If friends are like gold, my family is the joy of my heart.

My family, as a gift from God, centers me. It gives me such a unique place to stand, shoes that only I can fill the way I fill them. I am needed, vital, special — because my family is built from me — my dna, my heart, my gifts, my weaknesses, my tears, my angst, my interests. Me. It wouldn’t be the same if I were someone else. My family is counting on Brad Huebert being who God has created him to be. They call me to be my best, and I’m so thankful for that call. They are one of the most sacred kicks in the heinie God has to offer me on this journey.

And they bring me such joy! I remember clutching Noah the day he was born, gazing at his angelic form in my arms, dizzy with the mystery and glory and responsibility I had there wrapped in that blanket. One of the youth who visited us in the hospital the next day said, “When I saw you holding Noah and saw the way you looked at him, I thought, “If that’s how God looks at us, we’re the luckiest people in the world.” I love Shauna (my wife) but I’ve told her several times that no offense, my favorite person on earth to hold hands with is my daughter. The warmth, her smaller fingers clutching me in dependent adoration, knowing that her hands will grow out of this feeling one day, knowing that while I’ll always be her daddy, another man will take this spot — I wouldn’t trade those moments for all the world. And Joel, my hockey star, who loves to duke it out with me every day… we smack each other harder than most people spank their children, and he loves it, coming back for more. The other day he actually bruised my back. “I did?” he asked, pride in his voice. You bet, tiger. You da’ man. For a cool story about Joel, visit my blog at www.howtoheargodspeaking.com.

And my Shauna… well, she’s favorite thing #9. That’s tomorrow.