Just an average guy who loves Jesus Christ, my wife, and my kids. I'm working out my life's journey, and hoping to help as many dads as possible along the way.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I sleep with a sheep....

Odd title, I know.  This goes somewhat along with my last post, Alone For The Holidays.  As many of you dads do, I miss my children when they're not around. I miss them a lot.  I miss the laughter, the silliness, the hugs, my son's sloppy kisses, everyone huddled on the couch watching a movie, and the free-for-all-karate-pillow fights. So I've learned to cope with it in different ways.  I think we all use different methods sometimes to make it a bit easier, to make the time go by a little faster until we see them again.  I think it's important that we single parents stay grounded during those times.  Sometimes I'll pull out old birthday and Father's day cards my girls have hand made for me in many years past.  Sometimes I'll look at old pictures of us together.  Sometimes I will write them a note or a letter telling them how much they mean to me.  Nearly every day, I'll call Elisabeth and Tori. Levi is too young to talk on the phone, so I just look at some of his stuff, touch it.  Sometimes I write down things that he did or said that were cute or endearing, so that I'll remember them later.  Lately, he has this cute little white stuffed sheep that he likes to sleep with.  It comforts him at night, and it smells like him.  So sometimes I sleep with it, and it comforts me. :)  What are some ways that you all cope with missing your children when they are not with you?

Alone For The Holidays....

 The alternate title to this post was, "The Christmas season - It's not always eggnog and carols."  I'd like to talk a bit about how the Christmas season affects single dads who won't get to spend Christmas with their children. For many folks with families, this season is an extremely joyous time of year.  However, for single fathers, this season can be a sharply painful time emotionally.  It seems that the Christmas season tends to magnify whatever is going on in your life.  If things are going great, then the joy just seems that much more palpable and in abundance.  However, if you are struggling already, that too tends to be magnified, and this time of year can be very depressing.
     For many single fathers, this Christmas will be the first Christmas that their family is broken up and not all together for the holiday.  Many dads will miss out on seeing their children open presents on Christmas morning, and that can be very, very hard.  Some dads will be having a Christmas meal alone for the first time.  Some will be spending the entire day alone for the first time.  Some, such as myself will be fortunate and blessed to be able to spend some, or all of the day with our children.  When it comes to the holidays, it can be an emotional roller coaster for single fathers.
     However, there are some things you can do as a single dad that will help make being alone on the holidays a little easier.  Please don't misunderstand me - I'm certainly not saying that I'm about to offer you a few easy steps that will make all the pain go away.  I wish that were true - it would have saved me much heartache over many lonely Christmases.  But I do believe there are steps that you can take that will take the edge off of the pain, and make it a bit more bearable.
     First, make plans ahead of time.  Regardless of what they are, MAKE PLANS.  Whatever you do, don't let Christmas Day sneak up on you, and suddenly you have an empty day to spend with an empty heart.  Whether it's spending time with your parents and/or siblings, friends, or folks from your church, make sure you have SOMETHING to look forward to on Christmas Day.  Talk to you children's mother ahead of time, and try to arrange to be able to call and talk to your little elves on Christmas day.  If you are NICE, and sincere, chances are she'll let you.  And trust me, that may not make it all better, but it sure does help to hear their voices that day.
     Second, in the days ahead, try to stay busy.  This will help keep your mind on other things than the fact that your kiddos won't be around that day.  Get a part time job, a hobby, start working out in the evenings, become a Salvation Army bell ringer, find things to do other than sit around your house or apartment and get depressed.
     When Christmas Day does come around, one thing that REALLY helps is if you can find somewhere or some way to serve others.  This is HUGE, and helps tremendously.  One great way is to help serve the Christmas meal at a local homeless shelter. Other possibilities include local boys/girls homes, orphanages, or nursing homes.  Believe it or not, when we serve others who have very little or nothing, we are prone to forget about our problems for a while, or at the least, feel much less sorry for ourselves.  I PROMISE you, it will do your soul MUCH good and help bring about healing in your heart.
     Lastly, but most importantly, between now and Christmas Day, spend time thinking about the real reason for this season, the birth of Christ.  How amazing it is that the Creator of this universe sacrificed His only beloved son to be born into this crazy, messed up world to save us from ourselves.  Spend some time with your heavenly Father.  Ask Him for comfort, for healing, for His peace that surpasses our human understanding.  Ask Him to take you by the hand, and to walk with you through this season and this day.  I promise He will, and you WILL make it through this season and this day. 
     So, let's hear from some of you.  Any of you single/divorced dads been through Christmas Day alone?  What was it like for you?  Any of you have suggestions on how other dads can get through the day a little easier without their kiddos there?

Issues for discussion

For those of you, if any, who have started reading this blog, what are some topics or issues you'd like to see addressed or discussed here relating to single dads or their kids?

Monday, December 6, 2010


     Alright ladies and gents, so here's the deal.  I'd like to clear some things up about this little speck of the world.  Before I venture out into blogdom, I'd like to spend a bit spelling out what this blog is, and what it ain't.  I have some very specific goals and purposes for this lil' adventure, and I also want to make sure that the name/purpose of The Lone Ranger Dad isn't misinterpreted, or worse, misrepresented at some point in time.

     First, let me clarify what The Lone Ranger Dad ISN'T.  First and foremost, this is not a place to air dirty laundry, either mine or anyone else's.  It isn't a place to attack or criticize others, especially not the single moms/ex's in our lives.  It isn't a place to complain, gripe, or point fingers at anyone.  And me? Here's what I'm NOT.  I'm not anyone special, I'm not a guy who thinks he has it all figured out, and I'm not anywhere even close to being perfect.  What about the name - The Lone Ranger Dad?  It's not intended for anyone to think I'm advocating that single dads, or even myself, are or should be mavericks, loners, or the "I don't need anyone else, I can do it all by myself" types.  That's the farthest thing from what I want this blog to be.

     Now for the important part, what this blog IS.  The Lone Ranger Dad is an outlet.  It is a place for me to muse, ramble, and just maybe, inspire some thought provoking thoughts. ;)  It is a place for me to encourage in any way that I can, the other single dads out there who have a passion for their children.  A place to lift up those guys who aspire to be their childrens' hero.  Hopefully a small piece in a bigger puzzle of trying to minister to the single and divorced fathers out there, and the people who love them and their kids.  I chose the Lone Ranger Dad as the name for this blog because the Lone Ranger embodies so many of the good qualities of a good father, and what I want this blog to be.  Great dads are fighters for truth and justice in a culture that many times villifies fathers and men in general, especially in divorce.  Great dads often feel alone, unrecognized, unappreciated, and unsupported. Great dads face much adversity and hardship, and they do it with great courage, even when they are very afraid, discouraged, downtrodden, and depressed.  Great dads never, never, never EVER give up.  Even though MANY times we really feel like giving up.  Great dads are the good guys.  Great dads are heroes to our children, and they inspire greatness in others.  Great dads do the right thing, even when it's hard.  Those, my friends, are the reasons I chose The Lone Ranger Dad.  Couple of differences though, between us and the "real" Lone Ranger.  There isn't just one Tonto - we are all here to be each others' Tonto, to have each others' backs, to support and encourage one another, to help fight each others' battles.  And we have the Supreme Tonto (the good LORD) to remind us that we're never alone, that He always has our backs and is looking out for our best interests.  Oh, and one more thing - around here, there's no need for a mask. :)

Sorry if this rambled a bit, it's late at night, and I'm running on fumes.... Thanks for reading, and I look forward to beginning this journey with each of you who might stumble across this dab 'o dirt from time to time.  Have a great night.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Precious Child

For my very first post at The Lone Ranger Dad, I'd like to revisit some thoughts I had about 18 months ago, relating being a new father (again) to our relationship with our heavenly Father.  First of all, let me give you a little background to the story/post.  My son, Levi, was about 3 months old. He is my first son, who has 2 older sisters, my daughters from a previous marriage.  My 2nd marriage was falling apart despite desperate efforts to salvage it, my wife and I had separated, and I hadn't been able to see my son for almost a month.  Mind you, I was used to sleeping with this little guy on my chest every night.  The night I wrote the following, I finally was allowed to spend a little time with my sweet boy, and this was my experience.  I hope it touches you, and causes you to think a bit.  As single dads, it's easy for us to get into the zone of our jobs/careers, trying to make a living on a stretched budget, maintain family/friend relationships, and trying to be the best dad we can be on our own.  And somewhere in the whirlwind of our daily lives, figure out how to have a meaningful relationship with God.  Usually, I think it goes something like, "God, help me to make it through another day, help me to be a good dad, please provide the money we need, etc., etc."   Yet, I think we miss out on a crucial part of our relationship with our heavenly Father, perhaps the most important part: Simply being in His presence as His beloved child.  Read on, and let me know your thoughts...

"So I got to see my son tonight. Wasn't for long, but every moment was precious. Amazing how much we can take for granted in our lives, but equally amazing when we truly appreciate and regard as precious what we have. In the little time I saw my son tonight, I cherished every moment. At first, he was kind of fussy, and seemed like he didn't really remember me too well from a little over a week ago when I last saw him. Granted, he's only 3 months old, so his memory isn't too great yet. However, after about 15 minutes of shifting around, trying to play, nothing seeming to work very well in making him happy, he and I finally found that place of harmony, that sweet spot. I held him up against my chest and began singing to him. Mind you, I'm no vocalist when I'm trying to sing at church, or really any other time, but somehow, when I'm singing to my son, it's perfect. I began singing to him a Dennis Jernigan song, "When the Night Is Falling." Goes something like this, "When the night is falling, when the day is done, I will hear you calling, 'Come,' and I will come, while you sing over me...When the night would hide my way, I will listen until I hear you say... 'How I love you child I love you, how I love you child I love you, how....I love you..." I just sang this to Levi over and over, and he fell asleep on my chest with his head nestled under my chin...It was absolutely heavenly. All my cares, all my hurts I'd been bearing for so long, just melted away for those precious few minutes. As I just held him and sang over him for those 20 or 30 minutes, I envisioned my heavenly Father singing over me in the same manner, and I truly felt the same peace that my son felt while he was wrapped safe in my arms. Tonight was an experience I shall cherish forever. When was the last time you felt your heavenly Father singing over you? I would encourage you to quiet all that is around you and listen.... Just listen."
''The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

You can listen to the amazing song here: