Embracing The Hardest Words


Being the parent of a 6 year-old and a 4 year-old, there’s a lot of finger pointing going on in my house. Last night, I caught the girls playing in Jalen’s room about an hour after we’d put them to bed. I opened the door to find the lights on, Jalen sitting up, playing with her stuffed animals and Emmy dancing around the room like it was the middle of the afternoon.
“What is going on in here?”
“Daddy…um, I think Emmy…sneaked in my room accidentally.”
“No I didn’t. She did.”
“No, that’s not right, Daddy. She did come in my room, but I think she didn’t mean to. It was an accident.”
“She told me to.”
“No I didn’t.”
“Yes you did, Jalen. I didn’t do anything. It’s not my fault.”

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An Ugly Lie And The Simple Truth

sitting on the dock

About a month ago, I was writing at my favorite local coffee shop here in Nashville. I hear the coffee’s great, but I don’t know; I don’t drink coffee. I go there because they have a million tasty treats to choose from – the perfect little reward for when writing goes well that day, and the perfect consolation when it doesn’t.


I’d just returned to my table with something yummy when I noticed the ladies at the table next to me. They were talking about how fast the year is passing by. It grabbed my attention because it was all so familiar…like it was my conversation, like any of us could have sat right down with them and joined in without skipping a beat.

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Steer Straight & Keep Pedaling

bike wheel

Last month, when the weather warmed up, I pulled Jalen’s bicycle out of hibernation in the garage. She was ecstatic – until she noticed that I’d removed her training wheels.


“Daddy, where are the little wheels?”

“They’re gone, babe. You’re 5 now. You don’t need them anymore.”

“No, Daddy; I do! I can’t ride without them. Will you please put them back?”

“Nope, it’s time. You can do it. Here – I’ll help you.”


Much whining commenced, but in the end, she relented and got up on her bike to try. I assumed the position that every parent has found themselves at some point. Left hand on the handle bars, right hand under the seat – trying to run sideways as fast as I could. And when I couldn’t keep up, I gave her a push. “You’re doing it! Keep going!”


It was a beautiful sight…for about 3 seconds…and then she crashed…hard. I coaxed her back up a few times, but it always ended as it had begun – Jalen on the ground, scraped up, crying and working on a new bruise. When she’d had enough, she stood up, defeated, left her bike where it landed and began walking home.

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10 Life-Changing Things Every Graduate Should Know

class of 2013



Last weekend, I attended the Graduation Ceremony of a family friend. And as I looked into the faces of the graduates, I couldn’t help but see my younger self in them – excited and eager, blissfully unaware of days to come.


There is plenty of advice out there for new graduates, but so much of it falls short of practical, real world help. Here are 10 things I wish someone had said to me. Following even one of them can vastly improve someone’s life forever.

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