The Big Ride

Dr. Don Worcester —  April 17, 2015 — Leave a comment

A few years ago we did a family trip to Disneyland. This was kind of a big event for our kids. They were more than excited when we cleared the gates and headed into the park. They studied the map and quickly agreed to head straight for the Indiana Jones Jeep Adventure. They were pumped and ready to buckle into, the Big Ride.

Our excitement grew as we reached the front of the line. Then it happened. Abigail, our youngest daughter was asked to step against the Measuring Post, to confirm she met the height requirement for this big ride. A little tear formed in her eye and rolled down her cheek when the attendant reported she failed to meet the requirement. Abigail and I missed the Big Rides that year. We rode the Tea Cups and heard long renditions of  “It’s a Small World.”  It felt like a Small World.

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There are requirements at Disneyland and in life for the biggest and best rides.

Micah, the Old Testament Prophet (chapter 6, verse 8) identifies three requirements for a full life. We are called to; Do Justice, To Love Mercy and To Walk Humbly with God. These requirements are necessary for a full life and for effective parenting. If we show up as fathers without these requirements, we are going to miss the best and spend way too much riding “Tea Cups” in a pretty small world.

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Doing Justice means doing the right thing, because it is the right thing. We never need permission from anyone else to do the right thing. Your life is a seminar that your daughter is watching everyday. What is she learning about life, faith and love by watching you?

Mercy is a Divine quality and we are called as followers and fathers to love Mercy. When you give people what they need, rather than what they deserve, you are, loving mercy. Your daughter will have missteps and mistakes along the way. Find and release the Divine mercy that will give her fresh starts in broken places.

Walking Humbly with God is a requirement. Pride will jam us up as dads. Independence will leave us cut off from one another and our daughters. Walking with God gives us the boldness and the humility to love and lead our families and ourselves.

That family trip to Disneyland was not the end of the story for Abigail. She came up a little short that year, but she was not done. She came home, kept growing and was back in line for the Big Ride the next summer. It was worth the wait, the Big Rides always are. Keep going and keep growing, parenting is a great ride and none of us are done yet.

 

Grace and Peace

Dr. Don Worcester

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Great Advice

kristyfox —  April 15, 2015 — Leave a comment

A good friend of mine recently published her first book. It’s great. It’s a funny, clever, witty look at the struggles and joys that single girls encounter. It’s a great book for girls in their college years and beyond and important for dads to read as well as there are nuggets of helpful insight into the ways girls operate. Who couldn’t use a little insight into their daughters, especially as they begin to navigate the waters of boys and dating?

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Cindy, the author, lays out some important principles that she learned along her life and her dating journey; principles about value, worth, boundaries and finding yourself in the midst of it all. These principles are great to pass along as your daughter begins to even think about dating.

One of the most important things for your daughter is her view of herself and the way that a healthy view of herself will help her navigate the “boy waters” ahead. Cindy and other contributing authors share their stories of success and of failure in this arena. The below is an excerpt from her book worth passing along verbally and with your actions to your daughters.

“Now when I meet a guy I want to ask me out, I say to myself, “He should ask me out”. And a lot of the time he does. Things didn’t change because I suddenly looked so much better. I wasn’t funnier, better at flirting, or nicer. I believe their responses changed as a result of the change in me. When I finally and confidently owned my beauty and worth, they did too.
The vibe you and I put out when we believe the man standing in front of us would be lucky to spend time with us actually makes a difference. Before every date, Jody and I always tell each other, “You are the prize.” It may sound a little cheesy, but when you and I know our worth, it sends a message to us and the guys we date about what he can and can’t get away with.” (p26 – Who’s Picking Me Up From the Airport)

Dads – you have a great role in this. Your daughter wants and needs to be reminded about the truth of her worth and beauty. The more she hears it, the more it will start to feel like it’s true. You get to be the first man to speak truth into the life and heart of your daughter and simultaneously point her to the God who preciously calls her “my beloved”. Trust me – she listens more than you know!

Kristy Fox

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Dad, Where are YOU?

Alan Smyth —  April 12, 2015 — Leave a comment

Last week was a dramatic display of pathetic Dads. In my “day job”, I am the Regional Director for Young Life in Los Angeles. I lead a faithful team of saints who are actively entrenched in the lives of adolescents in Los Angeles. Young Life is a faith based ministry which seeks to share God’s love to teens in a way they can understand.

Last week I had a videographer in town as we are producing a promotional video for others to see what we are doing and hopefully be inspired to get involved. We spent three days driving around town and interviewing kids. As we asked these teens to share their stories, there was one resounding theme that was repeated over and over.

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Often through tears, almost all of these students shared the heartache of an absent father. Or worse yet, a Dad who was present but abusive. Deep pain, lasting hurt and lots of regret was heard over and over and over.

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Each time I heard from these sweet kids I had two distinct feelings. First I wanted to give them a hug and second, I wanted to go find their Dad. I was again reminded in a graphic way of the incredible responsibility we have as Dad’s. I was encouraged that my daughter does not have their story and I was inspired to continue this important conversation with whoever will listen.

The twitter handle for “MyFatherDaughter” is @2cor618. Follow us if you want. It refers to a bible verse that says “And I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” It’s my hope and prayer that these hurting kids will know God’s love for them and they will sense they have the Father they were cheated out of thus far.

Thanks for wanting to be a great Dad. Your daughter might not thank you for your effort, but later in life she will be far better off and extremely grateful for your presence in her life.

Keep going!

Alan

 

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A Bucket List for Dads

Kelly Flanagan is a Psychologist who lives in Chicago and writes a blog on relationships, marriage and parenting; drkellyflanagan.com. In one of his recent Post he reflects on a Smart Phone App that functions like a Countdown Clock. You merely enter the significant date your targeting and the Countdown begin. Dr. Flanagan is tracking the days remaining before his oldest child heads off to College. The experience has caused him to create a Dad’s Bucket List, before the clock runs out. Below is an excerpt from his list.

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By August 20, 2022, there are a few things I want to do with my son:

  • I want to pull him out of bed early to watch the sunrise. Over the ocean. Tell him he is as beautiful and brilliant as it is. And then I want to remind him, at the same time, that the world revolves around it, not around him.
  • I want to stay up late stargazing together. Feel small with him. Tell him being small isn’t the same as being unimportant. I want to assure him he doesn’t have to change the world to matter—he only has to be himself.
  • I want to, just once, not roll my eyes at another one of his Minecraft monologues. I want to sit down and let him teach me every detail of the game. For a whole afternoon.
  • I want to go for a hike in the woods, find a break in the underbrush that looks like it might be a path, and go down it with him. Tell him the most interesting things he’ll do in life won’t happen on the path everyone else is walking. I want to tell him you have to get nicked up and scratched to feel like you’re really alive.
  • I want to pay attention to every moment in which he is better than me—at chess, at music, at forgiveness, at And instead of it stirring up competitiveness in me, I want it to stir up joy. Every time I admire him, I want to tell him about it.
  • I want to celebrate one of his failures. A big Like a public humiliation. Or a romantic rejection. I don’t want to tell him it will work out better next time—I want to tell him it might not, but he should try it again anyway. Throw a big party and let him know that having skin in the game means, sometimes, you get skinned up.
  • I want to go out for dinner with him, not primarily to eat a meal, but to practice how to treat the waiter. We’ll look the waiter in the eye and we’ll call him by his name and we’ll tip him well, because I want my son to know everyone is worthy of the same attention I give him.
  • I want him to hate me, at least once, because I cared about him enough to set a boundary he didn’t like.
  • I want to send him to therapy. And when he comes home from an appointment and starts telling me what I’ve done wrong, I don’t want to be defensive; I want to be different.
  • At least once, when he defies me because I was wrong and he was right, I want to grab his head in my hands, look him in the eye, and tell him to never lose his determination to start a ruckus if he believes the world needs the ruckus he wants to start.

And last but not least, on the night before he leaves for college, while he is out saying goodbye to his friends, I want to wait up for him and, while I’m waiting, I want to remember:

the sunrise

and the stars

and the trail-that-wasn’t-a-trail,

and the waiter’s face,

and the moment I held my ground,

and the moment he held his,

and his wonderful successes,

and his equally wonderful failures,

and the long black arms of a Minecraft Enderman.

In 2,711 days, my son is probably going to be leaving home. I know I’m being a little bit maudlin. But that’s okay. I’m going to err in the direction of sappiness, because it’s also the direction of happiness.

Is there someone in your life you want to get a little maudlin about?

Do you have a bucket list you’ve been waiting to make and to live?

Time is ticking.

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Let’s not waste time or lose time as dads with daughters. Start a list this week however big or small and put a little time and energy into making it happen.

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester

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Beauty is a gift from God, but when beauty is narrowed to a set of physical characteristics and then elevated to a standard of value and worth, well then beauty becomes a real Beast. Beauty is big business in our culture, but there is nothing beautiful about the impact that distorted and destructive images and messages have on our daughters.

Last week I was in Walmart with my eleven year old daughter. We were picking up materials for her 5th grade Science Fair Project. We were in the section of the store with school supplies.This section also includes Wall Posters popular with school age kids. Right in the front was the Princess Poster, which apparently is selling pretty well.

IMG_3811Your daughter may or may not look like the images on these posters. The “girls” on these posters are fictional.

They are marketing images designed to connect customers with products.

Let’s help our daughters be wise and aware consumers when it comes to Beauty.

True Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors and capacities.

Lets slay the beast and reclaim the gift of beauty in our daughters.

We need to call out all the beauty that has been layered into our girls:

the beauty in their thinking, the beauty in their character,

the beauty in their spirit, the beauty in their gifts and abilities.

Our daughters are dripping with beauty.

They are full of beauty they are truly beautiful.

Lets help them know that today.

 

Grace & Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester

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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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