Parenting

4 Ways to make your daddy/daughter dates great

Yesterday I posted a bunch of reasons to take your daughters on daddy/daughter dates.

Today, I thought I would give 4 super easy ways to make your daddy/daughter dates great!

4 Ways

1. Put the date on the calendar and let nothing else trump it.

NOTHING!

2. Spend a few days asking your daughter what she wants to do on your date.

Give her ideas, but let her dream. If she’s old enough, text back and forth about it.

3. When you’re on your date…Listen, Listen, Listen. In order to do that, you have to ask a crazy amount of questions.

Questions like…

  • What’s your favorite…Band, Singer, Web Page, Food, Bible Verse, Color, Store
  • What friend cares for you the most? What do you do for them?
  • What kind of boy makes you smile?
  • How much do you think Jesus loves you? Why does He loves you?

4. Do whatever she wants.

Don’t say no or not now. And just do it. Ok, don’t rent a private jet and fly to London for her to hang out with One Direction! Do it if you can! But, there are a million ways to make the date special, so…make it special.

Dads…4 Reasons to take your daughters on dates (ok, 10!)

I love my girls.IMG_1612

If you ever visit my Facebook page or hang out with my family, it will probably become very apparent that I love my kids. I have two boys and two girls.

I adore all 4 of them. Being a dad is the best!

I’m trying to be very intentional  about taking out each one of my kids. To get one on one time and to pour into them.

Dads…here is a simple list of why to take your daughters on dates. I thought I would write 4, but 10 just popped out.

Reasons to take your daughters on dates 

1.     Their childhood only happens once

2.     Their childhood zips by at the speed of light

3.     Their childhood is the only one they have

4.     Their childhood builds a foundation for what kind of husband they are going to look for IMG_1583

5.     They need your one on one attention

6.     They need your hugs

7.     They need your words of affirmation

8.     They need those memories of when you put them first above everything else

9.     They need you to listen

10.   They need to hear your stories

Dads, take your daughters out on dates. Trust me, it will deepen your relationship with them in ways you never would have imagined!

Happy Birthday Bobby! My son is 12!!!!!!!!!

Today is Bobby’s 12th Birthday. IMG_0806

I can’t even begin to express how much I love this young man.

It was about this time 12 years ago that I was heading on stage to lead worship and my wife stopped me and said it was time to head to the hospital.

I’ll never forget that day. We had a waiting room full of people and Bobby was born. He was our second and our first boy.

One of the best moments of my life was introducing him to my dad. It was so much fun to say…

Bob Raitz meet Bobby Raitz. 

What I love about Bob…

Bobby is a thinker. He’s a processor. He’s a calculator.

Bobby is one of the best question askers I know. His questions are deep and well thought out.

Bobby has great discernment and he most often figures out or sees what is happening in a situation.

Bobby also has the gift of empathy. He has so much compassion for those who are hurting or beat down.

Bobby is a builder. He loves building legos and he loves figuring stuff out. IMG_3611

Bobby does not like the spot light. He does not have to be first or recognized.

In fact, Bobby is just ok with not being up front or being the center of attention.

But, if he’s comfortable, look out. He’ll dance, sing, act goofy and play around.

This past week he was a youth retreat and I saw him come alive. It was just awesome.

Bobby is a good athlete, but again, he doesn’t like the attention.

He loves video games. Probably more than anything else.

I can always rely on Bobby to pray. Whether it’s before a meal, at youth group or even at church. Which is surprising because he does not like being up front.

Bobby loves to rest and chill. He loves chocolate and he loves watching movies.

We love going to the movies together. Watching TV shows like Arrow and playing catch or shooting hoops.

He loves to fish and would love to hunt if I took him more, I need to work on that.

What I pray for Bobby…IMG_4917

1. That He would become a Man of God.

2. That his love for Jesus would continue to grow.

3. That he would have a passion for God’s Word.

4. That Jesus would be the Lord of His life.

5. That God would be His life’s focus.

6. That he would learn and pursue the calling that God has for his life.

7. That the fruit of the Spirit would be evident in his life.

8. That he would love people in a huge way.

9. That God would protect Him.

10. That God would use him to reach thousands of people for His Kingdom.

I love this boy. I am so proud of this young man. I am so blessed to be his dad. 

Father God, please make your face to shine up Bobby Raitz and be gracious to Him. Please open up the floodgates of heaven and pour out your blessings on Him. Please give Him the strength to keep his eyes focused on you.

Thank you Thrive Kidz! Such a GREAT Story!

Ok, I love Thrive Kidz! What is Thrive kidz you ask? It’s the children’s ministry at Thrive ChurchIMG_5216

At Thrive Church, we love kids! We REALLY do! One of the things I say pretty frequently is…we don’t ever want our children’s and students at Thrive Church to get the scraps. I’ve seen it over and over in 20 years of being a part of Churches. I just can’t ever let it happen at Thrive!

Do we have the perfect environment for our kids and students yet? No. But, we’re working really hard on them and doing everything we can to improve them.

Actually, because of our kids explosive growth, I made a HUGE announcement yesterday at Thrive and I will blog more about that a little later. Can’t wait!

But, I’m writing this whole post because a mom at Thrive posted an incredibly awesome post in our Thrive Facebook group. (Which, if you would like to be a part of that, just email me…jason.raitz@thrivechurchmi.cc).

It’s so encouraging! It’s so humbling. It’s so awesome! And, it’s just GREAT!

Thank you to our Thrive Kidz volunteers for making Thrive Kidz a place where kids are loved, are safe and are taught about Jesus!

A huge thank you to our Thrive Kidz leaders (Katie and Tracie) for doing an amazing job!

And, a huge thank you to the moms and dads and their kids who are a part of Thrive Kidz!

Here’s the incredible post…

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 9.04.49 AM

What I want for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is tomorrow. 

Don’t even get me started about how quick time is flying by! But, anyways, it’s tomorrow.

I am excited for a bunch of reasons:

1. I love my dad. He’s the best. A great dad, a great man and I can’t wait to tell him.

2. I love being a dad. The best! I love my kids and I love this privilege that God has given me.

3. I love my church and we’re loving on dads tomorrow.

Earlier in the week, my wife asked what I wanted for Father’s Day. That’s a good question. We’re in and have been in a season where we really don’t buy gifts for each other…my wife and I. Birthdays, Christmas, Mothers Day, Fathers Day. Lot’s of bills to pay and the kids have greater needs than we do.

But, I have been thinking about that question more and more. And, I think there are some things I want for Father’s Day.

What I want for Father’s Day

1. I want–hope–believe–pray for my kids to love Jesus with every ounce of their being. I pray daily they won’t walk away from their faith, but they will hold onto it and continue to grow. I pray that everyday they will fall more in love with Jesus.

2. I want–hope–believe–pray that my kids will be reckless worshippers. That they will live their lives in such a way that they worship God with their lifestyle. When it comes to singing worship, I pray everyday that they would be passionate worshippers.

3. I want–hope–believe–pray for my kids to love the local church and to love their love church. My hope and prayer is that church will never become dull to them or they will look for ways to get out of it.

4. I want–hope–believe–pray that my kids will radically change their and the world. I pray everyday that my kids would see others with God’s eyes. That compassion and mercy and love would flow through them to people who are desperately in need of them.

I know there’s more, but that pretty much sums up what I want for Father’s Day. New tech gadgets would be cool, but I would love for my kids to Love God passionately and to loves others selflessly.

Zach Raitz is 10 years old!

I can’t believe it, but my Zach is 10 years old. IMG_0478

I could not be more in love and more proud of the young man Zach is becoming.

Here’s what I know about Zach

Zach is a terribly hard worker. Whether its his homework or his chores, he likes and will get the job done as best and as soon as he can.

Zach is way too much fun. Yes, he is the life of the party. Too much sometimes, but he just brings joy and laugher.

Zach loves to laugh. We tell jokes and laugh all the time together.

Zach loves people. He loves being around them and he loves talking to them.

Zach loves little kids and he’s great with them!

Zach loves music! I can’t wait to get him started on drum lessons.IMG_0587

Zach loves 7eleven. No, like an incredible love for slurpees. Ever since he was old enough to crawl he’s loved them. When we found out he had PKU, we didn’t know much about his diet in those days and felt bad for him since he can’t eat protein. But, since slurpees are protein free, he loves them.

Zach is willing to take risks. I love his spirit to try new stuff. Even when he strikes out, he smiles. The kid is always smiling.

Zach is a daddy’s boy. Has been that way since the beginning. He has taught me more about love than I ever could have imagined.

Zach is a writer. He’s always loved to write stories and tell them.

Zach loves spiderman. Always has. Just loves him.

Zach loves baseball. He could possibly ask me to play catch dozen or so times a week.

Zach loves to be moving. He’s not a kid to sit around and do nothing.

Zach really wants an iPhone. We’ll see when he gets one.

Zach loves his family.

Zach loves to dress good. The kid would wear a suit all the time if he owned one. IMG_4500

Zach really likes to smell good. He even knows what kind of Axe body wash he likes!

Zach loves Jesus and he loves church. We are always talking about Jesus and the church. I love to listen to him dream about the church and what our church can be and become.

Obviously, I love my Zach. It’s hard to even put into words just how much. Every day I thank God for blessing me with the privilege of being Zach’s dad.

Parenting 101…Don’t miss the small moments

In my 14 years of being a dad, here is the one thing that I try to remind myself of all the time…

Don’t miss the small moments.IMG_3312

I have missed my fair share of big and small moments over the years.

Big

and Small. 

It’s probably one of my biggest regrets in life. Far too many years I was off chasing something that I probably didn’t need to be chasing and I missed way too many big and small moments.

I’ve tried hard. I have. I love being a dad and I love my kids. But, I have missed too many moments. I just have.

But, daily, I’m reminding myself to take advantage of the small moments.

Like, the other night, Madie and I had a few moments alone. Her brothers and sister were off and the living room was quiet for just a minute.  So, I just played a simple game with her…I just asked her as many questions as I could.

Her face lit up. 

She danced as she answered.

She got more and more animated.

She loved telling me her responses.

I asked her about everything. What she loved about school, stuff about her friends, her favorite movies and so many more.

Those 8 minutes were the best. 

She still talks about them.

I still talk about them.

I want them back. And, I know they will happen again.

I just can’t miss the small moments.