Words from Brittany

kristyfox —  April 1, 2015 — Leave a comment

I asked Brittany Smyth (daughter of Alan) to share with all of us the meaning of what her relationship with her father has meant to her. Brittany is the recipient of the “Prized Possession” conversation we have been hearing and talking about. So, I thought we should hear from her!

Words from Brittany……

When I think about what a father-daughter relationship means to me, and the significance it holds in my life, I am immediately overwhelmed by how much my dad has impacted who I am and who I continue to become. I know you all have seen the words “Prized Possession” over and over again throughout this blog, and right now they may just seem like words to you; perhaps even a silly tagline. To me, they represent a life-long conversation that has taken place between my dad and I. A conversation that has played an integral part in shaping me into the person I am right now. To this day there is only one answer when my dad asks the simple question, “What are you?” Without any hesitation I reply, “prized possession.” It’s second nature. It’s who I am. It’s who I will always be.

 

As I dissect these words, I realize it’s not the words themselves that are so powerful, it’s the actions behind the words. The actions my dad took to make sure that they were not just empty syllables. Without action there is no meaning, and my dad has made it his life’s mission to show me this. Whether is was coaching my soccer teams, taking me on father-daughter getaways, or just sitting on the couch watching The Bachelor with me, he made it a priority to be a constant figure in my life; and I now realize the biggest gift he ever gave me was being present. He was present during every high and every low. My dreams were his dreams, and he was determined to make every moment count. While we had some really cool experiences together, I now understand that it was not so much what we did that had value, but it was the fact that we did them together. It is the time he invested in me that laid the foundation for me to become a confident woman who knows her worth.

 

All this to say, if there is one thing that I can tell dads, it is to be PRESENT in your daughter’s life. As a girl, I can tell you that we long to be loved and valued, and in a world that thinks being “perfect” is everything and what you look like defines who you are, it is critical that us girls find our affirmation and validation in the right places. As this blog has mentioned time and time again, we live in a world that jumps at every opportunity to break girls down, and convince them that they are not good enough. Because of this, I truly believe that the father-daughter relationship is the key to empowering our girls to overcome these worldly pressures.

 

So as I move forward, and continue to explore everything this crazy world has to offer, I will do so with confidence. Confidence in where I came from, who I am, and who I am becoming. It is the kind of confidence that runs deep. The kind that is fostered over a long period of time as a result of the unconditional love from a father. Every girl should be clothed in this type of confidence. Every girl deserves to know she is a Prized Possession.

- Brittany Smyth

 

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Man Cave

Dr. Don Worcester —  March 27, 2015 — Leave a comment

 

I have a good friend in Phoenix who runs a great business from a building he bought and redesigned.The

building does everything he needs it to do for his operation, but it has a bonus feature that is truly magnificent, a Man Cave.

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This room is brimming with Testosterone. I am pretty sure my T levels went up ten points the first time I walked in the door. Even the air seemed more masculine in this place. A visit to a Man Cave can be a fun and pleasant diversion.  But if you stay too long in a Man Cave, you run the risk of becoming a Cave Man.

In the Old Testament a prophet by the name of Elijah found his way to a Man Cave (I Kings 19). He had been working hard to serve his community, to do it right and to make a difference. But by the time he reached his Man Cave he was pretty wiped out, pretty discouraged and pretty done. God made an unscheduled appearance and asked a simple but significant question, ” What are you doing here Elijah?”

Elijah responded with a pattern and complaint that I recognize in myself. He began by explaining his good intentions, his hard work and his noble character. Then he complained about everyone else, their bad behavior and lousy attitudes. Finally he finished with a tragic and whiney comment about being ” the only one who cares”. These are Cave Man thoughts. They form in the dark, they take root in isolation, they are self-validating and turn us into dull brutes. Cave Men are ruled by their appetites and their fears. They are not fit company for our daughters.

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To draw Elijah from the cave, God whispered his name. This was not a Power Encounter but a Personal Encounter. He was given a simple but clear charge, ” Go back from where you came.” Elijah was encouraged and reminded that God was up to more than he knew. God is always doing more in us and through us than we perceive. So let’s go back from where we came. Let’s get up and get on with it.

Lets lose the self-endorsing chatter in our heads about our great character and noble intentions.

Let’s quit whining about the whiners.

Let’s be Joyful Saints and not Miserable Martyrs when we show up to serve.

Our Daughters deserve good men and great dads.

So enjoy a visit to your local Man Cave. Take a good deep breath and enjoy the earthy masculine dimension of your male soul.

Then head back and Man Up, we’ve got work to do.

 

Peace and Grace

Dr. Don Worcester

 

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Running the Race

Alan Smyth —  March 22, 2015 — Leave a comment

“Do you not know that In the race all the runners run, But only one gets the prize?

Run in such way to get the prize.”

1 Corinthians 9:24

Paul threw down the challenge. As long as you are in the race, you may as well run to win. I mean, if you are going to be running, why not break a sweat and do your best?

The kicker here is that you might be inclined to think that the race is optional. You might be inclined to think that since you did not officially enter the race, that you are not compelled to run.

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Last week, my awesome wife and daughter ran the LA Marathon. WOW! What an accomplishment! I had a distinct choice in the matter. I could enter the race and run, or I could not enter the race and observe. The picture above is a post-race family shot of my son, daughter, wife and I. My son and I slept in that day and ate a hearty breakfast at the hotel. My wife and daughter tortured their bodies running 26.2. We all made our choice.

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The LA marathon was optional. I didn’t run!

The race of life is not optional. If you are alive, you have been automatically entered. You are running! And if you made the choice to be a dad, the race of parenting is not optional. You entered yourself years ago. You don’t get to choose each day whether or not you are going to be a dad. You made that lifetime choice long ago and now you ARE A DAD and you are running the race.

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So, now as long as you are running, why not run to win? Why not run in such a way to get the prize? So what is “winning” in parenting? What is the “prize?”

How about some of these as the prize you are going after?

  • Great communication between you and your kids
  • Lots of laughter in the home
  • A loving and full relationship with your wife
  • A daughter who can discern the difference between truth and lies
  • A son who knows what authentic manhood is

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In running a marathon, you don’t show up on race day and do well without training. Similarly with parenting, you don’t show up on race day without training and hope to succeed.  A successful marathon like successful parenting is accomplished through consistent training and effort over a long period of time. It requires the right nutrition and equipment and above all it requires a firm resolve to achieving the goal.

“As long as you are in the race, why not run in such a way to win the prize.”

We have far too many observing dads and not enough running dads.

Break a sweat guys!

Alan

In order to help you with your training, visit our store and pick up our book “Prized Possession” and our workbook “30 Day Challenge.” Use “20” at check our and receive a 20% discount on your entire order. Hit the button below!

 

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Our words matter, the ones we speak and the ones we write. They capture our feelings, express our hopes, and solidify the promises that we are making to ourselves, to others and to God.

Megan is a friend who has done some courageous work to heal some deep wounds in her life.  She wrote a letter to God at a critical point in her healing process. Her words express both the struggle and the hope that many young girls are navigating in their own hearts and lives.

Dear God,man writing a contract

                        In the past 16 years, I have hated and abused myself

                        in various ways. I have often ignored our relationship

                        and blocked the love you have for me. I am really scared

                        about giving up my self-hatred, it has helped me feel

                         in control and I feel like it has kept me from being a

                         bother to others. I am afraid that I may become

                         selfish, greedy and annoying. I am also afraid that without

                         my self-hatred I will be overbearing and express my anger

                         too much. I want to be able to feel the love you have for me

                        and I want to feel confident about who I am even when

                        others are not. I am hereby surrendering, the statements,

                        feelings, beliefs, and assumptions that I have about myself

                        and I am accepting that I am pure, I am worthy, and I am loved.

                        With your help God, I’ll win my true future, a prize I am now

                        willing to fight for.

 

                        Surrendering,

                        Megan

 

Have you cheered lately for your daughters “true future?” In big ways and small ways she is fighting for it every day.

 

Challenge For The Week:

Write a letter to your daughter. Write about the things you see in her; some strength, capacity, beauty, tenderness, intelligence, character, heart, faith…

Tell her things you are hoping for her future, things that you are believing for her and about her. Tell her that every night before you go to sleep, you thank God that you get to be her father.

Writing that letter will be good for your heart and great for hers.

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Grace and Peace

Dr. Don Worcester

 

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Some Great Advice

kristyfox —  March 18, 2015 — Leave a comment

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that a good friend of mine just published a book called “Who’s Picking Me Up from the Airport?” about the journey of a single young woman.  It is packed with great stories and advice for young women!

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In this book there are also great words of  wisdom from some guys and  I loved the thought below and believe it is definitely worth sharing with your girls.   This is what a guy named Davey says,

“If you really want the kind of man in your life who is willing to put in the hard, necessary work to make you his, don’t be easy.

I’m serious.

Don’t allow yourself to be low-hanging fruit.  Don’t view yourself as easy to attain.  …. For the wrong kind of guy, you are a means to an end. To the right kind of guy, you are the end.” (p94)

Please help affirm this truth in the life of your daughter and women around you.  Please help them see that they are valuable to you and to the God of the Universe.  If any guy treats them otherwise, they are not worth the time.  They are far more valuable than they often know and feel.  If they truly believe that about themselves, it will help them live like that is true.

Thanks for leaning in,

Kristy Fox

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Parenting is a Contact Sport. We need to watch, listen and engage our daughters in personal and meaningful ways. Our primary job is not to distribute information, but to cultivate character, capacity and genuine faith. We get to parent our daughters for a limited number of years, once they leave our homes, they will need to parent themselves. To this end, good questions will serve them better than good answers. We need to keep asking the questions that we hope they will ask themselves long after they have left our living rooms and kitchens. Below is a sample list of questions to prime the pump.

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Ages 0 to 6

Could you look at me?

What do you say? (For please and thank you, etc.)

Is that kind? Is that gentle?

Is that a happy heart?

 

Ages 6 to 12

Could you try that again?

Can you find your courage?

Can you ask questions and use kind words?

 

 

Ages 12 to 18

How do you think that went?

What did you notice in that relationship?

What would you do next time?

 

 

Ages 18 to 24 (and above)

What are you learning?

How can I help you?

How do you know if this is where you should be?

 

Good questions for ANY stage

How is your heart?

Is there anyone you need to forgive?

Are you anxious about anything?

Do you secretly want someone to fail?

How can I pray for you? (And then pray out loud)

What are you enjoying?

What do you think God is up to?

 

Themes at any stage

Older serves younger, younger respects older

Second chances are a must

Our life is bigger than us

We have plenty

People are more important than things

Love is a choice

Bad behavior is always a bad idea

Laughter is necessary

God and your family love you

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Our daughters are growing up. They will hopefully reach important milestones

along the way, but for all of their growth and accomplishments they will not receive from us or from Life a “Certificate of Completion.” These Certificates are also unavailable to dads. We get to hand off and pour in the best that we have. We get to hope and pray that our efforts will stir up and lay down a foundation our daughters can live on and grow from the rest of their lives.

Let’s keep looking up and falling forward.

 

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester