Sunday, June 30, 2013

Letters from Dad: #5

What I don’t need… is something else to do….

There was a time when I was a deacon at church. During that time, I was mega busy. Did I enjoy being a deacon? Maybe. I enjoyed aspects of it. What I didn’t enjoy was the busyness. I quit when we found out we were having quadruplets. I finished up a few projects at the church that I had given my word on, and then walked away. Truth be told I hated the last few months before that. I had a hard time with saying no to people, you know probably out of guilt while trying to be “holy.” Crazy, isn’t it? The whole thing about grace is that you don’t have to earn it, and yet, there I was working for it.

The reason I bring this up is because during this time, while I was over the Men’s Ministry, I encouraged men to go to Sunday school, do summer book studies like “The Measure of a Man”, do weekly breakfasts, hospital visitations, maintenance in and around the church, attend men’s retreats, encourage evangelism, take communion to those who couldn’t make it to church, work the sound booth, pray for others, serve communion and pass the offering plate. So, soooo busy. Now people try to get me to do the things that I used to get others to do, and I have no desire to do any of it. I get it now. Men used to always tell me that they would rather spend time with their families than help at church. And, I get it.

I counsel my wife a lot in the principle of opportunity cost. The principle that every decision has a cost…as in "if you do X then you can’t do Y." So for example, you know that when you go to work, you can make X amount of dollars, or you can stay home with your kids. Which do you value more? The amount of money you can make in one day or the time you spend with your kids? I understand that you have to feed your family, but do you choose to sacrifice family time to continue working past that? (We often know these people as "workaholics.") Currently, I value time spent with my family more than activities. I have a ton of yard work that I would like to do. I would like to organize the house. But I find my family more important. My wife did a post about this a few months ago. Someone can always find something for you to do, especially that guilty voice in your head. Just decide “what is good” and choose to go with that.

Instead of determining your value by dollars try determining it in love. When you are gone no one will care how much money you spent on them, but they will remember how much you cared about them. My loved ones, who are already gone, made a deep impact on me because I still remember how much they loved me. I remember my Granny Bolt. She had such a servant’s heart and was constantly doing something for her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, but when she sat down, you had her full attention. I remember Grandma Gigi. She had a mind like a tack and could tell you every detail about everything that happened in your life. Neither one of my great grandmothers ever forgot a birthday or a Christmas. They just gave unconditional love. I imagine, once you reach a certain age, it becomes very real what is important and you learn to let the small stuff slide.

This month I was originally going to write a list of my favorite things but instead I typed out this post. I don’t know if it helped anyone at all, but I feel better having gotten it out there.


  1. This quote really hit home for me. 'When you are gone no one will care how much money you spent on them, but they will remember how much you cared about them". I just lost my dad a few months ago and I just remember the good times and the fact that he cared. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I'm sorry to hear that you lost your dad. That is a loss that I haven't experienced and can't imagine. But you are right. It's the caring and love that is remembered by those left behind.

  2. Very beautiful. If more men would embrace this concept, families would be healthier! Just finding your blog and enjoying it. I love finding other believers in the blogosphere. :-) Come visit, if you'd like.


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