20 May 2008

Replaced blogger comments with Intense Debate

I really like the comment thread and conversational feel of the layout edit/integration from the folks at Intense Debate

Hope you all enjoy as I look to grow this blog into more of a conversation.

peace & love

Jared L. Still

Daddy time in the little moments

There's something that I've learned in the past 8 1/2 years of being a Daddy, and that is that the most special moments just manifest themselves in the most unexpected times.

Much like elsewhere in life, the opportunities to really love someone, make the day of a stranger, make your spouse or Mom or brother feel loved and valued, come in the little moments in life. They don't just sneak up on you, the just appear. And either you're dialed-in and aware enough to be "present" in those moments, or you're not. They don't just appear because you're in a great mood, filled with the Spirit and all of your bills are paid. No, sometime they just come when you're dead broke, exhausted, somewhat lost yourself, and not because you fit them into family time, a Daddy date, prayer time or anywhere else that you may necessarily have planned.

No, these times just appear. Gifts from God that hit you in the heart and stay in your soul all of your life.

My favorite, most amazing Daddy moment of all time was the spring of 2005 (my first in LA) and I took Taylor and Brooke to the Ocean on a weekday afternoon. I should have been at work, and I think they were missing a couple days of school. We played, chased, ran from waves, built stuff in the sand and did the pretty standard-issue Pacific Ocean stuff you do. Then, as the sun was just collapsing into the horizon, time stood still. Taylor and Brooke ended up wrapped in their towels, in my arms, and we all were just silent. I held them as close as I could and God gave us a glimpse into eternity as it felt like time stood still, as we just a bask in the glow of the descending sun, while were enveloped by the sound of the surf lapping the shore. My heart felt so alive. So at peace. So certain in love. With God. With His love for me. My love for Taylor and Brooke. Total peace and joy. Taylor, Brooke and I have tons of great memories from our times together in LA, but to me, as their Dad, that was the single most special.

Last night was another great Daddy moment, that just appeared out of seemingly nowhere.

The amazing thing about having three girls in the house at the "Crazy age" (between 7 and 18), is that those little moments manifest themselves so quickly and unexpectedly. It is truly such a challenge, but such a joy to be a step-Dad. And I just pray to be "present" enough to capture most of these little gifts from God. I really believe that's where being a father turns into being a Daddy.

Anyways, I was just so blown away that on a night when I came home absolutely emotionally and physically drained and fatigued, that in a matter of moments, the girls has totally transformed that. (Well, that and some great cooking by Jill Still). It started with sharing bruises, then scratches, then stories from their day, then some other craziness, followed by them bouncing off the walls like electrons around an unstable atom.

And then, wham, all of a sudden, Emma is piled in bed next to me with every year book she's ever had. Walking me through pictures of her childhood. Laura and Caroline are in the room too. Making their way to the bed as well because we needed to see if all five of us could comfortably hang out on a queen size bed (we can). There were a couple baths, washed hair, and then I got to brush some hair while is seemed like once again time stood still. A little, rather insignificant way to serve the little girls (brushing their hair), while Emma laid against me, just turned into one of "those moments" in which all felt so right in my heart and the world. So much love, peace and joy. So much Jesus in the presence of it all.

Life is definitely in these little moments, when we're least prepared. My prayer is seriously to be aware and obedient to these opportunities to love everyone around me (do the cats count?) in these moments.