Intentional Spend

Stewardship is often spoken of across three domains: time, talent, and treasure. When we budget ourselves, we’re supposed to look at each area and spend (or invest) wisely.

I hate budgets. Always have. I see the need for them. I even appreciate their use, but in my mind I’ve always preferred a contrary approach to spend plans.

My perspective on matters of finance is typically to ask “What can I do to earn what I need?” rather than “What do I have to do without to live within my current means?”

But, as I’m getting a few miles under my belt, I’m realizing the shortsightedness of that view when it comes to a broader look at stewardship — one that takes all three domains into account.

Context on the term is helpful here. In the New Testament there is a Greek word used which we translate into our English word stewardship. Transliterated it’s oikonomia.

It comes from two distinct root words: oikos, meaning “house,” and nomos, meaning “law.” Together, it literally means the “law of the house” or the “administration of household affairs”.

The historical use often referenced a household servant managing the resources of the family on behalf of the paternal head. The idea being that there is a limited amount to spend and it has to be distributed wisely, efficiently, and effectively across a prioritized list of needs.

The entrepreneur in me sees a financial need and immediately begins plotting a way to earn the gap between my account balance and the price tag of whatever is in view. That works, to some degree, in the treasure domain, but what happens when you venture into the other areas?

Time and talents are different altogether. Talents, to some degree, can be sharpened, but by and large we’re gifted with certain strengths and aren’t likely to excel in areas contrary to our natural bent. And time…oh, that incessant time…it never grows. From the day your born it does nothing but shrink away, one tiny tick at a time.

And so, as one called by God to steward the resources He’s given me, I need to remember to spend them wisely. The same goes for you.

Spending is a necessary first step. But there will come a time, and the sooner the better, where we dads need to look beyond the expense of our resources for short term transactions and start investing them for long term yields.

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…”

Proverbs 13:23

What am I doing today that will yield a return, not just in my daughter’s life, but in my future granddaughter’s as well?

How can I apportion my time, talent, and treasure to leave this world a better place for the generations to come?

What about you?


What!? You Want Me to Wait!?

When you’re two years old, being asked to wait 5 seconds is paramount to being sentenced to eternity in prison with no chance of parole.

This morning my little angel had in her mind to lay a blanket out on the living room floor. That’s a fun enough place to play. Good for her.

The problem with that scenario is that the idea to do so popped into her adorable little head about 2 seconds before mom was aiming to vacuum that particular room.

At the time, I didn’t know what was happening, but from the other side of the house, through multiple walls and a closed bathroom door, I could immediately tell that a crisis of the highest order was occurring.

What!? You want me to wait!? Nooooo!!!

My wife is so patient and calm. I heard her trying to have a gentle, levelheaded conversation with Miss Panic.

Meanwhile, I started yelling in my classic frustration voice, “Stop whining! You can’t cry just because you’re not getting what you want right now!”

“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.”

Ecclesiastes 7:9

Patience is a virtue. I want to teach it to my daughter. Step one: practice it myself.

Dad Fails

Why Are Monsters Mean?

I think monsters are actually nice people who are just really sleepy.

Do you remember what it was like to sleep well? To sleep in…late? It feels like a distant dream, but there once was a time when I was more or less rested.

There once was a time when I was pleasant, peaceful, maybe even a bit amicable.


I have unquestionably the most lovable, adorable daughter in the entire world.  It’s not from my genes — she gets it from her mom for sure. But I’d wager that no sane person could be around her and not be absolutely smitten.

That’s why I believe monsters are just nice, sleepy people. Because this morning, like so many in the past two and a half years of dadding, I’m exhausted and that exhaustion led to cranky monster dad turning what could’ve been a sweet moment into a jerk storm.

The Apostle Paul once wrote a letter to the church in Ephesus where he gave an interesting piece of instruction:

“Be angry, and do not sin.”

Ephesians 4:26

If I may reverently borrow his rubric to jot down my own little admonition, today I hope to be sleepy, and still not mean.

…and maybe aim to sleep more going forward to avoid the problem in the first place.


While He’s Down…Stampede

I’m pretty sure that God cares more about our holiness than our happiness. He certainly cares about both, but there has to be a lean towards the former. Don’t you think?

And, given that ranking, I’m fairly convinced that a lot of my discomfort in life is actually my kind, gracious, loving, steel-toe-boot-wearing, heavenly Father giving me the righteous kick in the pants that I need to pay attention to what He’s teaching me.

Lately, though, it seems He’s turned up the juice and wave after wave of holy stomps are landing while I’m down on the floor in fetal position.

“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

Hebrews 12:6

I don’t think He’s being mean. In fact, on the heels of round 7 or 8, I finally stopped trying to solve my own problems and started turning to Him for help.

Guess what happened…He helped!

I’m bruised a bit and still quite sore in most places, but that overwhelming weight of trying to solve the massive pile of unsolvable problems I’d managed to collect has lifted and I feel like I can breathe again.

Discipline applied wisely and delivered in love is a gift. Just another lesson for this dad to learn.