At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 I was woken up in the middle of the night and heard the Lord tell me, "I'm going to show up big this year." I journaled this, but really didn't press into it. The world was in shambles, my business was down, my employees were overworked, and everyone's income had been affected in some way. The months during the pandemic were eerie as we didn't know what mandate was next around the corner, what surge was coming our way, or whether another lockdown was coming. There was turmoil everywhere you looked with so much hate and dissension in the world it was sickening. Believers had to worship "online," and the presence and peace of God seemed very distant. At this time, I started keeping a list of things I needed to teach my boys and mentioned once that this could become a family book.
December came and I decided to really press into God's promise of "showing up big this year," so I fasted for 10 days to clear my mind and fully seek the Lord. Nothing immediately happened but I didn't lose hope. On December 21, Keeli and I attended a wedding. The venue was packed as this was the first event most had attended since the shutdown in March. We sat down at our table with only one other couple. Every other table was packed, but ours. That's ironic we both thought. The couple sat on the opposite end of the table as they were very cautious about being in public due to the pandemic. Add to that they had their masks on coupled with a thick Nigerian accent made it very difficult to understand them over the music.
We did connect and started to talk about our families during dinner. They had 2 boys just like us, but theirs were much older. We asked for advice on raising boys and they gave us rich advice about being patient, listening, accepting them and their friends and of course praying like crazy. Towards the end of dinner, the wife looked at Keeli and said that she felt that one day Keeli would write a children's book. From there I told her about my vision from earlier in the year that God was going to show up big. She stopped and said, "That's it! You are going to write a book about raising boys and it is going to influence the Kingdom." She said that this was from the Lord and that it would be done. We were overwhelmed with so much excitement knowing that this was a divine appointment.
I dabbled with my writing and journaling here and there through 2021 but really wasn't obedient to the calling. I had a strong outline but didn't have a plan. In January 2022, I connected with old family friends Bob and Susan and they each gave me advise that stuck. Bob said, "create a plan and a roadmap and send it back to me." Susan was to the point and said, "just write the book!"
As I wrote throughout 2022, I kept thinking that this book is somewhat about raising boys but is really a challenge for dads to step up to being devoted dads, husbands and leaders. During my early morning quiet time in September, the word DADVOTED came to me. This felt unique but thought there is no way that this would be available, so I did nothing for a few days. Then I finally Googled it, and it was in fact unique. I knew that this was from the Lord and the rest is history. DADVOTED was established and the book is just the first part of this exciting journey! My heart is to challenge dads to truly uncover, understand and fully know their Duty, Direction and Destiny and challenge them to press into it and live it out!