Category Archives: Parenting

The art of parenting is always changing due to culture, ages & a myriad of other factors. We offer tips, stories, a few laughs & more than a few tears of how we’re raising our 6 children in Lakeland, Florida | Polk County

When God Gives You a Puppy: Thoughts on God’s Extravagant Provision

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A Friendship Begins 🙂

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the way Kylie’s scream sounded as it echoed into the house the day our puppy, Max, was hit by that car.  That was the toughest of days for my family.

-Taking Max to the vet for x-rays and the subsequent bad news

-Gripping my little girls hand tight as she said her last goodbyes to her puppy

-Praising God in the storm…outside that animal hospital; resting in the truth that God inhabits the praises of His people and knowing that we SO needed to feel Him right then.

-Walking my little girl back into that same animal hospital 2 days later as she thanked the doctors that tried to save Max’s life

Life is Hard. God is Good.  But sometimes…God just SHOWS OFF!!!!

A few weeks after the tragedy we spent a good amount of time looking for a new dog.  Read the rest of this entry

Fatherhood in 17 Syllables – A Haiku

Small arms raised upward

Strong hands swoop down to love well

Embrace Fatherhood

-Rob Beaudreault

1 Step to Decrease Stress: Purge It!

One Step to Reduce StressThe last thing a stressed person needs is 3 steps so I’m only offering 1 that helped me tremendously last night.

The Problem: Mental Clutter

I have a nasty habit of not writing things down that need to be accomplished.  If thoughts are things (and I believe they are) then stress is nothing but mental clutter.

The Solution: Purge It Now

Last night I walked into the house not as a Father or a Husband, but as a ‘Worrier’.  My wife assessed the situation & immediately entered the room with an empty whiteboard and declared, “Purge it!” I immediately began downloading all of the ‘To-Do’s’ I’d left undone.

Why Purging Works:

The magic of the Purge Technique is that it transfers mental clutter into tomorrow’s to-do list simply by turning thoughts into written words.  Thoughts are substance, but written words provide a tangible skeleton for action to take place.

Now that you have this information you can either dismiss it, apply it or share it.  It helped me; I hope it helps others as well.

My Top 3 Fears and How I Punch Them in the Face

MyTop3FearsWhen I was a kid I always feared rejection.

Whenever I was accepted, I feared losing it.

Fear is a Liar.

When I was a young man, I always feared being unloved.

When I finally had someone’s hand to hold I feared they’d pull it away.

Fear is a Thief.

As a married man with 6 children, I fear I am not being enough for them.

When my bride assures me that I am enough I dismiss her words and dwell instead on what I know I could be if I just tried harder.

Fear says you’re not enough.

I’d love to be able to wrap this post up with a nice, little bow of reconciliation about how I conquered fear once and for all, but that wouldn’t be honest. I think it’s always gonna’ be there in some way.  38 years and counting so far…

I think of this question often: Without fear, what kind of plot would there be in my story anyway? It certainly wouldn’t be a book worth reading!

I’ve found a bit of relief in these words:

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Nelson Mandela

I’m pretty certain that the best I can do today is to decide to be brave once more.

To show courage when fear whispers and take just one more shaky step forward.

And in so doing,  punch Fear full in the face!

Where is fear telling you not to go?

What’s 1 step you can take toward that place today?

Do it!

*This post was inspired by Jon Acuff’s book, START!  If you haven’t read it yet, click the link and get a copy like, NOW!  It is that good!

The Myth of Motivation – Swallow That Frog

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Activity Trumps Motivation Every Time

I used to have this belief that I needed a healthy dose of motivation before I could take action.  This fallacy found it’s roots in my noble pursuit of personal development.

You may have started reading this blog in your own quest to be motivated.  If that’s you, I’m going to challenge you with a task.  I’ll actually be taking on the same challenge for a 24 day challenge I’ve volunteered for inspired by Jon Acuff’s amazing book, START!

In my life I have discovered that motivation is actually overrated.  The truth of the matter is that I am most productive after I begin taking action on a task.  Here’s my theory:

Action CREATES Motivation

Right now, I want you to identify the task you’ve been putting off as of late.  Chances are this activity is not urgent but it is important.  I want you to commit to completing that task TODAY before you even do any of the other, more urgent, things on your to-do list.  This technique of tackling the BIG stuff is called, “Swallowing the Frog.”

Here’s my theory:  The satisfaction you will feel in having finally completed the 1 thing you’ve been putting off for so long will actually inspire you to bust right through the rest of your list.

Motivation is a trap.  It is quite a shiny and lovely thing and certainly has it’s place in the arena of success but, it is not the main ingredient for winning.  Activity trumps motivation each and every time.  So here is my theory:

Action creates Motivation

Motivation without Action = Frustration

 If you’ve been finding yourself increasingly frustrated and less productive then chances are you’ve fallen into the Motivation Trap.

If you have been inspired by the words I have shared with you that is called motivation.

If you allow yourself to take immediate action that is a victory.

It’s your move…go out there and swallow that frog.

Be sure to share your “Frogs” below and let me know how this concept helped you!

The Morning Hour

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There is that secret hour

Before the children stir

My books lay, still, beside me

Their message still a blur

The coffee still too hot to sip

The night’s still hanging on

Before Morning takes it’s rightful place

with the rising of the dawn.

I treasure most this tranquil time

with sleep still in my eyes

As God whispers a soliloquy

Breathed from his lips to mine

“So the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground, breathed life into his lungs, and the man became a living being.”

Genesis 2:7

How to Raise a Son After Divorce- A Tribute to My Father

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Every time my dad shows up we buy a grill or something.

My father is a man of instinct, compassion & action. He is a restless soul who is not content unless he is loving others well.  Like a worn forest path he is rough yet tender & crafted to serve others on their journey.

This is not a step by step list of how to raise boys after divorce.  Rather, it is a listing of the deliberate actions one man took to make sure he was a father for his children despite no longer being a husband to their mother.

-My dad is that guy who will strike up a conversation with the waitress and find out all about her family.

-At Christmas time, he dresses as Santa Claus just so he can walk into places with his long white beard and make kids eyes go wide with wonder.

-He’s the guy who never pretended not to see the homeless guy asking for a handout but, rather, walked towards that man with some cash and a word of encouragement.

-My dad has forever had a joke to share with others and most of the time it’s not entirely clean.  He shares it because it’s funny.  I was 10 yrs. old when he told me a joke about mothballs as we were both miserably wandering around a curtain store.  “I think you’re old enough for that one now.”, he proclaimed.

-My father would always take me trout fishing on opening day of the season.  I think I caught a fish once but when you get up that early & prepare that much it’s seldom about that kind of thing anyway.

-Dad always let me know that he loved my mom and was sure to let the world know even though they separated before I was out of diapers.

– Rumor has it my dad shot a great-horned owl when he was just a teenager.  The local paper did a story on it and a fish & game officer came by a few days later to confiscate it & probably issue him a hefty fine.  “It was a turkey and I think the dogs dragged it off somewhere last night.” was the response the law got that day.  I can tell you that, to this day, there may or may not be a stuffed great-horned owl lamp in my father’s home.

-My dad always lived far away but I remember him at my band concerts & events.  I know he wasn’t at them all but I remember thinking how difficult it must’ve been to get all the way to my school for a 7pm concert on a work day. I always appreciated that.

-My father once bought me a weight set and threw his back out getting it to the Christmas tree.  I was in my 30’s before I heard this story & I found it remarkable that he didn’t make a big deal about his injury because it would’ve taken away from my gift.

-Bob Beaudreault is an amazing father who loves others more than himself.  He is one of the most kind, giving & encouraging men I’ve ever met and it is an honor to be his son. A few years back he randomly apologized to me for not buying me a new mattress when he knew it needed to be replaced.  It was in that moment that I realized a lot about my dad.

My father is a man of instinct, compassion & action. He is a restless soul who is not content unless he is loving others well.  Like a worn forest path he is rough yet tender & crafted to serve others on their journey.

To the Cashier Today Who Promised My Son a Nightmare

The cashier asked me how I was.
I told him I was, livin’ the dream.
He said it’s more like living a nightmare.
(More people respond with that little comment than you could possible imagine.)
I asked my son if he thought life was a nightmare.
He said no.
The cashier interrupted, ‘Just wait til’ you have to work for a living, son!’

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Dear Mr. Cashier,
My heart breaks for you. Honestly, it does. I want you to know that you don’t HAVE to work at a job you hate. Who signed you up for that way of thinking, anyway?
What are you passionate about? Then I urge you to run towards that dream ASAP whether that pursuit be 40 hrs a week or 40 minutes.

Pursuing THAT dream will inject life into every aspect of what makes you YOU!

Here’s what I know: Without vision the people perish; and people who’ve quit dreaming perish at a much faster rate.

As our random meeting this afternoon came to an end you asked me a poignant question: “Paper or Plastic, sir?” You said that because you’ve been trained to offer a customer options.

My profession compels me to offer options to people who may have never even realized they had a choice.

And so, I ask you now because it is my responsibility: “Your dreams or your bosses dreams, sir?”

You DO have a choice.

The Day Daddy Listened: A Blueprint for Fatherhood

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place

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The older I get the more I agree with George Bernard Shaw. I think he was probably married for a while before he came up with that gem right there.

I’m entering 15 years of both marital bliss and parenting and I find myself more and more certain that I’m the problem.

You see, I have a gift with words; and, alas, my gift is also my curse.

This blog isn’t gonna’ be long & drawn out. I simply wanted to get this out there:

I’m going to make an effort to listen more.

To ask questions.

To not presume that I know how the sentences of my wife & kids’ will end even if I’m probably right.

I’ve developed a nasty habit of leaning into my words to win the argument when it was only supposed to only be a conversation.

Being a husband and a daddy is a messy business…it’s also my primary business.

I stopped to listen to my son as he was shuffling off to bed tonight. His eyes met mine & I asked him what he was thinking. He asked me if all of the family could read for 30 minutes. While this may sound sorta silly & inconsequential to you I assure you it was the most sacred 30 minutes of the day.

I didn’t rush him off to bed.
I didn’t put him off with a, “Maybe tomorrow, buddy.”
Our family read; and so it begins.

Here we Grow again!

This video made me LOL. Statistically, more guys think this video is hilarious than women. View accordingly.

Here’s Why I Retired From Teaching: A Year in Review

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If you’re anticipating some negative rant about why I hated teaching then you’ve come to the wrong place. Here’s the truth:

I never intended to leave teaching and I miss those kids a LOT.

Here’s another Truth: This has been the most fulfilling year of my life!

Today is the day I’d be walking into school with my comfy flip-flops and a baseball cap and checking off those final things on my ‘End of Year’ list.  I would arrive a bit late to my empty-ish classroom, wait for my check-out appointment and then head back into my classroom for one last, nostalgic look before heading off into FREEDOM.

For 15 years I’ve been looking forward to this day, but this year I simply call it, Friday.

Most people will never understand why I retired.  It’s easy to dismiss my decision to a selfish desire to chase money or fame or restlessness. Those who never took the time to really know me still think I retired for those reasons.

The truth is that I grew weary of only being able to open the gate towards freedom when someone else decided it was time to open it.  I never, for a minute, had a problem with the folks I was in the field with or the gatekeeper who opened & shut the gate each day.  That’s the system I signed up for. I just grew weary of THAT system.  For the first time in 2012-13 I’ve had the privilege to experience the Freedom of Summer all year!

I never intended to leave the teaching profession but I’m thankful that I did.  Here are a few reasons why?

-I watched a slide show the other day of my son’s 1st grade year in review.  Guess who was in every field trip & classroom centers pic.  Daddy!

– I got to drop off AND pick up the kids everyday. I got to wipe the tears AS THEY FELL when they were hurt on the outside or within. WIN!

– I had the privilege of bringing my children lunch and simply sitting with them in the middle of a typical day!

– I had plenty of time to coach people through their weight loss, active, fitness & financial transformations with Visalus!  Where I used to call this a job it is now my full-time Business.  It is MY responsibility to open & shut the gates.

– I had the privilege of going on countless dates with my bride whenever I felt like it! We prayed, talked, strategized, cried & frustrated the snot out of each other more times than I can count. But we experienced all this TOGETHER!!!

In short, I experienced the freedom I’ve been longing for.

Many thanks to all who’ve supported me on this journey.

The best is YET to come!

Moving Forward,

Rob

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