Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Don't Hold Back

Last week I wrote about a near death experience and how that made me pause to think about a lot of stuff. How do I treat those closest to me? Do I spend "enough" time with them? Is there ever "enough" time? Does my wife know I love her? Do my kids know that I love them no matter what? Do my friends know I love them? All very good questions for us to visit every so often. Hopefully it won't take a near death experience for you to think about these things. Hopefully, my near death experience is sufficient fodder for you to pause and reflect on life questions. That said, I want to share with you some of the thoughts I've had since then...
  • I want my daughter to marry someone that writes her love letters AFTER they are married. I stole this idea from Jon Acuff. He is writing love letters to his wife this year as a sort of "love dare" type project.
  • I want my son to marry someone that is worthy of him writing love letters to after they are married. I want both of my kids to be patient, insightful, wise, faithful and trusting in God's plan when they choose their marriage covenant partner. I want them to understand what a covenant is and that it is not a temporary arrangement.
  • I never, ever, ever want my kids to wonder if I still love them. I don't even want this to be a possibility for them to think this. I want it to be obvious when I am nice to them, when I am stern with them, when I discipline them, when I am proud of them, when I am disappointed in them. I want all of those scenarios to still reflect my love for them. I know it is possible. My parents did a pretty good job of it and I don't know that they did it on purpose. If I do it on purpose, I should be able to do a great job.
  • I want my model of manhood to be worthy of my son's imitation. Kids look to their parents for everything. They look at them to learn how to treat spouses, siblings, strangers. They look to their parents for ideas on politics, social life, drinking, religion and adulthood. Often times they mimic what they see. Sometimes it is consciously, sometimes not (remember Cats in the Cradle--ooohhooohh, still gives me goose bumps thinking about that song). Sometimes you don't even realize they have mimicked you until YEARS later. I want my example, the things Jonas picks up on early in life and the things that don't show up for years and years, to be one I can be proud to pass on.
  • I don't want to leave things unsaid or with doubt. I see my kids and wife every day. I have lots of opportunities to tell them and show them I love them. I don't see any one of my friends every day. I don't have/make tons of opportunities for them to know how I feel about them. I don't need to waste a single one. Go ahead and say it. You might not get another chance. It's ok if they think you are sentimental or sappy. They will appreciate it whenever the last time does officially happen.
  • You really can't take it with you and you really don't know when you are going to go. I was inches away from dying. If I had over-corrected just a bit more, I would have flipped or run into an embankment. If I hadn't swerved quite as hard or if the drunk hadn't gone on into the ditch, I would be dead. Why horde things? Give freely. Give often. Give unexpectedly. Give lots. Don't worry if they are "taking advantage of you"--that's "their" problem, not yours. You might not get to give it to them later. Christians, 10% is a guideline--it is not a "rate". Don't limit yourself or God's ability and willingness to provide when you provide for others.
I hope these provide some food for thought. Thinking about these things will lead to you DOING something. Doing some of this stuff on PURPOSE will help you make other people have extraordinary lives. Helping other people have extraordinary lives will be rewarding beyond measure.

What are some other ideas that can lead to an action that helps someone else live an extraordinary life?

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