Category Archives: Dealing With Challenges

5 Tips for How to Survive the Family Road Trip

Over the years we have done many road trips, to visit family, to go camping or simply to see and appreciate this amazing country we live in. It has taken many years of trial and error to hit on a road trip plan that works for our family. Here are our top 5 tips for how to survive the family road trip.

  1. Pack your own food for meals and snacks. Eating out can take a toll on the pocket book and also on your health. When we can’t pack our own food we like to stop at Safeway, their deli is a great place to find fresh and healthy choices.
  2. Download some new movies, TV shows, books and music to your mobile devices before hitting the road. Keeping everyone occupied is of utmost importance!!! It is just as important to keep older children and adults busy as it is to keep young children busy!! Don’t forget to bring chargers and charge cords so that you can enjoy your diversions for the entire road trip!
  3. Stop!!! Make sure to make many stops along the way. Everyone will appreciate the time to stretch their legs, use the washroom and perhaps grab a snack. Incorporating pit stops actually makes the trip seem shorter rather than longer because it breaks up those long monotonous hours.  Every road trip has some interesting attractions along the way so plan to stop and enjoy them.
  4. Bring along some blankets and pillows. It is inevitable that people will fall asleep on a road trip, at least this is the case in our family! Make a nap more enjoyable by planning ahead.
  5. Engage in conversation. You are all stuck in a vehicle for many hours, this is a perfect time to chat! Our family has come up with some wonderful ideas during long road trips and we have solved some problems as well. A road trip can be the perfect time to engage in quality conversation no matter what age your children are!

A road trip with the family can be enjoyable, but it takes some planning and preparation! Here is a great link with more ideas on how to survive the family road trip. Source: Survive the Family Road Trip With These 13 Tips – Survival Mom

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Do Not Worry About Tomorrow … But Do Plan For Tomorrow

By nature I, Nicole, am a bit of a worrier. My imagination takes control and, VOILA, I am worrying about everything that could possibly go wrong in any given situation. Just this week I spent several sleepless nights worrying about vacation accommodations that I had booked online. What if the owner wasn’t legit? What if the condo wasn’t the same as the one in the pictures? What if we aren’t able to obtain the keys? … You get the picture! The Bible tells us in Matthew 6:34 (NLT) “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” But what does that mean?

Tomorrow will have its challenges and trials, no matter how hard you try to prevent them. Leave tomorrow alone. When that day dawns, God will give you the grace and the strength you need for it. At the present time, you have the grace and the strength He has given you for today. Your calendar gives each day its own number. Live them in that order, just as God arranged them. Stay in one square at a time. Someone said, “Worrying doesn’t rob tomorrow of its sorrow, it robs today of its strength.” (Keith Krell, senior pastor of Fourth Memorial Church in Spokane, WA)

Source: 9. Lifestyles of the Content & Worry-Free (Matthew 6:25-34) | Bible.org

However, don’t confuse not worrying about tomorrow with not planning for tomorrow. Worrying about tomorrow is a waste of time but planning for tomorrow is time well spent. We should always be planning our future dreams and goals while continuously trusting in God. Careful planning can lessen our fears while worry demonstrates a lack of faith in God’s ability to handle our lives. So, what have I learned? After taking care of all of the details, on my end, regarding the renting of the vacation condo I now must give it up to God and trust that He will take care of the rest.

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Forgiveness

No matter what you do in your life, no matter what relationships you are involved in; one day you will find yourself in the position of having to forgive. Forgiveness can be difficult to do but forgiving others releases you and can bring immeasurable peace.

Forgiveness is a continuing process. When someone has hurt you it takes time for the pain to ease. Forgiveness must be given on a daily basis (sometimes hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute).

Forgiveness allows relationships to grow and flourish. Conversely, without forgiveness relationships will wither and die.

Forgiveness cannot be done through our own strength. Forgiveness requires us to lean on God. It is human nature to seek justice (what is “right”) so we must trust in God and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in order to truly forgive.

Once we forgive trust can be rebuilt. A relationship must be built on a strong foundation and forgiveness paves the way.

When you hold onto bitterness and anger it becomes a prison and only you possess the key to unlock that prison. The key is forgiveness.

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Patience and Parenting

Being a parent is a journey that requires grace, mercy, forgiveness and faith that God has a plan. Nurturing your children, teaching them, making decisions for them that take their best interests into account requires a great amount of responsibility, maturity and patience.

When our son was little he was a handful! Every day with him brought a new challenge. When he was four years old he refused to play with any of the other children in the neighborhood. If a child came to our yard to play, our son would scream and scream at the top of his lungs until he had successfully frightened his potential playmate away. In grade four he exercised his freedom of speech, in a unique way, and used the F word whenever he was displeased with what the teacher expected of him. He had a temper that could rival a raging bull and one day he became so angered by our neighbor’s son that he hit him in the bum with a shovel. Needless to say, the early years of our son’s life were difficult ones.

While parenting our young son mercy, grace and forgiveness were handed out in large quantities, sometimes to our son and sometimes to ourselves. Did we make mistakes as parents, you bet we did!! We constantly needed to remind ourselves to be patient; God had a plan for our son and everything would come together according to His timing and not ours. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the lord “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).

Today our son is a well adjusted, hard working twenty year old going into his fourth year of university and on his way to becoming a psychiatrist. Did we ever envision this future for our son? Perhaps not this particular future but we never lost faith that he had a future and that God had a plan.

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Finding Strength through Faith

How do you find your strength? How do you refocus your attention on what is important? Where do you turn when things get a little rough in your life?

In our marriage we struggle with the inability to stay focused on what is important. We fall into the trap of materialism, occasionally we measure our success by what we own and find we can never measure up. We spend our time wanting more …. a new house, a bigger deck, a larger travel trailer, a new vehicle …. Surely when we acquire these things then our lives will be better. Instead of being thankful for all that we are blessed with …. beautiful healthy children, a partner to do life with, a roof over our heads, food in our tummy etc. etc. etc ….. we are constantly striving to make these blessings into something “more”.

All of us are guilty of moments in our life when our attention and our energy is focused on the wrong things. We are heavily influenced in this world by society, the media and the internet; but should these places be where we find direction in our lives? Much of society, the media and the internet will tell you to find strength within yourself, that you are capable of doing this thing called life all on your own. But what if you have tried to find the strength within you and have failed miserably?

As a couple we “plug into the source” and turn to our faith. Our goal on this earth is not to please society, when we are trying to please people we quickly realize that we can never, ever measure up. However when we turn to our faith we are reminded that “we can do everything through Him who gives us strength” (Philippians 4:13). God’s strength can help us face our fears and do the impossible.

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