Earlier this summer we went to Yosemite for a brief summer vacation and while we were there we decided to hike to the top of Half Dome. We had talked about doing this all year long. We really wanted to try. I even tried to lose some weight knowing that the hike would be very difficult for me to do.

As my boys and I made the hike that long long day back in June, it was an opportunity for us to be together and to share an experience like hiking Half Dome together. If it were not for the grace of God, a couple of angelic hikers, and the encouragement of my kids I don’t think I would have made it. As I spewed a couple of lungs on the way up I was truly proud and honored to have shared in something so amazing with my kids. Something I will never forget. It was also a time for us as a family to just be together and spend time together knowing that by the end of summer we’d be sending our kiddo off to college.

It’s been almost four weeks ago since we moved our kid to Chicago. I keep playing that weekend over and over in my head. We moved him into this dorm and got him situated. From the moment we arrived I was filled with joy and so very of proud him and at the same time when he and my wife weren’t looking I couldn’t stop tearing up. I also knew that he was ready for us to let him be and to let him begin the next phase of his life as a college student. When the weekend was over and as as we made our way to the train and said our good byes, and as I lost it, he said, “Dad, I’ll be back in twelve weeks.” As my wife and I rode the train back to the hotel, I have no doubt she was thinking the same thing, “it was just yesterday we dropped him off at preschool.” I cried all the way home. I also wondered what his brothers were thinking and feeling as they waited for us to return home with out their big brother?

I don’t know if you read my blog kiddo. I’m not very good at keeping it up like some I know. I want to tell you that you have always made me proud. You and your bros are my heroes.  I read something recently that said, “Part of letting you go is letting you grow.” I need to let you grow as the man God has called you to be. The hard thing about all of this is that I know we will have to go through this again in a couple of years with your other bro.

You have endured lots and have made some sacrifices. Sacrifices that come with being a pastors kid. I also know that the churches we’ve been part of have indeed loved you guys and cared for you, most of all, they tried to give you Jesus the best they could. At least the way they knew how. You also  made some sacrifices when it came to your studies. I know you worked hard. I also know there were times you stayed home because of your studies as opposed to going out with your pals. I know the Lord will bless you because of your hard work kid and that what you’re about to experience is something that will be life changing and that God has great plans for you son and I know these next four years will fly by fast, so be faithful to your studies and change the world pal!

I miss you lots. It makes me sad to drive up to our house and not see your bedroom light on at night which usually meant you were doing your homework or playing your guitar. You worked so hard. We know you worked hard and we’re really proud and thank God for you. When we walk by your room it’s not the same. Saturday mornings are a little different. Going to dinner as a family is a little different as well. It’s indeed an adjustment for all of us and I have no doubt for you as well kid. This is why I pray that God finds you a community of friends who you can rely on and lean on and who are like minded when it comes to being a Christ follower. I also enjoyed cooking for you guys, making you breakfast on a Saturday morning or dinner on any given night. (I will send you those recipes if you want of dad’s “go to” meals. I indeed miss cooking for you.

I know your bros miss you too. Believe it or not they look up to you kid. You have set the bar high for them and it’s an awesome gift for them in that you leave them an example of what it means to do your best and to be faithful to something important like your education. I also know they miss talking to you. We love listening to you guys talk to one another. Don’t forget to call them as well. Skype them. Text them. I know although they wouldn’t admit it, they’d dig that you took the time to check in on them.

Finally, don’t forget to check in with your mom. Although I’d love to hear from you, you’re mom needs you to check in with her on occasion. Remember what I used to tell you guys as kids? Love Jesus…and love your mom. We’re here for you. Call us anytime. Day or night. Text us anytime and yes, it would be nice to see you on skype on occasion.

Anyways, I’m done with the blubbering ranting. I needed a place to just vent a little and to tell the world that I’m proud of you.


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