Thirty eight years ago this evening, Janet was in labor – getting ready to deliver Kristin, our oldest daughter, at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital in downtown Chicago. Janet was in labor almost 36 hours before Kristin was born and I was there in the delivery room when Kristin arrived. Interestingly, it was during a small window of time in the law when fathers were allowed to witness the birth of their children; right before the law changed again and put an end to fathers being present. When Jill, our other daughter was born 2-1/2 years later, I was back in the delivery room for her birth as well. Just lucky I guess.
Anyway, it was on June 25, 1975 that I became a father. Since I grew up in a family of brothers and I only had uncles and no blood aunts, a girl in the family was quite a novel thing for me. I remember how the nurses wrapped Kristin in blankets and invited me to visit her in the nursery later in the afternoon (she was born at 12:32 pm). I couldn’t wait – even though I met her for the first time within moments of when she was born.
It was quite a special thing the first time that I held her. Since then, there have been a number of times when Kristin has needed her Dad more than ever. There was the time that she got her foot stuck in a tree and cried for me to help get her unstuck. And there was the time when she came out to greet me while I was cutting the grass and sat on the hot muffler from the riding lawn tractor I had. And how about the time she was hospitalized and the doctors thought she had appendicitis – Kristin wanted me to make the call about whether she should have surgery or not. And then there was the time – no, let’s not talk about that one, or the other one…. 😉
So there have been times when Kristin has depended on me for guidance and other times when she made the call on her own. I will leave it to the ages to decide under what circumstances the best decisions in her life have been made. But several things are for sure. She has been raised in a God centered home where commitment to the Lord is paramount. She has also been taught that the family has standards and that no matter where she is, or who she is with, the standards of the family are not compromised.
Like myself, Kristin is an oldest child. That means, whether we like it or not, we are to be the models of behavior for our younger siblings and Kristin has that mantle of responsibility on her shoulders. It’s not always a popular place to be but one that we are born into. Since, in the natural order of things, parents don’t live forever, and oldest children don’t have older brothers and sisters to learn from, it is more important that ever that they follow Godly principles – and seek Godly counsel. The verse for tonight reinforces the idea of what God wants us to do. From Prov. 15:22, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
My encouragement this evening is to let you know that God surrounds us with parents and other Christ followers who are put in our paths to help us make great life decisions. My prayer is that you will take advantage of the people God has entrusted with the message that He wants you to hear. And to our oldest daughter, Kristin, Happy Birthday and may you continue to walk in the way of the Lord all the days of your life. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…