Archives For Father Daughter

Last Monday, I shared part 1 of an amazing experience that my friend Jamie Hanson had in Africa. In case you missed last Monday’s blog, please CLICK HERE to catch yourself up!

As promised, today is part 2 and the conclusion of the incredible promise he made to his daughter. Jamie took his daughter to Africa on a work trip and eventually gave his daughter a promise ring and made a dramatic promise to go along with it while looking at a beautiful African sunset. Read on and learn from a great Dad.

From Jamie: While I loved the idea of a purity ring the more I thought about the idea
the more the burden of fathering her through these next few years (13-18) began to grow on me.   I am convinced the most important earthly relationship she will have and that will shape every part of her is with me.  So instead of making the ring about a purity decision for her (although I did tell her I would like her to make this commitment) I made the ring a promise ring. Promises that I am making to her about the kind of father I intend and promise to be to her.

TheRing2

Emma,

You are my precious daughter and a gift from God, uniquely and wonderfully made, perfect in every way.  I am honored to be your Dad!

You are incredibly beautiful, smart, funny, soft-hearted, and gifted in so many ways.

I promise to always pray for you, protect you, to be present, in the good and bad, and love you for who you are.

As your father I promise to be an example of who a Godly man is, to lead you and our family by first listening to God.  To lead with integrity, passion, adventure, service, and being generous with all God has provided.

Emma, you are my princess and I will ALWAYS carry you in my heart, for my entire life.

Love,

Daddy

photo

Dad’s, this is a GREAT example of being intentional about loving your daughter and creating a lifelong memory that will shape her forever. Why not steal this idea and make an important promise to your daughter? Why not give her an important ring with significance? Why not take her some place dramatic and pledge your love and support to her? It will be a game changer for her.

TheRing1

 

Doing these things can ONLY BE GREAT and have a GREAT outcome.

TheRing3

 

Do this! Make it your own! Change the actual promise, change the location, change the ring. As the great NIKE advertising campaign said…. “just do it”

Thanks for sharing this with us Jamie

Press on

Alan

Book Banner

Store 2 button

Today is PART 1 of a two part guest blogging post by a good friend who is also a great Dad. Read about his amazing experience and look for the amazing conclusion next week.

My name is Jamie Hanson, father of 4 kids two of which are beautiful daughters (Emma 13, and Lanni
9).  Ever since Emma turned 12 I knew I wanted to do something special for her 13th birthday, something that would signify her transition from girlhood to womanhood….and my part in that transition. I knew I had a work trip to Africa in July so my wife and I decided last fall that Emma would join me on the trip.  (I am a Development Director for International www.younglife.org, if you were asking ‘who plans work trips to Africa?’).  We left a day after she turned 13 in late June.

IMG_2838

 

We started our trip by doing work crew together in Ethiopia at a Young Life camp outside of Addis Ababa.  We served kids food, cleaned up afterward, helped  run games, and sat in the middle of a 400 kid Young Life club. It was awesome  and we were blown away.  We then went to Tanzania where Emma got to see
her Dad ‘work’ and she did it right alongside me.  This is where I was blown away.  I saw my little girl sit at banquet tables of adults and have an opinion, I watched her shake hands and start conversations. I saw her take a big step into womanhood…it was awesome!

We then took this same group of adults and spent three days in a Massia village six hours out into the Africa bush where we have Young Life.  Emma watched a goat get slaughtered in our honor, she sat in a mud hut and held babies with flies in their eyes and tears in hers.  Her heart was growing before my eyes.  Lastly, we did a 3 day  safari to end our trip together.  I had pre-planned this portion of the trip but was not prepared for how nervous I was.  I had bought and planned to give Emma a promise/purity ring on this trip.  It was the second to  last day of our 3 week trip and the safari camp we were at sat on top of a hill  that offered the most brilliant and beautiful sunset I have ever seen.

I   had written some promises from me to her on the kind of Dad I ‘promised to be’.  As the sun was setting I took her on a walk and we shared one of the most special  moments of my life together.  I read the promises and gave her the ring. Beat that future fiancée!!!  (setting the bar as high as I could for her
future suitor was a secret agenda item 🙂

TheRing2

 

While the adventures we had were incredible and we will have inside jokes and  stories that last a lifetime, the best part of the trip for us both will simply  be spending uninterrupted time together.  You may not be able to take your  daughter to Africa (if you can, do it!), but why not just take her camping, or
on a hike, or shopping.  Being with her is the memory that will last for me, not the place.

Jamie Hanson

Part two of this amazing story will be next Monday. You will see the incredible “Promise” that Jamie gave to his daughter.

Book Banner

I never met Fred Evans, but I wish I had. I recently learned of his courageous actions and now you will too!

Fred got a bad Doctors report regarding a terminal melanoma. Fred had two single daughters and wanted to give them a memory of a life time.  He had the idea that he wanted to walk them down the aisle, give them a blessing and create a memory that would outlive him. He told his daughters to meet him at the church but arrive 45 minutes apart.

Fred 2

After a few quiet moments with each daughter, he then walked them down the aisle in front of a few friends and family.

Fred 4

Upon reaching the alter, he gave them a blessing and they shared a sacred moment. He gave them away to the son in law he hadn’t yet met. Everyone there knew that Fred would not be present at his daughter’s wedding. This was a powerful moment!

Fred 3

Fred was not going to miss the momentous occasion of walking his daughters down the aisle. And we was not going to leave that void in his daughters life.

After this amazing event happened, he then surprised his wife as they renewed their vows in this makeshift wedding ceremony.

Fred 1

Not long after this incredible ceremony, Fred lost his battle. However, his loved one’s were given an incredible gift they will never forget.

If you are brave and have a couple minutes. Watch the video of this ceremony. CLICK HERE to watch this video. Don’t miss this!

Ok, let me hit the slow pitch soft ball. I’m sure if Fred were here, he would say something like this:  “Live your life as if it’s going to end soon….. Because it just might.” If you were to get a similar Doctors report as Fred’s, would you have lots of regrets? Sad, shocked and upset for sure. But would there be a ton of unfinished business with your loved ones? Would your kids know for sure how much you loved them? Every now and then we are forced to reckon with our mortality. Take a little inventory. This is one of those times. Let’s pretend you just found out you have 3 months to live. What would you do? Who would you spend time with? What would you want to say to those you love?

Ok, one more slow pitch softball…. Now go do and say those things. And let’s pray that Doctor’s report never comes. Then you are a double winner! 

Go For It!

Alan

PS: Pick up our book and some fun gear by hitting the links below!

Book Banner

 

Store 2 button

A friend tagged me in this article saying that “Alan Smyth will love this.” She was correct. I did love this. I loved it so much that I wanted to re post it here so you could see it as well.

The below post originally appeared on DrKellyFlanagan.com

 

Dear Little One,

As I write this, I’m sitting in the makeup aisle of our local Target store. A friend recently texted me from a different makeup aisle and told me it felt like one of the most oppressive places in the world. I wanted to find out what he meant. And now that I’m sitting here, I’m beginning to agree with him. Words have power, and the words on display in this aisle have a deep power. Words and phrases like:

Affordably gorgeous,

Infallible,

Flawless finish,

Brilliant strength,

Liquid power,

Go nude,

Age-defying,

Instant age rewind,

Choose your dream,

Nearly naked, and

Natural beauty.

When you have a daughter, you start to realize she’s just as strong as everyone else in the house — a force to be reckoned with, a soul on fire with the same life and gifts and passions as any man. But sitting in this store aisle, you also begin to realize most people won’t see her that way. They’ll see her as a pretty face and a body to enjoy. And they’ll tell her she has to look a certain way to have any worth or influence.

make up isle

But words do have power and maybe, just maybe, the words of a father can begin to compete with the words of the world. Maybe a father’s words can deliver his daughter through this gauntlet of institutionalized shame and into a deep, unshakeable sense of her own worthiness and beauty.

A father’s words aren’t different words, but they are words with a radically different meaning:

Brilliant strength. May your strength be not in your fingernails but in your heart. May you discern in your center who you are, and then may you fearfully but tenaciously live it out in the world.

Choose your dream. But not from a department store shelf. Find the still-quiet place within you. A real dream has been planted there. Discover what you want to do in the world. And when you have chosen, may you faithfully pursue it, with integrity and with hope.

Naked. The world wants you to take your clothes off. Please keep them on. But take your gloves off. Pull no punches. Say what is in your heart. Be vulnerable. Embrace risk. Love a world that barely knows what it means to love itself. Do so nakedly. Openly. With abandon.

Infallible. May you be constantly, infallibly aware that infallibility doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion created by people interested in your wallet. If you choose to seek perfection, may it be in an infallible grace — for yourself, and for everyone around you.

Age-defying. Your skin will wrinkle and your youth will fade, but your soul is ageless. It will always know how to play and how to enjoy and how to revel in this one-chance life. May you always defiantly resist the aging of your spirit.

Flawless finish. Your finish has nothing to do with how your face looks today and everything to do with how your life looks on your last day. May your years be a preparation for that day. May you be aged by grace, may you grow in wisdom and may your love become big enough to embrace all people. May your flawless finish be a peaceful embrace of the end and the unknown that follows, and may it thus be a gift to everyone who cherishes you.

Little One, you love everything pink and frilly and I will surely understand if someday makeup is important to you. But I pray three words will remain more important to you — the last three words you say every night, when I ask the question: “Where are you the most beautiful?” Three words so bright no concealer can cover them.

Where are you the most beautiful?

On the inside.

From my heart to yours,

Daddy

 

Alan Smyth and Kristy Fox have appeared on the Hugh Hewitt radio show

Hugh Hewitt

Our Interview can be heard on the home page of our website: www.myfatherdaughter.com

 

Book Banner

 

Store 2 button

Recetnly my wife and I both turned 50. About a year and a half ago, we started planning an epic adventure for our 50th year. We started planning an unforgettable trip to Africa where the pinnacle would be the climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Now, we are NOT big hikers or climbers. We wanted to do something big, crazy, fun and out of the box. So last week, me, my wife and our daughter made this huge trek to the other side of the world!
Through Young Life, we were connected to some great hero’s in Tanzania who are reaching out to the very poor. The first half of our trip consisted of serving these folks in a poverty stricken village. It was awesome.

serve

The second half of the trip consisted of this crazy attempt to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. The adventure was HUGE. The stress was massive. The victory would be epic!

hike
On this climb, we travelled through 5 different ecological zones starting out in a rain forest on our way to the summit of 19,341 feet. Kili is the tallest free standing mountain in the world. The views were spectacular and the effort it took was massive. What an incredible thing to share with my family.

view

Night 5 was our “summit attempt.” We left our base camp at 12:15 am and hiked all through the night. Freezing temperatures, gusty winds, isolated in your thoughts, seemingly endless assent through the night.

sun rise

Then, after 6 hours of hiking, the sun began to rise over Africa. We were near the top! As the air got warmer and thinner, we could finally see our final destination.

uhuru
We made it to Uhuru peak, the “rooftop of Africa.” The highest point on the continent. What an accomplishment! And further, what an experience to share with my wife and daughter. During the final ascent, there were struggles for all of us. Our guide referred to this final ascent as “entering the battlefield.”

There is no replacement for your presence when your family is in the middle of a battle. We now share a deeper bond than ever before because we fought through a significant battle together.

rules

I couldn’t miss the opportunity to have a little wardrobe change on the summit. I wanted to let Africa know that we have a few “rules” involved if you want to date my daughter!

There were many take-a-ways from this adventure:

1. I can do more than I thought I could. (and so can you)
2. I don’t need to be afraid of trying something big (neither do you)
3. When alone in my battle, God gave me strength to press on. (and will also to you in yours)
4. Embarking on a HUGE adventure with my daughter was HUGE for both of us.

Disclaimer: Do not be intimidated by this African/Kilimanjaro adventure. Start small and plan a very attainable adventure. It will do wonders for your relationships if you would stop long enough to take your loved one’s on some kind of adventure.

Press On

Alan

 

Book Banner

Store 2 button

My Achy Breaky Heart

Alan Smyth —  July 13, 2015 — 9 Comments

Last year, just about everyone saw or at least heard about the VMA’s. There was a particular performance by a certain young Disney Star that has caused quite a stir. You could call it a backlash and outrage by many. Miley Cyrus gave a disturbing performance at the Video Music Awards in Prime Time TV. This 20 year old child star danced in an extremely suggestive and sexual manner in front of the world. It was borderline pornographic at times.

I have seen a few responses. Many of which are pointed to Miley herself. How could she do this? Why would she do this? Wasn’t she a “Disney” star a short time ago? I read something ripping on the 36 year old male counterpart who simulated sexual encounters with Miley on stage. Why and how could he do that? These are all good questions. Both parties have a lot of explaining to do.

VMA

When I saw the performance, my heart sank. I don’t sit in judgment against Miley. I sit in sadness. I see a 20 year old child carrying on like someone completely lost and confused as to what her true value and real worth is. She is disrespecting herself and treating herself like the Hip Hop/Rap singers would portray her to be.  I am not excusing her from her actions. I just know that growing up a child star in an oversexualized culture brings with it pressures and issues that I can’t imagine. So I am not piling on Miley. I see her as just a scared lonely little girl who has more resources than most scared, lonely little girls.

However, I do have some honest questions for Billy Ray, her Dad. I am extremely curious as to her father’s response. I wonder if he is as horrified as the rest of us? I wonder if he is saddened by his daughter’s choices and the apparent bad advice she has been getting. I wonder if he has tried to pull her off the dangerous trajectory she is on? OR…. I wonder if he is complicit in his daughter’s actions of late. I wonder if he is applauding and encouraging over what he sees. My heart sinks at what I have seen.

My natural instinct is to protect my daughter. My default setting is to step in and rescue her if possible and reasonable. I’m sorry, but if a 36 year old married man came up behind my 20 year old daughter simulating sex acts…… Let’s just say the next picture you would see is my mug shot on the 6:00 pm news. I would certainly respond in a way that would land me in jail. Where are you Billy Ray? I would have expected you to leap from your seat and tackle that pig on stage to get him off your daughter. You don’t owe me any kind of response or explanation.  You owe it to your sweet daughter whom you have a responsibility to guide, direct and protect.

Hannah

Billy Ray, I hope you get some quiet time soon with your little girl before its way too late. I hope you can let her know that she is a precious daughter of the King. That she is a princess and should be treated as such. I hope you can tell her that she is more valuable that silver and more costly than gold. While you’re at it Billy Ray, let her know that she should not give anyone the time of day who does not also believe that and treat her that way.

Come on guys, let’s do better.

Does your daughter know what she is truly worth?

Alan

Book Banner