Thursday, August 20, 2009

For love

I love my kids. I adore them. They are my pride, my joy, my honor and my life.

Despite these clear feelings, I still struggle with letting them clearly know that I feel that way about them. Couple that with times I'm tired, cranky or angry and now you have significant communication problems. How can they see through that haze I put in front of them?

I have a very different personality with my daughter Lana. On the most basic level I'm a extreme extrovert compared to her. She thinks about things way more than I do - and internalizes more than I think I ever did at her age.

Ive worried more than once that I fail to communicate my love to her - that she wont come through her childhood with memories of a Dad who loved her. And Ive mentioned before the beliefs I have on the ways that can effect a child on their belief and acceptance of God.

But an opportunity arose recently for me to score, I believe, big time. While savagely (and with great prejudice I may add) consuming a 12 pack of hot wings, I suddenly heard my darling Lana crying. As I turned round wiping the hot sauce from my mouth, I she started telling my how sad it was that I was eating animals, that they we special to God too. (Lana is a vegetarian through personal conviction over this subject)

And that's when I said it.

"Lana is it really that important to you? If it is, then I will stop eating meat, because YOUR feelings are more important to me than MY food."

Ok that's not as inspirational as I would like it to be, maybe even a bit cheesy. Those of you who know me though, will appreciate the magnatude of my food related decision.

But in truth, isn't that what its all about? Isn't our sacrificial love the most demonstrative?

So I might still mess up in my communication with my kids, but at least now, my prayer is when Lana is older, a teenager, an adult - whenever she is feeling a low sense of worth; she will have at least one thing she will recall; that to her daddy - her thoughts, her feelings, her very personality - they are SO important to me.


  1. We are so thrilled you've come to the dark mean gone veggie too. I know it means the world to Lana. She's told me she's so happy you're saving the animals too. You're such a good Daddy. And yes, I believe the most effective way we can teach our kids to love, sacrificially, is by modelling it. And there you are. I love you.

  2. What an amazing story! It's too bad as parents we find ourselves trying hard to do what we see fit and instill our values into our kids that sometimes we miss what means most to THEM. When opportunities such as this come up, it is monumental in the eyes of a child. The times I felt most love was moments of great grace. When I crashed my parents car and they simply forgave me for it and then bought me a car I didn't deserve, I felt a powerful sense of how much they truly loved me. I try to do the same thing on occasion, pick an opportunity to show grace and then show it. It is baffling to most people and life changing. It touches my heart the sacrifice you were willing to make for your daughter. I hope my husband and I can someday become as selfless.

  3. As a former English teacher, the first thing I noticed was, "Wow, he's spelling in American"...

    : )

    I haven't crossed over to the dark side of spelling in British yet, never will...for the simple reason that I love the reason why the Americans spell the way they do: to disassociate themselves from the English! It was a deliberate act by a great Christian man, Noah Webster...

    Now, in regard to the dietary issue...not to be a spoilsport of sorts or to put a dampener on things, but I don't know if I'd have gone down the route you're going. Though not God's intended plan, He has allowed the eating of meat, and that's where I would have placed my focus.

    What will she do when she meets other people who eat meat? Or when she realizes that your shoes are made of leather? Or that medicines are tested on animals?

    For me, it's not simply a dietary issue. There's just too many obstacles down the road. Myself, I would have focused on the ethical treatment of animals, the stewardship that God has entrusted to us...but that's me, and you know yourself and your kids best...

    Kirstie turns 12 today...they're all in high school now..oi vey!

    God bless,

    alex julie stewart alasdair kirstie

  4. Rene, I have tears. This is beautiful. I already read Niecey's version of this experience some time back, but it's so awesome to hear yours.

    Our children do notice these things--they notice when we recognize their feelings and they especially notice when we pledge to make a change on behalf of their feelings. My 5-year-old's (daughter) latest request to me is less time (for me) on the computer. She hungers for more of my attention, more of my time, more of her mommy. And I'm about to make a huge leap after she confided her deep feelings about this to me. My leap starts September 1st and I am looking forward to blogging about it.


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