Dad of five reflects on parenting: “You get to write the story”

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- This Father’s Day we turned to West Michigan dad’s to share their perspectives on how fatherhood has impacted their lives in unexpected ways.  Learn how their children have shaped them into the amazing dads they are today.

Kris’s Story…

I love writing.

In fact, I am in the beginning stages of writing a book in the realm of parenting.  My goal is to compose a mixture of humorous stories (most at the expense of my own sanity), mixed with real and hard-hitting thoughts about one of the greatest responsibilities God has placed in many of our lives, parenting.  The irony is I don’t have time to write it, because I have too many flipping kids.  Five to be precise.   A six-year-old daughter, triplet four-year-old boisterous boys, and one eighteen month old boy, who I considered naming, “surprise.”

Daddy D 2
Kris pictured with his wife and five children

Back to the writing.  I love to write, because I love to create.  I love a blank canvas, an empty sheet of paper, and my favorite, a clean whiteboard.  I sit down and look at that large empty space, and think, well…now it’s up to me.  The unblemished canvas waits for me to add thoughts, to add color, to give it life.  The board will not fill itself, the colors and the words will not just appear.  I must write.  The nothingness is scary, but it’s also mysterious, it’s also inviting.  It’s waiting for my to tell a story.

I think about my life often in this context, and I think it fits with parenting too.  God has loaned us His children to take care of, and to join with in this life journey.  Much like the blank canvas, our kids are waiting for us to help them write their story.  It is our responsibility to pick up the pen, to take the paintbrush, and to begin to write and to paint.  There are endless possibilities, but nothing will happen unless we initiate, unless we actively seek to give our children the best story we can.

Photo Credit: Kris Deyoung
Photo Credit: Kris Deyoung

We need to get off our butts.  We need to move.  We need to write.  Our kids lives depend on it.  From physical nurturing, emotional support, loving discipline, whimsical adventure, spiritual guidance, and just our presence – kids look to us, hold out their hand, and are waiting to be lead – even though it may not seem like it at times.

“From physical nurturing, emotional support, loving discipline, whimsical adventure, spiritual guidance, and just our presence – kids look to us, hold out their hand, and are waiting to be lead.”

In my favorite book, “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years“, author Donald Miller has a conversation with a father who is losing touch with his daughter.  This father’s teenage daughter has been sucked up in poor moral choices, bad decisions, and worse company.  She had become wrapped up in a demoralizing culture, and was letting a warped view of life bring her down, and the father was left feeling helpless.  Donald told this dad that it was time he helped his daughter write a better story with her life.  Long story short, the father signed the family up to raise funds to help build an orphanage as a family endeavor.  The whole family was upset at this rash move, but the father stuck it out.  By the end, his daughter was so enveloped and connected to a project that was all about helping others, that she began to leave the old life at the door, and found new direction and purpose, and a new bond with her dad.

Her father did not give up, but he helped his daughter write a better story.

So that is my encouragement to you.  Your kids are waiting, don’t keep them waiting any longer.

“I find myself at my wits end almost on a daily basis, overwhelmed, tired, defeated.  But I love them.”

My kids drive me absolutely insane, they make me want to stab my own eye repeatedly with a dull pencil at times.  But I love them.  I find myself at my wits end almost on a daily basis, overwhelmed, tired, defeated.  But I love them.

Sometimes all the whining, fighting, and destruction of every nice thing I own by this small band of wild animals called toddlers makes me want to buy a hippie van, drive to the West coast and just live on the beach.  But I love them.

Father Kris pictured with his children
Father Kris pictured with his children

These kids were entrusted to me, these kids need me to be what a parent should be.  These little blank canvases need an artist.  God has given us the tools, and he wants to help us write their story with the small amount of time we have them for.  As parents, we are not alone, but have a Heavenly Father who is pretty good at this whole parenting thing.  He did create it.

Photo Credit: Kris Deyoung
Photo Credit: Kris Deyoung

So let’s pick up the pen and write.

Let’s pick up the brush and paint.

Let’s grab the marker, and start to scribble.

It’s time to help our kids write a great story.

 

Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of WOTV 4 Women, its staff and/or contributors to this site.

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