As I sit here less than two weeks from the Downstate Convention, my thoughts go through everything that needs to be finalized to make the Convention a success.  While we try to plan for everything, there are always last minute items that pop up for which we need to be prepared.  We spend much of our time dealing with the X’s and O’s of how to make it work, but the most important thing we need to do is keep our focus on our mission, which is to serve the homeschoolers who will be attending our Convention.  At times, these items can be viewed as punch list items that we need to check off in order to move on to the next thing.  How many times do we just go through the motions, be it with our families or our faith?  Prayer – check!  Devotions – check!  Play a game with the kids – check!

When we just go through the motions, those items in our wake tend to be cast aside.  When we do this to our families, especially as Dads, we are really letting them down.  We are showing them that they are just another thing on “the list” to check off.  They are much more than that.  Our families are a precious gift from our Creator.  They were never meant to be “just another item.”

Like many dads, I have a lot of demands on my time.  They range from volunteer work within LEAH to church responsibilities to my full-time job, (the one that pays me).    But there is none more important than the one that is waiting for me when I get home from a long day.  One day last summer, I arrived home from work after dark, and was informed by my bride that one of my daughters had been waiting for me to come home, holding her baseball glove.  I was crushed, knowing that I had disappointed her, even though it was beyond my control.  However, I was given a reprieve.  The next day, I arrived home at my normal time, no emergencies at the end of the workday, and she met me at the steps.  She was holding both my glove and hers.  I went straight to the backyard and we played catch till it turned dark.  It was just a really nice time – no list to check off, no urgency.  Just having fun.

Dads – how many of the things in our lives cause us to miss the really important ones.  Are we just going through the motions?  On Saturday, March 16, as part of the Downstate Convention, we will be having the Ladies’ Luncheon and Dads’ Tool Time.  The theme of Dads’ Tool Time is MMA – Men Mentoring Adolescents.  What is it that causes you to tap out?  Primarily, what is it that causes you to tap out on your families?  Our Tool Time Coordinator, Mark DeLeon, and his team have put together a super event that will include an open and honest discussion on these things.  We will have a distinguished panel that includes our keynote speaker – Dr. Bruce Eagleson, two of our Chapter Leaders – Lesly Dalencour and Derek Carter, and John Wilkerson of the Wired Homeschool.  I encourage each dad to come to this and be encouraged.  And LADIES!  Encourage your husbands to attend.

In His Service,

Jason White

NYS LEAH Downstate Regional Representative
NYS LEAH Downstate Convention Coordinator