#013: Quick [podcast]

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“Deep calls unto deep…” the Scriptures suggest (Psalm 42:7).

There is in every moment of every day an accessible onramp to the narrow road that leads to Life.

Often the onramp is hidden in the ache and longing to ever more wholly experience life as a son.  And when we pause and let this ache rise, we begin to sense the voice of our Father: His deepest provision tirelessly, freely, joyfully calling unto our deepest need.

In Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton suggests it this way:

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

Could it be that our Father is “younger than we”?

Could it be that, eternally unwearied, He turns toward you and me, setting his gaze exultantly upon our hearts as sons, and offers us again and again a way to real and lasting life?

First offered at the Become Good Soil Intensive, this is perhaps the most important message I have had entrusted to my care.

With joy, hope, and deep anticipation, I invite you to savor it and to risk opening your masculine heart to the more the Father is making available to you today.


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What Story Do You Want?

Packing Out of  Lonesome Dove

I don’t know when it all went sideways.

All I could see in my rifle scope was a continuous blur of brown fur. The charged voice of the older man driving the truck rang out, “Shoot your gun! Shoot your gun!”

I don’t even remember pulling the trigger; what comes next in my memory is a fiery explosion—the muzzle blast from my .30-06 Ruger rifle.

“You cannot ever call a bullet back once it has been fired.” In the first moment after the shot, these blistering words from my hunter education teacher flared red-hot within me.

It was the first armed big-game hunt of my life. For a few years prior, I had tagged along with some older men on their hunts, bringing neither weapon nor hunting license, just a willingness to help and an eagerness to learn a world that both intrigued and intimidated me. Now I had both hunting license and weapon and was eager to be initiated as a hunter and—even more—as a man. I didn’t grow up with camo or guns, chaps or spurs. Collared shirts and golf clubs were the norm in my suburban life.  This was all frontier.

In the murky predawn haze of opening day of Colorado’s rifle season, I found myself in the front seat of an old truck, shouldering a rifle, bouncing along over the glow of headlights on an old, two-track forest service road. As the sun broke over the ridge, we rounded a corner into a meadow, suddenly catching a herd of thirty-plus elk bursting from the dark and shadowed forest to our west and dashing madly in front of our truck.

I had no idea what to do.

Any experienced hunter would know you always keep your scope on the lowest power setting to maximize your field of view until you are in a specific hunting situation that calls for more zoom; I didn’t have a clue. I had set my scope at full magnification, figuring I could use all the help I could get.

The urgent insisting of the older man driving the truck called me out of my frozen stupor: “Get out of the truck. Use the window as a rest. Shoot your gun! Shoot your gun!” As the elk careened across the road, all I could see was a frenetic kaleidoscope of early dawn chaos.

Then came that muzzle blast as I fired indiscriminately at the streak of living fur. The stampede descended into dark timber to our east, and it quickly became ominously quiet. I was left momentarily alone in the world with only my conscience and the smell of gunpowder. We began tracking through thick cover, finding trace blood spots less and less frequently. Minutes turned to hours, and soon we came to the end of a diminishing blood trail with no elk to be found.

I felt shame, humiliation, and rage—all turned inward. What I would have given to call that bullet back. It remains one of the great regrets of my life. Yet that erratically fired bullet blazed a path through my conscience and inflicted a wound of desire that eventually found its salve. Looking back, it was that day I was baptized as a bowhunter and given five priceless words from God that have shaped every hunting decision I have made since:

What story do you want?

That crisp October morning taught me that I didn’t want stories clotted with compromised ethics and marginal situations. More than hunting an animal, I longed to hunt for a story that honored fair chase, intimacy with animals and habitat, and a mode of hunting that esteemed ethics, ecosystem, camaraderie, mastery honed over time, and, above all else, beauty.

From that day forward, I sought out, almost ravenously, a better story in the wilderness. Over the years, through trial and error, I aligned myself with men I found trustworthy to father me more into the desire deep within. Men who are “no compromise” when it comes to the ethics of fair chase. Men who are far less interested in a trophy on the wall or even meat in the freezer than they are an opportunity to adventure, grow, and be swept up into a bigger, better story.

As E. Donnall Thomas suggests in Longbows in the Far North,

The central step in becoming a bowhunter is the conscious decision to limit one’s means of take in the field. Once this decision is made, it is clear that most hunts will end without anything being taken in the conventional sense.

It’s been said that archery hunting is to rifle hunting as fly fishing is to bait fishing—far more art than science, a commitment to a metric that measures the success of a hunt supremely upon the quality of the story in the field. Most of the stories are about close encounters and “the one that got away.” I hunted diligently with my bow for nearly a decade before I successfully arrowed my first bull elk. But where I have lacked in excessive trophies on a wall, I have in glorious abundance stories of intimate encounters with wild animals in their place, on their terms.

I’ve heard the sound of a panting bull elk in the rut and smelled the pungent scent lingering on their fresh beds in north-facing dark-timbered slopes. I know what it is to have spent all my physical strength and yet feel my soul utterly full. I’ve been left many a time feeling, in the best sense, small in the presence of something great—some vastness in this creation brimming with life that reaches into time far more ancient than my birth and with far more length into the future than my passing.

It was over a decade after that first botched shot at an elk that I found myself deep in the remote wilderness of the Yukon with my bow at full draw, sixteen yards from a magnificent bull moose. With my sight-pin placed tightly on his vitals, it was clear that a branch was in the way, compromising the shooting lane. If the branch deflected the arrow even slightly, what would have been a lethal shot could result instead in mere injury. It’s a shot I am no longer willing to take.

As I remained at full draw, the moose thundered deep into the forest, taking with him meat and trophy and all that could have been. I was left in the quiet with a story I will never forget. A story that has been told around a few campfires, a story that will be told around many more. There is no trophy on the wall or meat in the freezer from that giant bull moose. But through that experience and choice for a better story, a different kind of man is being formed inside of me. Teddy Roosevelt was right: It is not only the thrill of victory but also the agony of defeat that truly makes us men.

And that is a trophy for a lifetime.


Endnotes:

Interested in checking out the world of bow hunting? Here’s a handful of ways to go deeper:

  • Read Wild and Free – A Conservation Ethic
  • Google “Archery Range” and “Archery Store” in your area. You’ll be surprise what you find. Talk to the men you meet there and with humility and courage, ask a lot of questions.  My journey into hunting began with walking into the local archery shop and saying, “I know nothing about hunting, but I’m willing to work really hard and I’m a good student.”  The pro turned to me and said, “It starts with this: Keep the wind on your face, the sun on the back, and every time you are in the wilderness, be sure you are having fun.”  That counsel has proven true and rich through the test of time and it has carried me over countless mountain ranges and into nearly two decades of adventure in the field.
  • Subscribe for a year to Eastman’s Bowhunting Journal. One of the best ways to learn is to listen to the stories of other men.
  • Pick up a copy of Longbows in the Far North and become a student of E. Donnall Thomas, Jr.
  • Watch this video featuring a bow hunting story to be proud of.
  • Most importantly, get out. Pick a piece of country that’s accessible to you and is home to some big game animal like deer or elk. Take a day or more, and get in the field. Act like a hunter and not a hiker. Be outside for a sunrise and a sunset. Borrow binoculars from someone. Do everything you can, without a weapon in hand, to find an animal and set up a spot, stalk, and ambush. You will never be the same.
  • Explore some of my top recommendations of reads for the student of chase:

#012: Your New Name [podcast]

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C.S. Lewis, in The Problem of Pain, once said this,

What can be more a man’s own than this new name which even in eternity remains a secret between God and him? And what shall we take this secrecy to mean? Surely, that each of the redeemed shall forever know and praise some one aspect of the Divine beauty better than any other creature can.

Every time we encounter the Living God in a deeper way, we are given another glimpse into the reality of who we are uniquely to Him and who He is uniquely to us. For each of us is invited to call upon Him personally as the The One Who Names Me.

George MacDonald, in An Anthology, says it this way,

The giving of the white stone with the new name is the communication of what God thinks about the man to the man… (Rev. 2:17) The true name is one which expresses the character, the nature, the meaning of the person who  bears it. It is  the man’s own symbol—his soul’s picture, in a word—the sign which belongs to him and to no one else. Who can give a man this, his own  name? God alone.

This podcast is drawn from a session on The New Name that I offered at a recent Wild at Heart Boot Camp.  I pray that it will strengthen you in your inner man as you come to know and believe more deeply who you truly are to God.

Click here to find more resources associated with this teaching…

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Quick

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Quick.

There may be other words in the Scriptures that are more significant to receive.  But in twenty years of searching, I haven’t found them.

This word found me in a moment when I was ragged and pining for death.

It would’ve been shame enough if it was my own bank account I had squandered on follies I don’t even remember.  But I blew the whole thing, everything coming to me from my father’s estate, half of everything he’d inherited himself and worked a lifetime to multiply.

I cashed it in when I had my chance, setting out to make life work on my own terms,  leaving my father behind to be the laughingstock of our community.

And all I had to show for it was a tattoo, an empty stomach, and a shattered heart.

It was early morning on the day everything changed.

The crisp frost of autumn glistened on the wooden posts in the still morning air.  My body ached with cold from head to toe under the threadbare wool tunic I had used again for a blanket. I lifted my head from the dung-filled thatch that had become my bed and looked at the pigs surrounding me, rooting aimlessly without care or concern through yesterday’s scraps.

“What have I done?”  I thought.

But it went deeper.

“Who have I become?”

Shame, grief, and sorrow washed over me as my consciousness slowly awakened with the breaking of a new day. The stench of death enveloped me even as a stain of light began to spread across the horizon.

I wanted to die: it was my only way out of this pain.

The words trickled into my mind like the seep from the broken well.

Tired.

Alone.

Broken.

Empty.

Ashamed.

In need.

Suddenly the dawn broke free and a spill of fresh light caused the frost on the heaps of dung to shimmer in a way that could only be described as beautiful. I pressed my hands into the cold earth and shimmied over to the splintered wall of the sty. I rubbed my fingers together, blowing warm breath over cracked skin.

My thoughts drifted to my father’s hired hands; it had been a long time since I had thought of them or anything from my former life.

In the cold of the morning I thought of their warm bunkhouse.

In the stench of the pen I thought of the meals they would enjoy today.  So different from sifting for a shred of nourishment through these scraps that I could wrestle from insistent snouts.

There was a flickering of  light within me that I hadn’t felt in years. Something in my heart began to rise.

“Father’s hired hands live better than I.  What if I go back?  What if I plead for mercy?  I’ll ask if I could become a servant, a slave even. At least I’d be warm. It’s my only hope.”

While the walk through rugged country was a full day’s journey, I can recall little from those hours.  I had deadened most of my senses, and my heart had learned to want for little and look for even less.  But what I do remember until this very day was the glow of light behind him when I crested that rise.

And his silhouette.

The light from the cabin was so warm, so inviting. And the silhouette… It was unmistakable. I knew the stature of those broad shoulders anywhere.  It was him.

What would I say?  It had been years since I left with my half of everything.  Many moons since I turned my back on him and this story.

It all happened so fast.

What I remember first is that one word. It reached into my heart like a fiery coal.  It pierced my deepest places. I’ve never been the same since.

QUICK!

It echoed through the box canyon that had sheltered my family for generations.  The reverberation against the cliff walls caused it to sink deeper and deeper into my soul.  He shouted back over his shoulder as he ran, calling for the fattened calf to be slaughtered and a feast to be prepared.

The next moments were a blur.  I hadn’t seen my dad run for nearly two decades.  He was well advanced in years and much of his strength had long since left him.  Our land is unforgiving; its harshness has a way of taking the best strength from a man. And grief as well had drained his vigor: the grief of a son wishing he were dead.

But he ran.  With wild abandon.  His sandaled feet flailed. His wild hair was longer than I remembered. The glow from behind him set it alight like a shimmering mane.  His robe sailed on wind.

He was strong, alive, and running.

Right, at, me…

I remember those arms, that smell, those tears.

And more than anything…his laughter.

All my words left me.  My confusion was replaced with something I can only call home.

He pulled me up as if I also were young again.  Still to this day I can’t explain how. But He did… like a man in the full strength of his youth, neither tired nor weary.

He held me and laughed.

The laughter and the tears washed me clean in a way I had never known possible.

QUICK!

He called back to the cabin.

“Find my tambourine!  Prepare a feast!  My son has come home!”

It was the way he said “son” that finally broke open a vault of fear and shame at the core of my being.

It had been years since someone called me son.

And never before had I felt the safety and the wealth laden in this name, in my name.

“I am still a son?”  I never imagined that possibility.

Not after what I had done.

Where I’d gone.

Who I’d become.

But the word “quick” still hung on the canyon walls, shattering every possible doubt.

Words began tumbling out of my mouth.  I’m embarrassed to think of them now.  Looking back, they were the last vestiges of shame bumbling out as desperation.  I was asking him if he’d take me back as his servant.  After what I’d done and who I’d become, even to ask for this mercy felt preposterous.

I watched his face.  I won’t ever forget those eyes.

Piercing blue. They were endless oceans. Bottomless seas.  Brilliant, safe.  They were the answer to the questions so deep inside me I didn’t even know to ask.

His words were few.  His laughter and tears are what I remember…

He set me down and then hastily stooped to the red, dry earth. I thought he was finally showing the reality of his years and collapsing from exertion.  And then I realized that he was taking off his sandals. Before I could understand, he was putting them on my tired and bloody feet.

Bewilderment and awe seized me.

Before my mind could make sense of it all, I felt his strong and weathered hands holding mine.  I felt warm metal as he slid his signet ring on my finger.  His smell was intoxicating as he put his robe on my shoulders.

His laughter and tears haunt me to this day.

Haunt me every day.

Never before and never since have I received and witnessed something so raw and so real.

He yelled with the strength of an exultant warrior and the joy of a heart made whole again.  I don’t know if it was the glow of the countless stars on that moonlit night or his words that seemed to light up the box canyon in way that I hadn’t ever seen before or since in our land:

“My son was lost!

And he is found!

My son was dead!

He’s alive!

He’s alive!

He’s alive!”

That was years ago.  But my heart remembers like it was yesterday. And there isn’t a sunrise that I don’t find myself stretching my memory back to that canyon to watch my dad run toward me again.

Running wild, young, and free.

I was dead.  And I came back to life that day.  In those arms and through those tears.

I became my father’s son.

I came home.

And everything changed.

Everything.


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Endnotes:

If God is pursuing you as Father through this, I would encourage you to get this song, Good Good Father.  Listen to it on repeat several times, and receive.  Let it soak in. Feel the Father coming for you. Receive His love in deeper places than you ever have before.

Lins, thank you for the stunning photo from your farm you graciously shared with me for this blog which captures the heart of the Father.  Chesterton was right, every sunrise does speak of His resurrection.  Thank you for believing and bringing this sunrise to us…

#011: Live in the Day and Measure in the Decade [podcast]

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LiveInTheDay-01

It is rare that we pause and pull back far enough from our daily life to observe and wonder about the who we have and have not yet become.  At Ransomed Heart we produce a weekly podcast, and Craig and Allen recently invited me into the studio to reflect on how we’ve each changed over the last decade.  It was the first of a series of rich conversations that led us into some core ideas, hopes, and desires that have come to shape us as we pursue lives ever more true and ever more deeply lived in God and His Kingdom.

We wanted to make that episode of the Ransomed Heart podcast available to you.

We strongly encourage you to check out the Ransomed Heart Podcast. You can find that and more through the Ransomed Heart App.

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The Question Every Daughter Is Asking

10 Abigail

The house smelled perilously like the makeup counter at the mall.  A terrific blend of scent that elicited in my nervous system a universal alarm:

DANGER!  DO NOT ENTER.

The Frozen soundtrack resounded at decibels far beyond my comfort level. And in our living room were flowers, candles, and a stack of the biggest, fluffiest, whitest towels you’ve ever seen outside of a five-star resort.

I was in over my head.  Way over my head.

It all started years ago when my little daughter, Abigail, had begun receiving regular foot scrubs from her very gracious Grammy on our summer visits back East.  Abigail would lie back like royalty as Grammy morphed into a Mother Teresa/beauty salon professional amalgam, blessing Abs’ feet with scrubs, soaks, creams, and all sorts of feminine wonder from which I kept a safe distance.

Back at home in Colorado later that summer, tucked safely in the ruggedness of the mountains, the visions of those foot scrubs evaporated like a perfume sample in the magazine at the dentist’s office.

But then, during a quiet pause in our home on a Sunday morning, Abigail sprang the question. Turning to me with her big, ocean-blue eyes, she said, “Daddy, will you give me a foot scrub like Grammy does?”

She might as well have been messaging in Braille—it did not compute.  I was caught flat-footed and speechless.

In the split second before I could calculate a self-protective reaction, I sensed the Holy Spirit whispering,

Go all in.”

So, with that, I simply said, “You bet, baby.”

Little did I know what my “yes” would become over four years of wading into these waters.

One foot scrub turned into many. And from many came a lifestyle of relating to this little feminine creature entrusted to my care. Pedicures gave way to mani-pedis, which then bloomed into an unlikely apprenticeship in the ways of boutique nail salons.

Full disclosure: I actually created a Pinterest account at the coaching of some womenfolk so I could access better images for painting custom roses on Abigail’s five-year-old nails.  But it didn’t stop there.  Weeks turned into months, which turned into years.  And I now find myself, with alarming regularity, studying YouTube videos of middle school girls demonstrating the ins and outs of hair braiding technique and design.  The Flopsy, the Waterfall Twist…  Fellas, let’s just say it is far more art than science.  And I’m far more comfortable with a knife than a comb.

7 Abigail

We were nearing Abigail’s seventh birthday when she asked if I would host a “salon party” for her and her best friend.  Again, red alert rushed through my masculine soul.  You know the sound of the infamous submarine warning blast…. it screamed in my head, “Ah-OOO-ga, ah-OOO-ga, dive, dive, dive!”

And again, in that holy pause—some micro space where I’m learning to let Jesus transform a reaction into a response—I heard Him say, “Go all in.  We can do this.”

So, while my flesh was screaming “Dive,” somehow out of my mouth came these supernatural words: “I would love to, Abs. What a great idea!”

And so it began—dreaming, wondering, even naming: The Daffodil Salon. 

We found an old frame for the sign Abigail and I created together. And let’s face it, if you are going pro, you might as well have the right tools…and they aren’t cheap.  So cash from the hunting fund went to purchase a set of nail brushes that would make the Pinterest folks redder than their polish with envy.  (Before long I’ll need a holster for all these weapons.)

Daffodil Salon

The front room of our little suburgatory home was transformed into a place of beauty.   And thanks to a last minute Mayday text to a father of three girls, I acquired the most essential ingredient: TIARAS.  I mean, how could I forget?

A table for two was set, abounding with feminine delights.  The bathtub was overflowing (literally—no one told me how little soap you need for a bubble bath!) with bubbly bliss, flutes of sparkling white grape juice at the ready, and candlelight all around.  It was…glorious.

Abigial

And late that evening, as I tucked her into bed, these were the words of my baby girl:

“Daddy, this is the best birthday ever.”

What more could a father’s heart ask for and receive?

Truth be told, I can’t imagine life without diving into the world of the feminine heart of my Abigail.  I cherish touching the feet of my little princess, speaking the supernatural blessings of the Kingdom of God into her body and her soul, receiving the privilege of pouring out physical affection on her.  I have found few things that matter more.

And here’s why.

Because my daughter has a question.

Often I miss it, my sight obscured by layers of distraction, routine, and busyness; other times it is camouflaged in her and only expressed in nuanced body language or the spilling out of pent-up emotion caused in part by my missing her heart. But still it is there. A question—questions—she is asking most waking moments of every day.

Am I worth my Daddy’s attention? What is my Daddy like?  What is his heart toward me? Who am I to him? Is there something in me worth pursuing, knowing, exploring? Is there something in me worth drawing near to? Is there something in me worth spending his time and strength to be near and known and enjoyed?

And it is my holy assignment to answer these questions in a way the affirms her worth today and one day propels her on to a mature and expansive understanding of her True Father’s heart for her.

Yes.

Yes.

A thousand times, Yes.

The day will come sooner than I want when she will grow into needs that extend far beyond me.  Not in the the sense that she won’t still need an earthly dad; rather in a deeper Kingdom reality she’ll need much, much more.

The greatest gift I can give her today is to model what the Father is like and then give her access to Him to be everything He promises to be.

All of us have learned the Father wrong. In some cases, as George MacDonald points out, “it would have been better not to have known Him, than to have learned Him wrong.”  You don’t have to look far to see that in our world.

But as we ourselves seek to unlearn where we have learned Father wrong and instead learn Him as He truly is, as we receive increasing revelation of Sonship, becoming in experience the sons of God that we in fact already are, we have the opportunity to help our children learn Him more and more as He truly is.

I guess that’s why I dusted off a suit and a neck snake I’d barely worn since the corporate days and found myself shaking it to Taylor Swift and flapping my wings in the chicken dance at the Daddy-Daughter Dance last Friday.

I only get one chance at this pony ride. Her deeper-than-words-perception of what the Father is like is forming every day, primarily through how Cherie and I choose to relate with her.

More than anything else in this world, this is what I want her to know through my actions:

“Abigail, your Daddy’s heart is made full by your beauty. You are not too much. And you are more than enough. I love who you are as a girl.  I love who you will one day become as a woman.  You are unquestionably worth pursuing.  You are worth it for me to enter into your world. You are worth all the growing and stretching that requires in me. You are the delight of my heart, and you have utterly captured me in every way. You are the treasure of my life and you have my ‘Yes.’”

The storms will come, oh, how we know, and one day she will need a Daddy far greater, far stronger than I, a Daddy who is funnier, kinder, more generous, more courageous.

And on that day, my hope and prayer is that she will know in her whole person something true about His heart because of what she has learned of Him through me.

I feel so much like what I imagine Paul must’ve felt as he surveyed the gap between who he was and who he longed to be. I confess I am the chief among dads who have fallen short.  Tears well up as I ponder how many times I’ve met her heart with shame in an effort to control behavior, with blame as a projection of my own pain, with silence in reaction to feeling overwhelmed, with paralysis as a response to the dread of inadequacy, and with stress as the fruit of my living as an orphan.

Much of the time I get it wrong.

Parenting is all frontier. As Dan Allender says, the inevitable truth is that our children raise us as parents.

So I’m clinging to a verse that John once confessed is the only resting place in parenting:

Love covers a multitude of sins.

But today is a new day, and my Father is with me: I am setting my heart to live increasingly conscious of how I am answering her question.

As one mentor and sage pointed out, a primary determining factor in sexual promiscuity among teenage girls is the presence or absence of a loving, affectionate father. The heart of a girl cannot go without her question being answered. And if I am not answering that question a thousand times over days, months, and years, she will have little choice but to take that question to other people and other things.

In light of that truth, I am moving toward my Abigail with ever-increasing affection.  My hope is to fill her physical and emotional tanks so full with the real thing that she will be quick to sniff out the impostors that come her way.

Slowly, as I am receiving apprenticeship to Jesus in Kingdom living, allowing Holy Spirit to lead me in His utterly unique way, and being fathered into more and more life as a beloved son, I am becoming the kind of man who can reflect more of the lavish, delighting, strong, boundless, affectionate heart of my Dad to my daughter.

It’s not too late for you and your daughter. Whether she is four or fourteen or forty-four, move toward her. If she is old enough to understand with her heart, ask her forgiveness for ways you haven’t answered her questions about her worth in the ways she deserved. Ask her forgiveness for not more accurately representing the heart of her Daddy in heaven to her. Then ask her if you could come near, if you could spend more time together getting to know her, appreciating, studying, and exploring the depths and facets of her beauty and substance. Ask her if you could give her a foot scrub. Become a student of her heart all over again.

What is my Daddy like?

What is his heart toward me?

What is my worth to him?

Father, I deeply want to answer those questions for my daughter and for all my kids in a way that fosters experiential knowing of Your goodness, Your strength, Your kindness, Your pursuit, Your affection, Your intimacy, Your touch, Your care, and their inestimable worth to You.

I confess there are so many unfinished places in me that get in the way.  Places where time and time again I am “so easily entangled.”

Often I find myself bringing to them a man who is so different from the form of Your true heart.

I ask for Your forgiveness, Father, for misrepresenting Your heart.  I ask Your forgiveness for all the places where my own unbelief in who You are and who I am in You has choked out my capacity to receive love and offer it to my kids with delight and strength.

Father, I am asking You to heal my broken heart and set my heart free to love deeply and with wild abandon and delight.

I pause in this moment to remember and call to mind who I truly am in You.

I am Your son.

I am the apple of Your eye.

I am loved. I am safe. I am secure.

You are dedicated to my becoming.

You are at rest, and therefore I can be at rest as well.

Your resources are infinite and limitless, and You have made them ALL available to me today as Your son.

Father, would You grow me in the ways I need to grow so that I might receive Your love more deeply, and from that place, answer the question my kids are asking with the substance of my life in a way that reflects more and more of who You truly are?

Will You dismantle the fear, the “I can’t…”?

Will You tend to the shame, the “I’m not…”?

Will You identify the agreements I’ve made with lies about who You are for me and who You want to be through me?

Shine Your light and show me what those agreements are.

I agree with You.

I agree with who You are, Father.

I agree with what You want to do for me, for my family, and for my kids.

I agree with how You want to do it.

Show me. Heal me. Realign my wandering heart with Your favor and Your provision.

Contend with those who contend against me, Father.

Raise up a full canopy of protection over around all those you’ve entrusted to my care.

Help me see the questions my kids are asking.  And help me, through union with You, to answer unreservedly with love.

Show me how to shower true intimacy, delight, and holy and appropriate touch.  Show me how to bring Your loving tenderness and fierce strength on behalf of my daughter’s body, soul, and spirit.

I choose love.  Show me what that looks like today.

You are the very best teacher and very best Father.  I choose to believe You will guide me ever deeper into love, and You will give me every resource necessary to do it.  You have my “yes” today.

Amen.

9 Abigail

 

Want to dive deeper into pursuing your daughter and understanding her feminine heart? Check out these resources:

Fighting for hearts

rasising girls

Cap Live Image

captivating-book

Free to be me