Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father’s Day 2013–Putting what I was Taught into Practice

Each year, our church has an event entitled “20:28.” It is in reference to Matthew Chapter 20, Verse 28: “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” It is a day members of the church go to different parts of St. Louis and assist in cleaning up certain areas. In the few years I have participated in this, I seem to always be doing landscaping. Whether it is going for 4 hours on a weed eater at a cemetery or cleaning up the landscaping at an elderly person who was in hospice, it is cool to see members of your church get together to help out others.

Well, yesterday was this year’s 20:28. I was assigned to helping out a historical Black cemetery by weed eating near the graves.  Meanwhile as I was doing this, my Father’s Day gift to my father was playing out. My dad and my first son love to play trains. My son will track my dad down as soon as he comes over at times Cam Train Stationand bring him into his room to play trains. Well, I purchased them two tickets on Amtrak and the took a train ride just over an hour outside of Missouri. I am getting texts left and right with pictures of checking into the station and waiting on the train. The kid was excited; however, I am not sure who was more excited. My dad was updating us with my son looking outside to hearing the horn for the first time. They loved every minute of it. I got to ask my son when he woke up from his nap late yesterday how it was. He was telling me about the horn and the ice cream he had while stopped in Hermann. He also apparently really wanted a cat there in an antique shop. But, it was not for sale.

So what do each story have to do with each other? I was thinking this yesterday. There is a lot of time to think when you our weed eating for as long as we were. My dad has always taught my brother and I about serving. I still remember to this day about a house, maybe half a mile from where I grew up, and how I should go up there and help the elderly couple pick up all the gumballs in their yard. I questioned how much I would get paid. My dad said nothing and that we are taught to serve others without asking. Well at 14 years old, that was not something I wanted to do and never did it. If I think about it to this day, yes I regret for not listening.

My dad and my brother volunteered at a homeless shelter on Thanksgiving to serve the community with less than our family. My dad taught us this verse, not by just quoting something, but by encouraging us to serve others and living this verse out.

So yesterday, while I gave my dad his gift that he considered creative, I received a gift from my dad. I listened to what he taught me and served others. I am not sure who my serving affected; however, it doesn’t matter. I am not in this to pat myself on the back. I did it because it is the right thing to do. I did it because our Father sent his Son to us not to be served but to serve others.

Thanks Dad for a great Father’s Day gift. You have taught me so many things you could not even know. I love you.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother’s Day 2013

Last Mother’s Day was a pretty special day. We had just had ourDSCN0717 second son a week beforehand and ALL were healthy on this go around. The plan was for Stephanie to be a stay at home mom while I worked. In that year, I think I have come to a conclusion: Mom’s are invaluable! They are lifesavers! I feel like a new associate at my hotel on his or her first day being bombarded by guests with so many questions. In other words, they do more than sit at home and eat bon bons all day. I wish I would have known what I know now growing up.

I gave my parents a run for their money, especially my mother. She is someone that has to have things make sense around the house DSCN0723and in all our lives. When something does not make sense, it starts a domino effect. For example: House is cleaned during the day. I come home from school and go to baseball practice or outside to play or outside to work. Meanwhile, the hard work of cleaning the house has gone out the window due to the tornado (a nickname of mine) had just go through the house. Shoes in three different places (trust me it is possible), school clothes not in the hamper, socks on the floor, book bag somewhere I will forget to locate and a mother looking at me like she is trying to split an atom she is so confused. That was just on a Monday. Imagine that every day of the week.

There are days I come home and Stephanie has her hands in the air, kids crying or all over the place, toys everywhere, dishes in areas I did not know dishes were needed and a look on her face that if I 5-20-12young (54 of 173)mention any of this, go back to the hotel and she will see me tomorrow. She tells me it was a heck of a day and nothing got done. Well, actually, stuff did get done. She took care of my two boys. She fed them. She changed them. She snuggled with them. She worked harder than I ever could. You have to have a patience with two boys.

Stephanie and my mother both have an amazing amount of patience. I continue to learn different things about my own mother and all that she had to go through as a mother. I am blessed to have one that cared for me no matter what I said or did. I am blessed to have a wife to want to be home with the kids each day. Both of these women do amazing jobs at what they have done and continue to do. Thank you mom. I love you. Thank you Stephanie. I love you.