Sometimes, the hardest thing for me to do is to forgive. Yes, I know that the Lord’s Prayer says to forgive us as we forgive others. Saying it and doing it are two different things, even for family. My son is a typical teenage boy. He will do things without thinking of the consequences and then wonder why I am upset. For example, last year, we had a family meeting to discuss recent events. We discussed some of his recent actions within the house and the treatment of family members. It wasn’t a pleasant conversation. He thought everyone was picking…

During a recent devotional reading, I came across a passage about how God gives us a second chance. In Psalm 30:2 (MSG), David writes, “God, my God, I yelled for help and, you put me together. God, you pulled me out of the grave, gave me another chance at life when I was down-and-out.” This pandemic has exposed flaws that I hadn’t noticed in me and my children. Since we are all at home, character flaws become points of disagreement. Sometimes, I do feel hopeless. …

One question that I have seen many times on social media is, “If God loves me so much, why does He allow me to fail?” Another way to ask the question is, “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?’ In the Bible (the Book of Job), God allowed Satan to test Job by taking away his wealth, family, and worldly belongings to see if he would turn away from God. Some would say that this was unfair to Job. Others respond with the old saying, “God will never put more on you than you can bear.”…

Not too long ago, I was feeling depressed. I thought of all that we went through as a family in 2020. I thought of being quarantined, my business income dried up almost overnight, unexpected additional expenses for counseling, and so on. My life as I knew it had changed, quite possibly forever. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. I was thinking of all of the bad things that happened and asking God why this happened to me.

Sometimes, when you ask God for wisdom, He shows up in unexpected ways. I turned on the television to a local news…

At the beginning of 2021, I decided to follow a plan to read the Bible in one year. I have the Bible app on my electronic tablet. Every day, when I wake up, the first thing that I do is find a quiet space to get into God’s word. I start with a devotional, then move to a passage from either Psalms or Proverbs, and then read Scripture from the old and new Testament. Afterward, I pray about what God is trying to teach me and ask Him to lead me through my day. I now start the day with…

In 2020, my wife and I had the unpleasant task of seeking mental health assistance for our three children. It all started with my son. In 2019, we started seeing signs of obsessive behavior, with a particular focus on technology. It started with taking things that belonged to others without permission, and then it escalated to disobeying our instructions, lying, and stealing. As parents, we continued to correct him and had consequences for bad behavior. Nothing worked. Our house had become a living hell because of privacy and trust issues.

Things reached a boiling point just after the new year…

Previously, I wrote about Julia’s experiences as she began her freshman year at Hampton University. In the article, I talked about the struggles that she had regarding communications access on campus. No parent wants to see their child struggle, and our first instinct when seeing our daughter struggle is to jump in and help. Even though Julia is “deaf and disabled,” she is still an adult, and we have to transition from directing mode (as in telling her what to do) to one of advisor and counselor just like any other parent. We must stand back while she makes her…

As with any student, Julia was nervous about her first day of school. She worried about being able to fit in, keeping up with her studies, and as a deaf student, surviving in a “hearing” environment. I previously wrote about her experiences during freshmen orientation week. During that time, we also helped Julia work with Hampton University ‘s Information Technology (IT) Services Department to connect her technology devices (I.e., computer, tablet, smartphone, and television) to their network, arrange a personal assistance schedule (she has cerebral palsy and requires limited assistance), and in general get her ready to start classes.

At…

A few weeks ago, I started a series called A Year In The Life Of A Deaf Student. In the first article, I described the process Julia used in deciding to go to Hampton University. Since the article was published, I heard from a number of people asking why we as parents “let” Julia go to Hampton if we were so unsure. Now, let me address our thought process from a parent’s perspective.

First, Julia didn’t just wake up one day and say “I want to go to Hampton.” This decision was years in the making. We saw early on…

I recently wrote an article about Julia’s graduation from high school. Now, with that major milestone behind her, it was time to focus on the next chapter: Getting ready for college. We decided to move from Austin, TX to the Hampton Roads area of Virginia to be closer to Hampton University’s campus in order to help Julia. Since Julia is deaf and has cerebral palsy, we knew that she would need certain accommodations to help her succeed in college. …

Jim Kennedy

I write on the topic of Dad Leadership. For more information, please visit my website http://DadLeadership.com.

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