How To Be As Smart As My Daddy

I recently got a chance to write about Gospel parenting for the Radical site. (It’s ok, you can click away. I’ll still be here when you get back.)

In the post, I mentioned that my dad taught me about world view, but there’s so much more to that story…

My senior year of high school, my dad convinced the principal to let me come home for one of my class blocks so Dad could further my education rather than let me take 7 periods of show choir. I probably would have been fine wiling away my days with the second soprano section, but my father seemed to think that my senior year was precious time to train me for the future.

He had me study economics and come up with a model budget for my not-so-far away grown-up life. And he gave me a stack of books to read. In that stack was “The Universe Next Door” by James W. Sire.

I had no idea how helpful that text would be my first year of college in my honors literature course. I reached for that book time and time again when I had a tough question about world view and my own faith, but I also reached for my analog phone.

image from this link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/30147383/rare-1980s-clear-see-through-conair

Because my daddy always had a great way of summing things up, making them easy to understand. He could take a complicated idea like Nihilism and give me a four part acrostic to help it all make sense. (As much as nihilism CAN make sense, I mean.)

For years, my dad has taken delight in turning his Sunday school lessons, his personal Bible studies, and every single sermon he threw my way into an acrostic. And even though I rolled my eyes and moaned and he would quirk up his lips in that funny way he does when he knows he’s being clever, those acrostics worked. I still remember them.

Like this one about world view:


Beginnings – Where did we come from?

Intent of Life – Why are we here?

Authority – Who’s in charge?

Standards – What are the rules?

Apply those questions to any piece of literature: What did the author believe about those questions and how does it affect the story and drive the characters? Apply them to cultures you study in history, articles you read off Facebook or Ted talks you listen to… Our brains are constantly evaluating world view and holding it up to our own to see how it fits. And it’s nice to have some smart, concise acrostics to help me sort it all out…

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of watching my dad grow in his faith and in Godly wisdom. I was one lucky girl to get to be his daughter and have him share what he learned with me. As my younger siblings bring their friends home to visit and they keep Daddy up until the wee hours of the night talking theology and life decisions, we’ve come to understand what a gift our daddy is.

We begged him for a long time to put his world view thoughts and acrostics into a book for all of us kids and grandkids. And so he did.

And now, because we wheedled and whined and got tired of giving our copies away to friends, he’s making it available to the world at large via amazon.

You’re welcome, Universe.

Our kids have memorized the first few acrostics and we’ll keep revisiting it as they grow older. I recently received some books to review for middle school boys and Ian didn’t want to wait for me to read it first. So I handed it to him with the understanding that at the end, he needed to be able to answer Grampaw’s BIAS questions about the author or the main character in the book.

Handy, yes?

Highly recommend this book to parents, students, and human beings trying to figure out how they fit on this planet. (Hint: it will make a great graduation gift this May to all the seniors in your life. Pair it with Sire’s book to give them a great foundation of Biblical world view and all the other world views.)

Go get you a copy, y’all.

It’ll make you smart like my daddy.


*affiliate links included because I couldn’t figure out how to make it pretty without them. I promise to give any pennies earned to my daddy. Or I might just spend them on buying myself that pretty “vintage” phone…


Many Happy Returns

It’s coming. We’re calling it The Superfecta of Birthdays. Two birthdays this Friday. Then two more next Tuesday. Four birthdays in Four days. You can’t HANDLE the cupcakes…

In the midst of birthday season, it would be so easy to just blog celebration after celebration and never really THINK anything about it all. Heck, it would be pretty easy to live this swirly life that we live and never stop to breathe, let alone ponder.

But, in case anybody wondered, I do take time to wander the metaphorical woods and “‘Think Things, if you know what I mean, said Pooh.'”


All of these moments – the ones where I can see Mira just twinkle her way into being Five, speaking her mind and telling us all the secrets she’s held tightly for four years.

The ones where I can fairly HEAR Sam and Ian growing an inch every day.

The ones where Finn’s cheeks couldn’t possibly be any fuller or more adorable.

The ones where I discover that a road trip with just girls is the calmest, tamest road trip Ever Made.

I hold these moments in my hand like pebbles, turning them over and over in my mind. Even if it’s just for a fleeting second, I feel all the things a mama ought: sad and happy and strong and weak and ever-so-grateful…

And even though the current of our Celebratory Season fairly pushes me on, not letting me hold any of these pebbles very tightly or very long, I’m treasuring it all the same. I’m feeling the big feels and the small ones, trying not to miss anything.

As my kids count the days to their birthday, I count in my mind all the memories of their Birth day, their baby hood, their last year, the places where the fat pads used to dwell on their knuckles…

And I thought maybe I should write that down. Because when I go back and read all the stories about the celebration, I’ll be glad to have the reminder that quietly behind the scenes, I was taking it all in, counting thankful-fors and victories big and small. And celebrating each one with the people I love the most.