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.

IMG_4272

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

The Runner vs The Skateboarder

I like running. I’m more inconsistent than I want to be but it’s a time when I can think without being interrupted. I ran track in high school, but it’s my wife, Sherri, who is my inspiration and encouragement to run, and she reminds me how great I feel after a run. Tired? Yep. Energized? Definitely.

I was out running on a beautiful Minnesota fall day when this kid with his flat-brimmed hat on backwards looking at his iPhone just cruised by me on his skateboard!

I was on the sidewalk and he came right into my peripheral vision on the street and eased by.

I actually felt myself pick up the pace (which feels slow now) to try and keep up with the guy, hoping to pass him.

He didn’t even notice me. He didn’t care. He just went on his way enjoying his wheels and music.

Lots of thoughts entered at that moment:

  • I’m so slow! What happened to my speed from days gone by?
  • That kid is so not getting a workout. The skateboard is doing all the work.
  • I’m gonna beat this flat brimmed, untied shoes, no care in the world boarder
  • I hate falling behind anyone. I hate losing!
  • I’m glad I don’t own a skateboard. I’m working hard. I’m better off than he is.
  • It’s not fair that I have to run and he doesn’t.
  • I’m embarrassed to be so slow; I hope he doesn’t remember me.
  • I’ll never get faster.

They go on and on.

I know, it’s not very Christian like.

But I’m being honest about what I was thinking because it made me think about how as followers of Jesus we compare our “faithfulness” and “strength” to people around us.

It’s not helpful to do this! 

What if I change a few words in my thoughts. Do you ever have thoughts like these?

  • I’m so doubting! What happened to my confidence from days gone by?
  • That person is so not trying. God is doing all the work.
  • I’ll go to to show everyone how I worship.
  • I hate falling in front of anyone. I hate screwing up!
  • I’m glad I not a lazy church-goer. I’m working hard. I’m better off than them.
  • It’s not fair that I have to struggle and he doesn’t.
  • I’m embarrassed to have questions. I hope he doesn’t notice my fears.
  • I’ll never get it right. I’ll never win.

I run because I get to run. I try to get in better shape. I may try a race. I really just want to get stronger, feel better, and take care of what I’ve been given.

Isn’t that a part of our faith and connecting with God and His presence?

We have each been given a certain measure of faith in accordance to what God decides (Romans 12:3). It’s not about comparing ourselves to each other. That takes our eyes of the prize (Philippians 3:12-14).

Our running is about OUR run!

God has laid it out and is excited to show Himself to you in new ways. Don’t feel defeated by the skateboard! In fact ask God to bless those who seem to speed on by that they would know the presence of the Father like never before!

This Thanksgiving, give thanks that you get to run, walk, or roll. It’s what God has made for you and He’s is excited to meet you in it.

God is good All the Time!

Peder

A simple phrase from Summit 9

Earlier this month I was honored to be the host and lead some worship for Summit 9. It’s a two-day conference presented by the Christian Alliance For Orphans. Ministries that specialize in adoption, orphan care, foster care, and advocacy for children in need are all part of the event. People associated with these ministries along with families who are considering adoption, foster care, or being a part of orphan ministries all attend. 2500 people from 49 states and 25 countries all descended on Brentwood Baptist in Brentwood, TN.

"That's What Family Does" at Summit

Leading worship at Summit
Elvis Guay copyright 2013 used with permission

It was an amazing, overwhelming, emotional, fun, and heart-filling two days. So much passion, dedication, and commitment to reaching and serving those cannot help themselves.

It affirmed and reignited the fire Sherri and I have burning inside us for ministries like Compassion and the blessing of our adoption. Even more so an ever-clarifying focus on helping son and daughters, moms and dads become more deeply connected through worship.

So why am I giving you an update on the event and our experience? It probably is sounding like a state of Peder Eide address.

With Nicole C. Mullen

Chatting with Nicole C. Mullen
Elvis Guay copyright 2013 used with permission

It’s because of simple phrase Jedd Medefind, President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans, said a couple times. It’s not profound nor a fancy lyric. It wasn’t a little, unknown verse that is rarely recited but a phrase is deeply rooted in scripture.

The phrase that came up each time Jedd would speak was: “we need to act.”

That’s it.

No big ooohs and awwwws. Just that phrase.

“We need to act.”

It strikes me because it seems so much of ministry time is spent in having more conversations, discussions, online get-togethers, and so on. Not only does time get wasted but our heart fire and desire starts to fade.

Hear me clearly: being planned, focused, and organized are right and I am not advocating we become reckless in our actions with no sense of outcome or consequence.
I am however believing that we can become so caught up in studying needs, discussing understandings, and seeking more information that we could actually become emotionally convinced we’ve done enough without ever acting.

Thats What family Does at Summit 1

Singing “That’s What Family Does”
Elvis Guay copyright 2013 used with permission

The following verses seem pretty clear to me:

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. I John 3:17-18 NIV

It’s why we advocate for Compassion children. It’s why we adopted. It’s why we try to be rescuers as best as we can with what we have.

Acting doesn’t make you more righteous than someone who does not. No. Never.
It does, however, take you from an observer to a participant.

Remember: life is better caught than taught.

I needed to hear this, Jedd.

Thanks, Summit 9. Thanks, CAFO. Thank you to all who act.

It works.

What do you need to act on?
If you were at Summit 9, what was your one take away?

Over Prepared

Hey my friends,

I admit I’ve been slow to blog as of late. I apologize to you who have continued to stay faithful to reading the devos and follow me on social media. I therefore make my January 19th resolution to blog more consistently, creatively, and just down right better! If I fail, well then…hmm…not planning on that so I will take that conflict when it comes.

I say that because I am a guy who likes to be prepared for any situation. Depending on what I’m doing, I sometimes will actually play all out all scenarios in my head of what might possibly happen so that I can plan a course of reaction. In many regards this ability has made me handle emergency crisis moments well. Anything from spur of the moment changes on stage during a concert to coaching adjustments during a game to bigger things like one my kids choosing to do something that requires a trip to the ER (Yes that’s definitely been more than one time).

I think I handle these well because I think ahead.

It can and has also many times been a handicap to me…

Honestly I need to suck up my pride to even present this side of me because it makes me more vulnerable than I like. Still I’m praying it might be an encouragement to anyone reading this. Really because when you end up in these traps, if you can relate, they are no fun.

There is nothing wrong with being prepared in fact its biblical to have a heart preparedness (I Peter 3:15, I Corinthians 16:13).

The problem is when it starts to grow out of fear and wanting to control outcomes.

Yes, that’s me sometimes.

I want to make sure my kids grow up strong in the Lord and with hearts for others. Yet I will sometimes spend a whole car ride telling them what do if this happens or if that happens, overwhelming them with information that they already know or may not need to know. They get exasperated and frustrated and sometimes even fearful because I brought up some crazy possibility.

Allison with her horse

Allison and Hunter

For example, I will be taking Allison to ride horses because it’s a deep passion of hers and I will double and triple check that her helmet is secure, she obeys the rules, and that the horse meets my approval. Like I really know more than the trainers, my wife (who is a strong rider herself), or even Allison for that matter and that my interrogation and boatload of “what ifs” is really that valuable every single time!

It’s then I realize spent a whole bunch of time covering every possible situation that could happen (most of which will not) and I missed the best part:

I missed being absolutely present with my 13-year-old daughter who is so excited to ride and talk about horses. I missed a whole bunch of potential laughter, joy, relationship because I wasn’t there mentally. I was in some future place that did not really exist and was only filled with possible misfortunes and tragedies.

Living with one foot in a bucket of fear is awful. What I need to remember is that I can’t change my past and I can’t influence something that hasn’t happened so I need to be involved with the present.

There so much going on the present. It is, as they say, “a gift.”

So what does that mean for you and me? For me it makes Luke 12:25 a little more blunt when it says, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”

It makes sense that we worry about keeping those we love around us safe, wanting things to turn out how we want them to, wanting to be prepared for certain things, etc. It’s good to be prepared.

Just don’t allow yourself to become so about what could happen and then you end up missing what IS happening.

Usually what is happening is the most amazing thing going on.

God is good all the time!

Peder

Waiting For The Amazing Flying Fish

My beautiful bride of 20 years and I just spent three days in Seattle to celebrate one of our favorite things: marriage. We have loved being married.

Sherri and I took it easy and enjoyed getting time for just the two of us to talk, pray, eat, walk, and take in the wonderful west coast.

Starbucks

My beautiful wife Sherri and me at the original Starbucks in Seattle

We decided to go into the city and visit the famous public market. I wanted to get a cup of coffee from the very first ever Starbucks. We also ate some amazing clam chowder and enjoyed the smells and sights of the market.

One place in the market area is the Pike Place Fish Market. They have every kind of seafood right out in the open, on ice ready for sale. The employees are full of the chants and boisterous calls to come buy some fish. One of the things they are most known for is if you buy a fish, they will throw it across the store front counter. Flying Fish!

They shout out a warning and next thing you know is one employee is throwing your newly-purchased tuna across the counter. I tried to capture a little of it on video:

It was fun. Funny. What was really interesting to me is how many people stood with cameras ready to try to capture this throwing of the fish. They surrounded the area waiting, waiting, and then taking video to try to capture this thing they heard about even though they had no interest in actually buying a fish or maybe they don’t even like fish.

They wanted to see something amazing, unique, special.

They were willing to wait for it. They had heard it would happen. People had talked about it. Rumors were out there.

They waited with anticipation.

Hey, my friends, we who follow Jesus carry the Kingdom of God in us. The Holy Spirit actually dwells in us! There are so many people in our lives who know these things about us and are watching us to see what makes a life with Jesus so amazing. How does it make us different?

So many of us live in a lie that says we are too messed up or not faithful enough to be used by God to show His amazing Glory and Power. It’s not true.

Scripture say the good work He began in us He will bring to completion. It’s not a mediocre work or an average thing; it’s good!

God’s good things are always amazing. They’re never boring. But if we choose to fold or listen to the voice telling us we’re not qualified or ready to show God’s Kingdom, evil wins. Really.

Edmund Burke says, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in this world is for good people to do nothing.” When we do anything for the Kingdom of our awesome God, amazing things happen. Sometimes slow, sometimes fast but always amazing! And people are waiting and watching.

Those people are your friends, family, coworkers, classmates, people on the street, children in poverty, orphans, neighbors, and fellow parishioners sitting next to you on Sunday morning.

Let the fish fly, children of God! You really are amazing by God’s grace!!

God is good all the time!

Peder

It Came in the Mail- Writing “Come to the Rescue”

On the Rescue project, a song that was truly a labor and love to write was “Come To The Rescue.” My 13-plus years of partnership with Compassion International and adopting two of my children has revolutionized my heart and the heart of my family. Our ministry’s heart for orphan care has grown and continues to become more passionate. After we had written and recorded “Roll The Stone Away” on the Taste and See project, I discovered I wanted to write more about this theme: the urgency of taking care of children in poverty, orphans, little ones who can easily go unnoticed and the hurt to advocate for them and tell the stories of how the Father God’s heart is all about this.

When we were writing the Rescue CD, I had always kept a bunch of side notes about God’s heart for the poor, left behind, widows, orphans, and so on. The difference this time was finding the word or words that would really speak of what happens when you reach out to a child and pour some of yourself into them AND how we just can’t procrastinate about doing something. I was standing in my kitchen with my wife, Sherri, when one our staff brought a package we received from Compassion.

It was information about a new program called Rescue Me, a ministry specifically for children who are under five years of age and are at high risk of not surviving. It was this ministry and more so this word “rescue.” Rescue means “to free or deliver form confinement, danger, or evil.” That said everything to me.

I already had a tune in my head that I came up when I was on a run so I started to lay down some ideas and immediately sent them to Bob Stromberg and my producer Paul Marino. Because they both have a heart for Compassion and children in need, we went right to work.

The one thing about the song that is different is it has less of a feel of gentleness or graciousness. What I mean is that sometimes when we talk about a subject like this we tend to approach it with “Would you mind if we talk about poverty?” or “If it doesn’t make you uncomfortable, could I tell you about children who are hurting?” The word rescue itself pretty much squelches that. To rescue someone is not convenient; it’s an urgent moment. When we wrote this song, we wanted to be true to the word and the reality. Children need to be rescued. It’s urgent and not always convenient.

Check out the “Come to the Rescue” video.

Please retweet it, re-post it, share it in whatever way you can. It’s not about charity; it’s about justice.

If you go to www.PederEide.com and click on the Compassion Tab and sponsor a child, we will send you a copy of Rescue. Just email me at peder@pedereide.com and tell me you sponsored a child and we will get the music.

Here is a come to the “Come to the Rescue” ringtone download: Cometotherescueringtone

In a village by the river where the water once ran sweet
a child and her family would gather there to eat
now she sits there weeping, hungry and alone
it’s all gone
poverty surrounds her and weaves it’s wicked spell
She hides inside her memories to bear this living hell
The voice the whispered hopes and dreams has all but gone away
gone away
All that she has
is a bowl full of tears
a stomach that’s aching
a heart that is breaking
praying somehow someone somewhere will hear
and come to the rescue

He wanders through the garbage down a moon-lit, muddy street
looking for shelter, just anywhere to sleep
for a little boy who’s eight years old, it’s hard to understand:
Why did they die and leave him behind?
All that he has is a bowl full of tears,
a stomach that’s aching,
a heart that is breaking
praying somehow someone somewhere will hear
and come to the rescue

Can you hear them? Will you listen?
Can you hear them? The forgotten and alone
Will you listen? To the hungry and afraid
Can you hear them? The one that’s losing hope
Will you listen? It doesn’t have to be this way
Can you hear them? / Can you hear them?
Will you listen? / Will you listen?

Until all that you have is a bowl full of tears,
a stomach that’s aching,
a heart that is breaking
to be the somehow someone somewhere who hears
and comes to rescue
Come to the rescue
Can you hear them? Will you listen?
Can you hear their cries? Is your heart breaking?
Can you feel the aching inside?
Can you hear them calling, calling
come to the rescue
come to the rescue

I never dreamed a song would come to me through the mail.

Keep carrying the Kingdom of God, my friends, to all who need the presence of our Abba Father.

God is good all the time.

Peder

Excellence

Switchfoot opens with a great look!

The other day I was given a fun gift by a friend and co-laborer in the kingdom of God: tickets to Switchfoot! This is a favorite band of the Peder Eide family. The seats were great! My wife Sherri and two of our children, Ethan and Allison, sat and prepared ourselves for a rare treat to be together and enjoy a concert where I wasn’t a part of it.

From the beginning song all the way through the end, the whole audience sang every song with the band. People celebrated, were inspired, and were moved by the experience of being in a room with other people who have a common love for a style and presentation of music.

Still there was more. What is it about Switchfoot that made it so welcoming to sing these songs loud and like they are your own?

During the concert, I recalled a conversation I had with a friend on our trip to India in January. We were talking about art and the church, favorite groups, what makes a group or an artist last in this industry we call music. It really comes down to the song. It’s about really great songs. Great communication using music, drama, art, etc. Yes, we all have different tastes and preferences but within those it’s still about an excellent creation of a song, painting, story, play, and so on.

What so powerful to me is how a writer like Jon Foreman of Switchfoot writes these amazing songs we get to hear and sing a long with yet these are not all the songs he has written. These are his best, his favorites, the ones that make the cut for the records. They are the most excellent. The result? Years of powerful messages, inspiring lyrics, and changed hearts because of the commitment to being excellent!

I think about what we create in our everyday lives. We all create. Whether we’re ministers, business people, educators, computer technicians, students, singers, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, we all create! We create a level of which we do our occupation or study in school. We create and form the shape of what kind of man or woman we will be. We create an environment by our attitudes, temperaments, words, and actions that direct and affect all those around us.

Do we do it with excellence? Scripture is loaded with verses doing whatever we do with the highest regard to imitating the Father. Running to “win” the prize. (1 Cor. 9:24-27). If anything excellent, pure, praise-worthy, think on these things (Phil. 4:8). Be holy because He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). It’s not because we will impress God but truly it is a response to who God is and to glorify Him. It’s always about God.

Here’s another example of excellence from Lake Michigan. What God has created He lets us enjoy and see Himself in it. It’s a loving thing God has done.

(View it on Youtube under “Excellence from Lake Michigan” on the Peder Eide channel)

Do you think that your pursuit of excellence in whatever you do is not only glorifying God but loving to those around you? Imagine your effort towards your art, music, parenting, studies, responsibilities, verbal responses, facial expressions, being a husband, wife, brother, or sister are truly something to be done excellent and your effort to be excellent is loving?

Thoughts? Email me at Peder[at]pedereide[dot]com and give me some feedback.

Peace to you,

Peder