3 min read


Title: Blurry Photo Of Lake Through Zip-Loc Bag While Paddleboarding With Kids

Starbucks, Tuskawilla & Red Bug, 3:23pm

Back in my old haunt, just like old times.

I'm actually not in at all. I'm sitting outside. In July. In 93 degree heat, 54% humidity, with a 'feels like' temp of 104. But there are big clouds providing shade and a nice warm breeze, and somehow it's not terrible.

Starbucks drinks are half off today, so I have a venti decaf iced mocha (whole milk, whipped cream, 5 pumps mocha sauce instead of 6, 400-something calories) sitting on the little table next to me, leaving ring puddles of condensation all over.

This morning I took the kids out on the Winter Park lakes and canals. Harper, Ezra, and I were on the paddleboard and Asher was in his little kayak. It was fun, though they did complain and Asher cried about his kayak turning in the current when he didn't want it to.

I realized I'm not good at being excited about stuff like that, either before it happens or while it's happening.

I decide to do it (if I'm being decisive) and we do it, and I don't know how it's going to go, but I just keep going until it's done. Like a robot. When I'm by myself I'm able to kind of bring my awareness to the present moment and think, 'this is nice, I'm glad I'm doing this, I think I'm having fun.' But with the kids, it was more like, 'this should be fun, but I'm too concerned about the kids not having fun and complaining and keeping everyone safe and moving forward and it's really hard to experience anything approaching a pure feeling of 'fun' because there's a lot of low grade stress going on here.

So that's the kind of dad I am. Steady, somewhat adventurous, willful, not enthusiastic, but committed, and empathetic at my best or frustrated that my kids aren't as tough and committed as I think I am at my worst.

The canals were fun. Watching a few birds glide above the water was fun. The beginning and the end were fun. I think that's pretty typical of any journey though. There are fun points. And there are slogs. And if everyone's safe at the end, it's been all-around a good trip.

Should I be podcasting or emailing these kinds of journal entries/written prayers? That seems exploitative.

Anyways, thanks Father, for this time away from home, in Orlando, doing some fun stuff. We were all in the pool today for a while. Every day in the pool the kids are more daring and have more fun, which is really cool to see. That's the great thing about summer here and Darius having a pool.

Wendy and Harper are napping at the house and the boys are playing video games. I hope they all have a restful and relaxing time. I hope I do too. I think I will look at my next memoir chapter. My heart's not in it, but I will feel better about working on that then probably anything else. Right now it's books first, Anhinga second, FND Collective third.

Lead and guide me, Father. Help me to know where to put my focus, how to spend my time, how to be a good husband and father and friend and son and brother and citizen of your kingdom. Help me to walk humbly with you, enjoy the good times, learn from and endure the bad times, and somehow make the world a little brighter, a little more loving, a little more fun and relaxed and shalom/aloha.


Also, please help my country and my world. Help the people who say they love you (including me) to seek you and your kingdom and your righteousness, not power or perfection or other empty gods.

Love you. Thank you. Help me to honor you.