Thank you!!!

August marked one year of for His purpose blog—100ish followers, just over 30 posts, and lots of thought.

I want to take the opportunity to thank every one of you readers. Thank you for taking the time to read, to hit the like button, to comment, to encourage, to support, to drive me to want to continue writing.

Thank you!!

Because of this blog I’ve been able to put words to major parts of my life—parts that never made sense before. Parts of my life that seemed so broken and life shattering—I’ve now found the words to piece the broken areas together for His purpose, and goodness have I ever drawn closer to Him in the midst.

God is good.

This weekend our family finds ourselves at one of our favorite camping spots where we can include our four wheelers. I’m convinced every time we show up at this campground that the most important things in life are (without a doubt) God first, then family and friends, and then of course four wheelers.

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I know, I know no helmets..don’t judge

My daughter (Paige) and I rode together while the little kids rode on the big four wheeler with Nate yesterday evening. A fresh rain had just come through so the pine trees were soaked and it smelled like Christmas all over as we blazed along the sandy trails.

I allowed Paige to drive the two of us and she insisted we bring her dog. He’s just a teeny tiny Yorkie which is a good thing—because I can’t imagine myself with my arms around Paige and then trying to hold a bulldog on her lap…that’s right he’s very in love with Paige so he had to ride on her lap BUT since she had both hands on the handle bars that meant me holding him while I sat behind her on the four wheeler, trying to hold the dog on her lap. We got some funny looks as other riders passed by us.62C4A9B4-1DE2-4905-8404-36AA53EB46B0.jpeg

Paige is a good driver—she knows when to upshift, and downshift at the right times with me prompting her just every once in a while. Honestly I’m not sure what the deal was last night though, maybe it was the awkwardness of her dog bouncing around all over her lap, he’d lay content for a bit but then pretty soon he’d want to climb up so that he could sit perched up on her shoulder, it was quite comical…nevertheless he really does love riding, he doesn’t get scared so no worries about feeling sorry for him..besides a dog on a four wheeler-ride sounds pretty spoiled to me! And that he is!

Anyways Paige, for whatever reason, kept driving a little too close to the embankments, drifting from one side to the other. At one point she even ran over a small log that popped up and smacked my shin. I probably have a bruise from that one. Either way we had fun regardless.1B245D1F-FAD9-4B47-893C-1E3238612E7C.jpeg

The two of us love to sing when riding and right now our current jam is anything from the movie The Greatest Showman. We’re slightly obsessed, so as we rode along we sang and thankfully the noise of the four wheeler drowns out “my voice” anyway. Paige, on the other hand, has a fantastic voice and I LOVE to hear that girl use it just as long as it’s not when she’s being mouthy.

Riding deeper into the heavily wooded sand hills the temperatures dropped dramatically and the fog nestled in around us. The trails were covered with decent sized balls of hail from the storm that was traveling along minutes ahead of us. It was such a beautiful sight, like a winter wonderland. We were the only crazy ones out on the trails at this point and we were loving every bit of it.BDD420AF-0D95-4D09-A900-614E2B108837.jpeg

Yet again I’m reminded of how incredibly amazing God is. I’m thankful for these moments He orchestrates and I count them as blessings.70050C71-EAA8-4FDC-9B10-F380B84658CB.jpeg

Time spent with my family is one of my greatest treasures; I love the adventure of a wild ride! I’m thankful I recognize God in the midst of it all. This blog serves as a way to note all of the good things God has and is doing in mine, my husband, and our kid’s lives. I love the idea of being able to read it in the years to come and see the ways of God’s goodness and faithfulness with us.207D1E84-9F3F-4341-AFA7-EF3CB1F994A63650E0B7-D21E-47F2-B70B-AB62A861FA19

Thank you once again for reading—for His purpose.

I’m going to (very soon) repost a blog from last year titled The Three “F” words: Faith, Family, and Four-wheelers. It was one of my first posts but never got much attention because I didn’t have many reading my blog at the time..it’s probably one of my favorite posts to-date and one that was written last year at this time…

My family is now begging to go ride, so until next time…enjoy! and more importantly don’t miss out on the adventure God is giving you.

What’s your idea of a great adventure?

Do you make it a priority to include Him? …Because I can guarantee if you aren’t, you’re not fully living that adventure.

 

Part 3: Remembering My Dad (lessons and spiritual growth)

That was nearly twenty years ago; I can still feel the sting of the pain even now…Goodness I miss my dad…

*This is part 3 of a 3 part series- links to parts 1 and 2 are located at the bottom of this post

Growing up I took for granted the idea of family time and commitment. We had many fun times, but I failed to place much value on our years together while they were occurring.

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Winter of 1999-a few months after my dad’s motorcycle accident

I’ve managed to mentally revisit and collect the moments we spent together and I hold on to those precious memories now.

I can also identify our number one struggle as well. We believed in God, but we were far from a relationship with Jesus, therefore our family-dynamic suffered in following Christian morals, which led to lenient parenting. Often times I was absent—drinking and partying with friends. House rules and expectations were shallow for me; late nights and a selfish mentality were abundant. Mistakes and poor choices were high as I ran wild.

It wasn’t until I was married with three young children and in my mid-twenties that I recognized the hurt and brokenness in me. I thought I could fix it on my own and I tried for the next five years.

I watched as my mother, meanwhile, had found healing over my father’s death by seeking Christ. I remember relying heavily on her for wisdom during that trying period and she pointed me to Jesus every time.

And then one day I finally submitted… Continue reading “Part 3: Remembering My Dad (lessons and spiritual growth)”

Part 2: Remembering My Dad (story)

As the years move on, I slip further away from memories of my dad. In this crazy, busy world I must intentionally reminisce of our times together or I risk altogether losing the memory of the sweet time we had together…”

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October of 1983-mom, dad and I

*This is part 2 of a 3 part series- links to parts 1 and 3 are located at the bottom of this post

My father was not perfect, as no one is, but he was incredibly good to my mom, brothers, and me; hard-working and courageous and taking pride in caring for his family and looking after my epileptic mother. He struggled with drug and alcohol addictions for most of my younger years but eventually abandoned the two and in the mix found out who his true friends were. He began attending church regularly with my mom and us kids but soon afterward discovered an interest in an old-time hobby of his…

Dirt bike racing.

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Summer 1999-Photos from top left clockwise: mom, dad racing, brothers, me

Since the races were on Sunday mornings our church attendance as a family declined, while race attendance increased. The end of my dad’s first race season came in October of 1999 along with the abrupt end to his new hobby. Our lives were forever changed when a miscalculated double-jump left my father with a broken neck—paralyzed and ventilator dependent.

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Christmas of 2000-our last family photo

During that time my dad lived hours away in an assisted health facility for proper care. We visited him often, but tragedy would strike again not even two years after the motorcycle accident.

We brought my dad home to visit for the Fourth of July weekend, upon returning him back to his “rehab-home” I fell asleep behind the wheel. My father didn’t survive the car accident. I was just seventeen at the time, my dad only thirty-nine.

A life cut far too short.

In an uncanny way, that accident was a blessing in disguise—that morning my dad had told my mom he ‘didn’t like living this way, that he was thankful she was the one caring for him over the weekend, but he didn’t want to live this way anymore…’

Whew..deep breath..heavy heart..

That was nearly twenty years ago; I can still feel the sting of the pain even now…Goodness I miss my dad…

*Part 3 follows with the lessons and faith I’ve found since my dad’s passing

Part 1: Remembering My Dad (poetry)

*This is part 1 of a 3 part series- links to parts 2 and 3 are located at the bottom of this post

I must admit with all honesty, and with a guilty conscience, that poems are not always my favorite thing to read or write.

I sometimes think they sound a bit gushy or sappy. Maybe it’s because in my daily language I don’t use the kind of effusive talk which is typically involved with poetry.

However—I truly do appreciate and respect the effectiveness in expressing and communicating deep thoughts through a poem, thoughts that may not have been conveyed otherwise. It’s for that very reason, I take advantage of the power of poetic writing. The idea of  describing emotions in few words, in a simple yet meaningful way, is appealing to me, for sure. Regardless of how corny the words may sound at times, poems make for a great opportunity to share true passions, experiences, and feelings in a practical, heartfelt manner.

With the Father’s Day celebration among us, I took to honoring my dad (who passed away when I was seventeen) by writing a poem:

DAD

Hunting, fishing, camping, riding—
Things you loved to do;
Family and friends—
Loved being with you.

Thankful for the years together we spent, Blessed for how they went.

Home early you left to be with Jesus,
Some days I still search for reasons.

The Father of you and I—
Our Father in Heaven,
He knows our time here,
He knows when He’ll call us there.

It’s hard to understand,
Why He called you too soon—
But I have to trust what God had planned.

Those memories I have of you,
The Lord truly blessed.
Those memories I have of you,
Are no doubt some of my best.

Some days reflecting back on those years,
Leaves me in tears.

It’s hard to understand,
Why He called you too soon—
But I have to trust what God had planned.

His ways aren’t for me to question,
But His words are for me to rest in.

Our Father in Heaven had a plan
When he made you my dad;
He brought me to you
to share as a daughter.

The Lord knew of our fun to be had.
He knew all our family would do.
He knew you’d love us like crazy too.

So it’s hard to understand,
Why He called you too soon—
But I have to trust what God had planned.

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Dad and I..I was maybe 4 years old here

As the years move on, I slip further away from memories of my dad. In this crazy, busy world I must intentionally reminisce of our times together or I risk altogether losing the memory of the sweet time we had together…

*Part 2 follows with my dad’s story and part 3 with the lessons I’ve learned as a result

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

Originally written and posted on 9/4/17, reposting on 9/4/18

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 wildflowers dot the many hills of sand amongst thousands of acres of tall conifers; and Poison Ivy trail comes by its name naturally. In a playful manner sunsets seem magical, although I know it’s really God’s hand at a work of art. Finding time for relaxation, writing, and Bible reading always seems to occur effortlessly for me when visiting this home away from home.6EC270E2-8CDC-457C-866F-7701FD8595AF

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Labor Day weekend 2017

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 tree 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 the bittersweet outting I’m referring to as I write (Labor Day weekend 2017)— 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. The problem is I focus too much on time quickly passing by, rather than soaking-in the moments of precious memories with these kids. Inevitably though, 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 we’ve spent together as welcoming ‘hill climbs’ in our growing faith.

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**UPDATE..Below are some pictures from our most recent camping experience, Labor Day weekend 2018… amazing how God works, I was able to fully enjoy my time this particular outting without dwelling on how quickly the time passes;) CEE759C3-31CA-47D6-B371-A57C140D102274426E4E-0E68-4964-9E85-E14D5025E7852BE51DAF-93D9-4AA0-B8C4-39FFE1B30E6EF638DB2D-7C1D-47CB-BCF4-C7AC1A9E774E

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