taking the words of Jesus seriously

I am not a fan of the Hallmark holidays, people.

These are the ones invented by retailers to guilt me into buying stuff. I’m thinking about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, though these retail celebrations can also coincide with actual liturgical holy days. They are why annually, against my better judgment, I buy jelly beans and Christmas stocking candy and on one particularly bad year, a Buzz Lightyear costume from the actual Disney store.

Every year I intend to muster the courage not to bow to pressures to overspend. All my resolve really means is that instead of thinking ahead to spend four bucks on a card I can mail six or seven days before the actual holiday, I do nothing and then, panicked, spend $89 online–the day before–to send some pricey steaks or a Lemonhead gift basket.

I tell you I’m a mess, people.

While there are now not nearly enough days to go the route of the sensible overpriced card, I’ve begun pre-planning Father’s Day alternatives for next year…

1. Write down one thing for which I’m grateful about my dad and send it to him.
2. Tell my husband why I think he’s a great dad.
3. Write a note to the dads who aren’t my own who have made an impact on me.
4. Surprise-visit my grandfather who is, hands down, the greatest man who ever lived.
5. Pray for the orphans in the world that God loves deeply.
6. Tell a father-to-be, who’s expecting his first kiddo, how much his presence in the home will matter to his child.
7. Send my husband out on a daddy-daughter date with my daughter. And son. And other son. Three consecutive dates.
8. Coerce my children into gluing macaroni on construction paper so I have something to send to my dad and step-dads.
9. Sponsor a child who’s been orphaned through Compassion International.
10. Thank the father of Jesus for loving me even though I’m a total mess and may do none of these sensible things.

Whatever Father’s day may drum up in your own life–and however you honor or dishonor the day–know that there is One whose love never fails.

Margot Starbuck is a communicator who writes and speaks about kingdom living, God’s heart for the poor, body image, edgy love & other fresh ideas.  She’s convinced that because God is with us and for us in Jesus Christ, Christians are set free to live love that is forothers, especially those who live on the world’s margins. This is kind of Margot’s big thing.  Margot lives in the Walltown neighborhood of Durham, NC, with her husband, Peter, and their three kids by birth and adoption.  At Reality Ministries, she shares life among friends with and without disabilities.  A graduate of Westmont College and Princeton Seminary, Margot is ordained in the Presbyterian Church USA.

Click here for more information on Margot Starbuck and the work she is doing for the Kingdom.

About The Author


Margot Starbuck—author, collaborator and speaker—earned an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Bachelor's from Westmont College. She’s convinced that because God, in Jesus Christ, is with us and for us, we’ve been made to be with and for others. So she’s passionate about equipping folks to love our (sometimes unlikely) neighbors and is the author of seven books and collaborator on others. She enjoys speaking to audiences around the country that include: Messiah College, MOPs International, Young Life Women’s Weekend, Urban Promise Ministry Summit and Wheaton College Center for the Application of Christian Ethics. Margot lives downtown Durham, North Carolina, with her three teens.

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