Writing to encourage, inspire, and equip family men so your wife won’t leave you and your kids don’t hate you. adamhillis.com

True love is acceptance of the whole, not just a sliver

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Does it ever feel like your partner only accepts a piece of you and can’t accept the whole of who you are? As if only a sliver of you was acceptable? How long can someone hold on to you if only a piece of you is acceptable?

Years ago after seeing Silver Linings Playbook in the theater, my wife and I exited mid-discussion about how love makes…

Hey Everyone!

It’s been a couple weeks since I sent the last newsletter announcing changes coming to The Dad Hammer publication. Well… the first change is here!

The Dad Hammer is now The Dad Vault.

Today brings a new name, new logo, and some tweaks to the submission guidelines.

Like most of you, I have a day job (and a side gig) in addition to being a family man. So doing this publication is a bit of a passion project. More is to come as I make time!

I’m working on a more in depth article on what the Dad…

What we’re looking for, how to submit, and the guidelines

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Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

The Dad Vault publication is a collection of articles for family men about the journey and balance of faith, family, and function (i.e. beliefs, marriage, parenting, your day job and being a provider).

Our aim is to encourage family men in the various roles they play, inspire them to grow in those areas, and equip them with tips and resources to do so.

What We’re Looking For


Hey Everyone!

I wanted to introduce myself (more info below). My name is Adam Hillis, and I am going to be stepping in for Jack.

Quick backstory…

He and I met years ago at our church in Portland, OR. Then a few months later he moved to Eastern Washington and I moved to Southern Oregon. We’ve stayed in touch via email, social media, and Medium.

If you didn’t know, Jack started The Dad Hammer a few years ago as a place to post stories and articles about being a dad, and how we build the lives of our kids. …

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Author Photo

Bringing home our first born from the hospital was surreal. With a brother 15 years younger than me, I had a good deal of experience changing diapers, making bottles, and rocking babies to sleep. But this was different. This one was mine!

He has my DNA and looks like me. The weight of responsibility I felt was enormous. I now had a little person that relied on me to survive.

It wasn’t until our little guy became a toddler, and guiding his behavior was a normal, daily thing, that the idea of my parenting style crossed my mind.

What kind…

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Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

Learning comes from one of two places: wisdom or consequences. Either we’re taught from others who already have the knowledge, or we learn from the consequences of our choices.

The more “pleasant” way to learn is from others, as lessons from consequences are often taught through pain. The emotions felt in our painful experiences imprint lessons into our psyche. Emotions are the printer, pain is the ink, our heart and mind the paper.

While it may be more pleasant to learn…

You are what the world needs. More salt. More light.

Salt brings out flavor. It’s a preservative. It can be used for wounds. It affects whatever it contacts and brings about change. It draws out the essence of flavor and best qualities, seals in goodness, helps things last longer, is anti-infective and anti-inflammatory to help heal.

Light spreads. Goes everywhere. It cannot co-exist with darkness. It always wins. Light is energy, warmth, life-giving and life-sustaining.

The goodness in you is light. Spread it everywhere. Beat darkness. Win with energy, warmth, and by giving and sustaining life around you. Simply love without strings.

You are salt. Draw out the best that already lives in people. Safeguard others. Be an ingredient that leads to their healing.

“You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world… let your light shine before others…” — Matthew 5:13–16

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Photo by Katie E from Pexels

For over 15 years I worked in various capacities with youth and families. Those interactions, coupled with my own marriage and kids experience, has given me a unique perspective on parenting.

I’ve witnessed quite a variety, but I’d like to focus on two kinds of family men that stand out in my view of family dynamics, and ultimately shape how I try to approach my own marriage and parenting.

Family Man ‘A’

Man ‘A’ puts more effort into being a good father than he does being a good husband.

He treats his kids well, loves and comforts them, listens to them, and encourages…

To move forward as adults, blaming our parents can’t be part of the equation.

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Image by Josh Willink on Pexels

Pondering a recent Jedidiah Jenkins post I found myself recalling interactions I had with my mom and how it was to grow up as her son.

Jedidiah wrote about experiencing the “mother side of God” and mentioned how his grandfather’s hospice nurse told him people often cry out “Mama” near the end. It’s almost as if when a person dies they are seeing and experiencing “Mother.” …

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From Pixabay

What is “home”?

Can it be a place when I lived in so many? Can it be people when my family is relationally broken and physically scattered?

How do I define it when it’s messy, painful, comforting, and loving all at the same time?

Home is not a place and it’s not people. Here’s why.

Home Is Not a Place

My parents divorced when I was 11 years old. From that time, until I married my wife 13 years later, I lived in 9 cities and 16 homes. …

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