure as information about how to improve. Allow your child to experience disappointments and setbacks. Encourage them in their struggle to overcome those setbacks. Express confidence in their abilities to do so. Encourage their effort and point out specific areas in which you see improvement.

·         Resilient children develop a strong moral character. They learn right from wrong and recognize the consequences of both. They develop compassion for others and practice kindness toward others. Resilient children learn that a life of honesty and integrity is not always easy, but always best. When your child does something wrong, do not bail them out. Allow them to suffer the consequences of their misbehavior. Trust that they can and will learn from those consequences to behave better in the future.

·         Resilient children know that they make a unique and needed contribution to the world around them. God has endowed each child with a unique purpose. It may or may not be a visible to others; but, it is a vital purpose nonetheless. You can help your children discover their purpose in several ways. Provide opportunities to serve others. Help your children understand that many people in the world struggle to obtain basic life necessities. Provide opportunities to participate in volunteer work. Provide opportunities for your children to contribute to maintaining your home. All of these activities and more can help a child learn that they make an important contribution to our world.

·         Resilient children cope effectively with stress. They learn to view challenges as opportunities for growth. Children learn effective coping skills by watching their parents; so, learn to practice and model good coping skills yourself. You can not only model effective coping skills, but you can coach your child in practicing those skills as well. Childhood and adolescence are filled with opportunities to learn coping skills.
Resilient children bounce back from failure, overcome adversity, and remain persistent in the face of disappointment. They thrive, even in the midst of difficulties. The most important ingredient in helping your child develop resiliency is you! Your active presence in their life, your loving affection, your healthy modeling, and your unconditional acceptance will give your children the wonderful gift of resiliency!

7 Crucial Lessons for Children to Learn

What do you want your children to know 15-20 years from now? What kind of adult would you like them to become? I believe there are at least 7 crucial lessons for children to learn before they become adults. Maybe you will agree with them…or, maybe you have different lessons you’d like your children to learn.  Let me explain them to you. As I do, remember children learn best by watching our example. If you want your children to learn these lessons, start practicing them yourself. Walk the talk. Live out each lesson in the presence of your children. Lead the way. Let them see you practice them so they can follow in your footsteps. Break through the overgrowth of obstacles that interfere with your children learning these lessons and clear the way for them to practice each one. Anyway, here are 7 crucial lessons for each child to learn.
     1.      Love others. Make other people a priority in your life. If you have two coats and your friend has none, give them your extra. Celebrate when other people experience success, even if their success means you finish second. Pocket your pride and put others first. Love in word and deed.

2.      Be your own person—the person God created you to be. You do not have to be one of the crowd. Stand out instead. Allow yourself to be set apart from the crowd. Say “No” to peer pressure. It may be difficult at first, but the long-term benefits include an increase in personal strength, confidence, and wisdom.

3.      Practiced an “attitude of gratitude” every day. Take time to acknowledge the blessings you have. No matter how little you may have compared to your friends, acknowledge the material blessings you do have and show a humble gratitude for those blessings. Even more important, recognize kindnesses from other people. True wealth is not material in nature but relational. Celebrate the abundant relational wealth found in your spouse, children, brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends. Take the time to thank the people in your life for all they do for you on a daily basis. Offer thanks for all things—from the seemingly small, insignificant acts to large, life-altering acts.

4.      Accept the consequences of your actions. All actions have consequences, good or bad. Think ahead. Consider the consequences of your actions before you act. And, when all is said and done, accept those consequences. If you make a poor decision or act badly, accept the consequences. Do not balk. We reap what we sow. When you make a wise decision and reap the benefits, accept the consequences. There is no embarrassment in success, even if others become jealous or upset. Enjoy the positive consequences of positive choices and actions.

5.      Remain curious enough to be awed. Never lose the willingness to stand in awe and admiration of a sunset, a majestic mountain, an amazing musical performance, an awesome movie, an astounding talent, a beautiful piece of poetry, or any number of other things. Allow yourself tears of joy, tears of sorrow, and tears of overwhelming awe. Look for those things of beauty found in nature and people or in things created by other people. Remain curious.

6.      Stay humble enough to learn. When you meet people, remain humble enough to learn from them. Ask them questions. People, all people, have amazing things to teach us. You never know what others have experienced and learned unless you ask. Take the time to ask, listen, and learn.

7.      Know God. In all these lessons, look for God. He is everywhere around us. Remain open to seeing Him in the world around us, hearing Him in the voices of those around you, and experiencing His loving presence and guidance in the everyday moments of your life. Seek Him daily, follow Him diligently, and love Him with abandon. 
I hope my children learn these lessons as they grow up. And, I hope them learn them from me as their parent. What lessons would you like your children to learn? Please share your ideas in the comment section below.

What Family Legacy Will You Leave?

I must be getting older (notice I don’t say “old,” just “older). That might explain why my thoughts often turn to future generations and what, if any, legacy they will receive from me. I have thought about leaving money, property, writings, music, or pictures to my children and grandchildren. But, really, what will each of these things profit them in the long run? Don’t get me wrong…they are all great things to leave. Still, I want to leave some that will really make a difference in the lives of my descendants…for generations. After a great deal of thought, I know what I want to leave as a legacy. I have figured out what can impact my family for generations to come, making life better for each person. It even has the potential to grow stronger and add greater good over the generations. Want to know what this precious commodity is? Honor!
That’s right, leaving a legacy of honor can change a family for the better…and, it can grow stronger over the generations. Honoring family members liberates them to live out the potential God has given them. It changes them for the better. In other words, when you treat family members with honor and respect, you help them become better people. I recall the story of the “14-cow woman” to elaborate on how honor makes us better people. Apparently, a native from one island paid a “14-cow” dowry for an ugly, clumsy, lazy woman. The people of her tribe gladly accepted such a high price and laughed at the man for getting “ripped off.” A missionary, upon hearing this story, traveled to the neighboring island to find out why a man would pay so much for an unworthy woman. When he arrived, he met with the man and several beautiful women. One woman stood out for her beauty, poise, and grace.
Finally, the missionary asked the man, “Why did you pay 14 cows for a woman from another island when you have so many lovely, gracious women to choose from on this island?”
The man smiled as he pointed at the most beautiful, poised, and gracious of the women present. “She is the 14-cow woman of whom you speak.” The missionary was stunned. Seeing the confusion on the missionary’s face, the man continued. “The people of her island did not honor her, so she did not honor herself. She lived to their level of dishonor. I honored her. I willingly gave a high price for her and, in so doing, showed her great honor. With such honor bestowed upon her, her view of herself began to change. She began to value herself as I value her. She cared more for herself; and, as she continued to live in light of the honor received, she changed. She became more caring, more generous, more confident…more willing to love the one who continues to show her honor. You must know that as we receive honor, we grow into our greatest potential. And, when we honor those around us, they reach their greatest potential and beauty…both inside and out.”
Begin preparing your legacy of honor by honoring your family members today. As you give great honor, your family will grow to live a life worthy of great honor. They will learn to pass honor on to the next generation and each generation will grow more gracious and loving. The honor shown during my short life will continue to grow as it rolls down the generations of family members who have received and continue to practice honor in their lives…that is the legacy I want to leave.
PS-Guys, do not call your wife or daughters a “beloved 14-cow woman.” Surprisingly, she won’t find that term of endearment honoring… believe me.

What Steve Jobs Taught Us About Family

Few people in modern times have influenced the world as much as Steve Jobs. Among other things, he changed the world by shaping technology for common use and making it accessible to the average guy on the street. What teenager doesn’t have his earphones connected to an iPhone or iPod shuffle as he wanders the streets with his friends? How many of us now use our smartphone (pioneered by Apple and Steve Jobs) to manage our schedule, check our email, surf the web, text our family, buy a book, and even share business contacts? Jobs even impacted how the world views the look and feel of technology, making it inviting and cool to carry an iPad, or, oh-so convenient to carry my iPod shuffle with hundreds of my favorite tunes inconspicuously tucked into the old fashioned watch-pocket of my jeans. Truly, he was a technological wizard who transformed how we use technology and how technology intertwines with our daily lives. Even “technologically-challenged” people (like me) have learned to use the IPhone to keep their schedule, remind them of appointments, listen to their music, wake them up in the morning, read blogs and books, count calories, text their children, check their email, maintain their contacts (business and personal), track business expense…and even call a friend now and again. My teenage daughters do even more on their phones, revealing how “technologically-challenged” I really am.
Yes, Steve Jobs has transformed our world. But, have you heard what he did during his final days? 
       ·         “He surrounded himself with those most important to him: his wife and his children”  (<http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/10/07/steve_jobs_knew_his_time_was_short_focused_on_family_first.html>).
      ·         He noted that parenting was “10,000 times cooler than anything I’ve ever done” (<http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/07/technology/with-time-running-short-steve-jobs-managed-his-farewells.html?_r=4&pagewanted=1&ref=charlesduhigg>). That’s “10,000 time better” than shaping how we use the technology of a laptop, iPhone, iPod, and iPad in our daily lives. After making that statement, he added that “10,000 times cooler” was “probably an underestimation.” Parenting and shaping a loving, joyous family is the most important, and by far the “coolest,” thing any of us can do.
      ·         Most interesting to me is a statement made by Diane Sawyer about Steve Jobs’ final days. She noted that he was “dedicated to one last project so important that even the finest engineers at Apple couldn’t help.” What was that all important project? An anniversary present for his wife: a special hand-made box and a handwritten love note to his wife (http://news.yahoo.com/video/tech-15749651/steve-jobs-farewell-note-to-his-wife-26860828.html#crsl=%252Fvideo%252Ftech-15749651%252Fsteve-jobs-farewell-note-to-his-wife-26860828.html). The guru of technology did not send a final email to his wife, tweet a 140 character message of love, or even type (and spell-check) a love note on his keyboard to print out for her. He wrote a love note by hand to express his love for his wife!
The most important lesson we learn from Steve Jobs has nothing to do with technology. His most important gift to society has nothing to do with accessible and user-friendly technology. No, the most important lesson Steve Jobs taught is that family is our greatest treasure, our greatest comfort, and our greatest joy. Material wealth, fame, and influence do not bring happiness or joy. When we come to the end of our time on earth, we do not surround ourselves with iPhones, iPads, and iPods. We surround ourselves with family and friends. We seek comfort and joy in the personal love of family. Nothing in this world can even come within a “nano byte” of providing the comfort and joy we find in the love of family. This lesson is the greatest gift we receive from Steve Jobs…and for that I give him thanks.

Super Heroic Dad Moments Gone Awry

I always wanted to be my family’s hero. You know, Mr. Incredible…able to hear their slightest cry for help and fly with the speed of light to save them from injustice and unnecessary pain…to break unbendable bars of iron and release them from the prison cells that limit their dreams…to stop speeding bullets aimed at crippling their efforts to grow. Then, the reality of family life kicked in. I experienced a few Super Hero Dad moments gone awry and realized my dreams were a bit grandiose.
One of the first hints of my grandiosity came when my oldest daughter was a toddler. She could run, but she had not learned the dangers of running off a ledge at any height. So, when I sat her on our bed, she immediately stood up and started running for the edge of the bed farthest away from me. I knew she would fall off the edge of the bed; no, I knew she would dive off the bed, laughing until she crashed, face first, onto the floor. Super Dad had to save her from sure disaster. I dove across the bed with the speed of Flash. Like Mr. Fantastic, I reached over the bed. With a final heroic effort, I stretched out my arm and, with the strength of ten men, caught her in mid-air just as she dove off the bed. With a sigh of relief and great agility, I began to lift her to safety…only to watch her flip over my arm and crash onto the floor…thud, flat on her back. As I ran around the bed to pick up my crying daughter, I realized that I had not become the superhero I had hoped for.
On another occasion, I held my barely 2-year-old daughter (youngest daughter) tenderly in my arms, carefully guarding her as prepared to take her downstairs. Like Captain America I kept her safe from any harm that might befall her. With great confidence, I stepped onto the first step…and missed. As I began to fall, I called forth an invisible force field to protect her; and, with the genius of Professor X, I calculated the angle of my descent and the movement needed to save my daughter from the fate of falling with me. Calculations complete, I twisted around like Elastigirl and placed her gently on the top step before continuing my own descent down the stairs. Thump, thump, thump…my hip and right side bounce off each step. Unfortunately (but not surprisingly), my calculations were slightly off kilter and my daughter missed the top step as well. Thump, thump, thump…she followed me down the stairs, her “gluteus maximus” bouncing off each step with only my hand serving as a cushion between her and the step. When we reached the bottom, she smiled and looked at me as though she wanted to go for another ride. I was not hurt, except for my superhero pride. Another failed attempt for Superhero Dad status.
One last example of my superhero abilities… I could not find the peanut butter. Every super hero needs their equivalent to Popeye’s spinach and I couldn’t find mine. I called for my wife, telling her we were out of peanut butter. She didn’t believe me and told me where to look. Using my x-ray vision, I scanned the cupboards…nope, no peanut butter. I called to my wife again, accusing her of using a lead shield to hide my treasured peanut butter from my x-ray vision. Slowly, she sauntered into the room. Doesn’t she know I have heroic actions to take, no time for sauntering? Calmly, she moved a can of soup aside to reveal (tu-dah) peanut butter. Oh, the dastardly plans of those villains. How does she do it? (Really, she is an amazingly gracious woman. I don’t know how she puts up with my “temporary” blindness.) Once again, my superhero status takes a nose dive and I’m just a regular guy, more like Clark Kent than Superman.
Alas, I have to accept the fact that I will never be the superhero I dream of. I cannot leap tall buildings, run at the speed of light, deflect bullets with my hand, or bend iron bars. I’m just a regular guy who loves my family. Although…a couple months ago, I asked my family what they think I find most important. “In your perception,” I asked, “what do I value most?” Their answer…”God and family.” They knew. My highest priority, the “things” I value most are not things at all, but people. They knew that they were more important to me than anything else in this world, second only to God. At that moment, I felt like a superhero once again.
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