By Julian Caldwell | GetConnectDAD.com
This week’s Trait is “Be Hopeful.”
What a great week for hope to be the center of my thoughts for my boys and my family. Christmas is this weekend, my family is coming into town, my kids are working on their best behavior (sort of), my wife and I are planning a surprise trip to Disney World in nineteen days, and the long, hard election season is over and all of the drama that brought to us. Needless to say, there are tons of reasons I am hopeful.
I think back to my childhood around this time. If you have read anything else I have written, you will know that we weren’t rich by any stretch of the imagination. Surprisingly, though, very few times growing up did I understand what it was like to not have money.
One of my friends in the 1st grade, Scott Mopah, invited me over to his house for a birthday party around Christmas time. I was stunned by the size of the Christmas tree they had in the living room. I swear it had to 25 feet tall. For us, every year we made a trip to a real tree lot and picked up a tree. It was always an expensive adventure for us. Looking back, I have an appreciation for how mom and dad tried to make sure we had as normal of a life as possible (within some relatively strict parameters.)
Fast forward about twenty years, I remember one Christmas, when I was newly divorced, and I didn’t have any money for a Christmas Tree. I will never forget the man at the tree stand who wouldn’t accept any money from me. When I asked him if I could give him what I had to spare, he said ‘Merry Christmas’ and carried the tree to my vehicle.
In light of the season, I would ask you to do these things with your kids.
- If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, read Luke 2. My wife shared an observation she had the other night about how incredible that night must have been for everyone. Even for those who don’t believe, I argue no one person has had more impact on the way so many people live their lives than Jesus Christ did.
- If you are a non-believer, then I challenge you to go to a church this weekend. I know, churches can be judgy (sadly); however, I have found that the music, the friendship, and the kindness shown by so many people in the faiths of our land might touch you in ways you never thought possible.
- Do something nice for a stranger AFTER Christmas is over. One lesson I have taken from my pastor is the power of ‘blessing people.’ I know that for some, that might sound corny; however, for me, I pray for 10-20 people a day. That isn’t something I have always done, but I feel like today, particularly in this current culture, we could all use a little bit of help, regardless of our beliefs in religion.
- If you are a believer, be that person who lives a curious life. The kind of person that doesn’t judge someone for the way they live, but loves them unconditionally. I have been to churches where I didn’t dress nice enough, didn’t speak well enough, and wasn’t wealthy enough. Sadly, I didn’t find Jesus there. Walk with those who you don’t understand, hang with people that will make people talk, and pray for them: Full, honest, loving prayer. There is nothing more amazing in my opinion.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and[icon name=”icon-twitter” ] [inlinetweet prefix=”I hope that these next few months bring peace to your life;” tweeter=”getconnectdad” suffix=”Julian Caldwell”]hope that these next few months bring peace to your life;[/inlinetweet] a peace that makes it impossible not to share.
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