Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Daddy Duplicator

It was one of those crazy parenting moments where life was happening so fast and furious that I wasn't sure which way was up. After a long day filled with work, responsibilities, meetings, and tasks on my to-do list, I was feeling tired and behind as I returned home for the evening. Now I love my family like crazy...and as a husband and a parent of three kids, I deeply desire to be fully present and involved in everyone's life and story. So it's not unusual to find myself jumping in with both feet and doing several things at once. But on this particular occasion, given my pre-existing anxiety level and the volume of chaos at home, I was not prepared for the onslaught of excitement, questions, and newly-discovered wrestling moves that were crouching around the corner.

Do you ever have those moments? I bet you do. I was certain that if I heard "Daddy come here," Daddy watch this," or "Daddy look at me" one more time I would be done forever. What was actually a barrage of love from my kids felt like a merciless assault on my personal space and freedom. What were intended to be expressions of gladness that I was finally home where I belonged actually felt like needles poking into my brain, adding to the already progressing headache I was feeling. I was not in a good place; I needed everyone around me to notice it and back off for a moment. Somehow, my youngest son (age 7) did just that.

He must have noticed the look behind my eyes that said, "I am trying to be a man on the outside, but on the inside I'm not sure I can hold it together much longer." He must have momentarily seen that I was needed in 4 different places at once, but just couldn't make it happen. I think he had just released me from a head-lock when he made the comment that I can't quit thinking about. He looked up and said, "You know, it would be really great if we had a Daddy Duplicator machine."

Just the fact that he noticed gave me a lift in my spirit, and I was able to gain some perspective and energy to stay present a little bit more. The longer I thought about his comment, the more thankful I became that I was never intended to be superman. I was never supposed to be able to handle it all on my own. I was reminded that we have a heavenly Father who really can be all things to all people...fully present everywhere at once. What a blessing that we can rely on His strength and His power to do what only He can do in the first place. What a blessing that He is the author of my children's stories, not me. And what a blessing that I must come to the end of myself and my abilities to fully embrace all that He is and wants to be in my life.

Be encouraged as you walk every hour in this adventure of parenting. We have the high privilege and responsibility of showing up and giving all that we have to our children. But when the demand is greater than the supply, we have great news as followers of Jesus. His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12).

He is their true that pressure is off of me! Hallelujah! Praise God for His promises! Who needs a Daddy Duplicator machine?!

- Ed Sweeny


  1. I'm really loving this blog! I work in children's ministry at my church and have had a couple of experiences ( where I know it's nothing I can do through my own strength.