Wow…not how….

Just over a week ago I had the opportunity to go to a great event, Leadercast . Leadercast is a one-day leadership event that exists “to inspire and equip leaders worth following.” As with any event like this, throughout the day my mind wondered outside of professional development into the realm of fatherhood. A father needs to be a great leader, and I want to be a leader worth following.

The day was kicked off by a great pastor and leader, Andy Stanley. The theme for the whole day was The Brave Ones, and Stanley began by focusing on the concept of BOLD leadership. Bold leadership is clarity-focus-stubbornness-and resourcefulness.

 Bold leadership is clarity around and unreasonable commitment to what should be.

  — Andy Stanley, Leadercast 2015

Stanley brought forth several great principles, but one idea made me pause and think for a few extra seconds. He stated, “When someone in your organization (family) has an idea, what if we responded with a ‘wow’ instead of ‘how’?” What if we stop letting ourselves get caught up in how something can be done and allow ourselves to marvel in the idea.

A great example that falls in line with this concept is from Jon Acuff’s book Quitter. Jon talks about his dreamlike personality and that he’s always coming up with ideas for anything and everything that he communicates to his wife. (My wife can intimately relate to being married to this type of person.) His wife used to always immediately ask the “how” question, and it would instantaneously squelch his day. They then learned together that with their differing personality types and strengths that she needed to simply say “ok” when he put forth a dream, and most of the time he wouldn’t even think about the dream a few days later.

 

A great story of living out the ‘wow’ response instead of ‘how’ in the family setting comes from Bob Goff’s book Love Does. Bob tells the story of the 10th birthday tradition he started with his children called ten-year-old adventures. On each of his children’s 10th birthdays he took them to do whatever in the world they wanted. He ended up going to London for high tea, backpacking Half Dome in Yosemite, and riding a motorcycle across the dessert.

What a way to live and lead as a father!

I understand we don’t all have the means to live this way. But at the very least can’t we attempt to stretch ourselves? Can’t we venture outside of the mindset of pragmatism and endeavor into the world of wonder and excitement?

It can start small. The next time your little boy comes and says they want to build the world’s greatest fort, don’t ask for the blueprints…just help them do it! The next time your growing daughter wants to start their own business making custom sleeping gloves, trying helping them create the name and logo instead of prodding her about keeping an accurate balance sheet.

Let’s lead as fathers and mothers and help our children see the possibilities instead of only the stop signs of life.

Wow. How. There’s only a one letter difference between them, but their meanings to a child and a family are worlds apart.

 

–SH

 

Sometimes you just need to let them wrestle!

Sometimes you just need to let them wrestle!

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Lessons Learned from Paul Blart…

Working on a college campus and with college students has a lot of perks. One of the amazing perks of this atmosphere is college students that yearn for a scarce resource. That resource is little kids to love and play with. The Henry household just happens to have an abundance of this resource.

We have been greatly blessed with some young ladies that have made an intentional effort to invest in our kids. Sarah and Madison are two young ladies that have become important to our family and have continually given Rachel and I the opportunity to still have important 1-on-1 time on a fairly regular basis.

This past Friday, Rachel and I had this opportunity again to go on a simple date and know that our children were well cared for. We went to dinner, had some time to talk, and chose to take in a movie.

I enjoy movies that cause me to think differently about a topic, allow me to dive into a new world, or move me emotionally in some manner. But sometimes we need movies that are a simple and fun break from reality. This past Friday, we chose such a movie in Paul Blart Mall Cop 2.

Paul-Blart-Mall-Cop-2

Even in the simplest of movies that are made merely for uncomplicated entertainment, we can find lessons for life and fatherhood.

In a scene where Blart is giving the keynote address to a security guard conference, he is going on about why they do what they do. He then yells out, “If your only purpose in life is to help yourself, then you have no purpose. Help someone today!”

How much of what I do is really about helping myself? How much is focused on helping others? Am I desiring to help my kids learn and develop so they can become all that God has created them to be? Or do I simply want to appease them so I can do what I want to do? Better yet, am I being the example to my kids of someone who selflessly helps others?

Thanks Paul Blart for reminding me that we’re here to love and serve others as ourselves. And thank you amazing babysitters, for allowing Rachel and I to have time alone to learn lessons from frivolous movies.

 

–SH

 

A twin montage!

 

 

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Be Uncommon….

When I talk to my six year old son about deeper issues in life, I don’t necessarily think it’s all going to sink in. I just hope and pray that over time a little bit of what I have to say can seep through the stubborn mind he inherited from me and find its way into the tender heart he inherited from his mother. Just a little bit.

I recently read an article about a college basketball player for the University of Michigan. Austin Hatch has survived two plane crashes, the second one taking the life of his father. His father used to tell him to strive to be an uncommon man. Uncommon men live life against the grain. I really like that idea.

One night, after Christian had experienced a very common six year old breakdown, I was tucking him in to bed and asked him:

“Do you know what common means buddy?”

An understandably perplexed looking little boy answered, “No.”

“Common is normal. If you are common you are just like everybody else. If you do something in a common way, you do it the way anybody else would do it. Uncommon is being unique or different. Doing something uncommon means you do it in a special way. Do you want to be common or uncommon buddy?”

An excited “uncommon!” came out of his mouth. Maybe he could understand deeper concepts.

“The way you reacted tonight was how a common six year old boy reacts when they don’t get what they want. I want you to be uncommon and to do things new and unique. Can we work on being uncommon men together?”

He thinks for a second, looks at me, and says, “I think I can help you with that daddy.”

In the middle of last summer, tragedy struck our family with the mighty force of a gale wind. This tragedy is the main reason I haven’t written anything in six months. Someday I might be able to actually write about what happened.

In the aftermath of that tragedy and the desire to raise a boy to become an uncommon man, I wonder if I have lived an example of uncommonness through this turmoil. Am I making the intentional decisions to live differently as a father? To live against the grain and instead of saying I want to make time for my family, actually doing it? To love my wife and kids with the selfless love that God asks of us?

Some people may say that being normal or common is ok. My response is that they have a narrow understanding of themselves and others. Everyone is unique. I truly believe when the Psalmist writes in Psalm 139 that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Fathers. Mothers. You are not common. You can live and raise your children to be uncommon. To have an impact on this world in unique, positive, and beautiful ways. Will you challenge them to do this? Will you challenge them to take the necessary steps to be uncommon? Take those steps and we can raise a remarkably uncommon generation.

 

–SH

 

I LOVE being a dad to these crazy kids!

I LOVE being a dad to these crazy kids!

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