Friday, May 3, 2013

The Necklace & the Touching Tale of an All Pro Dad {with a KraftyKash giveaway}

"Daddy, would you like to join me on a daddy-daughter date to this?"

In my first grader's tiny hand was a flyer inviting students and their fathers to All Pro Dad for breakfast and conversational fun.  Championed by her incredible school principal who cares just as much about her students' hearts and families as she does their success in the classroom, All Pro Dad offered opportunity to bring them together in a new way and the mere idea put stars in Grace's eyes. 

Daddy time is special.

Her gaze never left his eyes and a smile overcame her when she heard Charlie affirm, "I would love to."

Expecting a handful, the leaders were surprised to host around 100 fathers and their children each month.  A new location in the school was claimed and more breakfast was ordered to host the many men who believed that the strongest impact they will make isn't in their career, but in leading the homes and hearts of their family. 

"A man never stands so tall as when he kneels to help a child." Unknown

Month after month I watched out the window as my husband left hand in hand with Grace.  Quickly becoming clear that this wasn't just another thing on Charlie's schedule, time at All Pro Dad was shading the way he viewed time with our children.  He wears a suit each day and runs a bank, but a video sharing one second of each day in a child's life until they were 12 moved him to tears.

"You wouldn't believe how fast it went, honey.  It makes you realize just how fast they grow and the need to slow down really see it."

I'd pick up Grace from school and hear the other side of it.  "Mom, did you know when dad was a kid he sometimes felt like the kid who was bullied in the video."  And a discussion ensued that created more freedom to talk about feelings and a knowingness in human suffering.  "Mom, this week dad and I are going to do a random act of kindness."  And I was gifted to get in on the conversation they had about the importance of giving.

The first Friday of every month became a space of communion that opened up conversation in new ways and reinforced for every child that no topic is off the table.  They can come to daddy about everything. 

My work is primarily with teenagers.  With sadness, I respond to teen after teen who've fallen into the arms of the wrong boy because they never had a father tell her she was special and set the standard for respect.  Statistics tell us that most incarcerated males had dads absent from their lives.  Moreover, teens will reach out to me - a stranger - for help because they don't know how to talk to their parents about bullying, classroom failure, eating disorders, friendship issues and relationship questions, and important life choices all because they don't know how to strike up the conversation.  Mom and dad didn't talk to them about the "meaty" things in their young years and now that they are at a place of thinking through life altering things they find them more a stranger than advisor.  This brokenness is tough to repair.

My daughter and her fellow schoolmates are, for the most part, not at a place where they face most of these issues, but this added time together is showing the young boys what a man of integrity looks like and modeling for little girls how a character man will treat her.  It is opening up important conversations (in perhaps different ways than we might think to in our house) and laying the foundation for a more connected, healthy family future.

Former NFL coach Tony Dungy once called the plays in a game on the field.  Now he's helped launch a program that's a game changer in life.

And we are grateful.

This morning my husband left with Grace for the final meeting of the year.  But, before leaving, he gifted her with this beautiful necklace as momento of this time together. 



Made by KraftyKash who cuts all her pieces from vintage dictionaries, bibles, and cards, the intertwining hearts in the center represent his and hers.  The blue and green beads are for Grace's school colors.  And, the lock and key symbolize the opening of great conversation. 

It was a gorgeous moment between a father saying, "You matter" and a daughter hearing once again, "I am loved."



Be still my heart.

When I told Kashoan how much we loved her custom piece she graciously offered a random act of kindness herself and said that I could gift one of you!  And, since I'm the wife to the All Pro Dad, leaning in on God and praying over our family, I chose a bible verse pendant. 

I wear Isaiah 41:10 as a constant reminder of His presence and powerful support. 



What promise  might you want around your neck?  One of you lucky readers (in the continental US) will be able to choose your favorite verse.  Simply comment with your favorite verse to enter.  You can receive additional entries for sharing this post on Facebook and Twitter.  Please leave an additional comment for each way you share.  And, be sure to leave your email with your comment so I can contact you if you are the winner.  I will use random.org to pick the winner at noon on Monday, May 20.

Slow down and invest time in the people you love today, friends.  I'm off to hear about today's All Pro Dad. :)

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43 comments:

  1. What a wonderful memory for your daughter - I LOVE this!! My favorite verse (right now) is Proverbs 3:5-6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,and he will make your paths straight!Thanks for the chance to win! :)
    kasmith03@gmail.com

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  2. Shared on Twitter as well!
    https://twitter.com/richesofhislove/status/330315119982694401

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  3. What a wonderful memory for all of you. Charlie is an amazing Dad. Thanks for sharing Melissa!

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  4. I also shared on facebook. I forgot to add my e mail the first time hiljill@gmail.com.

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  5. I love: "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

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  6. I verse that has brought me such comfort during the many crazy times in my life is Matthew 11:28. One of my favs. You and the girls are blessed to have Charlie as a male role model in the house; he is awesome. Thanks for writing such a great post!

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  7. Jessica AmbroseMay 4, 2013 at 8:05 AM

    My favorite verse that has always comfort and guide me is Jeremiah 29:11-13
    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
    Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
    You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

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  8. My favorite verse is Hebrews 12:2...running the race designed for us...and running it 100% all in with perseverance.
    jenndawes11@gmail.com

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  9. Matthew 22:37 - "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind."

    Rachel

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  10. My favorite scripture at the moment is Isaiah 54:13- all your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.
    Something that I've been praying over for my son.

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  11. Love this!!! Such a special time that both G and C are able to share together. And I adore that he gave her this necklace...she will treasure it ALWAYS just as she treasures him!

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  12. Oh, I love it when girls get Daddy time- such a powerful way to shape their hearts. Glad I'm your neighbor at the Mom Initiative this week!

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  13. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

    NASB

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  14. I loved this post, so beautiful. I love Isaiah 54:13.Thank you for the giveaway! shafferfam5@aol.com

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  15. I shared on twitter http://t.co/byMjfUEmap

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  16. This story truly touched my heart. I am one of those teens (while I was about 12 years ago) and nwo get the blessing of seeing my husband be the father to our daughters that I never really had.

    Philipians 4:8 is my favorite.

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  17. Ezekiel 11:19. This post brought tears to my eyes. I work with teens too and I am so grateful for the relationship that my husband has with our kids. Blessings to you! Rachael krumpes@hotmail.com

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  18. I love this.
    God is currently engraving John 15:5 on my heart.
    Cacrooks84@yahoo.com Amanda

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  19. Hebrews 12:1-2. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

    LOVE this encouragement.

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  20. Romans 1:16. I have a giveaway on my blog right now too. Stop by and enter to win! hnmarkle@yahoo.com
    (http://dandelionspicked.blogspot.com/2013/05/weak-and-loved-by-emily-cook-giveaway.html#.UZG_EtutMWc)

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  21. What a precious time for them! It will always be such a special memory for them! My favorite Bible scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 It has seen me through so many difficult times in my life and given me a life-line to God when I didn't have one here on earth. Thank you for entering me!

    Julie
    moreofhimblog at gmail dot com

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  22. I tweeted about your giveaway. Here's the link:

    https://twitter.com/MoreOfHimBlog/status/334222169204723713

    Thank you!

    Julie
    moreofhimblog at gmail dot come

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  23. Shared on my Facebook page!

    Julie
    moreofhimblog at gmail dot com

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  24. One of my favs - Proverbs 16:6 "The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance."

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  25. How wonderful! It can be so easy to forget kindness. I often catch myself living in "tolerance" instead of "love" for others.

    If I won, I would choose Romans 12:12: "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer"

    Very simple, but lovely. All of Romans 12 is really speaking to me right now.

    (And I am in Norway, but my mother in the US will gladly receive the necklace for me should I win!)

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  26. There are so many! Right now my favorite is Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5. Thanks so much for entering me.

    ruthie5448@yahoo.com

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  27. I love this! Both the idea of a Daddy/Daughter date and the jewelry!! If I won I think that I would choose my "year verse" which is Psalm 119:33-34 "Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart." If it would all fit!!!
    My email address is janamfraley@gmail.com

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  28. Philippians 4:13 Love this verse as it has gotten me through some very tough times.. Thanks for the chance!

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  29. Shared on fb aprilhockeyfan@gmail.com

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  30. Tweeted aprilhockeyfan@gmail.com

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  31. LOVE this necklace! I am sharing the giveaway on FB and twitter! Thank you Melissa. Our favorite family verse is Psalms 118:24! oneseptemberday@gmail.com

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  32. LOVE this necklace and giveaway!!!

    My favorite verses are:
    Psalm 46:10
    Jeremiah 29:11
    Proverbs 3:5-6

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  33. Oh I forgot to leave my email:
    metzgersix@gmail.com

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  34. I love Ephesian 2:10! - kiwiberrygirl@yahoo.com

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  35. Either James 1:17 or Psalm 139:14
    gabbymom75@gmailcom

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  36. There are oh so many, but right now, Isaiah 40:31 :)
    Simpkinsa@k12coffee.net

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