It has indeed been a while since I've posted any new stuff on my personal blog...
That's because I'm really, underneath it all, a total blog loser. Whatever...
Anyway, here's the latest:
My son, Chason is about to turn 18 years of age, My other son, Jared, recently turned 16, so he's driving now, which has numerous financial and other implications that fall somewhat incumbant upon me to deal with; I now have four kids with cell phones, two to go... Our oldest daughter is away at university in her second year there, and my youngest (fourth grade, I think—but I'm not sure) is excelling in his knowledge of firearms and missile defense systems. His next older sibling (his big sister, Tori), is excelling in soccer, and has now joined the volleyball team at Hedrick Middle School (she's a sports nut—and dern good at sports, i must say), not to mention her preexisting commitment to soccer, at which she's a total ace. Her next older brother, Cole, is on the freshman football team, so there's that. They have these football games that are , like, two hundred cotton-pickin' miles away and stuff. Haven't made it to any games yet, since they're, like, two hundren cotton-pickin' miles away... Needless to say, my kids are lucky that they have a mom who's happy to be involved in their lives. If I were a single parent, my kids would indeed be underpriveledged in terms of parental involvement. I just don't have the kind of capacity for multi-tasking that their mom has, and I'm truly thankful for her willingness to spend herself on their pursuits. I often find myself lost in the mire of "well, you gotta provide, so just do whatever it takes." But then God suddenly reminds me: "Do you see the barn swallows worrying about tomorrow?" So I have to conclude that the Lord will provide for me (on my behalf), apart from my abject commitment to provision. In other words, there's more to life than earning the all-mighty dollar.
So once in a while I find myself called to basically turn my back on my business, and instead pursue family relationships, and the building up of the stuff that actually will last. I think it's important to recognize the distinction between what's truly important over the long run, and what is simply a transitory need. Okay, it's a need, alright; but it's transitory. Seriously: the cash I need today to pay my bills that will be due this month will only pay this month's bills; then it's done. It's spent. It's gone. It's transitory. Bills come and go. fine. But relationships with the people I love are eternal. Should I not invest in them? Should I not set them as a truly higher priority, even though they may be less urgent? Books have been written about the tyranny of the urgent., but how to conquer that tyranny continues to be an enigmal mystery to many of us.
So this coming week, I'm taking some time off. I'm going backpacking with my sons and about 15 other guys from church. This is going to be awesome! We're hiking up into some wilderness territory that I have not been into for nearly thirty years, though I spent much of my childhood hiking in there. I'm truly looking forward to this, and I'll post copious quantities of photos when I get back.
Meanwhile, I'll just boast for a moment about my daughter, Shirah. She's learning Russian, and she's been told by Russians things like, "You speak better Russian than any American that I've met." She's studied the Russian language for less than a year. What can I say... she's a girl with a knack. Fluent in french, able to converse in Spanish and Italian, has a basic grip on German and Flemmish (Dutch). Check out her latest blog here. Have fun.
I'm with Steve Martin, who said something like,
If you ever go to France, let me just give you this tip:
It's like, they have a different word for everything!
Well, in the case of Russian, it's like, they have a different letter for everything! I mean, when I see a bunch of Russian writing, I have to admit that my first thought is that these people should just give it up, start over, and just go with English like the rest of us. Seriously. Half of these letters are backwards, for crying out loud! And the rest just simply make no sense.
But not for Shirah. She makes sense out of it. She embraces it, seeks to understand, and then starts speaking the stuff. Awesome! I have a daughter who is able to do stuff I could never do, though I may have tried with all my might. I can't tell you—or her—what a deep appreciation I have. I am discovering new thrills (vicarious though they may be). How can a man describe the sublime thrill he experiences in seeing his child pursue and achieve in such a way? Where are the poets on this? I just can't call any to mind.
It seems like you go from one point to the next with such rapidity, it makes your head spin. One day you're chewing out your kid for acting selfishly or for being short-sighted, and the next day you're just thinking how cool it is that you're in tight with this person, cause they're cool, man, and they've seriously got it together. I just can't put the thrill to words!
But I can try, so here goes: My daughter: I love her. I'm kinda enamored with her. Simply put, she is a part of my testimony to the fact that God can produce gold out of clay. By God's grace only, I can say that, if you doubt the goodness of God, you're going to have to find a way to explain away the fact that somehow a man of my dubious stature and origins has been able to produce children of the calibre of mine. Good luck, for there is no empirical evidence to suggest such an outcome.
And I can say the same for my sons as well. Next week: The Chason Update