Monday, August 13, 2012

Father's Heart Weekend 2012

This weekend, I experienced The Father's Heart Weekend: Celebrate the boy, Call out the man.   This year, I took my youngest son, Kaden.  2 years ago, Alex joined me.  It's an unforgettable weekend where both dad and boy get outside of the routine of life and focus on each other.

We spent the weekend playing games, sports, being outdoors and just enjoying being together. Mixed in with all of the fun and games are two poignant ceremonies - an affirmation service and a time of worship together.  The combination of it all makes for a weekend like none other I've ever experienced.

My son and I get to share in an experience together that bonds us for life.  It gives us a chance to have a purposeful heart exchange together.  He knows, after this weekend, how deeply he is loved by me and by His heavenly father.  He is a beloved son.

He leaves the weekend with a treasure box with his named inscribed on the outside. Inside it there are 'relics' of the weekend - reminders of our time together and also reminders of who he really is.  From time to time, he can go back inside his treasure box and remember the things we did together - baseball, football, climbing a 50 foot tower, zipline, fishing.  Also inside, is a letter I wrote him before the weekend began.  And, finally, inside is the blessing I read to him as I 'knighted' him as my beloved son, forever marked by my love.

We were given a time to honor our own fathers during the worship service on Sunday morning.  It was powerful to bring to mind and speak out loud what our own fathers meant to us growing up and how his love now carries through to our love for our own sons.

This was a weekend Kaden won't soon forget - and neither will I.  I know that because Alex reminded me yesterday of just about every detail he and I experienced together that weekend 2 years ago too.

So, I come away from the weekend with a full heart.  I have laughed, played like a kid again, cried hard over my son, received his love for me and gave love deeply to him.  Fathers, there's nothing better you can do for your boys, and for yourselves, than to love them deeply and purposefully.  I needed this time just as much as my son.  I needed to be reminded that I'm a beloved son of my Heavenly Father.  I am full this morning - full of the good food that can only come from my Dad in Heaven.

Click here to listen to our playlist from the weekend.  My favorite song is "The Father's Blessing".

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