The Three “F” words: Faith, Family, and Four-wheelers

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him. Psalm 127:3

“It was either a grasshopper or a mouse- just smacked me in the face and bounced off!”, I joked with my kids and they giggled and snickered behind me wildly.

We were on our annual camping trip, complete with four-wheelers, miles of sandy trails shaded within a thicket of pine trees, and of course marshmallows toasted over a camp fire in the evenings. My two youngest children rode securely behind me on our four-wheeler while my husband and oldest daughter trailed behind, each on their own ATV.

Just for the record, safety is a must…pony tails fly in the wind under tightly strapped riding helmets and boy hair shows sweaty evidence whenever the protective headgear is removed, chicken legs are always covered with blue jeans, and little toes are snug in a pair of boots or sneakers.

We’ve come to this particular state park a number of times now and it always proves to be a nice break from the routine of chores, work, and electronics back home. A wide array of colorful wild flowers dot the hills amongst thousands of acres of tall conifers and Poison Ivy trail comes by its name naturally. In a playful manner sunsets seem magical, but I know it’s really God’s hand at a work of art. Finding time for relaxation, writing, and Bible reading always seem to occur effortlessly for me when visiting this home away from home.

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Some of our most favorable memories as a family can be traced back to four-wheeler tracks left on a sandy winding trail at this campground. I recall one time when we pulled along side a sand-covered path to enjoy a picnic. While I made sandwiches the kids picked up large pieces of bark and began using them as shields as they pretended to play a game of what must have been ‘Knights in Shining Armor.’ My son chose what he thought would make the best shield of all but upon examining it further we all laughed hysterically when we realized he was actually holding a hardened “cow-pie”.

Fast-forward a few years to this specific outting— I felt a strong urgency to make every endeavor of having a good time, hence the reason for my silly comment to my bubbly passengers. To be honest at times I get stuck in discouragement realizing that my kids are growing up and this was one of those instances where I was struggling with those depressing thoughts. Inevitably the years of camping and four-wheeler riding in the sand hills along with every day fun spent together as a family will cease as they mature and go out to experience life on their own and frankly this thought doesn’t settle well with me.

Realistically speaking, when I find myself tormented by these feelings I realize it’s Satan trying to swoop in and steal the joy I experience with the family God has blessed me with. To counteract this false logic Satan longs to impress on me, I have to remind myself that God’s desire for me is to find peace through Him (Romans 15:13). These years on earth are temporary and pass quickly; I want to do everything possible to live in a way where I bring glory to God by what I say, do, and think (1 Corinthians 10:31). True lasting joy comes when I place my faith in the Lord daily and seek Him wholeheartedly. If I allow Satan to intervene without considering God’s truth I’m left standing at the risk of not enjoying the life God has graciously given me.

Even though my kids are growing up at a rapid rate I need to appreciate every minute I have with them without allowing Satan to interrupt. Life experiences and mine and my husband’s Godly influence will help mold these children. Through prayer, God’s word, and His grace-filled love I am reminded that He has chosen us as their parents.

Maintaining a positive perspective and watching my son and daughters grow in the Lord and love Him on their own will make every moment I spend with them worth it as I focus my attention to them rather than a swirling clock-hand. And if it includes shouting silly comments from the seat of a four-wheeler to keep this optimistic attitude then I’m in. I want my children and my husband and I to be able to reflect back on these years as welcoming ‘hill climbs’ in our growing faith.

 

Author: alimw2013

About For His Purpose~ My name is Alicia and I'm a thirty-something year old who loves Jesus. Only through God’s amazing grace and mercy I have been redeemed from past regret and shame. Reading His word has allowed me to look past Satan’s forceful lies, to see myself for who Christ says I am in Him. Through writing I have learned why I made the choices I made in my younger years and I now have a better understanding of why I desire to love God like crazy these days. Despite my daily failures, God remains faithful always. I am reassured of His unconditional love for me by every ink-drop spilled out on paper, each committed prayer as I cry out to Him, and deep understanding reflected through reading His word as truth. Yes keeping a blog will make me vulnerable to others’ opinions- there will be some who don’t understand, some who may criticize or judge, but on the other hand if just one piece expressed through my writing grabs someone’s attention and directs them to God, then pouring out my heart in a blog for the world to read is worth it. I choose to glorify Him alone through words streaming across a glowing screen. And it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t reveal the fact that I’m incredibly quirky; I’m my loving husband’s best friend, my vivacious kids’ craziest cheerleader and spiritual trainer (3 John 1:4). I love anything farmhouse and rustic style. I think cupping a warm coffee mug in the palm of my hands is more satisfying than the contents within. I share a common obsession with my husband for the mountains, but I would (without a doubt) settle for waves crashing against my legs at the Atlantic Ocean just as well, and I almost always have a Yorkie curled up on my lap while writing. *All photos are photographed by forhispurpose.blog and therefore may not be stored or photocopied in any manner.

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