Spending Time with God When Life Is Busy (and When Is Life Not Busy?)

If you are in my stage of life, feeling stretched for time is pretty much inevitable. I have four sons between the ages four and fifteen, a busy teaching schedule, and frequent out-of-town travel commitments. I also lead a small group and help teach Sunday school at church. Between trying to squeeze date nights with my wife, a little one-on-one time with my sons, and a couple of times a week for exercise, I don’t have much margin in my schedule. I could go on and on about how busy I am, but my guess is that you are probably just as busy or busier than I am.  

Spending time in God’s Word and in prayer is often the first thing to go when we get busy. We hate to admit it, but if we are honest, when we have to get up early to finish a presentation for an important meeting or when an unfinished project is looming, prayer can sometimes feel unproductive. We know we should find time to spend with God, but it often slips through the cracks. But over the last few years, I have found a few key rhythms that have helped me find time for prayer, even when life is especially busy.

Teach Your Kids “Me Last” in the Age of “Me First”

Have you ever played rock-paper-scissors to see who gets to go last—or to see who gets to sit in the backseat? 

My college roommate would yell, “Backseat!” every time the two of us rode with another diver. He also had the unique custom of tipping the ice cream server for his milkshake at Baskin Robbins. He explained, “Think about it...you tip the bartender, and all they do is knock the top off of a bottle. The person making your milkshake spends so much more time with your order.” He was a strong, yet empathetic leader in college and continues to be one now. I think that growing up in a household of four kids taught him that life was about much more than him—and these lessons have had a great deal to do with his success.

You Can’t Do It All. Stop Trying!

Birthday parties. Sports games and practices. Music recitals and lessons. Tutoring. Help in homeroom. Help with homework. Robotics. Scouts. Lunch with your child. After-school adventures. Youth group. School carpools.

And that is just part of a list for one child at one school. You might also have just as much to do for other children, as well as plans as a family, taking care of other relatives, neighborhood gatherings, and church and social commitments. Not to mention the fact that you likely work and need some personal downtime every now and then. 

If you are like most dads, you may feel overwhelmed by all there is to do. What do you do when you realize you can’t do it all?

8 Ways to Pray for Your Family

We all know that prayer is important, at least in theory. And we all know that family is important. So surely it should come naturally for us to pray for our families? 

But despite this logic, we probably all (at least from time to time) struggle with praying for our families. Here are 8 ways to pray for your family...

What I Would Do Differently If I Could Rewind My Parenting

What is one thing you would do differently as a parent? 

I recently considered this question while talking with my youngest child. He is now 21 and on summer break from college. He asked me what would I do differently if I could change only one thing in raising him and his sisters? A daunting question for those of us with mostly grown kids. 

Read, Pray, and Sing

Worshiping God with our kids is one of the greatest privileges of parenting. While nothing replaces worshiping with our church family on Sunday mornings, we can also bring the worship into our homes throughout the week. From Don Whitney’s book Family Worship, here is a simple approach you can use to start off your morning or wrap up the day praising God with your family. 

What Are You Afraid Of?

What are you afraid of? 

I certainly have had my big moments of doubt and fear in my life. I’ll never forget being at the hospital with my wife to deliver our third child and getting a call from my boss telling me we were out of business. I worked at a large bank during the 07-08 global financial crisis. My boss called and said we no longer offered home equity loans to the national market. 

Worth a Look (June Edition)

There’s a lot of good stuff online—and a lot of not-so-great stuff. Once a month, to help you dig through the depths of the internet and find what’s worth your time, we will send you a couple of things that have been helpful to us as dads. Here’s our June list ...

The Joy Of Being A Dad

In the first moments of meeting my first child, I specifically remember thinking, “What a gift! What a miracle!” I was blown away by the way God uses nature and humans to create new humans—little miracles. “God, you made that little child through us...wow!”

But my second thought was, “Oh God, you are entrusting me with this miracle? Me? I can’t even be trusted to drive a car well, and you are giving me a boy?

Dads, You Were Made for This!

Most of us are good at achieving goals. We know where we want to go, and we map a route to get there—whether we are planning our careers or pursuing our hobbies. Our strategies can be simple and practical, and they can be comprehensive and long-lasting.

We carefully plan out our work and our workouts, but how often do we think about our goals and plans for our parenting? Our kids are so much more important than our job title or our fitness. Let’s give our children the strategic attention they need to help them be truly successful.