Fatherhood at last!
I have been honored to experience many of you repeatedly asking about my little baby boy, and I wanted to give a little update. Jameson Daniel Onyshuk was born at 10:37am on October 13, 2012!
THE SHORT STORY
No one knows what to expect with the moment you're told, "We have to go to the hospital. I think it's time." I had just returned home after working and participating in a Minneapolis table tennis tournament (no jokes). I walked in the door, and my wife and mother-in-law greeted me and explained that Carica (my wife) had been experiencing stronger contractions all day long. They were getting to the point where she was no longer able to walk or talk through them. So an hour later, around 10:30pm, we arrived at the hospital.
We stayed the night, where she peacefully delighted in her epidural, after suffering through 4 hours of labor prior to receiving it. Early the next morning the nurses informed us that our little boy would be born quite soon, and that we should be prepared at any moment.
About 10:15am the nurse assigned to us told Carica to begin pushing, and then things went crazy. Since this is our first child, they estimated that the whole birth event should last over an hour. The hospital non-nonchalantly called our doctor to tell her to make her way in to deliver the baby. The doctor was only 20 minutes away, so the nurse continued to assist my wife in making headway (pun intended) in delivery. But only 10 minutes into pushing, the nurse nervously called for the doctor on call at the hospital. As he calmly entered the room, his eyes widened and he blurted out, "Well that baby's coming now!"
Five minutes later, Jameson basically flew into the world. Moments later, I took the picture that you see above as the main photo. I don't know if you can tell, but the kid was strong. He pushed his chest up and lifted his head and looked straight at me as I gazed at him, tears filling my eyes. If you don't know much about newborns, you should know that he should not be able to have enough strength to do that for quite some time. Pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.
I never understood the obsession of parents with dozens of pictures of the their kids, bursting out of their wallets. Now I do. And since this is 2012 and things are digital now, please enjoy (or pretend to enjoy!) the brief album below!
Anyway, I appreciate the prayers and congrats that we have received! Knowing that people around the world are praying for us and keeping us in their thoughts because of their relationship with us and through this blog is very humbling. We thank you.
More on Parenting and Living With Intentionality
We Will All Leave One...
We will all leave a legacy behind us when we die. Every one of us will make an impact on someone or something at some time in our lives. Many times our legacies are very easy to point out. There are many types of legacies that we may leave, and we may leave behind one or more of them. Here is a short list of examples of legacies that we may leave behind us:
- The legacy of a successful career: Steve Jobs is a great example of this. We will forever remember Steve Jobs as one of the most innovative, creative minds in the technological world of our time.
- The legacy of a good book: Jack Canfield is arguably one of the most successful authors of all time. His "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books have been unbelievably popular, and he has 47 New York Times Best Sellers and over 500 million books in print worldwide.
- The legacy of being a famous performer: Just name any popular actors, actresses, musicians, comedians, etc. These people are leaving behind a legacy of being a household name, influencing the world through their creativity and emotional connection with their fans.
- The legacy of being a popular preacher: Charles Spurgeon was a mega-church preacher long before there were mega-churches. His sermons, books, and life story continue to influence the world of Christianity long after his death.
- The legacy of being a great dad or mom: Many of you may be able to mentally picture the best dad or mom you know. Maybe they are your own parents, or maybe they are parents of your friends. Maybe you just know of them at your church. Regardless, the love, affection, care, patience, support, discipline, and strength of these parents left behind an undeniable mark on others.
- The legacy of being a strong Christian: Maybe you can think of some of those quiet soldiers of the faith, the elderly sages of your church who are faithful prayer warriors, compassionate confidants, wise shepherds, and strong advocates of Christ. They may not be internationally famous, or even known beyond the scope of their own neighborhoods. But these people are leaving a legacy behind them with every life they touch.
Surely we could go on and name many other ways that we can leave a legacy. Surely we all want to leave a legacy for others to remember. It is possible to leave behind many legacies. Men, you may be an excellent entrepreneur-craftsman-architect-husband, but if husband is the last thing on your list you're in trouble. Ask someone to define you
(the essence of "you-ness") in 5 words and see what response you hear. For many of us, including me, the answer might not be what you desire.
Our Priorities Matter
Our priorities are simple: Love God, love our spouses, love our children, serve faithfully in our vocations, and so on. However, too many times our jobs define us. Ask most men who they are in one word. The vast majority will say the title of their job, like "mechanic." How many of us would respond with "Christian?" How many of us would respond with "spouse" or "parent"? We are not our jobs. We are men and women, called to be believers. We are Christians. Once that distinction is identified, we are meant to be defined by our most important earthly relationship. This is a hard one. I admit that too often I do not define myself as "husband" as much as I should. And if I don't correct this, it will hurt the legacy I leave behind.
My Eulogy In Progress...
A long time ago someone challenged me to write my own eulogy. The point was to write how I wanted others to remember me most, in a short, concise format. This little exercise forces us to think critically about our true priorities and gives us a blueprint to aim for. It gives us goals. It gives us purpose.
Here's my eulogy:
"Joel Onyshuk: Sought after his Savior with his whole life; a loving and committed husband and father; touched the hearts and lives of many, everywhere he went. Survived by his godly wife and children."
I know it's simple. It might change here or there. But the bulk with certainly stay the same. My life's ambition should not be to leave a legacy of a good book, a solid sermon, a great speaking career, a thriving ministry, etc. It should be to follow my God and love my wife and kids. Everything else is secondary.
So What Will Your Eulogy Say?
Take a stab at writing one and post it in a comment below! I'd love to read yours, and maybe learn a little more about how to write my own a little better! Please share what you have! I'm really excited to read your responses. Please take a moment to subscribe to this blog (you'll get them in your email in the future) and share this particular article with others who might like it using the buttons below. I really appreciate you passing it on! :)
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It's Been Debated...
I just posted a blog yesterday about fatherhood, and I casually mentioned that I was celebrating my first Father's Day this year. My wife is 23 weeks pregnant, due October 12. We just got verification that our child is indeed a boy (which I'm very excited about) this week.
However, not everyone who read that blog was convinced that I am legitimately able to celebrate Father's Day this year. Some say I have to wait until he's actually born and celebrate next year for the first time.
So What's Right?
The push back on my celebration of Father's Day was all in good fun, and certainly not malicious. Yet, it got me thinking. Should I celebrate it or not? As I thought more about it, I realized that my belief about legitimately celebrating Father's Day this year stems from my Scripturally-informed understanding of the status of unborn children. Here are some Bible-based reasons I'll be celebrating Father's Day this year...
- God speaks of unborn children as being real humans who he has real plans for, long before they are born (Genesis 25:22-23)
- Scripture describes our forming in the womb as an intentional, personal act of God in the life of actual people whose days have been numbered before they ever existed (Psalm 139:13-16)
- God can choose us, set us apart for his purposes, and intimately know us as people while we are unborn (Isaiah 49:1; Jeremiah 1:5)
- It is possible for God to fill us with the Holy Spirit, even while in the womb (Luke 1:15)
Although I have not held him, I have beheld the life of my son. I have seen him kick, somersault, and itch his little face. I have seen life in the secret places where God is knitting together the physical body of my little boy.
I am a father. Born or unborn, the life within the womb of my wife is a real person whose days have been numbered by the Most High. And I shall celebrate the new reality in my life that I am now a father, with all the responsibilities that accompany that title.
| |Did you celebrate Father's Day or Mother's Day before your children were born? Why or why not? Leave a comment below and let's talk about it.Please help support this blog by subscribing to it and sharing it on your favorite social networks using the buttons provided below!
I am very excited to finally publicly announce that my wife and I are expecting our first child on October 12th! This is a very exciting time for us as we look forward to becoming parents and struggle with the new concerns of parenthood and planning to care for this new life.
At the same time, as anyone who has gone through this life stage knows well, there are lots of concerns that naturally arise from the news that one is going to be a parent. So I wanted to just write these out and get them on the table, and maybe seek some encouragement from the more experienced parents out there.
Here Are My Concerns
1. I Don't Want to Be An Absent Father. As a pastor who loves to write, teach, disciple, counsel, and network with other believers, I am cram-packed with things to do that further the Kingdom. But I have to remember that my family is my #1 ministry. If I fail them, it matters little how successful I may be in the eyes of a particular church at fulfilling pastoral duties.
2. I Don't Want to Miss Opportunities to Use My Gifts Well. On the other hand (from the first concern listed), I don't want to miss my opportunities to reach the lost, plant churches, and use my gifts well because I'm consumed with thinking that "it'll get easier" as my child gets older. For the next 18 years, my child will be my responsibility, but that doesn't mean my other gifts get set on the shelf until it's more convenient to use them. How do I balance these two well?
3. I Don't Want to Neglect My Wife. It can be so easy to get caught up in raising a child and prioritizing a child that one's spouse is forgotten. I desperately don't want to neglect caring for and loving my wife. My priorities are meant to be God > Wife > Child. One of the most important things to demonstrate to a child is that Mom and Dad love each other more than anyone else in this world, including the child. Instilling this mentality early in the child's life is crucial to understand the marriage relationship and build a strong understanding of covenant promise and commitment.
4. I Don't Want to Have An Unsaved Child. Frankly, this terrifies me. What if my child grows to be an atheist Christian-hater? I know it's not ultimately on my shoulders to redeem the soul of my child, but this is a scary thing to consider. It happens to pastors all the time, and it freaks me out.
5. I Don't Want to Prioritize the Wrong Types of Provision. I am naturally bent toward desiring to financially provide for my family, beyond other types of provision. I don't want to be the dad who doesn't show up at soccer games, recitals, competitions, dinner, or those other important moments in the child's life. More importantly, I don't want to provide moral and spiritual support but not be there when he/she needs to cry about his/her failures because I'm off tackling another mountain somewhere else to make money for the family.
Does anyone else share these fears? Does anyone else have advice? I'm usually a well-spoken person with lots of advice to give, but I'm venturing into the unknown and in need of support. Any feedback, criticism, support, advice, etc. is appreciated! Leave your comments below and I will personally respond to you and appreciate anything you can give me!
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