I have struggled with what topic I would choose to write about (or is that "crow" about?) all week. I know the subject should have something to do with fatherhood, considering the upcoming not-to-dads holiday. However, I’ve also got quite a few thoughts on faith, God, and life in general from some of my more interesting times overseas being exploded and such. Thinking more about this request to write from my wife (which I actually jumped on), a few things came to mind:
- Any thoughts I had on being a dad have already been covered more eloquently and thoroughly then I could have managed by the week’s previous guest guys.
- The readers of Holy Hen House -- women who come here looking for posts about mothering from a Christian perspective and inspiration in their own lives -- may have a hard time relating to or finding relevance in some beautiful descriptions of the realities of war and all the goo that comes with it. (I was a medic. There definitely was goo. Especially in a town of 2 million with outdoor plumbing.)
- There are already countless sites (my wife would say too many) that post various pictures of "grumpy cat" and videos of squirrels jumping around edited to look like a light saber fight.
So now I find myself pondering my own relevance to this site. What do I have to say about Christ and being a father that you ladies could find relevant? I could retell countless stories of my girls being adorable and the joy that they bring me until your eyes would get cavities, (from the sweetness… it’s a metaphor… right? C’mon! I’m new at this writing thing! I’m trying!) but who hasn't heard a proud father go on and on about his children before?
Luckily for me, I’m an apprentice plumber. This means that I have the joy of doing all of the menial tasks that the journeyman plumbers don’t feel like doing -- such as carrying numerous boxes up and down six flights of stairs all day long. Hooray! So I’ve had more than enough time to think about this week. And God knows I need it. (See how he works?!)
When I truly think about it, one of the best parts of being a father is seeing my wife be a mother. It’s not something I ever would have expected. Don’t get me wrong, I knew she would be good at it. My wife is the most amazing woman I’ve ever met, so it would only make sense that she’d be an amazing mother -- but SEEING it, day after day, night after night, dirty diaper after dirty diaper, (I think she’s used that theme before) I have fallen more in love with the woman I married than I ever thought possible.
When you are heavy in the dating scene, it’s really not on the top of your ‘list of important things to look for in a wife’ -- although now having lived it, it definitely should be. I’m not sure what the list of criteria for an ideal husband looks like, but I’m pretty sure Mel had to make a few concessions when she met me. The guy list typically starts off with:
- Is she hot?
- Does she know I exist?
- Does she speak English? (This can be overlooked by some depending on the answer to question #1 above.)
This goes on for another 300 points or so, and thinking of this potential mate as a mother usually falls somewhere in the late 200’s. Which is just as well, since Mel actually had never carried a fondness for small children before we had our own. As we now prepare for our second set of twins with a sense of joy that has our friends thinking we’ve finally lost our tenuous grip on reality, I’m sure that you can appreciate the irony in this. God gives you exactly what you need when you need it -- not necessarily when you ask for it or when you expect it.
So back to the human dynamo that is the mother of my children and the girl of my dreams and how she makes me a better man/father/human being... The girl has a habit of taking on challenges that others might consider "high risk". For instance, I remember the gleam in her eye when I told her before we were even dating that I didn’t go to church regularly after I got out of the service. I knew that look. It said "challenge accepted" and I was in for it. She never berated me for it; she simply invited me to come with her each Sunday morning. How could I say no? (She even said it in English!) To be clear, it’s not as though I was having a crisis of faith or anything. After my experiences in the Army and the exploding and whatnot, I felt pretty good about my relationship with the Guy upstairs. Fruit too long from the vine has a tendency to go squishy though, and God had once again filled a void in my life which I was too stubborn to admit I was lacking.
And so now we have have little ones. And are soon to have even littler ones. And another void has been filled that I could never have told you was there in the first place. Now these little girls shout "I love you daddy" as I reach the bottom of our staircase after tucking them in each night and it melts my heart every time. What a responsibility has been given to us! To make sure that they have faith! To help them learn to hold God’s Hand when life gets rough when inwardly I can’t even bear to think of anything as bad as a scraped knee befalling them! To have a partner in this, to have a woman of God at my side reading their devotion to them every night is truly the most wonderful thing that could have happened to me -- and to them.
And one other thing that I’ve noticed: although I found it hard to start this thing, now I’m finding it hard to stop. Once I start thinking about the ways that I’ve been blessed just in this short earthly life and the voids that God has unexpectedly filled, I feel like I could go on and on. Truly our God is great. Truly He has our best interests in His great and glorious plan -- may we never fail to remember that it is His plan and not ours. It’s really far better than anything we could have picked out for ourselves anyways.
"Hi, I'm Mike! I currently reside in southern Wisconsin with my lovely wife and HHH writer, Mel and work as an Apprentice Plumber. Having served in the United States Army, I thought nothing life could throw at me would take me by surprise. However, a house with two 3-year-old twin girls, twin babies on the way, and two dogs has proven to be crazier -- but much more fun -- than boot camp ever was!"
For more reflections from Dads read:
Zoom in - Zoom out The big picture of fatherhood. - Frank On Time Am I doing enough with my time as a father? - Will The Meaning of Life: And Other Questions I Don't Know The Answers To - Brian Dadvertizing Could you imagine having to advertise fatherhood to someone who has never experienced it? - Mike Caught Red Handed A hug that taught more about grace than any sermon or creed ever could - Mark