Thursday, October 12, 2006

Warning: What you are about to read in today's blog entry is loaded with the sentiment of a father who deeply loves his daughters. The tragic passing of New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle on Wednesday, a father himself just 34 years old, touched me deeply on the eve of my own flight home to California. Lidle's sudden passing, and the extensive coverage of his tragic death, have given me pause, reminding me that life is fragile and our only guarantees are eternal.


I'm going home. Home to my new family at Woodward Park. Home to fall in Fresno. Home to the most beautiful woman I've ever seen who has blessed my life for the past 12 years. And home to two, precious gifts from God Himself.

In the last year-and-a-half, my life and ministry have been unbelievably blessed. Some of the ministry opportunities God has brought into my life have humbled me, thrilled me, shaped me and transformed me.

But with those opportunities have come immense sacrifices, most especially by the three girls I love most. Trae is in her third school in three years. Mandy is in the midst of decorating her third home in three years. And Tori, well, Tori is Tori -- a resilient bundle of energy whose motor is always running!

So I'm going home. Home to stay. I have committed to my girls -- at Trae's request -- that I will accept no outside speaking engagements that require overnight travel for one year, unless the entire family can make the trip. The time has come for me to be a full-time dad again and sacrifice the opportunity to speak abroad for awhile so I can reinvest my full energy and focus as a father and a minister to the Woodward Park church.

Trae and Tori, I cannot wait to see you. I can't wait to play together. I can't wait to laugh together. I can't wait to wrestle and swim and read stories and play tricks on mommy. I can't wait for the next bunkin' party, the next homework assignment, the next trip to the park. I've missed you and can't wait to see you. And rest assured, when Daddy gets home, he's staying home.
I Love You Both, Your Daddy

Is there someone dear to you whom you need to share your heart's feelings? Someone dear to you that you've been withholding a compliment or a special sentiment for just the right time?

What are you waiting for?