for my kids, at graduation

Today, we celebrate at the Soltys house. Tomorrow, Kara graduates as a Licensed Practical Nurse, and Dane is now officially a high school graduate. Congratulations!

I’ve made lots of mistakes with my kids. With those mistakes, I have two choices.

First, I can dwell on them. Look back constantly and say “I wish”. Think “if I’d have only”…but that option does nothing good for anyone.

The second option is to let them go. Let them be learning experiences for the kids, as well as me. Laugh about them. Look back on them and chat occasionally about “remember when I…”

001I am going to do my best to let the mistakes go. I really would like to rant about some of the things we couldn’t control, but I won’t…instead, I just pray that their mother and I have prepared them well for life.

As long as I live, I’ll be here for advice. I hope it’s solicited, but you two will continue to hear from me when I think you need to hear from me. I mean no offense. Most of the time I’m telling you stuff because I see you doing something that didn’t work for me.

On this day, as we look forward to the future, I’ll just give you a few tidbits of advice:

  1. There will always be assholes. They abound, and just when you think you’re rid of one, another shows up. Be nice to them…because you might be the only person who ever is nice to them.
  2. If you find yourself in a bind, your mom and I are still here for you 24/7/365. No questions asked. We just don’t pay fines…
  3. Your decisions are yours. You can ask my opinion, but ultimately, what you decide is what you will live with. You’ll screw up…
  4. Enjoy life. I’ve spent mine dwelling on whether people liked me or approved of me. Just don’t. Be you.

I cherish you both. Sometimes it might not seem like it, but I do. I pray that God grants you both long lives where you are a blessing to many! And always remember…you are a baptized child of God, forgiven and free.

I love you!

Dad

 

Audacity

I thought about the word “audacity” the other day. The dictionary referred me to the root word “audacious”. According to Merriam-Webster, one of the definitions of the word “audacious” is:

recklessly bold

This is not a definition that I would have ever considered giving myself. Timid, maybe, but never ‘recklessly bold’. Being timid, I always felt my faith was inferior because my prayers weren’t good enough to fix me. I did not think God wanted me, and really felt that He hated me.

Audacity, however, is something that I’ve come to know. It shocks me. A reckless boldness that I never felt I would have is in my life all of the time, and guess what? It’s been there for decades. I just didn’t realize what it was.

He doesn’t want my cowering in fear of Him. Begging for forgiveness for the sins that I can’t seem to get past. He also doesn’t want me to present Him to others as a God who is “out to get you”. A judge who is just waiting for you to make that one big mistake so He can throw you into hell.

Every Sunday morning, I boldly stand in the sanctuary in my church and confess my faith. It’s not a faith that I was granted because I said the right prayer, or did the right thing. It’s a faith that was GIVEN to me, and I recite it in a creed. A creed that reminds me of what was done FOR ME, not what I have to do for Him, and somehow I have the audacity to believe it.

Then, my pastor assures me I’m forgiven. I don’t have to rack my brain to try to remember if I’ve confessed every sin. As Christ’s servant, he just tells me I’m forgiven, and somehow, I have the audacity to believe it.

But then, we even take it a step further. Pastor hands me a wafer; Christ’s body broken for me. Then lifts a cup to my mouth; Christ’s blood shed for me. Again, no trying to determine if I’ve remembered every little sin. Somehow, I have the audacity to believe it.

Me. A wretched sinner, still. Jealousy, anger, a filthy tongue. Thoughts I shouldn’t have. Sins. Falling short, just as I’ve done for as long as I can remember.

Sins, atoned for once and for all 2,000 years ago. By Someone who could atone for them, unlike me. All I can do is commit them, hide them, try to justify them.

But because of this “reckless boldness”, I am able to tell others just like me…people riddled with sin, regret, addiction…you name it, that their sin is atoned for, just like mine. Not because of anything we did, but because of what He did.

If you are not feeling “recklessly bold” about your faith, or God, or anything of the like, you’re not alone. You’re fearfully and wonderfully made by a Creator who knows you, and will never let you go.