Thursday, October 08, 2015

What Do You Do When Life Hands You...

high tides? We take boat rides and give thanks!

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Brandon's dog rode too! 
She thinks she is one of the our little girls!

God says to give thanks in all circumstances. Thankfulness in the midst of hard circumstances is one way God's people stand out from the world. If you want children who whine and are prone to drama, then be a grump and complain loudly about how life has inconvenienced you. If you want children who honor the Lord with thankfulness in all situations, then you'll need to example it. 

I am not perfect in this, but I have gone to my children when I have failed, apologized, and told them how my example failed to show them how God says to do it. Humility makes an impact on your children's hearts. If you present yourself as a perfect adult without sin, your children learn you are a liar (I John 1:8) and will not respect you. They might fear you but very few follow the example of someone who made them afraid. 

When the really high tides come every 5-7 years, we take the children out around the neighborhood in a boat and visit our neighbors! Our picture gets taken a lot! Sometimes, we are blessed to be able to lend a hand to someone in need. We are thankful for storms that give us opportunities to make these fun and unique memories! Storms also give us opportunities to bond closer as we work together.

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After a visit on a dry deck, Girly didn't want to leave!

Was it all fun? No. We had to elevate 200+ animals, prepare nine buildings just in case water got higher than expected, take our cars and RV to a community parking lot, and move equipment to higher ground. Joshua had surgery and then had a bad side effect from the pain pills during this period. The winds tore part of a roof off one of our buildings. Only having one vehicle that can handle some of the water, we had to coordinate appointments, jobs, and transportation with a narrow window of time that the water was low enough we could drive in it. We worked together with lots of joking around and got it all done without complaining. 

In our homeschool character lessons, we taught our children that complaining only makes a situation harder for everyone and is a vocal alarm revealing the work we need to do in our hearts. If you are saved by grace through faith, there is always something to be thankful for! Our olders now repeat this to our youngers, so we feel like this Scriptural lesson has become part of our spiritual legacy.

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back in the boat

After the work was done, we had a few lazy days with delicious home cooked meals to eat, snacks and desserts, games to play, and movies to watch. Moms, you should monitor morale and know how to renew energy and optimism in your family during stressful situations. An encouraging word, hug or shoulder massage, a treat, a break in the workload for some play, or a reward can make a big difference! Don't forget to praise your family as a group and emphasize the strength of working as a team, "Team Asbell rocks! God has made us strong together! We accomplished so much together! What a blessing to have each other because many hands do make the workload lighter! Thank You Father for this amazing family and the gift of each other!" Build your family with your words.

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As a mom with toddlers, I always "brought up the rear" to make sure no one was left behind. Now, it's habit! There is no better view than watching my family enjoy themselves. The musical laughter that drifts back to me is better than any symphony.

Our neighbors had their truck stuck for a while. As we passed, we offered to let them wait the tide out in our home. Water during the highest point was at our hips, but we were home before then.

I Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.