This is what I did this morning with the time I had set aside to blog. It was “Donuts with Dad” day at my daughter’s school, so I got to spend a few minutes with her in her element. Here’s what I learned:
- My daughter is no longer a baby. She explained her day and week to me as if she was a colleague explaining their work schedule. As I listened to her explain all that in great detail, I remembered when we couldn’t get her to talk at all, and I was thankful for all the work everyone had done to get her this far.
- My daughter is a good friend. She’s the kind of kid I would have liked to pal around with when I was her age (even if she is a girl). Around me, she was courteous, kind and genuinely happy to see her classmates. She stood patiently and watched one of her friends attempt a card trick. He failed miserably, but she clapped and let out a “Wow!” anyway. I was grateful to witness that.
- My daughter deserves more of my time. Ministry, and the people who are a part of it, can suck every hour from you if aren’t careful. I’ve always wanted to be a good father and a good pastor, but sometimes it seems that the latter gets in the way of the former. I need to be better about carving out time and setting good boundaries for my family. That includes getting away (which is difficult when my parsonage space is so close to the church). I’ve also come to realize that I can’t be as good of a pastor unless I’m a good father to my daughter and partner to my wife. Sounds trite, but it is also true. I need to do better at living in my family, not just coming home to it.