Ashton turned 3 today. One of the things I do each year is write a letter to my kids.
One of the roles I think Dad’s should play is helping to write the story of their kids lives. When kids get older, what will they remember. They might remember trips and things that happen, but what about the small things in their lives? How their personality developed, how they started a relationship with Jesus, what shaped them. So, each year I sit down and write a letter chronicling that year in the life of our child.
It is also helpful for me as I think through the pace of the life of our family. I believe that Katie and I work together on our schedules, but one of the roles of a father is to help make sure the family is pacing well. Are they in a busy season? Slow season? Doing too many activities? This helps me look back over the year as well as I chronicle it for our kids.
Ashton is fun, cuddly, always wanting to wrestle (he asks everyone who comes into our house if they will wrestle with him), will always give someone a hug and kiss.
One thing I love about Ashton because Gavin is the complete opposite and Ashton makes it easier on us is he will eat anything you put in front of him. I remember once being at On the Border and Katie tried the salsa on the table and commented about how spicy it was. No sooner had she said that and Ashton was downing it with chips.
Ashton is at that age where he wants to be around his dad. He wants to sit on my office floor at home while I work on a sermon. Always asking “when I’ll be done with work so we can wrestle or he can ride his bike.” Gavin started riding a 2 wheeler this year, so Ashton is convinced if we just let him, he could ride without training wheels.
One of the things I’ve always loved about Ashton is how he smiles with his whole face. He doesn’t simply smirk or smile, his whole face gets into it. Makes me laugh everytime we ask him to smile for something.
While he is still too young to understand the gospel, we are reminding him of how God is working on his heart when he is obedient, when he apologizes for hurting someone. It is awesome to see how even at 3, the gospel is working on him and God is drawing him to himself.
Ashton’s birthday for me is a special day, not just because we celebrate Ashton, but because we decided on Ashton’s first birthday we would adopt. Today marks 2 years ago that we began the process of adopting from Ethiopia and domestically. While God has not completed our adoption, Ashton’s birthday for me is a reminder of God’s call on our lives and his perfect timing that is found in his sovereignty. Ashton is that reminder for me because he was born in the midst of planting Revolution. Katie and I often look back and wonder what we were thinking for having a child while planting a church. Ashton is a beautiful picture of God’s sovereignty.
Dads, I’d encourage you to tell the story of your kids lives. Even if you haven’t started, start now. I look forward to the day Ashton graduates from high school and I hand him a stack of letters that help to remind of who he is, where he has come from and the grace God has shown to him and us in our lives.