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Archive for the ‘family’ Category

18 Incredible Years

Eighteen years ago today Amy Mayfield become my wonderful wife. We had absolutely no idea what was going to happen in the coming years, we knew we wanted to be together. Looking back over the years I can honestly say she has been the most incredible blessing the Lord has given me. I am a blessed man because of Amy and the years we have spent together. I cannot imagine life without her or where I would be today if she had not said yes to my proposal.

I know we are both looking forward to the next eighteen years together and what God will allow us to see and do together.

I love you Amy.

goen5

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Wow of a Weekend

Amy left for a teacher retreat on Wednesday afternoon with her school. Dad was left in charge for the rest of the week. Shouldn’t be too hard, after all no school on Thursday and Friday and the kids are old enough to stay be themselves on dad’s work day. Friday comes and dad is off work and everyone is doing their own thing, Wii, computer, football throwing, cleaning, straightening, and preparing for mom to come home.

razor-powerwing
It gets interesting here. Around 1:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon the boys are playing in the drive way having a great time. They are playing together very well on the Power-Wing Evan received for Christmas. Only problem is it isn’t a “bicycle built for two.” They are riding and playing around together when Peyton decides to “bail out” and creates major instability on a toy that is decidedly unstable to begin with. You guessed right, Evan flies face first onto the garage floor and forgets to close his mouth before hitting the ground (kind of like this kid and sans helmet). Oh the noise I heard. This was not the usual cry or moan of disgust. This was the belly cry of a child who was freaking out. I met Peyton at the garage door  with, “I really didn’t mean to…I didn’t realize… He just….”. I think you get the point.

Evan comes in behind him with blood running down his face and crying as is his face has been punctured a thousand times by some sharp foreign objects. Well, in actuality there were no foreign objects, only his teeth.  There weren’t a thousand objects, there was only one puncture would from his tooth. But, it was a clean puncture from the inside out. Thankfully no broken teeth and only one stitch to clean things up. I chose not to sew things up, but allowed the wonderful Dr. to handle things in his office. (I really had no choice, the kids have seen my sewing abilities and Evan balked.) Handled!

Jordan began feeling sickly that evening. By, Saturday night we had a full blown ear event going on. On Sunday morning Amy had to leave church to take Jordan home to the comfort of a warm heating pad. After small group, resting and a little conversation, Amy, the boys and I headed out to pick up an international student we have been meeting with as a cultural friend. He is a graduate student at M.T.S.U. and we connected with him through a local ministry in our area. We all went to dinner and Jordan stayed home to rest close to the heating pad.

girl-earAt around 8:15 p.m. we are heading home when Jordan calls and pleads for us to return home, she needs relief from the ear ache. We we get home she is in extreme pain and we need to get some help. Amy’s sister, who lives in Texas and is a nurse advises we go to the emergency room and let them look inside the ear. Amy takes Jordan to the local hospital for an exam and learns that her ear drum ruptured from the infection located behind the eardrum. The doctor said the rupture allowed her to receive relief from the pain she had been experiencing the night prior and all day Sunday. They returned for the emergency room with antibiotics and pain meds that allowed her to sleep until around 2 a.m. upon which time  we were awaken by her throwing up. She had not eaten very much on Sunday and the meds obviously didn’t sit very well with her stomach. Back to bed for Amy and Jordan following the wrenching.

We made it through the weekend… . Amy and the boys are headed to school with a cool facial scar and stitches (very small scar and 1 stitch). Jordan is in the bed sleeping. I would call her but I don’t think she could hear me and if she is able to hear me would probably ignore me so she could continue to rest from the events of yesterday.

Just an ordinary weekend in the life of my family.

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Talking About Sex

As I said in the last post, we began talking with our kids about their bodies and why God made us (men and women) differently when they were young. We found age appropriate books to help us initiate conversation with them about these subjects. As they have grown older the conversation has become more specific to the issues they are about to face or the issues they are facing presently.  Beginning these conversations hasn’t been any easier, but the kids do feel more comfortable in talking with us because of the ground work that happened along the way. We, the parents still initiate future topics, but the kids are more open to talk about the topics we have already covered. We are not perfect on this and we are still very much in process of learning and making mistakes, after all we have never been parents of teens before so it is still new to us.

When our oldest was in the fifth grade we decided that Amy would take her away for a girls weekend, just mom and daughter. We rented a hotel room for them to go and stay in for a couple of days. We purchased 2 copies of the book, Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman’s Battle: Creative Conversation for Sexual and Emotional Integrity by Shannon Etheridge. One book for Amy (my wife) and one book for Jordan (my daughter). They left for their hotel early in the afternoon so they could check in, swim and have fun. At different points Amy and Jordan would read a chapter of the book quietly and highlight parts of the chapter they wanted to discuss. They did the reading together at the same time and then Amy would initiate conversation from the chapter they had just read. It was difficult at times, funny at times,  but bonding all the time. After each discussion Amy and Jordan would go do something fun and light to break things up. They would eat out, go to the movies, or get a manicure. The weekend was an incredible success at opening communication.

I had a father son weekend with Peyton during his fifth grade year prior to moving into middle school. We went away for a similar week-end experience only no manicures. We did eat lots of steak though. We went through the book Preparing Your Son for Every Man’s Battle: Honest Conversations About Sexual Integrity, by Stephen Arterburn. There were moments that were tense for dad and son, moments were we both looked at each other and laughed, but most of all there were great moments of fun and bonding together that is still paying off today.

When the weekend was over I asked my son what he enjoyed the most, his answer will always stay with me. He said “I enjoyed just hanging out with you. I know I can talk with you about anything.”  WOW, that is what I wanted to accomplish. I didn’t try to answer every question or address every situation he would be faced with as a young man, I wanted to open communication so we could talk together when those times arrived. I still have to initiate conversation after all he’s a man. Which is difficult for me because I’m a man and talking about sensitive things isn’t easy, but it is necessary.

There is no one way to start opening conversation with your child about healthy relationships and sex. But, God does intend for us as parents to take the lead.

Helpful Books.

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Amy and I made a decision several years ago when our children were in preschool that we would always be open with them about questions they had concerning their bodies. We would always answer their questions accurately and as direct as we could using age appropriate language. It is a decision we are glad we made, but it has caused us to have to work hard at investing time into learning how to communicate with our children.

We began to read books about how to discuss issues with children appropriately. We would talk with parents of kids who were a little older than ours and ask for advice on how to initiate conversations. Each time one of our kids had a question we would answer that question and wait to see if another question would follow, not leading the child to ask another one, but letting them drive the moment. Were we successful? I don’t know, we still have kids in our home and we are still walking through the process. I can assure you of this, it has opened communication between mother and daughter, father and son in very positive ways. Communication is the key.

The hardest part is gettting started.  In our culture today the worst thing we can do is ignore these conversations or hope someone else will deal with it.

Our job as Christ-Centered parents is to do the hard thing and talk with our kids. It will be uncomfortable for you and the child at first. But, it has to happen if we want to help our kids understand relationships and sexuality the way God designed for His children.

The LifePoint Student Ministry is beginning a new series on relationships next week. If you are a parent I would recommend you click here and check out the resources they have gathered and recommend for us to help us in this area (Scroll to the bottom of the page). Print it, bookmark it, do something to help you get involved in talking with your kids about healthy relationships and sex the way God desires.

Tomorrow I will tell you about how we handled our conversations concerning sex with our middle-school aged kids.

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God choosing me

my Amy, Jordan, Peyton, Evan

my mom

Tracey, Greg, Abby, Ellie, Lucy Grace, Zoe

the Word of God

the church I serve

my calling

the team of leaders I serve

the school my children attend and my wife serves

so many others I can’t name them all…

but I will update as God reminds me.

Time to list yours.

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Voting and Halloween

I want to remind each of you to go and vote (if you haven’t already). This is an important election because the candidates are very different in their ideologies on how to govern. Please exercise the privilege and freedom we have to choose our leaders, it is our civic duty to go to the polls.

The weather will be wonderful.

This past weekend our kids partook in the Halloween festivities and gathered candy in costumes. Here are the costumes they made up for themselves. We are too cheap to purchase costumes!

Joe the Plumber & Thing #3

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Remember to turn your clocks back on Saturday evening before you go to bed. To remind yourself put reminder notes on all of your clocks in your home. (ha)

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