Thursday, March 8, 2018

My Amazing Daughter

On International Women’s Day I wanted to write a few words about my amazing daughter Alice. 

Catrina and I have got three children, two boys Zach and Jacob, and last but not least our daughter Alice who will be 20 in about 3 weeks time. We’re really proud of all three of them, but today I’d like to write a few words about Alice.

Lots has been written about being a pastors kid (PKs as they get called in the States).

At one level it’s a huge privilege. Getting to see the inner workings of church life, spending time with the amazing people who make up our community, having meals with the different speakers who come to serve us, hopefully seeing that their parents are the same people in private as they are in public. I’ve got very special memories of Alice when she was young getting up early to come with me to the Saturday morning prayer meeting. Taking her to wedding rehearsals where afterwards she’d debrief me on all the things I should have done differently, and how the wedding could be improved. Seeing her make her first time commitment when we visited Hillsong in Australia (never one to miss an occasion!). Leading events, doing spoken words, preaching and playing in the band in our LIFE youth ministry. Running our REAL women’s conference. Going together to Zambia last year to see the girls dormitory and visit Sam and Hannah Fairs-Billam and their children. 

But it can also be tough. Sharing your parents with the rest of the church family. Living in the spotlight of other people’s opinions. The possibility that your peers treat you differently because of what your dad does for a living. Having parents who are very often among the first to get to church and the last to leave. Having a dad who uses you in sermon illustrations!

All that to say that I’m hugely proud of the woman Alice is becoming. She’s taken a very different path to her brothers, both of whom went to University. Instead she decided to leave school half way through her A Levels (despite our advice and encouragement to see them through!) and has set up her own business where, in her own words “I’m a digital marketing coach, empowering entrepreneurs to create and implement an effective strategy behind their online presence”. Basically she helps companies use things like blogs, twitter and facebook to tell people about what they do! Please read more about it here.

She has also recently started doing her own podcast, interviewing female entrepreneurs from around the world. She’s often in our living room with a “do not disturb sign” on the door as she interviews an amazing woman in some distant city or country!

And above all that she loves Jesus and is actively involved in the local church. What more could a dad ask for!

Alice please know how proud I am of you, and how much I love you. It’s a privilege to be your dad, and to call you my daughter. Know that you’re never to be defined by what you do or what others think of you, but by how God sees you and his never ending love for you. And know that to me, and to God, you are an amazing world changer!

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