Parenting 101...Broken walls into Break walls.

Last week I spent a day with God. Several church planters and myself went up north for the express purpose of drawing away from the busyness of life, the deep weeds if you will, and getting away with the Reason for it all, of it all. I had no idea how much I needed that.

On the morning of our day away we drove to the nearby town of Frankfert, MI which is a little town right on the coast of Lake Michigan. Frankfert is a village that is busy with tourism during the prime summer season, but when we were there it was a quiet and quaint location, like the kind you would see in an independent film. I'm not sure why I think that, but it seems like independent flicks are filmed in towns that have these idyllic little settings and simple people that speaks of tranquility and serenity. This was that place.

We were dropped off at the beach and every man went his separate way to find a divine little nook to be with God. Immediately my eyes peered out over the fog laden water and caught a sight that drew me like a moth to the flame. It was the top of a massive lighthouse out on the end of a long breakwall. That was my place.

I made my way to the breakwall and started the quarter mile walk out to the lighthouse. The morning was the stuff of wind, no sound, no clouds. The air was crisp like a fresh picked apple. The water was aqua like it had been treated with greenish-blue food coloring. The waves crashed into the northern side of the breakwall and the harbor on the southern interior was glassy and placid. Beautiful.

As I reached the lighthouse, I noticed a ladder that went up the side of the steel exterior leading to a balcony perched about halfway. I looked for signs of prohibition and found none, so I scaled the iron ladder and climbed into this cement nest filled with cobwebs and bird droppings. I spent a couple minutes cleaning the area with my winter gloves so that I could sit still and peaceful-like atop the fog-covered coastline. I was just above the fog making the sunrise exquisite and the mist mystic like a postcard or something.

As I sat there looking out across the peaceful harbor protected by these breakwall bastions, I was mesmerized by the metaphor right before my very eyes.

Lately I've been thinking about parenting and trying to get my mind around scatterbrain thoughts that having been bouncing around in my head. Some days I feel great about my parental exploits. Other days I feel like rubbish. My kids are moving targets growing faster than I can keep up with. So what worked yesterday has to be tweaked today, keeping me on your toes. There is no rest for the weary, or so it seems. I buckle under the weight of the calling on some days. I feel like the expectations I put on myself and the external pressures I feel with the fleeting days of influence in my girls' lives scares the daylights out of me. I don't always feel equal to the task is what I'm trying to get at.

But as I looked at that breakwall, strong and sturdy, God hit me between the eyes and under my chest cavity. "You are a breakwall, Jason. You take the hits for your girls so they have a safe harbor for their hearts." As I looked to the left of the breakwall, the waves crashed viscously against the immovable cement deadened in their attempts to reach shore and reek havoc. It took their rage, their restlessness, their danger, their damage and absorbed it, creating a peaceful place on the other side to dwell in safety and security.

"I know you feel like a broken wall, Jason, but with me you are a breakwall. I turn broken walls into breakwalls, Jason. That's what I do. That's how I roll." Broken walls into breakwalls. I nodded my head and soaked that word in.

That's the kind of dad I want to be.

Lord, make me a breakwall for my girls so when the day comes for them to be breakwalls for their kids they will have it in them to do so. You are my lighthouse, I am your breakwall.

You are the light, I am the fight.

Lamentations 2:18-19

18 The hearts of the people
cry out to the Lord.
O wall of the Daughter of Zion,
let your tears flow like a river
day and night;
give yourself no relief,
your eyes no rest.

19 Arise, cry out in the night,
as the watches of the night begin;
pour out your heart like water
in the presence of the Lord.
Lift up your hands to him
for the lives of your children,

who faint from hunger
at the head of every street.


Leslie said…
Great thoughts, Jason. I respect how you father your girls and how you love your wife. Thanks for being such a strong man. You're a break wall for a lot of people, my friend.

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