Thursday, November 6, 2014

Vacation Part 3: Lessons From Kayaking

 I wish I could tell you that every moment of our kayaking experience was pure joy.  I wish I could tell you how we were united as a team and worked beautifully together. What I can tell you is that each of us was challenged even tested with external strength and more importantly our internal endurance.  For it is only when we are faced with temptation  and challenges that we truly know what we are made of.

Inside the mangroves was quite pleasant.  The water was calm and clear enough to see the wild life teaming underneath us.  Once we shifted around some children and left the safety of the mangroves we headed for a large sand bar.  In order to make it there we had to cross an open water way.  Off we went.  The goal was that we would all stay together and safely arrive at our destination.  We were rowing against the wind and against the current.   I had Maddie on the front of my kayak and she doesn’t weigh much so quickly we found ourselves drifting behind.  I was rowing with all my strength but spinning in circles trying to keep from being swept off to shore…away from my family.

Jeff looked back to take a quick inventory of his family and found Maddie and I falling behind.  He quickly spun around and threw me a tow line.  Then as we were continuing on our way we found Jack and Rylie becoming increasingly fearful and so we hooked their kayak on to the back of mine, which calmed Jack down.  As we continued on we could see the sand bar ahead of of us.  Jack kept saying, “Mom, we’re almost there, I can see it!”  With much effort we made it over to the sand bar where we had a time of rest, and exploration.  It wasn’t easy for my husband to pull most of the weight but at that moment it became necessary for our goal to be accomplished and for his family to stay together.

My strong and exhausted Bailie who teamed up with Lillie to cross the water and did an amazing job.  The two of them proved to be a good team.

In each of our families we can have times of quiet waters where we find much delight and joy in the calm but life is a journey and sometimes the turbulent waters that we face can take us by surprise.  They test our character and require much of us.  We may even find ourselves spinning in circles feeling like we are using all our strength just to keep ourselves from being swept away.  We may find ourselves needing a tow line or some one to come along beside us to help treed the current together.  I do know that God never leaves us nor forsakes us and He uses those difficult times to help shape who we are.  I’m grateful that God can give us glimpses of hope during those rough-waters to help us stay on course and keep us going knowing that our goal will be reached.  

Parenting is disciplining.   

It is walking with your child every step and explaining to them over and over and over again even when it seems you are getting no where.  

It takes time.  It takes time. 

 It  takes tow lines and carrying more of the weight.  

It requires of us to take inventory of our families spiritual health.  

It takes changing priorities and shifting around schedules.  

It takes seeking the Lord and asking Him to help give you a vision for your family and then being strong and courageous to head that direction...together {and don't be surprised if He has you going against the current or completely different than the world}. 

It takes perseverance and character which comes from the rough waters that you have previously treed and daily communing with the Lord and His sanctifying word.

Thank you Father for the journey and the many tow lines you have sent my way over the years.  Continue to strengthen us as we disciple our children.  May our testing prove you to be faithful.

"But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;  when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.   For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."  Isaiah 43:1-3

Linked up with: Raising HomemakersA Wise Woman Builds her Home,

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