In this video, I share some thoughts about my daughters:
I am deeply grateful to the Lord for my wife Nanci and for our daughters Karina and Angie! Nanci is a great mom, and a fantastic grandma. I love the way she cares for our grown daughters, giving them space, but always being interested in their lives, their husbands (both conveniently named Dan) and their children.
I love it when our daughter Karina, now living a thousand miles away, calls her just to talk. And when our daughter Angela drops by for reasons large and small. I love to hear the laughter—and Nanci’s laughter is delightfully contagious and therapeutic.
I look at Karina and Angie now as moms who are in their thirties—the mothers of my grandsons—and I am just delighted to see their hearts for Christ and the ways God has gifted them. I marvel at my daughters’ love and discipline and wisdom, their grace and truth, and the patient ways they pour themselves into our grandchildren. I marvel at them. I always have, and always will.
I watch Karina with Matthew, Jack and David, and the thoughtful way she approaches each day, creatively laying out a schedule for home schooling and field trips and errands. She knows just how to talk to each of her boys, to motivate and train and encourage them.
I watch Angela with Jake and Ty, driving them to school, picking them up and taking them to their afternoon sports, listening to them and helping them problem-solve. I watch Karina and Angela and their husbands reading Bible stories to their children at night, just like I did to them, and praying with them as Nanci and I did.
This means more to me than I can express, because I grew up in a non-Christian home. I love my Dad, but as a child I heard him come home drunk in the middle of the night, and listened to my parents fight. I have vivid memories, as I lay in bed, of hoping (I didn’t know anything about prayer) that they wouldn’t get a divorce. They’d both been divorced before, so that wasn’t unthinkable. I loved my parents, and had the joy of later leading each of them to Christ.
But to see our daughters and their husbands passing on to their children what I didn’t have as a child brings tears to my eyes. To watch our grandchildren growing up in Christ-centered churches where their fathers and mothers are leaders means more to me than most, because as a child, until I was teenager, I knew nothing of Christ or the church.
A while ago Nanci received an email from Karina that made both of us laugh at how life comes full circle (or as they say, what goes around comes around):
Matt [eight years old] is paying me back for every well-organized campaign of logical attack I ever made against taking piano lessons as a child. He has his heart set on a point system for chores which will earn him certain prizes, and will not let a day go by without making some very difficult-to-refute points…. The degree to which he is able to drain my mental energy is absolutely amazing. I can't believe how nice you were to me, and patient. At the time, of course, I thought you were totally unreasonable. :) And yet now... I can only hope to receive an email like this from Matt in 25–30 years. :)
I remember the girls’ childhood years so specifically, and when I look at them I can always see them as they were at the same age our grandchildren are now. Because we’re in close touch with Karina and Angie and their families, it’s like we’re reliving those years again.
I remember going into our girls’ room while they were sleeping and praying over them. Sometimes in the middle of the night, I would get up and come in and quietly pray beside their bedside. When our grandsons spend the night with us, before I go to bed I pray over them as they sleep, just as I did my daughters, often in the same room.
(A couple years ago Angie told me, “You know, Dad, when you would come into my room in the middle of the night and pray over me, I was often awake. I would pretend I was asleep but I was aware of you praying for me. And I want you to know how much that meant to me and how much that means to me now looking back.”)
God gave me a wonderful mother, who went to be with Jesus in 1981, ten years after I had the joy of leading her to Christ. (See my tribute to my mom.) God gave me a terrific wife who is also a great mom. And to top it off, God gave us two amazing daughters who are also fantastic moms. I thank God for each of them, none of whom I deserve. And that is the grace of God, isn’t it? To give us in Christ what we don’t deserve.
“For we know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich yet for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).