A Weekend In the Life of A Man, Husband, Papa, Son, Pastor, and Friend…

A Weekend in the Life

Of A Man,







Just thought you all would get some encouragement from this. Our suburban, oftentimes mundane daily life is important to God, down to the very last detail!!! May we strive to honor Him with every moment…

And the LORD both notices and will reward us for the faithfulness with which we serve our spouses and children—we can count on it!!!

(No wonder I’m always tired!!! :))

Friday (normal day off from work)

6:30am: Wake up my 8.5 year old daughter and my 6.5 year old daughter to help them get ready for school. Squish into our bathtub half-asleep as they get ready in the bathroom (to give them room since it’s a little cramped) because when I leave them both to get ready by themselves they generally end of fighting and waking up my wife. Read through our morning devotional and pray with the kids as my wife provides a delicious breakfast of eggs and toast. My wife and I continuously spur the kids to “move faster, please” as we head out the door at 7:45am.

7:45am: Drive kids to school (only 1/2 mile away) in shoes (no socks), shorts, and a winter coat (no shirt). Get back home and tidy up the downstairs living room and kitchen: collect library books back in their bag, put shoes in closet, fold blankets, hang up coats, empty the dishwasher and refill it with the pile that was in the sink, wipe down kitchen table and sweep under it, put out “breakfast” (plain Stonyfield yogurt with honey or strawberry preserves) for our other children.

9:00am-2:00pm: Have no memory of anything during this time. Very scary since this occurred only 36 hours ago. Sigh. Nevertheless, I do know that this time did NOT include any personal naps, t.v. watching, exercise, or curling up on the couch under a blanket with Metaxas’ biography of Bonhoeffer. So basically, though I can’t remember what happened, this time certainly included more chores/work!

2:00pm: My wife was out grocery shopping at Aldi. She arrived home and we both put the food away. I take a glorious shower and get ready to officiate a funeral. Also answer a few work emails.

3:00pm: Drive to Christ Church Lake Forest to put the finishing touches on my greeting, prayer, and words of assurance for the memorial service for a dear 49 year old wife and mother of two (6th grader and 3rd grader). Walk through the service order with the service director, do a mic check, and strive to encourage the family members.

5:00pm: Officiate the memorial service. With the help and prayer of friends, attempted to provide solemnity, dignity, respect, honor, and encouragement from Scripture for the 200 in attendance during the service.

6:00pm: Leave church to pick up one daughter at a birthday party she is attending at a friend’s house. As I arrive and wait for her to finish her cake, have an interesting discussion with the birthday girl’s Dad about their new hermit crab. Stop back briefly at home to wolf down my 2 year old son’s uneaten bowl of my wife’s homemade meatball soup. Yum.

6:30pm: In full suit and tie, drive to a Daddy/Daughter dance with another daughter. With 125 other Dads and daughters, we dance like crazy people (and enjoy a homemade ice cream sundae) for more than two hours. A blessed event for sure.

9:00pm: Drop daughter off at home (as my wife is finishing putting the rest of kids to bed) and race back out to McDonald’s to pick up, in my wife’s words, some food “we will regret eating in the morning”: Angus Snack Wrap (delicious), Angus Burger Deluxe, two large fries, and a large Sprite.

9:30pm: Arrive home and lay out our salubrious spread on the living room floor and start the movie “The Next Three Days.” It blows our minds.

12:15am: Brush our teeth and collapse into bed with my wife (we are both unconscious in about 60 seconds)(and notice that not much food was eaten all day by my wife or myself before our late night McDonald’s gorge fest).

Saturday (normal day off from work)

8:30am: Start waking up (after 8 hours of sleep), laying in bed still enjoying the last crumbs of a celestial cat nap.

9:00am: Get my son dressed (and change his diaper). Barking out some encouraging and no-so encouraging commands/requests to the rest of my children.

9:15am: While my wife makes delicious eggs and cinnamon rolls, I’m upstairs tidying up: putting dirty clothes from all three bedrooms into hampers, scooping up loose toys & placing into proper places, making my bed, and resetting the bathroom counter top.

9:30am: Tidy up the downstairs living room and kitchen: collect library books back in their bag, put shoes in closet, hang up coats, throw out last night’s late night McDonald’s pig-out, empty the dishwasher and refill it with the pile that was in the sink (and then run it again!), wipe down kitchen table and sweep under it.

10:00am: As my wife takes one daughter to her ballet class (with our 5 month old in tow), I feverishly get the other three kiddos ready to go see Grandpa at his rehab facility: socks, shoes, & coats for two of them (our oldest is blessedly more self-sufficient and can do all this on her own, though not without some firm prodding from her Papa!); have a stern conversation with one daughter about making making the choice to have a good day (since she has been whining all morning about not getting to wear the right clothes and mistakenly thinking she would only get 1/2 of a cinnamon roll (I basically was lecturing her all morning about this as different thoughts/perspectives came to my mind); manage to squeeze in a toddler seat and two booster seats in the back row of our Saturn sedan. Finally, before we hit the road, gather the three kids and apologize to one daughter for yelling at her (while maintaining that I meant every word of what I said [though the way I said it was wrong]), pray together asking for God’s help, and grab my cinnamon roll as we head out the door.

10:30am: Drive to Manor Care in Highland Park to visit my Dad (9 miles, 20 minutes)(only send five encouraging texts to students and family while I am parked at red lights; MAN I’ve got to stop doing that). He is SO THRILLED (tickled pink, he would say) to see us.

11:30am: Race home to get one daughter ready in her outfit for her ballet class (Mama takes her and another daughter). Mama is UNHAPPY (to say the least) that she will be late for her class. Sigh. Make lunch at home for my son and one daughter (and leave lunch waiting for the other children): thinly sliced apples, a cheese stick, a pretzel rod, and a cup of apple juice, all served on a thick half-sheet of paper towel. Bon appetit!

12:00pm: Answer some work emails, send out a tweet on Twitter, and put away the clean dishes (AGAIN!) while the kids watch 20 minutes of a “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” DVD. Re-sweep the kitchen floor, re-wipe the kitchen table, change son’s diaper (no poops–thank the LORD!) and put him down for his nap.

1:00pm: Collapse into bed exhausted for the start of a glorious 2.5 hour nap (with baby screaming for the first 15 minutes as she tries to fall asleep next to me). I am asleep in about 120 seconds despite the siren going off in my ear.

3:30pm: Wake up (the whole family napped in different parts of the house–what a blessed choreography that God arranged for us!) and walk downstairs, mindlessly bouncing around the house from one pile to the other putting stuff away (didn’t I just do this before we napped?). Oldest daughter and I are both cranky despite our pillowed slumber. As my wife warms up an early dinner (more homemade meatball soup!) I fume to the kids to stop making so much noise while lecturing two of my daughters that the reason I am so cranky is because they were so whiny this morning (not one of my prouder moments). My wife and I bundle the kids up for a walk in the brisk but sunny March weather.

5:00pm: Take a chilly but refreshing hour+ long walk with the whole family to Big Bear Lake in Vernon Hills (probably around a four mile walk). Work extra hard to encourage the kids and have pleasant words with them since I have been snippy off and on today. Lots of laughter and fresh air. A great blessing for all of us.

6:15pm: Stayed home from church tonight so my wife and I decided to have “Family Worship” at home. I started out by explaining to the kids the importance of worshiping God through song, why we do it, what God gets out of it, and what we get out of it. We then worshiped the LORD to Steve Fee’s “Glory to God” (after I explained to the kids what “glory” means); click here to see the free visuals provided by Worship House Media: http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/song-tracks/14591/Glory-To-God-Forever. Each of us then said a brief prayer to God in response to the words of the song. I then taught/led a discussion for the family of the wedding feast at Cana (John 2:1-11). I close us in prayer.

7:00pm: My wife bathes our baby in the sink and I bathe three of the other children in the tub upstairs (the oldest takes a shower by herself–again, blessed self-sufficiency!). This includes putting away the kids’ dirty clothes in the hamper, filling up the tub with water and bubbles, washing the kids’ hair and bodies, drying off my son, putting a new diaper on him along with his pajamas, making sure the kids brush all their teeth, brushing one daughter’s hair, and tucking my son into bed (right after snuggling with him in the rocker in his room). My wife nurses the baby, puts her down for the evening, and reads the other kiddos a story and sings them their “nite nite” songs.

8:30pm: I begin writing this Facebook note while my wife runs out for a few items from Target. She gets back and surprises me with my favorite dessert: an Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen. SO GOOD! We watch a 20/20 episode together on Hulu.

11:00pm: My wife heads to bed while I finish up this FB note, read some Scripture from “The One Year NIV Bible,” and read a little of Metaxas’ biography of Bonhoeffer.

12:00am: Off to bed for a 6am wake up!

Sunday (regular work day)

6:00am: Wake up to blessed quiet to get dressed and head out the door to church.

6:15am: Pick up college freshman from his house in Libertyville.

6:30am: Arrive at church (more blessed quiet) to do some last minute work for the morning’s services and spend some quiet time with the LORD.

9:00am-12:30pm: Lead two church services for 150 5th-8th graders and their leaders with the goal of honoring God, teaching from His Word, and helping everyone in attendance to grow closer to God and each other. Vince Pierri will teach Luke Lesson #60 (we have been teaching through the Gospel of Luke over the last 18 months) out of Luke 18:31-34. Great times.

12:30pm: Meet with couple whose wedding I will be officiating in May. Neat part of my job.

1:30pm: Tidy up B201 at church (the Middle School room) and get ready for Compass tonight, where 60 8th graders and their leaders will hopefully grow closer to God and to each other.

3:00pm: Drive home. Most of the family will still be napping when I arrive. Will grab a snack (first food of the day), tidy up the living room and kitchen: collect library books back in their bag, put shoes in closet, fold blankets, hang up coats, empty the dishwasher and refill it with the pile that was in the sink, wipe down kitchen table and sweep under it, etc.

4:00pm: Spend some time outside with the kiddos playing–fun!

5:30pm: Eat dinner with the family (my wife always makes a delicious feast!).

6:15pm: Drive back to church for Compass and take care of any last-minute tasks.

7:00pm-9:00pm: Growing closer to God with the 8th graders and their leaders. Pastor Syler Thomas teaches on “Faith & Reason III: The Resurrection.” Gonna miss these 8th graders when Compass ends May 1st.

9:00pm: Talking with students, and leaders as they depart, and tidying up B201 so that it is spic n span when I get to church in the morning for work.

10:00pm: Drive home. A great, full day.

10:30pm: Grab a snack, force myself to NOT start tidying up around the house, read a little more of the Bonhoeffer bio, and fall asleep in bed next to my wife at 11pm (so I can be up to start coaxing my daughters to wake up for school at 6:30am!).

A bird’s eye view of a simple but blessed life…Praise the Lord…

1 Thessalonians 4:10-12 NIV: “Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to [love God’s family] more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”


(P.S. I did not include all of the work my wife Sarah did this past weekend

because that would have made the note MORE than twice as long!)