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Let It Be Said

I loaded dishes into the dishwasher, rinsing nearly every particle from plates and cups, trying to convince myself again that my OCD isn’t that bad.

My oldest son walks through the kitchen and begins telling me a story as I work. I listen and make comments, but then I’m overwhelmed with this feeling of love for him and pride at who is.

To be honest, I feel that many times. I have great kids who try hard and love deeply on most occasions. Many times though, things get in the way before I express these things. The busyness of life, the thousands of thoughts running through my brain, the prayer request I received by email earlier—they demand attention and I’m sad to say they win it too often.

Sometimes though, I stop everything I’m doing and say what I’m feeling. This was one of those days.

“Noah, I’m so proud of you. You care so much for people. I’ve seen how you try to help your brother and sister. You help me and Mom so much too. God uses you already, like when you raised money for our new church building.”

“Yeah, $75 for paint. Did that pay for the paint?”

“Well, the paint cost a little more than that, but it definitely helped. God is going to do more great things in you and through you. You have such a great heart, and I just want you to know how proud I am.”

He stared at me a little dumbfounded with a silly grin plastered on his face, eyes rolled up as if he were trying to see his brain. He’s perfected a goofy face similar to the one his daddy makes when he receives a compliment.

Soon after, Mom came into the kitchen so I started to tell her how proud I was of Noah at which point he had enough embarrassment and made a break for it.

“I love you, Noah!” I called after him.

“I love you too, Dad.”

I’m glad for their sake and mine that I keep learning. I may focus more easily on the messy room, or shoes left in the entryway, or trash left in the kitchen; but I notice how special they are too. I see the moments when they step out of their comfortable places to try new things, when they care for someone else in small ways, when they begin to understand the importance of the truly important.

And it makes my father’s heart very proud and very thankful.

I know the heat of the moment makes vocalizing my displeasure about messes or undone chores easy. It seems all-consuming at times. My wife is a brilliant mother who is able to remind me of these things without the children coming to think I’m a horrible father. I listen to her.

I’m also praying that the moments like this one with my son will become equally consuming, and I believe they’ll grow stronger as I learn to listen and give in to them.

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. –Hebrews 3:13

I don’t want my kids to harden their hearts because the majority of what they hear from me is complaints on their shortcomings. I feel the pride in who they are just as deeply, but I can suppress it far too easily. I don’t want it unsaid.

It’s not about self-esteem. It’s about my recognizing their value and worth in God and expressing that love, praising the heavenly Father’s beautiful handiwork. They need encouragement daily because I always want them secure in knowing God planned out an incredible person and life when He made them.

I want them to place importance on important things. I know learning responsibility for their actions and keeping up with chores is important, but even more important is knowing Who made them and trusting He made them just the way He wanted them.

I want them to see they are learning and growing… just like me. Of all my jobs, this is certainly one I want to invest time and effort into. The dividends are huge.

How about you? How do you make sure the important things are said? Do you have (or have you had) trouble expressing these things?

17 Comments

  1. Love your father’s heart bro’. I have learn that one of the most powerful, freeing and impacting statements I can say to my kids…wait for it…is “I was wrong, please forgive me”. Those moments have solidified my relationships with my kids and help them realize that I’m human and real…and not always right.

    Our love for our kids has to be displayed in many ways in order for them to get the message…it seems like your kids are getting that message loud and clear!

    • Can’t say I love those moments (really hate being wrong in the first place), but I have said those words many times. There were probably other times when I should have said them too, but I don’t know what to say about that. 🙂

      Thank you Jay. I want to have a deeper level of my Father’s heart (just like I see in you). Blessings…

  2. My wife and I are both very intentional about expressing our love for each other and for Anna. We both grew up in homes where love was understood but not always expressed.

    We express our love through conversations, hugs, and kisses. We try to always praise the good things and to move past the negatives…

    Love Andrea’s and your hearts as you raise your children, teaching them and securing them in love.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..Have Some GraceMy Profile

    • Yeah, me too. The love for me was always felt, but there is something about that intentional expressing of it, especially with specifics. Thank you Dusty. Love your thoughts.

  3. “I don’t want my kids to harden their hearts because the majority of what they hear from me is complaints on their shortcomings. I feel the pride in who they are just as deeply, but I can suppress it far too easily. I don’t want it unsaid.”

    whewwwwwwwwwww -- that’s me right there man. I know I set high expectations. Perfection is sometimes not good enough. I think I’m doing OK here, but I need good reminders like this one to keep my love for them ever before me. Thanks buddy.
    herbhalstead recently posted..eternalpleasuresMy Profile

    • Glad it’s not only me who needs some work. 🙂 Thanks Herb. We can encourage each other along the way.

  4. I want them to place importance on important things.

    Me too man. Me too. Love your heart bro.

    • Thanks Michael.

  5. While I was praying for a girlfriend recently, God gave me this tiny glimpse of Him… About how once upon a time, in God’s workroom of Heaven, He held me in the palms of His hands and lovingly created every aspect of me…

    It took me 32 years to have this revelation of being fearfully, wonderfully made. But I see you writing this on your kids’ hearts already. And that’s a blessing to see, my friend.

    You be encouraged today, Jason!

    • I am so encouraged--thank you, Sarah. What you describe is such an important revelation. Sadly, many never understand it. I want to know it more and more and convey it more and more…

  6. My dad never complimented me, in fact he used to say I was not alright. But I don’t want to go there. I want to go where God changed my dad. I prayed for years to restore our relationship. Our relationship was not good. I read somewhere in the Bible where it says fathers will kill their children and children their parents, something like that. I was afraid of that. I though my brother would kill him one day or my father would kill me one day. I have to tell it was more my fear than he would have been capable of doing it. But the threat was there in the house. But like I said I want to go where God changed him. The last two years of my dad he was calm, kind and humble. He who always told me I was his possession, I belonged to him and his will was my law, and told me I was not normal, even my face was not normal, that same man complimented me. That one compliment changed our whole relationship. It restored it and healed it. I’m so grateful I have that because he didn’t do that to my brother. I don’t know if I told you but I had two big brothers. The youngest of the two is not with us anymore. The oldest, well there are problems and I don’t have contact with him. Sometimes I ask him how he is but that’s it. I do pray for him and bless him. But I believe if my dad would have told him the same he told me it would changed him a lot. And I believe my brother wouldn’t be where he is right now. I can’t talk bad about my dad now. God restored it and I forgave my dad.

    Thank you so much for sharing this. This post has everything in it. Love, honesty, laughter, grace. I’m so happy you and your wife do this with your kids.

    • Ani, it is amazing what God can do with one compliment. Your heart was right to receive it and it was a restoration moment for you because of it. God is so awesome! I

      ‘m praying for your brother right now that he will see the heavenly Father’s deep, abiding love for him and respond by turning over the good and the bad to Him.

      Blessings and thank you so much.

      • Jason, you don’t know how much that means to me that you just prayed for my brother. Every day I pray for him. I’m so afraid he will get into trouble. But I believe that our Heavenly Father is mighty and loving and He also wants my brother to come home.

        Jason, saying “thank you” is not enough.

  7. I love you dude. (in a legitimate way)

    And I’m proud of you.

    And I think God is gonna use you for many more great things.

    There, I said it. I’ve been meaning to for a long time. And you’re right, it feels good.

    • Well, you’re not my father, but I appreciate it nonetheless. Thank you DS. 🙂

  8. “It’s about my recognizing their value and worth in God and expressing that love, praising the heavenly Father’s beautiful handiwork.”

    Beautifully written.

    Sounds like you are doing an awesome job raising up your children…..
    *~Michelle~* recently posted..V is for Victory!My Profile

    • Thanks Michelle. We are definitely trying (living and learning). 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Helenatrandom - RT @br8kthru: Let It Be Said http://bit.ly/d7Ajnl
  2. sarahmsalter - RT @Helenatrandom RT @br8kthru: Let It Be Said http://bit.ly/d7Ajnl
  3. Jay Cookingham - Let It Be Said http://bit.ly/aT6RGx /cc @feedly
  4. Dusty Rayburn - RT @br8kthru: Let It Be Said http://bit.ly/d7Ajnl
  5. Jason Stasyszen - I'm a father who wants to get it right... Let It Be Said « Connecting to Impact http://ow.ly/2rTeX
  6. Herb Halstead - RT @br8kthru: Let It Be Said http://ow.ly/2rTeX
  7. Jason Stasyszen - RT @herbhalstead: RT @br8kthru: Let It Be Said http://ow.ly/2rTeX <<thanks Herb
  8. Jason Stasyszen - Learning as a father. Today's Blog Post: Let It Be Said « Connecting to Impact http://ow.ly/2rZI2
  9. Sarah Salter - RT @br8kthru Learning as a father. Today's Blog Post: Let It Be Said « Connecting to Impact http://ow.ly/2rZI2
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  11. Wendy G - RT @br8kthru Learning as a father. Today's Blog Post: Let It Be Said « Connecting to Impact http://ow.ly/2rZI2
  12. Herb Halstead - RT @br8kthru: Let It Be Said http://ow.ly/2rTeX
  13. br8kthru - Let It Be Said « Connecting to Impact http://ow.ly/2s4Zx Read & share your thoughts.
  14. Jason Stasyszen - What do you think? Read 'Let It Be Said' on Connecting to Impact & give me a comment: http://ow.ly/2s8y9
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  16. Jason Stasyszen - RT @KevinMartineau: RT @br8kthru: Let It Be Said http://ow.ly/2rTeX <<thanks Kevin
  17. Jason Stasyszen - Previously on Connecting to Impact: Let It Be Said http://is.gd/RyQ89G #archives

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