It’s been almost five full months since moving from a full time job to a full time at-home father. I went into this foolishly thinking I’d have tons of “free time”. I was gonna finally get to teach myself to play the guitar and fully expected to pick up more skills in the graphics and video editing department.

NOT happening! Not at all.

And I’m okay with that.

I have never been more stretched thin in all my life, but I’ve also never felt so rewarded. I’m almost wishing I could get a do-over with the girls and stay at home with all of them through this stage of life.

Zion’s now 7 months and I can’t believe how much love I have for this little guy. It’s endless.

I have circles under my eyes. My sleep has been suffering. There are days that I can’t wait for “the relief” to come, but 9 times out of 10 I’m just blown away that I get to spend my days at home with such a precious gift of life.

I prayed before Zion came. My prayers were that God would give me an “easy baby”. I figured God knew what I could handle but I just wanted to put my request in because I was pretty fearful about the whole thing. Would I be able to do it? Would I know what to do? What happens if he doesn’t stop crying?

For those of you that have met Zion in person, you know that he is one of the happiest babies the world has ever seen. He has a perpetual smile on his face and is the cuddliest little guy I’ve ever been around. He LOVES to be held.

That doesn’t always work great when I’m trying to work at home (I have two different long distance ministry roles that require a lot of my time), but then I step back and am reminded that he is my full time job — not the other way around. And when I realize that, tears of joy come.

I thought a guy couldn’t love his family more than I did before Zion. My girls, including Deanna, are my life. Now that Zion’s here, somehow the love has grown crossways and dimensionally, if that makes sense. The first thing the girls do when they get home from school is look for Zion. He is SO loved. And somehow, my love for the girls has grown stronger, too. Amazing!

In all of the bliss, I have found this to be maybe the most stressful period of my life. We kind of expected that with medical school. Deanna and I knew it would be a sacrifice, and I need now — more than ever before —  to learn how to say “no” to any extra things on my plate.

Just this morning, our pastor at Hillside talked about being driven for all the wrong reasons — something that Deanna and I had just talked about at dinner the night before. He ended today’s message with John 10:10, my life verse. I took Zion up front with me and asked a few of the elders to agree with me that I’d simplify my life and have the right priorities going into this spring season.

I’m expectant. I didn’t learn how to play the guitar the last five months, but I did learn how to cook for my family. That, and I’ve gotten to spend lots of time with “Zi-fi”. And I know I’m a better Dad, husband, and person because of it.


Shawn Michael

Husband, father, musician, pastor, Internet junkie, and Foursquare District NextGen Rep for the Gateway District