Tuesday, April 06, 2010

It starts today...

Memories built with family are seldom forgotten.

I have many incredible memories that were built with my son. Over the past four and a half years, I have shared many of them.

Some of them stand out as funny... as was the time BJ wanted to cut down a tree on the Christian camp I managed. His stamina was not equal to his desire. As he got tired, he'd bounce to another tree that looked less intimidating. Still, it would be too much for him, and he'd move on to a tree of lesser girth. Ultimately, he left his mark on many trees in one area. If he'd used all of his energy on the first one, he would have been successful. Instead, he spread the scarring around... much like many of us do, when our eyes are on the world instead of Him.

A month before I took that same job, we camped together in the early spring. We hiked the 400 plus acres and saw much wildlife. He chose the steepest wooded banks to try to descend. He'd let go in a full out sprint down a steep decline, just to see if he could stay upright. Cuts and bruises were bonus. He laughed hysterically as he tore down the Terra firma.

During that trip, we captured baby fox kits in our binoculars, and then snuck up on them, until we were just a few yards away. They were as playful as kittens, and hilarious to watch. We took many pictures... none turned out. The photo stream in my head is sufficient.

I hear others talk about the things they do with their sons. Things I always thought I would have time to do... later. Things I really wanted to do, but just didn't think them urgent.

I see parents lose patience with their children and am reminded of how much time and energy I wasted on things that were unimportant. Times I got bent out of shape over issues that didn't matter. Times I took my frustrations out on him for things that were not his fault.

I suppose there will always be regrets. There are always ways to improve, personally. I have many.

Still, taking time as a parent to instill in my children, the love my parents poured into me, has been blessed of the Lord. What is done for Christ, is never in vain... even when the results are not identifiable.

So many times I look for the tangible, when the blessing is found in the obedience.

If my children saw a congruency in what I said I believed, what I taught them, and the way I lived, then they were willing to forgive an abundance of my shortcomings.

I am thankful for that!

Today, turkey season opens. One of my friends back in Indiana was telling me how he is taking both his wife and youngest daughter turkey hunting soon. I love the sound of that!

So much of the experience is not about what you do or don't shoot, but about the fellowship you have while out. I would love to be along to watch them interact.

I have had a couple of young men promise to take me duck hunting later this year. I never thought I'd want to do that. Now I can't wait. I enjoy developing those relationships.

I had the amazing deer hunting experience with my friend Steve. I shared it, previously. We returned to his property recently to do some work. I loved that day! I hope to be able to help him again. There is something about working the land, that calms a mans heart.

I am hoping to find someone to turkey hunt with. Being out in His creation is something that moves me in a way few things do. I feel like I learn so much about who He is and how vast His provision, when I see the impact of His hands.

I have great memories from when Deanna's Grandaddy took me hunting. Someone who takes the time to do that, impacts your life. I hope one day, to give back in a similar way.

These are things I wish I had done with my son. I took him antler shed hunting once. He got bored pretty quickly. Who knows, if I took him hunting, I may not be reflecting on positive memories.

I am thankful for the ones I did have with him. They are many. At times, I do wish they were many more.

If you are a parent, cherish the time you have with your children. Build memories. You won't forget them and neither will they.

I look forward to the fellowship gained with new friends as new opportunities arise. Building new memories, and giving thanks for all He has provided is becoming more of a way of life, for me.

I'm thankful for Whitney's husband Jared, who taught me to shoot a bow. I am thankful for the joy expressed by Lauren's man, Weston, who is anxious to shoot my bow, with me. These are blessings. These are relationships. This is fellowship.

Thank you Jesus.



At 6:05 PM, Blogger Marti Pieper said...

I am not a hunter nor the daughter of a hunter.But I appreciate the heart of the father and the love for the land expressed here.

Your son loved the outdoors because you loved the outdoors and shared it freely with him. More importantly, he loved Jesus because you and Deanna were passionate about Jesus and shared that passion freely, relentlessly.

I don't know any perfect parents. But I do know parents who follow after Him. You and your bride belong to that group.

Best of success on the relationships, on the hunting--and more in your pursuit of the Creator of all.

with tender love
and prayers in pink,

At 12:05 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I would just like to say that you are very strong. I just read "I Would Die for You". I haven't even met your family and I cried my eyes out. Afshin Ziafat told me about your son and your story at Super Summer this year. I don't think I could be as strong as you. This summer, I was called into the mission field. Peru, to be exact. And as I was reading, I was called to be a martyr. I only hope to be half as fearless as BJ. Thank you for being an inspiration. God bless.


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