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Fatherhood in 17 Syllables – A Haiku

Small arms raised upward

Strong hands swoop down to love well

Embrace Fatherhood

-Rob Beaudreault

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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.

What a Man Needs Most

whatamanneedsmost.jpgLadies, do you know what your man needs more than anything?  Oh, I’m certain I know what he says he WANTS more than anything.  But do you know what his deepest need is?

I’m going to keep this blog simple and to the point.

Your man needs to know that he is enough. That he has what it takes. That you believe in his ability to accomplish the mission.

Years ago, I discovered a profound truth in John Eldrege’s book, Wild at Heart. It said,

“In the heart of every man is a desperate desire for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue,”

This truth has rattled in my brain now for nearly a decade and only recently have I fully realized it’s power.  This revelation has actually impacted what I used to hold dear as my favorite scenes from some classic films.

When I was in my teens and twenties I recall absolutely being inspired by the final scene of a good guy movie.  Rocky (just pick one) and Cinderella Man were 2 of my all-time favorites. I used to literally fast forward to that final scene where our hero comes through and takes down the antagonist. That one glorious moment would always inspire me to persevere & fight whatever Goliath I was currently facing in my life. These days however, it’s the scene right before the big scene that I find myself craving & savoring.  You know the one….when our hero has the doubts. When his head is hung low. When he’s recalling all the times he’s failed.

This is the moment when we’re introduced to the TRUE antagonist in the story. That small yet deafening whisper of fear & doubt.

My favorite scene in a movie now rests in that holy moment when the beauty he’s been fighting for goes to battle on her man’s behalf.  Strong belief, measured words and a promise to celebrate this victory on the other side are her weapons of choice.  And they are all he needs.

I’m convinced that men today are still searching for a battle to fight, an adventure to live and a beauty to rescue even if they don’t realize it yet.

Ladies, fight for your man. It’s what he needs the most.

Check out these two posts on this subject from some ladies who I really have a bunch of respect for:

-You MUST meet Genevieve West, and read her post called, Men, Be a Woman But With a Penis

-Shanna Delap shares a very personal & transparent post on her blog. Click HERE to take a look!

A Letter to Aiden, My Beloved Son, On the Day of His Baptism

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I’m writing this to you in the quietness of morning as you sleep. You’ve made the decision to be baptized, and today is the big day!

From the time you were old enough to speak I trained you to respond to me in a certain way whenever I said a specific phrase to you. I know you’ll recognize this:

Daddy: “Aiden, you are my beloved son.”

Aiden’s Reply: “with whom you are well pleased.”

While I know you probably always chalked this up as just another quirky thing about your daddy I want you to know why I did that and why this day is so significant to me.

Since before you were born I dreamed about who you’d become. Every parent does. I knew that the Lord wanted to use you in a big way to Worship Him and make His name famous! Oh, how we rejoiced the day you accepted Christ as your personal Lord and savior in Mrs. Henry’s kindergarten class. That was the day you said “YES” to God…Your only perfect father. This was an act of faith.

Jesus’ first act of obedience to his Father before beginning his ministry was to be baptized. He immediately told His followers that they too should do the same. He knew that our Faith in Him is strengthened in obedience.

The other day I asked you why you wanted to get baptized and it thrilled my soul when you simply answered, “Because Jesus told me to.”

I marveled at your faith.

You don’t have to get baptized to be saved, but you must get baptized to be obedient.

“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 2:16-17

While God will have to work out the whole descending dove thing today, I wanted to be sure you realized what a joy it is to watch you walking in obedience to our Lord Jesus more and more every day!!!

Aiden, you are my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased! I am so proud of you!

Love,

Daddy