As we think about encouraging the family, we recognize the importance of the marriage. It is so easy for a husband and wife to get lost as they busy themselves being mom and dad. Don't get lost! Take the time to strengthen your marriage! Today, we're talking about your marriage!
Amy and I totally believe that as a husband and a wife, we need to make sure we give our marriage the necessary time and attention so it stays strong and healthy, and ready for when the busyness is over. To accomplish this, we have participated in a couple marriage conferences/seminars that have helped us to deepen the intimacy and longevity of our marriage.
Today we want to share a couple of those conferences/seminars with you. And we're doing it early, because these events are coming up later this fall!
A Weekend to Remember
The Weekend to Remember really is a weekend which allows you to step away from the busyness of life and step into a place where you are a way and able to reconnect, emotionally, physically and spiritually. The materials and the speakers are tailored to quickly connect couples with the principles and tools that produce stronger, healthier marriages.
This fall, the Weekend to Remember Marriage Getaway is coming to a city near you. click on the link below, to see how close a Weekend to Remember weekend will be to you. Here in Western, PA, there will be 2 weekends; November 11-13, 2016 and December 03-04, 2016. Both weekends will take place in Cranberry, PA, just minutes from Pittsburgh and it's surrounding areas.
The cost for the weekend is only $150.00 (per-person) for the conference, plus your hotel stay. (And unless you can send the kids away for the weekend, I would suggest you find a way to stay at the hotel.)
Click on the link and register for the next Weekend to Remember!
As a student pastor/church leader, this conference is one that I am interested. I know I see blended families on a regular bases. I want to be sure that we are working to meet the unique needs of the blended family. If you're in the same boat, may I suggest you consider The Summit!
Click on the link below to learn more.
The Art of Marriage
The Art of Marriage is a small group resource that takes a group of couples back into God's Word to look and understand his initial design and purpose for marriage. This video based material includes real stories from real couples, incredible teaching from some of the most respected and trusted bible teachers and discussion questions that will truly get you and your spouse talking.
I am looking to host The Art of Marriage sometime during the next school year (2016-2017). So be sure to watch the blog for an announcement with details. If you would like to host a The Art of Marriage event, or you would like to know where and when an event is happening near you, visit the website for details.
As a parent and a youth pastor, I am constantly aware of the impact that the internet has on our kids. Not only is it a source of temptation, it is a place to learn just about anything. I know this, because I've used the internet to learn how to fix, repair, replace, and do a bunch of things.
Our kids are doing the same things. #2 have learned how to replace iPhone and iPad screens and digitizers by watching YouTube videos. #3 has learn all sorts of soccer moves by watching, replaying, and practicing. The internet is a great source of information. But are we losing something when the internet becomes our first source of learning.
My friend Walt Mueller, posted on his blog, a link to a recent Gillette commercial that went live on June 6th, 2016. It was a Father's Day campaign, which pits the knowledge of the internet with the the know-how of a dad.
Take a minute to watch this video.
If the video isn't visible, click on this link, https://youtu.be/fmWRODY0ing.
First, kudos to Gillette. They have joined a small number of companies that our challenging us with a push to reconsider the importance of home, family, and relationships. I appreciate the marketing genius behind these ads. Not only to they tug at our heartstrings, but the take a stab at some unsettling realities of post-family and post-modern life.
Second, what a punch in the gut. A wake up call for us dad's who have, over time, moved further and further away from the idea of intimate relationships with our kids; in this case our sons! I remember asking my dad to teach me how to tie a tie. I remember my dad showing me how to change the oil, gap a spark plug, replace a car battery, and changing a tire.
Men, are role in the lives of our boys is incredibly significant. We are the ones charged with training them up, both in matters of faith and in the courses of life! But too many of us, myself included, have taken a back seat, and are allowing our kids to find answers on the internet, through asking their friends, or fumbling around on their own.
This coming weekend I will be preaching on the importance of the family and the role of mom and dad to be the spiritual leaders/teachers of their homes. I find it timely that this little ad should find it's way across my computer screen, because, as the ad suggests, the task of being a dad is one better not left to the internet.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, "Come on guys, let's get it together!"
Let's reengage with our sons and become the teachers and examples that they need. No more waiting in the wings hoping that somehow, someway they'll figure it out. Our boys in men in their lives. Men of integrity. Men of honor. Men of courage. Men of compassion. Men who are brave enough to remember what it was like to be a teenager struggling to figure out all the complexities of adolescence.
Dads, don't wait for them to ask you.
- the higham family
This weekend we joined the ranks of thousands of other parents who spent their weekend traveling to sports tournaments with our kids. It's not that we've never done this. Our number #1 participated in a basketball tournament years ago. But that seems small in comparison to this past weekend. This weekend Amy and I shared in the full tournament experience, and we have to say, it was fun!
In the past we have done our best to stay away from sports teams that do a lot of traveling. Being in full-time ministry, traveling on the weekend for tournaments presents a few problems. One, when Sunday is a "work day" it's hard to take that time off. And two, traveling, staying in hotels, eating out, and tournament fees, add up pretty quickly. So when our kids look to play on sports teams, we always have to check to see if the team participates in many tournaments.
Thus far we have been blessed in that the sports and teams that our kids have played for have either chosen not to participate in tournaments, or only participate in local tournaments. So we have done a few, just not many that have required us to stay overnight somewhere.
But this past weekend, we join our #3 sons soccer team in Edinboro, for a weekend tournament. Games started Friday evening and continued through Sunday afternoon. The tournament was huge. I have no idea just how many teams played, but there were a lot!
Going into the weekend, we weren't really sure what to expect. So we had our eyes wide-open as we made our way through the weekend, and I think we learned a few things along the way.
Those two meals helped all of us save a lot of money over the weekend. Everyone brought some kind of side dish or dessert to share, which left us with a ton of delicious food!
Another great savings came in that the hotel offered a free continental breakfast on both Saturday and Sunday.
Sunday morning came and we paid cash for our hotel stay. And when we left for home later that afternoon, we still had money in our pockets.
Budget and plan ahead.
2. Look at the Trip as a Way to Spend Time with Your Kids Doing Something You Wouldn't Normally Do.
- In 2014, we made a conscious decision to be more intentional with our kids. One of the ways we planned to do that was to look for opportunities to create fun memories but experiencing new place and new activities. This weekends tournament helped to fulfill that task. For us, we almost never stay in a hotel, much less a hotel with a pool. Nor have we made many trips as of late to new and "unexplored" areas. This weekend we did both! And then some!!
We tried to make the most of our opportunity, taking every moment as a moment have a laugh, create a memory, or simply just enjoy. The location of the tournament not only made us travel, but we stayed about 20 minutes from Lake Erie. So on Sunday, after the tournament was over, we made the trip to the Lake for a Father's Day lunch at a great restaurant on the Lake. After lunch, we drove out to Presque Isle State Park. It was a beautiful day and we had beautiful views! It was a trip that we might not have made otherwise!
So not only did we get to cheer for #3 and his soccer team, but we also enjoyed some family sightseeing and had a mini-vacation. All activities that opportunities simply because we chose to do something we wouldn't normally do.
3. Take the Time as Chance to Be A Part of the Community that You Live In.
- As a full-time pastor, I believe that it is super important that we as a family be invested in the community around us. And while it's hard sometimes to juggle family-time vs. ministry-time, a weekend like this helps to accomplish both.
First and foremost, this weekend was about family. #3 was playing soccer in a tournament. We were going to support and cheer on our son and his team. And most of the weekend was spent with me being simply a dad sitting on the sidelines watching his kid play. Second, were the pastors family. We live in the church manse. People know that we work at the church. So whether we want to or not, we will always be know as the pastors family.
Now that being said, we love what we do. And we do believe in being a part of the community. While this weekend was mostly about us just being parents, there was still the opportunity to meet and talk with other parents and families from our community. And we did it in a way that mades us approachable because we all shared the same purpose for the weekend; cheering our kids on.
We have also been blessed to have a number of families from the church also on the team. That helps bridge the gap between the pastor and the person. You see, there needs to be a certain authenticity in who we are and what we say we believe. We are parents who struggle to raise our children, stick to a budget, deal with school issues, juggle multiple calendars, and still chase after Jesus. We're not perfect, but we really do love Jesus and we try to do the best we can as we live as disciples. Being authentic is allowing our neighbors to see the imperfections, and hope that God's grace shines brightly through who we are in Christ.
By the time we arrived home we were all exhausted. It was a great weekend of soccer, being with friends, and enjoying some pretty special family-time. We had a few really good laughs, shared some great moments, and added to the list of memories that we're trying to create. It's being intentional. It's being creative. It's being authentic. It's being a family.
- the higham family
Welcome to another episode of Life in the Higham House, the weekend edition! It was another busy weekend taking care of kids, visiting, activities, and house chores. We did our best to capture what we could, but as you will see, life isn't always happy!
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Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.