Ok, so I like to do this blogging stuff early in the morning, but that just didn’t work out for me today, so I want to make sure I do it. Afterall, Brian Reid, Rebel Dad himself, said you have to be consistent and I don’t want to fall off the wagon already.
This weekend was much better than I had expected. I ended up going with my 13 year old daughter on a church retreat. We left Friday night and were there most of Saturday. At the convention I had committed to my Omaha SAHD buddies that I would attend a DNO meeting that night. They scheduled it around me, so I couldn’t cancel on them. So, we told the youth director at our church, that she wouldn’t be going. Then two days later, my wife’s other plans didn’t work out, so she was going to go with her, but they would have to be late because of her job obligations. My daughter was fine with that, so I emailed the director and said we were now in.
I thought things were set, and I was happy how thing were turning out. I had Friday night free and my daughter and wife would get some alone time. Then I found out, through my email list, that the DNO wasn’t going to be well attended at all and it looked like about 3 to 5 guys were going to be available. Priorities, priorities, priorities…drinks with a couple guys or quality time with my daughter. I chose my daughter. I am so glad that I did!
I emailed the director again and said plans had changed for the third and last time. I was going to take Kedzie! This freed up my wife for another work obligation and allowed the two of us to go with the group on time to the retreat.
Friday night was pretty laid back with most of the kids figuring out the layout of the land and the bunkhouses. The parents too were just getting aquatinted and adjusted to the routine for the next 18 hours. We had some team building, some Bible time, a campfire and then snack time before bed. The cabin we were in fell asleep early, much early than most, from what I was told, so I got a good night sleep…as well as one can sleep in a bed that is too short for you. I never knew what tomorrow would have in store for me.
I don’t wake up well in the morning and it usually takes me awhile to want to talk or socialize with anyone. That was again the case Saturday morning. The boys in my bunkhouse were up early. In fact, one had finished off a Dr. Pepper before 7:30 in the morning. After a hot shower and a change of clothes I was ready for the day. Headed down for breakfast and looked forward to hearing about my daughter’s night.
She came in shortly after I had and filled me in on the late night adventures in her cabin. She fell asleep early, but the other girls stayed up way to late to be up already. Once all the kids and adult leaders had entered the room, the director stood up and asked for a volunteer to lead the morning prayer. I thought I could do it, but wanted to see if one of the kids would do it. The director pointed behind me to the kids table to one of the kids who had volunteered. I bowed my head to listen intently to the prayer. I thought it would be one of the simple but appropriate prayers we heard last night for dinner, but it wasn’t any thing like that.
All of a sudden my daughter started praying! She started thanking God for the day, for the young disciples that were there, for the learning that all of us will experience, that how we all want to be closer to God, that the leaders will help to teach them how to be better Christians. I tried to focus on everything she said, but it got hard, because I was crying. Not just little tears, but big, wet, joyful tears. My daughter, a 13 year old, was praying in front of a bunch of strangers. She stood there proud, confident and with conviction and delivered those words for all to hear. I didn’t care what else happened that day, my life was better because I had attended this retreat with her!
God worked in her and in all the plans of that weekend to make it possible for me to share in that moment with her. I don’t think she even knows how that moved me. I am going to tell her and thank her for her words. I learned how to be a better Christian that weekend and it wasn’t from listening to a pastor or some biblical scholar. I learned from my daughter. Praise God.