Archives For kristyfox

A Good Father

kristyfox —  May 13, 2015 — Leave a comment

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I have a high school friend Sydney who shared a beautiful story this Monday night about her father, his love for her, and his faith that has helped shaped her life.   Sydney’s dad had a long, hard battle with cancer and he went to be with the Lord just 2 weeks ago.   In the midst of it all Sydney and her family have been beautiful examples of trust, hope and faith in the midst of the pain in life.   This 18 year old young woman got up in front of a group of her peers this past Monday and I was so impressed by what she shared that I asked if I could share her story with others.   She agreed 🙂

I have heard Sydney talk of her love for her father before and she has shared with me about their special times spent together, the goofy things her father did around her and her friends, dates with her dad, her knowledge that her daddy adores her, and the love that her dad has for Jesus.   Sydney has looked to her father Clif over the years with admiration, respect, fondness, joy, and great love.

This past Monday night Sydney shared much of this and more with her peers.   While she was sharing I thought “wow – it would be every dad’s dream to hear their daughter talk like this of them– Sydney’s dad Clif has made an indelible imprint on her life, heart, and faith.”

Clif showed his daughter how to laugh, how to fight hard for something, how to be silly, how to pursue dreams, how to be herself, how to love others, and how to have hope and believe that God is Good even when life is not.   Sydney talked of her dad’s role in all of these things in her life.   It reminds me that others, especially our kids, watch us closely to know what these things look like. She told a couple of stories that powerfully told of her father’s pursuit of and trust in the Lord up until his last breath. She spoke with pride about the way that hospital staff saw her father’s faith in God and staff ­­whose lives are different because of him.   She shared of the power of watching her father claim the Goodness of God and the hope, trust and strength that he was able to pass along to others because of his faithfulness.

Thank you to Sydney who shared about her life and her love for God, her knowledge that God is trustworthy and can be our strength, and for her daddy and the imprint that he will forever have on her life.

A good dad can leave a big mark!   A good dad can change the trajectory of the life of their kids!   A good dad can show their kids and others what God the Father looks like!   A good dad can help reflect the Good God we have!

A good father can show us what the Perfect Father is like.

Thank you Clif for being a good father! Thank you for modeling to your daughter what a good man looks like, what a good husband looks like, what following God in good times and in hard times looks like, what faith in action looks like, and what real hope and trust look like.

I will close with Sydney’s own closing remarks to her friends when talking of the God her father showed her “If you don’t know God, you need to get to know Him – get to know Him – He’s for real!”

 

 

Kristy Fox

Tips for Sons Too

kristyfox —  May 6, 2015 — Leave a comment

signs

 

We focus a lot on girls and the father-daughter relationship in this blog. It’s not because we don’t think boys are going through some tough things themselves, it’s just that we have focused and zoned in on the girls growing up today and what girls look for in their dads.

My son started high school this year and a mom and I were talking about the chaos around teenage boys today. There is an article in the Dec 2 issue of Time magazine titled, “What Boys Want”, that did a great job talking about the effects of today’s culture on our boys. Boys too­­­ are torn in this crazy world they are growing up in and many do not have the ability to communicate their confusion, pain, and emotions to their friends or family.

There were 3 specific pieces of advice for parents in the article that I thought helpful for the parent of any teenager – boy or girl.

1) “If you’re a parent with real worries about your son’s emotional state, but he says he’s fine, tell him the reasons you’re asking….the key thing is to let him know that there’s no shame in feeling bad.” Time, p. 49

2) From a teenager ….“Be straight up, and don’t assume that we’re going through the same things you did. And if you want to know how it is now, ask.” Time, p. 49

3) “If you can get them to talk, what do you say? First, it is very important to let them know that you don’t assume anything about them or their friends. Whether you’re talking about alcohol, drugs, girls or bullying, you can begin by saying, “I don’t know if you are ever going to have this experience, but if you do, I want you to be prepared.” Time, p. 49

The key is communication. Communication tends to come when time and space is created for it. The article even pointed out that it typically comes in time alone in the car, when there are gaps in conversation, or in quiet moments. It may not always come after a barrage of questions. I am guilty of often thinking I am going to get good answers to “how was school?”, “how was your day?”, “how was practice?”, and on and on.

Please do not be discouraged if you aren’t always getting answers to your questioning. Keep being available. Take some time to just allow for some space for kids to talk, and be eager to listen when they do. And – let’s take the advice of a teenager boy “if you want to know how it is now, ask”. Hear from them what their struggles are, what’s really happening at their school, and what they see. They are our best teachers about the world they live in and we can help them navigate through it all if we know what may be coming.

Thanks for entering in!

 

Kristy Fox

 

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Men at Their Best

kristyfox —  April 29, 2015 — Leave a comment

“Men are at Their Best When Their Hearts are Engaged”

There is a great book called, “Dad, Here’s What I Really Ned from You” where the author Michelle Watson lays out some great relational “how to’s” for dads.  In this book she quotes another book by Ken Canfield “The Heart of a Father” as he says,

“I believe men are at the best when their hearts are engaged.  The coming generation needs fathers who relate to the children and wives with their hearts – hearts that overflow with love and compassion and hearts that are very intentional and committed to doing what’s best for those they love…I believe men  possess more power through healthy fathering than in any other area of their lives.”

That is a huge statement – healthy fathering could be the most powerful thing you do with your life dads.   Let that sink in.

I would say most men are wired to be ‘doers’ – providers, fixers, analyzers,  Those are all great things.   But dads, listen closely to what makes healthy fathering — the engagement of your heart.  That may be much harder to exercise.   For some of you, you may  feel that your fathering has become transactional and you know this is lacking, for some of you this is tough and you are trying, and for others this may come naturally.   I think it gets harder as your kids get older.    It may feel like they don’t care or need you as much,  relationships may feel distant. you may not have as much time together as you once did, or it may even get strained or uncomfortable in your home.

Dads – enter with your heart first.   For example, the discipline to listen and not always provide a solution.  the ability to put aside the phone and engage, the courage to ask hard questions, the willingness to enter in to uncomfortable places, and the tenacity to pray continually for your kids.  We can settle into transactional parenting – getting them to school or sports, making sure homework is done and grades are good, making sure they are doing what they’re supposed to be doing – but don’t skip the most important and powerful  thing  – the heart in it all.

 

Kristy

 

Story of a Friend

kristyfox —  April 22, 2015 — Leave a comment

jenn-blog-570x300
http://www.thefreedommovement.us/burned-beautiful/

Please visit the webpage above. A beautiful story worth passing along to others and sharing with your daughter. I have known Jenn since she was in high school and she lived out this story in our community. She gracefully and amazingly walked out the story she tells about in this blog as she lived alongside of teenage girls she was mentoring who were struggling with their own issues of worth, value, identity and beauty. She was invaluable to teenage girls as they processed their own quest for beauty and they watched her embody true beauty, scars and all.

Kristy Fox

 

 

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?

girl and boy

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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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

 

alan and brittany