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And Great Was it’s Fall

Alan Smyth —  June 12, 2018 — 2 Comments

If a tree falls in your driveway and no one is around, does it make a sound?

Last Sunday I had the most interesting and enlightening thing happen. My wife and I were leaving the house and heading to church. As I approached the driveway, the unexpected sight of my 30 foot tree laid across my driveway and onto my car. The ordinarily steady symbol of strength had fallen.

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It took a few seconds for this odd site to register in my brain.  While I have heard of such things happening from time to time, I had never actually seen it up close. MY tree fell on MY car. But why? There was no particular storm the night before. There was no rain (I live in Southern California) There was no obvious reason why that tree should fall.

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After closer examination, I think I found the reason. Upon further review…. The inside of the tree appeared to be infested with termites. The root system had been damaged.

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The tree was strong looking on the outside, yet weak on the inside.  This tree gave the perception of strength while lived in the reality of weakness. Thriving in the visible, suffering in the invisible. And great was it’s fall.

How many times have we seen public figures, while appearing strong on the outside, experience a great fall? And upon further review, the interior is always in a weakened state. The roots system is always vulnerable.

Let my fallen tree be a reminder or perhaps a wake-up call to us all! We often spend so much time working on outward appearances that we neglect our inward strength, depth and integrity. Sooner or later a storm always comes. And in the case of my tree, it was so weak on the inside; it didn’t even require much of a storm to cause its fall.

Let’s be strong for our families! Let’s focus on our interior rather than our exterior. Let’s sink deep roots in things that matter. Our daughters need a strong role model and a pillar of strength to look up too. No one is above a fall. Guard your interior. Strengthen your roots and remain strong. Let there be no great fall in your life!

Be Strong!

Alan

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Friends,

We have reached a milestone in the life of this “little project.” It started 30 years ago when my daughter Brittany was born. As I stumbled around hoping to be a great Dad for my daughter, I learned a few things through “On the job training.”

I felt compelled to record my thoughts and experiences of being a dad to my daughter. I felt led to record them all into one place and make them available to whoever might be interested. Further, I felt that getting input from dozens of other Dads, daughters and Young Life leaders would provide a unique collection of content.

I am happy to announce that the project which I spearheaded and collaborated with many others has been turned into a book. And that book is available for consumption right now! Let this blog post remind you of the release of a book I have entitled “Prized Possession.” You will have to read chapter two in order to understand where this title came from.

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There are dozens of veteran Dads who have shared their insights on what they did and how they approached raising their daughters. Maybe the best part of the book tho, is a chapter written by a compilation of testimonies from post teen age girls who turned out great. I asked them “what did your dad do?” “What impacted you?” You will hear from awesome women what their dad did well. You will want to steal what you hear them say.

If you care to order this book, hit the banner below. You can also order it from our MFD store HERE. There is also a button on our website to be used in purchasing the book as well. If you believe this topic is as important as I do, then I would ask you to forward this e-mail to everyone you know,  “share” it on your facebook, “tweet” it on twitter and ask people you know to check it out on our website. I want a lot of Dads to participate in this conversation because I believe there is some greats stuff on the pages which will make a difference in the lives of little girls. Thanks for your help in spreading the word!

May God bless you in your parenting and may God use the words recorded in this book to empower Dads and bless the little girls they love.

Bless you

Alan Smyth

Click the banner below if you want to buy our new book. It is available in soft cover, hard cover and  e-book.

It is also available at our website CLICK HERE to get the book and other fun Dad Stuff!

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If you have been following this blog for a while, you have become familiar with the now, world famous, “10 Rules for Dating my Daughter” T-shirt.  We literally had interest in this shirt from over 70 countries. Apparently the idea of a Dad protecting his daughter and laying down some rules is not just an “American” cultural thing. If you have thus far missed all the hub-bub, click this link to see the blog post that went round the world and stirred an interest.

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In light of my publishing the “10 Rules for Dating my Daughter”, a friend forwarded to me the “10 Rules for Dads of Daughters.” Tony Dungy, Super Bowl winning football coach and strong Christian man gives much of his time to social & family issues. He has an effort called “All Pro Dad” which I recommend you looking at.

He recently published the “10 Rules for Dads of Daughters”

  1. Love her mom – Treat her mother with respect, honor and PDA.
  2. Always be there – Quality time doesn’t happen without Quantity time.
  3. Pray for her
  4. Dance with her – Don’t wait for her wedding day.
  5. Tell her she’s beautiful – Say it over and over again.
  6. She’s a butterfly – She too will spread her wings and fly someday.
  7. Write her a hand written letter – Every year on her birthday.
  8. Give her the gift of experiences – fishing, fixing things, taking her places etc.
  9. Never miss a birthday – She won’t remember the presents you give her.
  10. Don’t be late – She will eagerly await your return home from work.

That’s a pretty good list. I wonder how you are doing against that list? Why don’t you circle a couple of those right now and make sure to DO them this coming week. Even better would be to show this list to a friend and hold each other accountable for your intentional actions. Seems like if we just “let things happen,” some of the really important things get squeezed out by the really urgent things.

I know you would agree that your daughter is “really important.” Please don’t let the urgent issues at work or life take over. Start working down the list TODAY.

Press on

Alan Smyth

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High Standards!

Alan Smyth —  September 18, 2017 — Leave a comment

I immediately loved this little “e-card” the first time I saw it. I don’t know who made it or with what intentions, but I am very sure it is spot on and deeply profound.

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I wonder how many of us are keenly aware that we have a lot to say about who our daughter chooses for boyfriends and an eventual husband. Your daughter’s first, best and greatest example of how a man should treat a woman is her Daddy! She is watching, absorbing, gleaning and learning all the time. She hears what you say and what you don’t say. She sees you act and she notices your body language.

Your daughter is in your personal classroom and the main subject that is being taught is how a man should treat a woman. You are giving her the standards by which she will operate. You are giving her knowledge of what to expect or what NOT to expect.

Question: Do you want your daughter to be treated right by a boy? Then show her what it looks like to treat a woman right.

Question: Do you want her to make a great choice in a future husband? Then be a great husband and show her what one looks like.

Question: Is it possible for your daughter to have too high of standards for her future boyfriend or husband?

Make it hard for a future guy to jump over the bar because you have set the bar so incredibly high by your actions.

We’re talking about your daughter and your grand kids here!

Let’s go!

Alan

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juxtaposition
— noun

“an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.”

This past weekend I experienced a dramatic example of a “Juxtaposition”. Two “side by side” experiences which demonstrated a stark contrast.

I ran into “Monica” and she offered that she was 50 years old. The topic of conversation was the “Father / Daughter” relationship. She picked up my book, “Prized Possession” and began to tear up. She then volunteered that “my Dad didn’t love me” and talked further about how wounded she was because of it. We spoke about the seminar that Kristy Fox and I have developed aimed at helping Dads be better Dads.

With a distant and hollow stare and tears in her eyes, she said “Do you ever ask Dads why they don’t step up? Why it’s so hard for them to love their daughters?”  It was clear to me that Monica was hurt and wounded. It was clear to me that at 50, she had not yet recovered from the neglect she had experienced from her Dad. She let me know that she was unemployed. I tried to give her a copy of the book, but she wouldn’t or couldn’t accept it.

Here is the Juxtaposition….

After she left, I opened up my Instagram app and as I scrolled down through the pictures, I saw the following post from Hannah. Hannah is the daughter of my good friend Stu (whom I featured in a recent blog) CLICK HERE to read about Stu & Hannah.

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Clearly Stu has been the kind of Dad that Monica wished she had. Clearly Hannah is off to the start that Monica never got, yet deserved.

Here is my point ….

Are you aware that your actions and involvement with your daughter today will last her whole lifetime? She will either coast through life off the blessing you give her or she will struggle through life trying to heal from the wound you leave her.

If you are more like Stu, great job! Way to go! Keep it up!
If you are more like Monica’s Dad, busy, distracted and selfish…. Wake up! Take your eyes off yourself, re engage in your family!

It’s important…. Really, really important for the girls in your life.

Engage Maverick!

Alan

 

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Phil Withdraws!

Alan Smyth —  July 16, 2017 — Leave a comment

By any measure, Phil Mickelson is one of the all-time great golfers. AND, of his five “majors” that he has won, the U.S. Open is the only one left to win. That is why the recent breaking news of Phil pulling out of this past U.S. Open is such a big deal.

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Check out Phil’s Wikipedia page and marvel at his golf accolades…. His 42 PGA victories puts him in rarified air for sure.

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Among his 5 major victories, he has won the Masters three times!

** FOR USE AS DESIRED, PHOTOS OF THE DECADE ** FILE - Phil Mickelson celebrates after winning the Masters golf tournament with a nine-under-par at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., in this April 11, 2004 file photo. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)

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Only 8 other men have won more tour events than Phil. This is what he does and he is very good at it. He is in 8th place all time for “Major” wins yet the U.S. Open has eluded him thus far. As he is getting older, one has to wonder why he would withdraw from this important tournament?  Why would he not show up for work that day? Why would he pull a “no show?” How many more opportunities will he have to win a major and especially the coveted U.S. Open?

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One thing that Phil has always stood for is his family. I don’t know the man personally, but he has always projected a strong love for his wife and kids. It is refreshing to see a high-profile athlete with such an obvious love and attention to this family.

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The answer to the riddle of why he pulled out of this year’s U.S. Open is simple…. His family comes first. His daughter’s High School graduation conflicted with his tournament tee time. He chose his daughter over his job that day. He said “no” to a possible huge pay day in favor of his daughter.  He gave up making memories for himself in favor of making memories with his daughter. He gave up the spotlight on himself and placed it on his daughter.

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I’m not sure how difficult of a decision this was for Phil, but I’m guessing not very. I’m guessing this was pretty much a “no brainer.” And that makes me a fan of Phil Mickelson! Thanks Phil for teaching the rest of us what it looks like to value family over career!

Question: When was the last time you have sacrificed something big for the sake of your family? Has your daughter seen you place her needs above your needs lately?

What is your “U.S. OPEN” that you need to walk away from in order to demonstrate your love, commitment and presence in your daughter’s life?

Let’s wrestle with that for a little while….

Press On!

Alan

 

 

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