Our BMW glove box holds a very special red journal, inscribed with all our previous family travel dates. Just this past year alone, we counted up 14 road trips. Our list is inspired by Charles Lindbergh, who inked his own list right onto a drawer bottom inside his Airstream trailer. We spotted it in the Henry Ford Museum during our Michigan trip.
Traveling is one of our favorite pastimes together. My husband grew up traveling often with his family. I, on the other hand, was born with an adventurous urge that only grew stronger while couped up in Small Town America.
According to Steve, travel, more than any other aspect of his childhood, solidified the relationships in his family. In fact, research shows that shared adventures deepen the connection we feel with others. We definitely want to replicate that enduring bond with our kids. This will not just happen on it’s own. It’s born out of our intentionality! Time, like money, can slip through your fingers without a solid plan of how to invest it. This is why we prioritize our family first and get fired up for adventure.
Melissa and I talked about writing a blog to publish on January 1st, to share some ideas for resolutions that you might consider. But alas, we are different – eccentric as we like to say – and so we publish this more than a week after beginning our year, with an entirely different intent. We aim to put resolve into your New Year’s resolutions.
“When was the last time you were fully conscious and present in your generosity? Or to rephrase that, when was the last time your generosity brought you unexplainable, total joy?” -Alexandra Khan
A few years ago, we were part of a large and busy church organization in another city. This is the place where we first met, held our wedding, formed friendships, became parents, and cut our teeth in ministry. As the church increased, so did the opportunities for strong couples like ourselves to serve in leadership roles. How we appreciate those experiences! Because nothing grows your character and abilities quite like carrying that weight.
Train up a child the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 Growing up, I heard this verse preached to parents aiming to raise their kids to be Christians. Basically, train them about God when they are small so they will forever retain faith in their hearts. I don’t disagree, but doesn’t that seem a bit… shallow? I believe the Holy Spirit crafts our understanding of different scriptures based on our current season and who we are created to be.
September is officially suicide Prevention Month. Regardless of the month, suicide is always a relevant topic, unfortunately. It’s the 10th leading cause of death in the nation. Suicide wrecks over 44,000 families every year. For every single completed suicide, there are 25 more failed attempts. That is over 1 million attempts every single year! Friends, you undoubtedly are connected right now to someone in the throes of life and death, even unbeknown to you.
Imagine! This life is a precious gift from a Creator whose valuation of us is enormous. And yet thousands of people every year are convinced, through heartache and hopelessness, to relinquish their future. Today, Steve and I want to use our platform on Life Of The Family to illuminate this area for as many families as we can. We spent some time this week speaking with Rachel, a friend of ours, who faced this battle as a young adult and is ready to share her story.
If you haven’t noticed, Steve and I have a passion for our family. We keep an eye trained on our own, like investors monitoring the stock market. Our family is our life, our heritage – our future – being built right now. As such, it deserves top priority and the best of our energy.
The foundation of the life we share with our children is our own faith. We want Adrienne and Addison to serve God with us, of course. But more than that, we want them to do everything with us – travel, exploring, hiking, movie nights, and projects. As I once told a friend, “We had them to have them.” The life we are leading we lead together as a solid family, headed in the same direction. Our kids will gain autonomy and independence, but the commonalities we develop right now will keep us connected our whole lives. To Steve and I, this is the very essence of family. I missed it growing up, but now relish the chance to establish it purposefully.
I used to live a hectic life, letting the days and weeks fly by. I was consumed with meeting people’s expectations and didn’t allow for self-care or boundaries. Surely, loving your neighbors was only a metaphor for how busy God expects me to be in my church. I gave energy to everyone who asked. Too often, I had nothing significant left for the myself or my family. I was oblivious to how this constant busyness was taxing our family and how utterly exhausted I was becoming.
We’ve all heard the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I think that even as adults we never stop depending on that village. We all have a circle of people we need – probably more than we realize. It’s never highlighted so clearly as during times of crisis. We discover whom we can lean on, and hopefully, we survive unscathed and more grateful.
“I do. I take you to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, and I will never change my mind.”
These were the vows we took 16 years ago. We believed wholly in our promise to one another. This commitment was a done deal, come what may. Each of us were utterly sincere; but oh, how young and untested we were!