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Monday, August 15, 2011

Adventures with Dad

Excerpt from Focus on the Family, July 11, 2011 Bulletin

My daughter Anna's first spoken word was the name of a coffee shop we had visted together since she was a baby. We would sit in the comfy chairs and read picture books while sipping chocolate milk. It's an odd first word, but you can chalk it up as an unintended side effect of "Adventures With Dad."

Simply put, I was to take each of our two children on a weekly outing and afterward write a journal entry about each adventure. The goal: to help me individually connect with my kids and to help my children grow in their walk with the Lord. That was seven years ago.

I now have four children, ages 3 to 10. I average one outing a month with each child. In recent weeks, I've gone caving with my oldest son, helped my 5-year-old daughter shop for a replacement baby doll and assembled puzzles in an ice-cream shop with my youngest boy.

The adventures help me stay in touch with my kids' needs and interests. I chat about their favorite video games or websites. I listen to stories about bus rides and playground activities and struggles with schoolwork. I learn about the things they like, the things they dislike, the things they fear.

These are precious years, and I will not watch idly as they slip by. I will affirm my unconditional love for my children. I will, in the spirit of Deuteronomy 6, impress upon them the importance of my faith in God and theirs. - Kevin Steely

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