Category Archives: Family
Everyone has that moment etched in their mind.
The moment you said, “I do.”
The moment you heard the first cry from your son or daughter.
The moment you found out you were going to have a son or daughter.
The moment your first love broke up with you.
The moment you heard the words, “I’m sorry. It’s cancer.”
The moment your team wins the big game.
The moment your team loses the big game.
Moments that seem like just that; a moment. But the moments link together into memories that leave an indelible mark on your heart and soul.
Today, one of those moments happened for me.
Congratulations to my son, Grant Isaac Rodda, on his decision! Love you, son!
We are almost always in a rush to get somewhere. Hurry to the next thing. Get to the next place. Do it quickly because I have a “to-do list” a mile long.
But today is my day off. So I slept in a little later than normal. All the way to 7:15 am. Mostly I slept in a little because of my workout last night. I spent some time with the kids before they headed off to school. And when they were off to school, the house was empty and quiet. A great time to simply take it slow and enjoy the beautiful morning.
When my wife returned from taking the kids to school, we decided to go on a run together. I absolutely love the freedom to go on a quick run with my wife. We don’t get to do that together very often, but it’s so much fun when we can. I guess there’s something special about having a hobby you can share with your favorite person on the planet.
The scenery was beautiful; my wife being the #1 source of scenery attraction for me. I’ll just leave that thought there. =) The sun was bright. The temperature was perfect for a run.
It was simply a fantastic morning! I took it slow and I liked it that way.
I do still have things to accomplish today, but what a great start to the day.
So I want to encourage you to take it slow. Find time today to slow down. Evaluate life a bit. Enjoy those closest to you. Take time to enjoy the weather and sunshine. Don’t just rush through it and take it for granted.
Get out there and slow down!
There are moments in life when words don’t seem to do justice to what is going on around you. Something beautiful or tragic can’t seem to be expressed in the right words. Your brain struggles to find the right language, vocabulary or term. Something about every word that comes to mind just doesn’t seem to fit quite right. Kind of like trying to force the wrong puzzle piece into place.
That’s where I’m at with Ashton’s 8th birthday.
He is unbelievably handsome (I would say cute but he might get upset with me). His eyes can put you in a trance. Stare into them and they keep going deeper and deeper.
He is very smart. This he takes after his mother in for sure. His reading level was tested before 1st grade and he was already reading beyond a 6th grade level. And he is in the gifted program for math. He makes us feel very proud as parents.
He is in touch with his little emotions. He cries at sweet commercials. His heart hurts for people who are getting picked on. He is so compassionate to those around him.
He is energetic. If you ask the question, you might need to prepare for a 30 or 40 minute, dissertation on the topic. Just like the Energizer bunny, he can keep on going.
But these are all a few basic characteristics and words that come to mind. If you get to know him more, words will begin to escape you. The words don’t seem to have been invented yet for the kid we call, Ashton James Rodda. He’s just himself. He is who he is. And boy, do we like him that way.
Happy 8th Birthday, Ashton James Rodda!
I love you, Son!
I had this crazy idea to write about some of the things I learn throughout the day. Maybe transform some of the stuff I write into a journal at some level. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen. But to start, how about some of what I learned today. We’ll call it, “WILT.” Get it? See what I did there?
God breathes life, but you have to be dead first!
I learned that even in a book like Ezekiel, when you seek God, there are some significant spiritual truths that surface. God uses these to transform us, from the inside out. You should read Ezekiel 37. One of the moments that struck me was this one…
Ezekiel 37:9 – “Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man. Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.'”
In the midst of spiritual death and dryness, God does His best work. God can’t breathe life into me if I don’t die to myself first. I must give up doing life my own way in order for God to breathe into me, true life. If I want to experience all God has to offer me, I need to be willing to die to my own wants, desires, needs and selfish patterns.
Someone needs to know the real you!
It feels good to get beyond the superficial parts of life with someone. It is healthy to share your hurts, pains and struggles with someone you know and trust. For me, it’s a group of guys I meet with for accountability. On a more personal level, it’s my wife.
There’s something healthy and great about allowing her to know what’s really going on inside me. Sitting down for a cup of coffee and really digging in is ultimately liberating. I was able to spend time with my wife today, just the two of us. It was great to be able to connect with her at a deeper level. Taking our relationship into deeper and better waters.
But it is such a good hurt. I love the way I feel when I’m working out. I love how I feel when I’m done. I really love the energy I have the next day. Yes, it hurts. But it’s such a good hurt.
What did you learn today?
If you were to come into my home and listen in on some of our family conversations in the house, you would hear me getting onto my kids periodically for different things. Sometimes it has to do with the way they treat each other. Sometimes it has to do what they are saying about someone else.
But none of those even come close to the one thing I’m always all over them about. It’s a small thing really, but in the long run it’s a big thing. My wife might even tell you that I get onto them so quickly about manners that I sometimes fail to give them the chance to use them. Maybe so. But manners are a big deal to me.
This was only reinforced during my time in North Carolina. It seemed like every where we went, people were only too willing to extend a hand of common courtesy. Letting you pull into a space in front of them. Starting a conversation with you as if you had been friends since birth. The kindness to give us a free sweet tea, not because we ordered one, but because you were just extending a hand of good, old fashioned, southern hospitality.
Granted, some of these examples go beyond manners, but it starts with the basics, “Please,” and, “Thank you.”
I want to help my kids grow to be respectful and kind to people around them. I don’t want them thinking they are above treating people respectfully for the things they do for them. Some days my kids are really on the ball with manners. Other days I go to bed with a sore throat.
Still, being at the beach simply reinforced for me my stand on manners.
What do you think about manners?
Once again this summer I am spending a week, sitting on the sand of Carolina Beach, North Carolina. I’m soaking up a lot of sun and family time. It has been a great week.
Last summer after our trip to the beach, I posted a series of three blogs about the lessons I was learning while at the beach. You can find those here or by searching for posts on, “Beach.”
This year I picked up a couple things as well. For instance, the danger of always saying, “Tomorrow,” or, “Maybe later.”
While swimming in the ocean, my sons said, “Dad, can we boogie board?”
“Of course,” was my reply.
“Hey Dad, can we have soda with our dinner?”
“Absolutely,” I would say.
“Dad, can I tell you about these facts I’m reading about in my book?”
“I’d love to hear them,” I would say.
But at home, too often the answer is, “Maybe tomorrow. I’m tired. I’ll get to you later. Maybe next week we can do that. No, you can’t have soda for supper.”
And before you know it, tomorrow becomes ten years and you aren’t sure where the time went. Then you live in regret because you missed some of your kid’s best moments.
So, yes, there is a danger in too many “tomorrows.”
Do you have a son you should be playing catch with? Do you have a daughter you should be having a tea party or playing Barbies with? Do you have a child you should be listening to because they have questions about something they read?
Did you just tell them, “In a minute,” because you just had to finish reading this blog? (I hope not.)
Try changing your answer and watch their eyes light up.
Last fall I played in a men’s flag football league in Fairfax, Virginia. It was a blast. One of my teammates was named, Bryan. He and I played defense on the same side of the field (this meant we got to know each other really well). He had a great phrase he would use during crucial moments of a game. He would look at me right in the eyes and say, “Time to do work, Rodda! Do work!” Granted, the grammar isn’t great, but the phrase gets the job
did done. That phrase and his intensity always challenged me to run a little faster, to jump higher and work harder than the guy lined up across from me.
Now jumping to present day life. Our Campus had an awesome Sunday. Our theme was, “Get Right With God.” We had really cool stories lined up for people to tell about how God has impacted their lives. We talked a lot about the Jordan River and water in Scripture. It seems to me that water, especially the Jordan, carries some powerful significance to God. Every time the Jordan is mentioned, it seems there is some transition in life, something leading to victory and hope.
- Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan
- Moses’ passing the mantle of leadership to Joshua
- Elijah passing the mantle of leadership to Elisha
We challenged people to come to the banks of the Jordan. To get their feet wet. To make a commitment. To dive all in for God. To give Him full control of their lives. To immerse themselves in the waters of baptism.
Then, we handed them a card. We challenged them to fill out the card and to tell us about a commitment they might need to make. We also asked them to tell us how we could pray for them. What things in life were holding them back from giving God their all and how we could we be praying for them.
Then it happened. I sat down that afternoon to read the cards. I began to pray for individuals by name who were going through some very serious things in life. And to think they trusted us enough to tell us what was going on behind closed doors. I believe it was a huge moment in the life of our Campus.
One man wrote…
I want to serve as a better example for my family – wife and kids. To live a life with God and Jesus in control.
…the strength to save my family.
And still another said…
My marriage. It is dying.
And this was just the beginning. As I prayed for these people and families, I was overwhelmed with emotion for them. I was blown away by their honesty and their stories. And that’s when it hit me. Do work!
Satan is doing work. He’s working. He’s getting after it. He’s destroying lives. He’s lying to people about what brings fulfillment and purpose. Oh yes, Satan does work!
Am I ready to, ‘Do work?’
The field is there. The people are ready. The hearts and souls of people are open and ready for transformation. As my friend Bryan would say, “It’s time to ‘Do work!'”
When you say it like that, it seems like a long time. I mean, nine years is a long time, right? Nine is almost ten and ten is a decade. A decade is a really long time, right?
If you start at zero it takes you an entire 3,285 days, 78,840 hours, 4,730,400 minutes, 283,824,000 seconds to get to nine years. That’s a long time, right?
Surely that time goes by so slowly. Every second, minute, month and year ticks by in an agonizingly, slow fashion. You can’t get there fast enough, right?
Well, apparently not. I mean, it was only last week when he was a tiny, newborn baby in my arms.
Then I blinked and this happened…
What the what?
Where did my more than 4 million minutes with him go?
How did 283 million seconds tick by so quickly?
Is this the feeling I’m supposed to have when the Bible tells me to, “take advantage of every opportunity?”
My son, you are so amazing! You are growing up to be an exceptional young man. I am blessed to have you in my life. Thank you so much for making this journey special. I love you with all my heart and will be here for you as long as I live. I pray for you everyday and it is my deepest desire that you choose to live your life for Jesus Christ!
I love you, Grant Isaac (Great Laughter)! Happy 9th Birthday!
On Friday night, I called my kids up to the living room. The only light in the room was candle light. I read some Scripture (John 13) and talked about the night before Jesus was crucified. Yes, I know Friday night isn’t the right night for that, but I had a late meeting on Thursday.
I told my three children about foot washing and what it means to be a servant to others. Then I went around the room and washed all their feet. Then, I washed my wife’s feet. I didn’t expect it, but each of them took turns washing my feet. It was a great experience and opened up some great conversation, at least from my two oldest children.
Then, I read to them about the Lord’s Supper from Matthew 26. We talked about what the Lord’s Supper is and why we have communion each Sunday at church (Acts 20:7). We had grape juice out and some crackers. Some of you might not agree with my next move, but we talked about how communion reminds us of Jesus’ crucifixion and what He did for us. Then we all drank some grape juice and at the crackers. It was a special night and I wanted my kids to understand what communion is and who it is for.
Then, we went into the dining room to have supper. It was a good segway into the next part of our evening. After dinner, we made “empty tomb” cookies. It’s actually amazing how they are hollow inside. If you want the recipe, you’ll have to ask my wife. We made them together and talked about different parts of the Easter story. Smashing up walnuts we talked about how Jesus’ body was broken. Putting some vinegar in the cookies we talked about how Jesus was offered vinegar to drink on the cross. We added salt and talked about the salty taste of tears and the people who were crying when Jesus died. It was really cool. I’m hoping to make stuff like this a Rodda family tradition.
*On a side note, I even let my oldest son watch a few scenes from The Passion of the Christ. I thought he was old enough to see a pretty accurate image of what the crucifixion was like.
I don’t remember a lot of Easter traditions in my family. We probably had some, I’ve just forgotten (I know, I’m a bad son). I’m looking forward to sharing cool moments like this each Easter with my family. I pray it helps them develop a strong connection with how important Easter is and how it is much more than an Easter bunny and candy.
Does your family have any Easter traditions?
I’d love to hear them.
Please share in the comments.
I wanted to share a quick post for a very special person.
See the new header on my blog? It has cool pictures of me and my family on it.
My wife made it for me.
Thank you, Misty.
You’re talented and amazing. I’m blown away that God gave you to me. I love you! Thanks for taking time to make me a special picture, just for my blog.
You can see more of her work here.