Dad, this Advent Keep It Simple


If you know me, you know I am a man of extremes. High highs and low lows are more common to me than I would like to admit.

If I’m going to run, it has to be a marathon. If I’m going to watch what I eat, it will take on the form of intermittent fasting. If I’m to be in the Word in the morning, the alarm is set to 5am. My aspirations are always high and as a result so is my failure rate. 

To date I have no white and black 27 mile sticker on the bumper of my van, nor have I lost the ten pounds that I have put on over the last decade. But I have been learning one thing in the last eight years of being a dad. Sometimes it’s better to keep it simple. 

Over the last few years I have tried to stay committed to the seemingly small things. A couple minutes of Bible reading with my girls at the breakfast table before we get going for the day.  A quick prayer for them and our day's events. One verse of a song we sing at church (usually to YouTube). And out the door we go. Simple.

I’ve also learned to give myself margin and grace. Margin means not all days are the same and things come up. Not every day our morning routine will be possible. So I shoot for 4 mornings a week (usually with Thursday being off). Simple.

Grace means that I receive undeserved favor and kindness from God when I fail in my responsibility as a father, so I should not let my failings cripple me. I bring them to him, receive grace, and get back to it. Simple.

But simple with God can lead to steady. And steady is often what faithfulness looks like.

So this Advent our family is using eight devotionals in the month of December that Family Ministry has prepared for our church. We are reading about eight characters of Christmas. We are coloring and making eight ornaments to hang on our tree. I’m asking my girls, “What do you think it felt like to be Mary, Joseph, the shepherds?” We finish by singing a verse of Christmas carol (to YouTube). We thank God for the birth of Jesus. Simple.

Join us with your family in celebrating the birth of Jesus this Advent. Advent packets are available online or a printed version is available on Sundays at the meadow check in/check out station.

Merry Christmas!