I’m back! It’s been 5 weeks since my last post. Thank you for your prayers, notes of encouragement, and commitment to this world changer community! The podcast will be up and running this week.

Again, thank you for your patience!  As many of you have already heard, my son, Joseph Thomas Daniel (Baby JT), was born in mid March. Both he and my wife are doing well!

Photo Courtesy of Betina Daniel (c)

Photo Courtesy of Betina Daniel (c)

I’ve only been a father of two for about a month, so I’m no expert. But I’ve definitely felt some tension points that I think are worth investigating as world changers. I feel like I am in the midst of one of the hardest and most rewarding seasons of life. 

I have had a few quiet and still moments holding our new son and pondering life. Then with a BAM, reality comes crashing in and I’m back at it again.

Preparing breakfast. Preparing sermons.

Potty training. Evangelism training.

Facilitating time outs. Facilitating quiet times.

Balancing groceries. Balancing ministry budgets.

Man, life is nuts! 

But in the midst of the chaos, four simple truths seem to occupy my mind. I believe these thoughts will encourage every new father out there. Check them out below:

Truth #1. Love Grows as You Give it Away.

I wondered if my heart could make room for another person. I love my wife and my daughter so much. Can this new little guy fit into my world?

Oh wow… love grows! Just when I thought I had hit my limit. My heart raced when I saw JT for the first time. He grabbed my finger and cried at the top of his lungs. I was hooked. Love at first sight!

I am reminded of a song I used to sing when I was little, “Love is like a lucky penny. Hold it tight and you won’t have any. Give it away and you’ll have plenty. You’ll end up having more!”

So true. Love grows as you give more away. God designed us as conduits and recipients of love. You and I have an uncanny capacity to commit to one another. Let’s not shy away from love. No matter how fast life can become.

Photo Courtesy of Betina Daniel (c)

Photo Courtesy of Betina Daniel (c)

Truth #2. Get Ready. Stress Hits a New Level!

Ok, so two kids is not added stress — it is multiplied stress. Whoa! One is crying, while the other wants attention. Then the other is crying, while the other is suddenly really thirsty for a juice box flavor that we do not currently have in the house. Neither are happy at the same time!

What did I sign up for??

Up until now, my wife and I were playing double team on Sophia. Now, we have to play man on man coverage with JT and Sophia. I want to have more kids, but I never figured out zone defense! Yikes! My wife is like … yeah, don’t care about zone defense. No more kids!

Stress. It keeps you up at night. It robs you of peace. It magnifies scarcity. It whispers inadequacy. It cripples forward action. But stress is a real part of life. It doesn’t go away. You have to face it. Everywhere. Anytime.

My kids have enrolled me into stress boot-camp. But I’m getting stronger, wiser, and calmer each day. God is training me. That gives me hope. Press on. Each day. Stress breaks. He remakes. Rinse and repeat. Let’s go!

Photo Courtesy of Betina Daniel (c)

Photo Courtesy of Betina Daniel (c)

Truth #3. Don’t Worry. Grace Abounds Even More.

I still screw up. A lot. Anger. Selfishness. Strong words. Defeated outlook. Overworking. The list goes on. For example, I put Sophia in time out and then… I forgot about her! So sad!

Sophia comes up to me about 10 mins later and goes “So… Am I finished? I’m sorry for being bad…” Huh? Oh no! You were in time out… Right… “uhh, yes, of course… I’m glad you’ve learned to be good.” Feeling guilty I gave her TWO packs of fruit snacks (don’t tell my wife).

I’ve been angry, forgetful, frustrated, and totally at my wit’s end, but every time God makes me aware that His grace abounds. God ain’t mad at me. God is for me and for His Kingdom. God is shaping me. He is revealing my numerous flaws and making me better. Each stage in life, He redeems, He remakes, He rains grace. I’m grateful.

Photo Courtesy of Betina Daniel (c)

Photo Courtesy of Betina Daniel (c)

Truth #4. Children Develop Your Character.

Five weeks later, with two kids and an amazing wife, I can say that I’m definitely tired but I’m a better man. Deeply better.

God is using this season to deepen my character. I’ve been aware of God’s presence during these stressful few weeks and I’m amazed (yet again) that God cares about me. My holiness. My integrity. My peace. My character. My future. My life. It all matters to Him.

My character deepens, slowly, and I keep singing this old-school hymn in my mind, “I need Thee, oh, I need Thee, every hour I need Thee. Oh, bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee…”

I pray that as world changers, you and I never lose focus on deepening our character. Taking action is important, but not at the cost of degrading our character.

Photo Courtesy of Betina Daniel (c)

Photo Courtesy of Betina Daniel (c)

I’m incredibly thankful for my young family of four: Betina, Sophia, JT, and me. I’m excited. I’m looking forward to sharing more stories of how my wife and two kids will outsmart me, love me, and forgive me — and how my God will never give up on me. Or you.

Crazy. That’s the beauty of being a world changer — we aren’t a means to an end. We are the precious end. God loves world changers even if the only changing we are doing is diapers.

You are an everyday world changer! Start today!