When You’re Preparing to Send Your Kid Off To College

For the first time in our lives, Sherri and I are taking our children on college visits.

It’s a fun, exciting, intimidating, and interesting experience that marks a new season of life. It’s unknown territory.

It’s not necessarily that we don’t know what to expect when it comes to college campuses, dorm rooms, and community. We do. Although, I don’t remember having Starbucks on my campus. That sure would have been nice.

It’s the stuff of the heart I wasn’t expecting.

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Of course there are all the common perspectives like: “This is their time to enter into their own adventure,” “Now they spread their wings,” or “This is when they really learn about who they are.”

I get those statements.

The part I wasn’t expecting was how I find myself watching to see if he is really ready. I mean REALLY ready.

Is he asking all the right questions?

Does he really get what it means to be on his own?

Did I prepare him correctly and give him the skill and information to handle any situation?

The worse part is when something shows up in front of me and the voice in my head says I may not have covered that possibility in his training and now he might fall off the edge of the earth if I don’t get him into “shape for life.”

Honestly, I’m not good at letting go and allowing my kids to fail. I know it’s important to not be a helicopter parent, and I’m not. But I also don’t want to miss any situation where my children might get hurt or scared.

No parent wants their children to get hurt or scared but the college thing has brought out a new possibility of “danger.”

What if he needs me, and I’m a thousand miles away?

There will be people and resources he will have access to for help or guidance for sure, BUT they’re not me. I’m his dad. I know him. I get him. They can’t do what I can do…

Taylor Carroll

Yes, I know this is normal but it doesn’t mean I like it.

Scripture says to “train them up in the way they should go and they will not depart from it.”

I find myself questioning me, not the training.

Did I do my job?

My thoughts… I screwed up so much. I should have done this better. I want one more time or another chance to retrain him in this area so he doesn’t have to be unprepared.

Yet I can’t stop time and I can’t redo much of anything.

Panicking won’t help.

If a son saw his dad in a panic, that will go the wrong direction. Can you imagine if we thought God was in a panic? Not good.

The well-known Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge the Lord in all of your ways and He will make your path straight.”

My wife, Sherri, reminds me trust is about rest not necessarily letting go.

Meaning to trust is to rest yourself in God’s presence, sovereignty, and grace for you and your child.

I’m not good at this.

Is God for my son Taylor? Yes.
Does God know my heart for Taylor and his success? Yes.
Does God have dominion over Taylor and his life at college or whatever he chooses? Yes.
Can I rest in that? Yes.

Am I resting right now? Not really…

Visiting Carroll

So at this point I will try to rest more in the Holy Spirit’s work in Taylor and less about my own fears about what I did and didn’t do.

It’s hard to rest but we all need it for one thing or another…

Trust = Rest

Next question: How much does that school cost? Ugh…

Do you have any advice for us parents sending our oldest off to college this fall?

God is good all the time.

Peder

November and Children

It’s amazing that it is November 2014. I really enjoy November.

It’s Thanksgiving. For the Eide family that means getting together with extended family for lots of fun food and football.

It’s the start of basketball season for most teams.

It’s also when we start thinking towards Advent and Christmas.

There might be some snow which means snowmobiles and snow blowers…ok not as fun but still very pretty when it comes. :)

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Makenzie, Teshome, and me

One thing about November that is close to the heart of Eide family is that it is National Adoption Month. It’s a month to pay extra attention to needs of orphans and the power of adoption.

As most of you know our Makenzie is adopted from Korea and our son Teshome is from Ethiopia. I never have enough passion to express what an amazing gift and privilege it is from the Lord to have them in our family!

When I write about these subjects, the comment I get is something like “We are not an adoptive family so this is a bit irrelevant to me.”

I get that.

But I believe I speak for our family and for a lot of other families when I say that orphan care and adoption is a team effort.

Even more so it is a need that still warrants more attention. It can easily fly under the radar because adoption seems like a parent thing or that orphan’s thing or foster care is for those amazing people who have a heart for that.

Would you be willing to hear me when I say caring for children in need is a believer in Jesus thing?

James says it’s true religion when we take care of those who can’t help themselves.

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27 (NLT)

Why does Jesus talk so much about taking care of orphans, widows, the sick, imprisoned, disabled, and so on?

I think because He knew in our fallen world it would be a huge issue and because those people are His sons and daughters.

Yet it’s easy to forget.

Me and one of our sponsored children Ziana in Uganda

Me and one of our sponsored children, Ziana in Uganda

Can we do something this month to fight for the children in poverty, orphans, families in adoption, and families willing to be foster care families?

Being blunt my friends, if you say you love Jesus, then this challenge involves you and your love for your Savior. Scripture is clear. It’s not a duty; it’s an act of being a follower.

So for this month here are some ideas for you, my friends, to engage in the lives of children in need this November.

1. Find a family you know in your community that is adopting or has adopted and ask what they need. Don’t assume what they will say. Every family is unique. They will appreciate it more than you could imagine. Believe me: it will be a blessing.

2. Find an agency that deals with adoption/foster care and call them/email them and ask what needs can be met. It’s not just about money. It would be awareness, Facebook posts, clothes, volunteers, etc.

3. Sponsor a child in a third world country with Compassion International. You have heard me say a hundred times but it works and once you engage in it, your life will be more filled for it and a child in need can meet Jesus in a real way through your sponsorship.

There are 30 days in this month to do something. Please don’t say “I’ll do it later.”

When Jesus said when we reach out to the least that that is Him, He meant it for real.

You might be amazed how God uses your willingness to help a child to actually draw you closer to Jesus Himself.

Let’s make a significant impact this November.

Thanks for reading.

God is good all the time,

Peder

Christmas is coming!

It’s not yet Halloween and I’m still talking about Christmas already. I can’t help it. I’m so excited because we’ve got some new Christmas music this year!

Have you see the video?

(Or watch it on YouTube)

When shooting the video in Nashville, I was trying to get out the right words and information. I do ok at this kind of thing but sometimes it took more than a few takes. The pressure is high when you know what you say will be recorded forever!

At one point getting frustrated because I kept goofing up. I was trying so hard to find the right phrase. My friend Adam producing this clip said,

“Just tell me like how you would tell anyone sitting in front of you.”

That worked and made a lot of sense. A simple truth that needs to be louder for each of us I think.

When I thought about my heart for the person across from me it came out so much better. In fact, even better than I could ever conjure up with all the practice. I love Christmas and it’s truth about God’s love and His compassion for His children.

I think we make sharing Christ’s love and message of salvation full of the right words and certain types of prayers.

What if we pause, look across from ourselves, feel the love we have for the person we’re talking to and just offer our heart?

recording xmas video

You might be surprised how the Holy Spirit comes through you and out of you. It’s probably way better than what you could come up with on your own. :)

God’s heart for us shows up this Christmas. It was His love for us that caused Him to send Jesus to redeem us. If Christ is in us, we can have that same heart for anyone.

Maybe don’t try so hard.

Just love the person in front of you. It’s like your showing them Christmas even before Halloween!

God is good all the time.

Peder

New This Christmas

I just can’t help it. Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. Of course, it’s all about our Savior’s birth. I love that story! And I love all of the December celebrations that go with it–the traditions, the movies, the family time, and especially the music.

This year we’re bringing some new music to your Christmas.

(If it won’t load here, watch the video on YouTube)

This Christmas is unlike any other Peder Eide Christmas CD because it’s a music card designed for you to be able to gift it to those who need to hear about the love of Christ.

With gifts in mind, we’re running some special sales in the online store so you can pre-order your copy of This Christmas and some copies for your family and friends.

Plus, I’d love to celebrate Christmas with you:

Wednesday, December 3–Alexandria, MN
Thursday, December 4–Rosemount, MN
Saturday, December 6–Grayslake, IL
Sunday, December 7–Pewaukee, WI (morning worship)
Wednesday, December 10–Brookings, SD
Saturday, December 13–Wausau, WI
Sunday, December 14–Grand Forks, ND

December 17, 2014–Fargo, ND
Friday, December 19–Oshkosh, WI
Sunday, December 21–Hampton, IA

You can find the details for each event on the tour page.

We’d love your help getting the word out.

This Christmas FB header

Buy This Christmas for everyone on your Christmas card list.

Invite your friends to a Christmas show.

Share the video on social media. It means a lot to me so be sure to tag me so I can thank you. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Blessings, my friends. And let me be the first person to wish you a Merry Christmas this year!

Peder

Being A Parent Is Hard Sometimes…

Being a parent is hard some days…

It’s not a negative thing; it’s just hard some days.  I never realized how much emotion can be spent on a daily basis just thinking about what each child might be experiencing in their world.

It’s kind of like traveling the border of one country to another. As I go from one child (country) to another we are suppose to speak the same language but the different nuances of each country are enough to feel foreign.

Each country is in a completely different state of development. Some are at peace; some are in conflict either internally or with a another country (sibling). Each country has a different vision for itself. They are beautiful visions for the most part.

Eide nations out to breakfast (a first day of school tradition)

Eide nations out to breakfast (a first day of school tradition)

Some countries are not growing like they could; some think that just because they said they are ready that that is enough to be ready. (Oh the frontal lobe of some countries :))

Then of course are the moments where I forget how old a country is and I treat them all the same which makes “the whole world” a bit more crazy and I might be creating an environment for a hostile coup!

As head of these United Nations (dad), it just seems impossible for world peace!

Yet the cost of giving up is way too great compared to the cost of emotion and heart that drives parental diplomacy for the greater good of each country.

This is all I can say:

Thank You, Lord, that I get to be the head of these beautiful, precious countries. Thank You God for allowing me to struggle in this and I pray it would teach me more about You so I can bring You to these unique countries. Jesus remind me when I’m tired, worn out, feeling defeated and like a failure that it’s worth the energy, that everything matters, and Your voice is only saying one thing to me: “Keep going for I am with you.” Holy Spirit, hear from heart thankfulness for what You have given me as a parent and let Your Kingdom come and Your will be done in each wonderful country in my care!

To think on other things other than God’s goodness makes it harder to parent.

Today, I don’t need it to be harder. I’ve got five amazing countries in my house of many nations.

Therefore I’ll keep going even if it’s hard today…

God is good all the time.

Peder

Appreciating the Unappreciated

I recently played at a band shell in Westby, WI. So fun and such great people! Great night of family worship.

After the concert, I met some friends from a while back at a Youth District Conference the band and I played for at the KI Center in Green Bay. So fun to connect and learn about how God had used those events to shape them.

I asked one of the guys what he does for a living now and he said he worked for a food company called Organic Valley where they package organic cheese. I got totally excited because we love that cheese. It’s the best ever. Then to learn he is the guy who actually packages it.

I couldn’t help but tell him thank you.

Sounds a bit over done but honestly because he does what he does  my family get great cheese. His job is not glamorous but his piece of the process still matters and means something.

I Got Some Organic Cheese! They had some with them!

I Got Some Organic Valley Cheese! They had some with them!

There are so many men and women who do things that are not seen and yet their piece of the puzzle and system is so needed. I think about those amazing people who clean bathrooms at airports. Wow!

How about those great garbage people who take away your trash? Yes I know we pay for the service but still, not an easy gig day after day.

I’m grateful for those people who inspect the eggs at an egg packaging plant so that my eggs don’t arrive broken or with little chicks in them.

That’s just a few…Can you do this?

Tell them thank you when you see them. Pause on your journey, walk over to that person and tell them thanks for what they do, even if it’s their job!

Why? Cause we need them to do what they are doing.

What are some people you know like this?

Share your thoughts.

God is good all the time!

Peder

My Dad-A Father’s Day Thought

I was a momma’s boy growing up. I was pretty spoiled by my mom and everyone knew it. There were many reasons why, too many to go into here but the point is… I was spoiled by my mom and I was just fine with it.

I loved my dad. I respected him and was a bit in awe of him as a kid. He was a tremendous worker and man of accomplishment and community service. My dad served 35 years in the military including WW II and all of this was done with only a high school education. He attained the rank of full Colonel in the Air National Guard and worked for the Governor of Minnesota all while still farming on the evenings and weekends. He did all this to provide for his wife and four children on a farm just outside of Fargo, ND.

Father’s Day is so much about remembering for me. My memories of my dad are many and quite a variety. I remember things like:

– him leaving each morning at around 6:00 am with a coffee and an egg sandwich for his 40-mile drive to the Air Base in Fargo to go to work.

– getting to ride on the side of the tractor next to him as he worked a field and begging him to let me drive while we plowed the ground. He let me drive with a correcting hand ready to grab the wheel when I got off track.

– having me sit on his shoulders as I watched the Blue Angels at the Air Show at the base because I was too short see over every one else.

– playing chess in the dining room with him at night after baths and always wondering if I really did win or if he let me win while he smoked his pipe.

– his shopping with me for earrings for my mom at Christmas, and how he constantly guided me away from the real diamonds to some earring shaped like a fish.

– letting me help him hook up the camper to the car to go fishing in Canada every summer and the patience he showed as I always thought I got a bite from a fish every other second.

– standing in the cold and rain to watch me play football in high school and never complained about being there in the worst weather.

– waiting up for me if I was out late with friends to make sure I was ok (a well-deserved lecture also came if I was later than agreed upon)

– sitting with a program in the audience for every choir and band concert, musical, etc. I was ever in.

– taking me duck hunting before morning light and reminding me that shouting “here comes one!” doesn’t help the duck get closer.

– walking behind him as he walked behind the casket of his wife taken too soon in their life together, so broken and vulnerable and scared. I had never seen him like that.

– standing next to him dressed in tuxedos for a picture on the day I would marry the woman he would call a girl who is “strong” and “carries herself well.” He was right :)

There is a lot more that I would selfishly like to tell you but I want to show a favorite picture I have in my house. It’s a picture that was taken after my dad had returned from leading an Air Guard Competition Team winning a trophy called the William Tell Trophy. Mom had made the outfit I’m wearing because Mom thought we should look good when our father, who is an officer, returns home from a successful military trip. For me, the focus of this picture is what he is doing and what I am doing…

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I’m looking up at him, and he is smiling at me.

Isn’t that how God looks at us?

That’s what I want to remember more than anything.

That’s what I want my kids to remember about me.

I need to do so much better than I have been. I have made some good memories but I need to grasp the truth that it’s not too late make more. I’m still here. I’m still a dad. I’m not done yet. I can still make some pretty cool memories not just for my kids but my wife, my friends, and my neighbors.

My dad died on August 3rd, 1994. He was not perfect but I don’t care. That’s not what counts. What counts is……

I know I had his blessing.

I know I had his love even if rarely said.

I know he was pleased with me even though I almost burned the house down… (another story for another time :))

I pray my children know the same from me. I can still show them. I can do better. Maybe even capture it in a picture.

God is good all the time

Peder

Seeking

Happy Easter!!  Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!  The Eide family Easter was a great day. We of course have few traditions.  Worship being the big one.  It was a great time of song and message by Pastor Bill at Hosanna!  So well done.

One tradition we have happens right away Easter Sunday morning. It the traditional Easter egg hunt. It’s plastic eggs filled with candy hidden through out the house by the “Easter Bunny” the night before.  Everyone waits at the top of the stairs until all are ready. Then the hunt begins.

It’s really fun to see them go for it.  The older ones act a little more tired or less passionate but 2 eggs or so into it they are hooked.

I loved watching my youngest son Teshome.  He was so full throttle this year. Every time he found one, he would yell “I found another one!” or “look what I found!” It was really fun. His pride, joy, excitement, and feeling like a winner is a priceless memory in the eyes of parent.

Can you imagine this truth that God is the same way with you and I? God is that excited about anyone who discovers the love and grace found in Jesus Christ.  He sent Jesus to live and die and rise not out of duty bout out of love.  He took great joy in planning our salvation (Eph. 1:5)  Look at the verses about seeking and finding.

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart-Jeremiah 29:13

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him-Lamentations 3:25

He loves it when your eyes are opened to something new that is about Him! Really!

The best part is God is not hiding.  Jesus is not about hide and seek.  He is about seek and find.

Maybe you have forgotten the joy you have when you find His goodness in your life.

If that’s true, go hunting.  I bet you will find yourself telling saying “look what I found!” and it way more satisfying than an Easter egg.

God is good all the time!

Peder

Little House On The Prairie

I saw a clip of “Little House on the Prairie” the other day. Yes, there might have been some heart grabbing moments and memories of watching the show when I was a kid. (FYI, not many guys are willing to say they watched this show…but I am that guy!)

This show is set in the settling of family in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and often shows us a picture of simple farm life. No TVs, no electricity, no email, no iPhones, etc. You get it.

It got me thinking about how often we stay up late trying to find something to watch or play. How often are we looking for the next text, email, news item totally missing what’s happening in front of us?

photo credit

photo credit: TheSeafarer via photopin cc

When the message comes, we feel we’d better respond right away or else the person will think we’re mad, dead, or worse yet, they might find someone else to take our place in getting their attention!

Seriously.

This isn’t new information for most of us.

But when’s the last time you sat down to really think about it?

In “Little House on the Prairie,” they went to bed pretty much when the sun went down. They were not exactly searching DirecTV for a movie to watch until midnight or Facebooking until all hours of the morning.

They were sleeping. They were giving the body the rest it needed.

They got up about the time the sun came up and started over. They went to things around the time they were supposed to happen. If they mailed a letter to someone, they would look forward to the reply knowing it would come when it would come.

Much less stress and a lot more patience. Life was about people, family, really hard work, community, and patience.

I wonder if I would be willing to trade the speed of life today for then.

I love technology. I really do. I definitely don’t want to go back to polio, malaria, yellow fever, etc. icky…

But I think back then the food would have been better. (Sorry Taco Johns fans). I think relationships could be deeper sometimes. Winters would be harder (though I give this year’s an A+ for effort). Ministry would look different…

I’m just thinking out loud, friends.

My questions: is how much less stress would the body feel? Less rushing? Less need to spin so many plates?

What do you think? Do you have any insight? Do you think you could live in that kind of a world?

I welcome your words.

God is good all the time

Peder

Goodbye Microwave

My daughter Makenzie is a great helper. She loves projects. Cleanup, reorganizing, creating with paint, crayons, you name it. She loves to try to do it herself. She also loves to help make meals and does an amazing job of making her own lunches and even has made meals for the whole family.  She is a very independent, amazing young lady.

The other day Kenzie decided to make some Ramen Noodles for lunch. To make it quickly she uses the a microwave safe bowl in the microwave. She has done it a hundred times before. (Ok, maybe not a hundred. That’s a lot of Ramen. But you get the idea).

Sometime things can happen.

Apparently in her moment of doing too many things at the same time, she forgot a few details:
1. the water for the noodles
2. 5 minutes only needs two zeros rather than three

Somewhere between 5 minutes and 50 minutes later, billowing smoke and the smell of melting microwave safe dish came from our microwave.

Makenzie felt awful. It was an accident and not typical of her whatsoever.

The microwave is finished…so was the Ramen. The bottom of the dish was completely melted like hot tar. I took the leftover bowl and debris to the snow.

Such a small dish. Such a big amount of smoke!

Such a small dish. Such a big amount of smoke!

Getting a new microwave is not an option right now so we have gone old school and are using the stove more than ever. Reheating leftovers in the oven is a lost skill. When my coffee gets cold before it’s finished, I either warm it up with a pour from the pot or drink it as is. We even found ourselves making the popcorn old school because we had become so used to quick microwave popcorn.

It’s not a tragedy; it kinda fun. It’s also good the house is in tact, though the smell is taking a while to leave.

It’s also a good reminder of how easy some parts of life are.

It’s not a big deal. It’s just a little adversity. How we handle it is the real character definer.

We still have a house, food, each other, a purpose, a ministry, and a God who is faithful.

So I can’t heat up a little leftover pizza. I can make an open fire or just heat it up over the so-called microwave safe dish that’s still smoldering. :)

What’s your best microwave mishap story?

God is good,

Peder