this blog, up until this point, has exclusively been my thoughts; as it relates to our family and my kids. but with this post it no longer is. i have asked matt if i could share the notes he wrote to the kids on the blog...and he reluctantly agreed. here they are.
You are so precious to me. I think you are so beautiful. I love being your Dad. I love your smile, voice, kisses; I love to hold your hand and play games with you; I love to hear you sing and watch you dance; I love snuggling with you when you wake up; I love watching you grow up. You bring me so much joy. While there are so many things that I love about you, I want to focus on just one. I love that you teach me how to read. I know this may sound a bit strange since you are learning your letters and cannot read words on a page; nevertheless, it is true: you teach me how to read. Let me explain. Every book that we read, you see yourself in that story. If it is Bernstein Bears you see yourself as baby Honey; if it is Fancy Nancy you see yourself as “Jojo"; if it is Little Critter you see yourself as Little Sister. In fact, many times we read a book and you identify who each character is: Isaiah is Franklin, Alaythia is Bear, and Sophia is Beaver. I love this about you. I love that you see yourself as part of each story that we read. This is a good thing and you teach me how to be a better reader.
But Sophia, you know what is so cool? You are part of a story. You are part of God’s story. You are part of the story God has been writing ever since Creation. And this is such a fabulous story to be part of. It is the story of a King who fights and dies to protect his people; it is about a prince who loves his bride so much that he dies to rescue her; it is a story about a Father who defends and cares for his family; it is about Jesus, the Rescuer. So my prayer for you Sophia Hope is that you will grow to see yourself as part of this great story: see yourself as belonging to the King, as loved by the Prince, and as cared for by our Heavenly Father. May you know this story and tell it to the world. Thank you for teaching me how to read better. I love you so much.
You are so precious to me. I love being your Dad. I think you are so beautiful. I love to snuggle with you, I love to watch you dance, I love to hear you sing, I love watching you swing a bat, I love the stories you tell, I love to watch you care for your brother and sister. I love to watch your life; you are truly unique and lovely. While there are so many things that I love about you, I just want to focus on one. I love that you teach me how to learn. I know this may sound a bit strange since I have been a student for a lot longer than you have, but, it is true; you teach me how to learn. Let me explain, whether in school or piano lessons you have to work so hard in order to learn. Phonograms and notes, penmanship and spelling rules are not easy and every day you need to work so hard in order to learn these important things. And you know what? You are doing it. I know some days that you struggle to work hard, but I want you to know that I see how hard you are working, am proud of your hard work, and am inspired to work harder. I love to hear you sound out words to read or spell and I love the excitement in your eyes when you get a phonogram correct. I love to see your brain work, think, process, ask questions, give answers, and discover new things. I pray that you will always desire to learn by working hard.
Alaythia, while I want to help you learn new things like spelling and math; my prayer most of all is that you will grow to know who you are—this may be the hardest work you will ever do. You see, you will have to work hard to believe that who you are is not based on how you look, on how smart you are, on how funny you are, or how many toys you have. You will have to work hard to believe that you are beautiful, that you are precious because you are loved by the Creator, you are loved by God. Alaythia, your mother and I will work hard with you so that you will grow to know who you are—you are a daughter of the King, you are loved by the Greatest Prince, and you are worthy of the best love. Don’t take the easy way and let your friends, T.V., books, or wrong feelings define who you are; know, my dear, work hard to know who you are as a daughter of the Creator God. Thanks for teaching me to learn, I love you.
You are so precious to me. I love being your Dad. You are such an incredible son, brother, friend, and follower of Jesus. I love your many talents (playing the piano, sports, school); I love how you devote yourself to everything you do; I love that you love learning history, math, and sometimes grammar and Latin; I love playing with you; I love that you want to play with me; I love how kind you are to your sisters; and how devoted you are to your friends. I love the deep and sometimes hard talks that we have; I love talking with you about Jesus and love watching you grow to trust Him. While there are so many things to love about you, I want to focus on just one: I love that you teach me how to be a better man.
I know this may sound a bit strong; especially since it is my role to teach you how to be a man. But as I watch you grow up; you are also teaching me to be a better husband, father, and follower of Jesus. You teach me to be a better husband because you help me to see ways that I am unkind to mommy, or there are times that you are thinking about her needs more than I am and you help me. You help me to be a better father because you are such an incredible son. I know you are not perfect, I know you struggle, but I love parenting you. I love that your heart is inclined to trust, obey, listen, and learning from me and your mom. I love that you are free to tell me what you think whether it be how hard I am on you or how you get treated differently than your sisters. You help me to be a better follower of Jesus because you have child-like faith that believes the promises of God and tries to live life based on those promises. I love your desire to read and memorize the Bible. I love when you think of ways to lead your family in worship. Your life inspires me to be a better man, and I am grateful for the son you are.
My prayer for you is that you will continue in your growth to be a man who loves his family, who speaks the truth (even when it is hard), who knows that Bible, and who loves his God. This will not be easy and at times you will struggle greatly; but I want you to know that we are in this together, we will struggle together, we will fight for our women and we will fight for our faith together. You are my boy; I love you so much. Thank you for teaching me to be a better