Ah Father’s Day. It’s the day that Home Depot executives smile and the BBQ industry dances a little jig. On Mother’s Day the restaurants are over-booked for that special brunch, but Father’s day…argh…it’s about dad’s BBQ genius demonstrating why God chose him to be a  man and that there is no better!

I still have countless Father’s Day artifacts from both Emma and Liam at various stages of life. A construction paper tie; a box to hold manly stuff-and-things; pictures drawn with love and garnished with various colored food items from the fridge. Mostly, I have memories that I don’t ever want to lose. It is amazing how little our kids remember about their growing up years. Events and trips that are forever embedded in my heart and mind retrieve a complete “huh” from my kids when I ask them if they remember.

So I think that the best way to celebrate Father’s Day this year is to consider some things that you won’t find at Home Depot or the Nordstrom Rack. Here are seven powerful suggestions for a Father’s Day that might surprise you, but as a dad, I think they have some real potential.

1. Retell a Favorite Story:

Take a moment and think back…Do you remember that special trip, or school event or perhaps it was a baseball game that your dad was at and it meant the world to you. Write a one page letter retelling the story and let your dad know that he truly made that day special for you  and that you will always remember it. Be detail oriented, fill in the memories!

2. The Gift of You:

You have probably figured out by now that the older you get the faster time dissipates. One of the best gifts you can give your dad is the gift of your presence. The gift of your presence is spelled T-I-M-E, hang out together. Write up a little card that is redeemable for some time to  do whatever, fish, hang, go to a movie. Your dad knows that your life is busy, but he would love to have some time to simply be with you.

3. Advice List:

Men are wired as fix-it pros. We morph and come alive when we can help, make a difference or fix something. Most dad’s dread the day when they are no longer needed. For a dad, fixing your stuff and/or your problems is energizing, However, as you got older and smarter, you needed dad’s fix-it help less. This Father’s Day prepare a list of questions asking for his advice on various things from relationships to clogged sinks!

4. Your Dreams:

As a dad, I want to know what stirs my kids’ soul. What do they dream about? What are they most passionate about? How would they like to be a Planet Changer? Where does their mind go when they have time to think? So give your dad a visionary list of the deep desires God has infused into your soul. Share the whys and the whats about your passions and let him explore the possibilities with you.

5. His Dreams:

Have you ever taken the time to ask your dad about his dreams, his passions, his goals? We so often forget that our parents are people too! And that just like us, they too have God infused dreams in their soul. Ask about the dreams that have happened. Ask about the dreams that didn’t. Ask about the dreams that were sacrificed so that you could have the life that you have. Parents have sacrificed much that goes unnoticed by their children, and the sacrifice was generally made for them. This conversation will give you a whole new perspective on who your dad is, and it will affect the way you invest in your future.

6. A Repeater:

How about giving your dad a gift that keeps on giving! A once a month hike…a weekly coffee meet-up…a mile or more walk every week…read the same book and get together to discuss it…a monthly movie date…it could be anything, just make it consistent!

7. Amnesty

Ok, let’s admit it, all dad’s blow it. All dad’s make mistakes. All dad’s need forgiveness. This gift of forgiveness might be the best offering that will bless both you and your dad this year. To forgive someone doesn’t mean that you are forgetting the past or denying a wrong-doing. It doesn’t mean that you are waiting for an apology or neglecting or approving of a sin… rather you are choosing to free yourself from a self-imposed prison of hate or anger that seeks revenge. The benefits of forgiving others is worthy of an entire post! We long for our dad’s to be perfect, and when they aren’t it can be crushing. Our ideals are altered and our reality takes a hit. This Father’s Day choose to look at your dad as a broken human just like you…a man who is imperfect, just like you…a person in need of grace just like you…Let this be the year that you choose to forgive and begin building a relationship that fills your soul.

Happy Father’s Day!

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