Archives For father and daughter

I am grateful for my DVR. There are a few shows that I “DVR” and then watch later. It’s a good use of my time because I can buzz through commercials as well as the dribble in between the stuff I care about in the show.

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American Idol is one of the shows that I “DVR”. But, I really can’t watch every minute. I usually watch the recorded version later and skip the stuff I don’t care about…. Which is most of it. However, I do follow some of the singers and marginally root for some of them. I called Angie Miller as the winner about a month ago. We’ll see.

I just watched this week’s results show via my DVR. Amber Holcomb was sent home. The point of this blog entry is what I saw in the last 30 seconds of the show.

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The back story is that in previous weeks, the camera has focused on her dad in the audience while she has been singing. In particular, the night before, they showed big alligator tears running down his cheeks as she was singing beautifully. You could see the pride in his daughter written all over his face and in his emotion. He has been present every week and he has been cheering his daughter on in her victory every week. Easy! His daughter is achieving at a high level. Easy to cheer! Easy to be present!

However, this week she lost. She was sent home and heartbroken. As she sang for the final time after learning of her demise, the camera panned the other contestants who won. They all had the obligatory tears as they were preparing to say Good bye to their friend. Or perhaps, they were just overjoyed that they didn’t lose.

The last 20 seconds of the telecast are what prompted me to turn on my computer and start typing. As Amber was finishing her final song, Ryan Seacrest went into the audience and brought her Dad onto the stage. They watched Amber finish her song together. When she concluded, her Dad walked out onto the stage and embraced his daughter in her emotional moment of defeat. The camera scanned the various players and the judges were crying right along with Amber, the contestants and her Dad as they embraced. It was actually quite touching.

It struck me that Amber’s Dad was very present in his daughter’s victory as well as her defeat. 

It’s easy to show up when your daughter is getting a lot of playing time or exposure in her chosen activity. But, are you present when she sits on the bench? Are you present when she is not in the spotlight?

The question I have for you today. Are you PRESENT? Period! Are you present in victory to share the celebration? Are you present in defeat to console the loss? Are you PRESENT??

Cancel something this week and be more present! It’s not that hard, but it will make a huge impact.

Press on

Alan

On June 15, Kristy and I will conduct a two hour, interactive, live seminar at Real Life Church in Valencia. We would love to see you and your friends there. Click the banner below to get more information and get signed up.

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Below is a sneak peek at the cover of the soon to be released book entitled Prized Possession. It should be available approximately June 1. More detals coming soon.

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Below is an analogy I have used in various seminars with young girls, but I think holds meaning for all of us.  

Long ago, I heard an analogy about a dollar bill ( I wish  could credit someone – but I have no idea where I heard it). How much is a dollar worth?  Obviously $1 (I know some of you are dying to insert comments about economy here :).   Who assigns the dollar bill its value? The US Government/Treasury does.  Why? Because they made it, and the maker determines the value…..period.   

No matter what you do to the dollar bill—you can wad it up, step on it, fold it up, or even spit on it—it is still worth a dollar, because the maker says so. We can be mistreated, treated unkindly, disrespected, felt like we have been stepped on, wadded up, or even thrown away…but our value never changes in the eyes of our Maker. We are valuable, not because of what we look like, what we do, or what others may say or not say. We are valuable because GOD has declared us so!

This could be a great visual to share with your daughter some time when perhaps the world around her is causing her to doubt her sense of value and worth.  We as parents can be a voice in their ear about their true value.    So many young people get so desperate to feel worth something and feel valuable and loved that they can look to the wrong places (clothes, sports, stuff, accomplishments, relationships).  And, while I think it’s positive to encourage and affirm our kids in good stuff, that shouldn’t define them…..or us.   We should find value in ourselves and in others simply because the Creator has declared it –  and proved that He meant it!

What if we modeled for our kids that we really believe that we too are valuable because of Him—because we bear the stamp of the Creator, and not because of anything else (not our successes, our status, our reputation, our finances, our “good deeds”, etc) ?   He has declared our value, and we can be set free from feelings of worthlessness and the need to “prove ourselves”!  What is truly beautiful is His reflection in us! 

When we are confident of our own value and worth in the eyes of our Creator, we can be freed up to really love others with no baggage attached!   A lesson for our girls – and for us. 

–          Kristy Fox

 

PS – this is partly from a book coming out soon by Alan Smyth called Prize Possession in which there is a chapter on a seminar I have led for hundreds of teenage girls around this topic

heart-of-love-13272337888Z3In the wake of the tragedy this past Friday I have hugged my kids more, tried to slow down a bit, and tried to be more present.   Life is so very fragile and relationships are the things that last.  How is it that I so often miss that? 

I want my kids to know they are loved, really loved.   I often ask myself how I can do that most effectively.   I am a task oriented, list person.   I want a “technique”, a “tool” or a “to do list”.   So, what does the Bible say about loving others?  It is not a “to do list”, it is a character list.   It is a list of who we are at our core in our relationships with others.    Below is a section of scripture often quoted in wedding ceremonies.  Your daughter watches how you interact not just with her –  but with your spouse, your co-workers, your friends, acquaintances, and family.  Read this and put your name “dad” in the place of the word “love”.   If you are like me, there will be many spots where it will be hard to insert my name.  I fall very short of displaying love in many arenas.   We are not perfect and thankfully – God’s grace is huge!  Let’s pray that we can be a people, that you can be a dad, who displays, models and encompasses love in these ways to those around us that we love. 

1 Corinthians 13:3-7 (The Message)

“So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.  Love never gives up, Loves cares more for others than for self, Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have, Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first”, Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.”

Love is the best gift you can give.  Love is the best use of your energy.  Love is the key to all relationships!  Your daughter needs to see a man that loves others well………who loves her well!

Merry Christmas!

Kristy Fox

A Free Thanksgiving Gift !

kristyfox —  November 21, 2012 — Leave a comment

 

I have recently been in multiple conversations with young women and have been struck by their need for affirmation to come from the male figures in their life.   So many girls try hard to earn the affirmation of their fathers.    And, many girls never feel like they can live up to their father’s expectations or feel like they can “get it right”.  My husband is a coach and he heard a recent statistic  – a kid needs 10 positives for every negative thing said.   Not sure about you, but my ratio isn’t always that good.  

I think we tend to assume people know we are thankful for them or that we appreciate things they do, but we need to actually tell them!

It got me thinking… I hold back words of affirmation and thanksgiving too often.   I tend to be critical far more than I am thankful and affirming.   I tend to assume people know I appreciate them but I often don’t say it.   I should give life giving words far more freely.  Dads, I implore you to do the same.   You have life-giving words for your daughter within you that often go unspoken.  Please know that she is craving those.   It may be uncomfortable for you – that’s ok, please still try it – typically the best things we do are a bit uncomfortable at first!

In some of the girl’s groups I have been a part of we have passed around papers with someone’s name on it.  We then pass these around and everyone writes words of thanks and affirmations on the paper for that person.  Girls have shown me papers they have saved for years and that they treasure!  How cool would that be for them to have something like that from their dad?  Something that can remind them of the love you have for them, something they can treasure and pull out when they need it, something that can remind them of how they should be treated by a future spouse or boyfriend.  

It’s possible that the best gifts we have for one another don’t cost us anything!

Here’s the idea:

–          Write a list of 10 specific things you are thankful for about your daughter (if she is too little to read, write it anyway and put it in a box for her so she can read them when she’s older )and put the list somewhere she will see it on Thanksgiving – her mirror, her dinner plate, her door, etc!

 Stop.  Grab a piece of paper right now.   And do it! 

2 Minutes of your time could be a life-long treasure for your daughter!

 

Kristy Fox

From Their Perspective

kristyfox —  October 31, 2012 — Leave a comment

My desire as I post these blogs is to be a liaison between girls and the adults who care about them.  Just because I am a girl myself, I don’t claim to understand our entire gender, nor do I want to oversimplify.  However, I have spent a lot of time listening and many of the same themes continue to resurface with girls of all ages.  I would love to pass along things I am learning from girls themselves on my Wednesday posts.

We asked the question “What do you need most from your dad?” to groups of adolescent girls.

One of the most recurrent answers was the word “support”.   As much as we may all know that the girls in our lives need our support, it is not always easy to figure out what that means and how to do it well.  I want to challenge you this week to practice seeing the world through the eyes of the young girl in your life. Understanding is half of the battle as we seek to support someone – if we can seek to understand others’ perspectives – support comes far more naturally!   I think you’ll also get a pretty clear picture of just how much the girl in your life really does need you.

Another direct quote from the same question was: I need him “To love me, to not compare me to others”.  Imagine the relationship you have with them being one where they did not feel like they were compared against anyone else.   If you watched the above video, you will note that very possibly it may be the only relationship which feels like that to her in a world full of comparison.   What a gift!   What a way to support her!

 

4 simple things you can do today to help see things from her perspective and support her:

1) Pay attention to the “world” your daughter lives in and try to see it from her perspective.   Look at the billboards you pass, the magazines you see, the tv shows with young teenage girls, listen to the song lyrics found on your most popular “top 40” radio station and check out MTV to get an idea of the pressure surrounding her.

2)Watch this 1 minute video

3) Tell her things you love about her – things that make her uniquely her

4) Listen.   Engage your daughter in a conversation and spend time asking questions and just listening (hint to husbands: girls of any age feel supported when they someone listens to them and hears them– this goes for wives too)

 

Blessings to you as you seek to be a support to the girls in your life!

Kristy Fox