A Dad’s Dash

What does your "dash" reveal about your life?

Dads, have you ever read an obituary and thought about what yours would say?  Or, have you been to a funeral and pictured what the pastor would say about your life?

I have.  Is that weird?  I hope not.  But, for those of you who haven’t yet had these thoughts, I can tell you that it can be a pretty powerful way of taking a look at the priorities in your life!

I don’t read a lot of poetry, but one of my all-time favorite poems is “The Dash,” by Linda Ellis.  Ellis wrote “The Dash” during an afternoon in 1996—a relatively short poem, just 36 lines and only 236 words.  However, since then, this poem has touched millions of lives.

While I am not a poet by trade, I thought I would take an afternoon to write a dad-specific version inspired by the original poem.

I would love to share my poem with you!  Would you like to read it?

A Dad’s Dash

by Mark LaMaster

Dads, on the day that your eulogy is read,

Your life will be summed up in a paragraph or two.

Memories will be shared and tears will be shed.

From birth until death, these words will define you

 

In the busyness of this life we may not notice,

But each and every day we are building our legacy—

How we will be remembered and how others will quote us

How we handled life whether it was great or messy

 

The poem, “The Dash,” tells us that our dash

Represents all of the time we have spent on earth.

Dads, we know that this life goes by in a flash

And that our Dad Dash started from the day of our kids’ birth.

 

From this day on, let’s develop our Dad Dash.

Let’s pursue our family with fervency and passion.

Let us not tread the water of life, but make a splash

In a culture that cultivates consumerism, vanity, and fashion.

 

May our lights shine before other men

In such a way that they may see our good deeds.

Let’s lead with intention and not let life just happen.

Let’s use our gifts and give our family what it needs.

 

May our Dad Dash show how we were bold

And how we stood firm in our faith led by grace—

Watching over our family, young and old

Each day, without exception, seeking His face

 

So, when our Dad Dash is read on the day we are laid to rest

With our family sitting before us in the front row,

May our wives and kids say, “He was the best!”

While other lives we touched reflect on how we helped them grow.

 

May the words generous, selfless, content,

Respectful, trusting, patient, passionate, and intentional

Flow from the lips of the pastor’s statement,

Describing a man that was full of life and multi-dimensional

 

May your Dad Dash reflect a life of splendor.

Dads, it’s not too late to build your legacy—

A legacy reflecting the love of God and your neighbor.

Join me today and take action in building our destiny!

 

©2017 Playoff Parenting, LLC.

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Facing My Fears of Fatherhood

Dads, have you ever had a fear of fatherhood?

I certainly have!  And this week, I had the honor of being featured on the FEAR NOT: Living Beyond Your Fears Podcast with Billy J. Atwell, where I was interviewed about how I faced the fear of not being a good father to my kids. In this honest exchange, you will learn:

  • How I overcame the fear of not being a good parent, and how you can do the same.
  • Books that will help you in your journey of parenthood.
  • How my Faith has kept me strong.

Click here to listen (http://bit.ly/fearnotlamaster)!

–I would be honored if you would forward this email on to a dad you know that might need a bit of encouragement!

–Enter now to win a free copy of my book, a bookmark, and award ceremony reminder bands. Enter HERE today!

 

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Simply Make It Count!

Podcast Interview by Shanda Kay

At a conference I attended in October 2015, the host, Kary Oberbrunner, looked across the crowd before him and said (as I paraphrase), “Look at the people sitting at your table. I believe that you sat next to each other for a reason. As tablemates, you now have a bond that will bring great things!”

I was certainly skeptical. I was in a city that I had never been before and knew no one. “How could I possibly bond with someone I had never met and would only be spending two days at a conference table with?” I thought.

And boy oh boy, Kary was right and I was wrong! Today, I would like to share a story about a bond that was formed with one of my tablemates, Shanda Kay!

Well…actually, both Shanda and I would like to tell you the story! Shanda just launched the “Simply Make It Count” Podcast, and interviewed me as her first guest!!!

Click HERE to get the debut episode of the “Simply Make It Count” Podcast!

If you can’t listen now, just download it and listen to it on the way to work tomorrow morning.

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the “Simply Make It Count Podcast” on iTunes today!

A huge thanks to Shanda Kay for creating the podcast and for sharing our story!

 

 

 

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Live Your Legacy Today!

A couple of weeks ago, I asked “What Will Your Legacy Be?” Several of my readers wrote me back, asking me to share more on the topic of legacy.

I had more interaction with my readers from this article than from any other in the past few months.  So, I began reading more about how we can build our legacies, trying to find the perfect message to share with you.

Then, one day as I was driving back from taking Hannah to school, I heard the Sidewalk Prophets sing, Live Like That,” on the radio.  According to iTunes account, I had played this song at least 23 times before, but for whatever reason, this time I finally listened to the words.

The first part of the song reveals the band’s reflective thoughts about what others will say of them when they are gone:

Sometimes I think

What will people say of me

When I’m only just a memory

Keep on reading »

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I am honored to be speaking at the February Christian Business Leaders Luncheon on February 7, 2017!

Register Today!

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Date: February 7, 2017
Time: 12:00-0100 p.m.
Event: Rochester Christian Business Leaders Luncheon
Sponsor: Christian Business Leaders of Rochester
Venue: Canadian Honker Events at Apache
Location: 1517 16th St SW
Rochester, MN 55902
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

Playoff Parenting 2017 Reader Survey Results

At the beginning of the month, I sent out my 2017 reader survey.  I decided to do a reader survey this year because I believe it will help me improve the content I create for you!  Over the past week, I have been analyzing the results and wanted to share them with you.  I will also share how I plan on using the feedback to better serve you in the coming year.

Here is What the Numbers Revealed

The numbers revealed the following reader profile for The Playoff Parenting Blog.

Keep on reading »

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3 Lessons We Can Learn from the Chinese About Raising Boys

While researching my current project, “Friday Night Lights for Fathers and Daughters,” I ran across an article that caught my eye.  But, it wasn’t about raising daughters.  The article was actually about China’s attempt to fight its masculinity crisis among its boys.

While the U.S. embraces feminism, China is struggling to regain masculinity.

Last month, China published its first ever “textbook for boys to help them embrace their masculinity amid a ‘gender crisis,’” states Eva Li of The South China Morning Post.

 The recently published book, Little Men, will be required reading for boys in the 4th and 5th grade with the purpose of helping them become more courageous and to focus more on their masculinity.

Little Men covers topics such as the differences between boys and girls, the importance of the father-son relationship, and the importance of nature and money management.  (Sounds a bit familiar).

Keep on reading »

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What Will Your LEGACY Be?

Almost exactly 9 years ago, our family’s life changed forever. As we were caravanning to my niece’s birthday party, my parents pulled to the side of the road. Thinking someone simply forgot something, we pulled over behind them.

My mom stepped out of the car with the phone to her ear and a look on her face that I will never forget. As she approached Jen (my wife) and I, she said, “Virgil died.” My wife’s dad had died in his sleep. You can imagine the transformation of emotions from the excitement of celebrating a birthday to the disbelief of the death of Jen’s dad.

Virgil’s death was unexpected, especially since we had just celebrated one of the best Christmases with him and LaVonne the week before.

Keep on reading »

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“My 12 Minute Conversation with Engel Jones!”
by Engel Jones

Honored to have been interviewed on the 12 Minute Convos podcast with Engel Jones! You can listen to my interview HERE.

I would love to have you listen to my conversation with Engel Jones as we talk about the privilege of parenting our children!

Check out Engel’s website HERE and make sure you subscribe to his podcast on iTunes!

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PLEASE TAKE THE PLAYOFF PARENTING 2017 READER SURVEY

Help Me Create Parenting and Family Content That Serves Your Needs

As we begin 2017, I want to ensure that I do the best possible job of meeting your parenting and family educational and learning needs! To serve you best, I need to know more about YOU!
In order to do that, I have created the Playoff Parenting 2017 Reader Survey.

Would you please take a few minutes to fill out the survey? By doing so, you will ultimately be helping yourself. Why? Because you will be helping me create content even more interesting and relevant to you.

Your input is important to me. The survey is easy to fill out, and the results are completely anonymous. I can’t tell who said what. And you can finish in five minutes.

Click HERE and take me to the survey now!

Thanks in advance for your help!

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