We're declaring today, Family Day!
And to celebrate, Family Day, We're off on an adventure!
Come and join us!!
We have been separated as a family for the last two weeks. Asher just finished two weeks at one of our favorite summer camps, Summer's Best Two Week! Breya spent last week we some friends so that Jay, Amy, Nate and Aiden could go on our churches high school ministry mission trip to Erie. And Logan stayed stay to watch the house and take care of the animals! So, it's been a while since we've been together as a family!
But, today (or at least Tuesday since it was yesterday) is Family Day!
We wanted to set aside a day to be together as a family and have some fun.
Now of course, we weren't all together. With two of our kiddos becoming adults and working, we are transitioning into a new phase of life. So Family Day's are taking a new shape.
Nonetheless, we loaded up the family vehicle and made our way to a local state park for a picnic lunch and some bike riding.
Watch the Vlog!
Our trip led us to Mingo Creek, a state park in our area. It's a great park with plenty of picnic areas, a couple playgrounds, an ideal trail which is perfect for walking or bike riding, and beautiful creek that runs through the park from beginning to end.
Our plan was to do a little bike riding, then enjoy a picnic lunch before heading home!
And that's what we did. As you can see by watching the vlog, it was a great day!
That's a great question. When was the last time you laughed with your family? I don't mean chuckled over something funny that happen at some point during the day. I mean, you laughed! From the gut, teary-eyed, can't catch your breath, and now your making funny snorting sounds laughed!!
As I regularly evaluate my role in our family as husband and father, I am always asking the question, "What memories are we making as a family?" I think of that because too often, I find that we spend more time as parents correcting, disciplining, saying no, and arguing with our teens and pre-teen kids. Life is super crazy, and keeping the schedules intact and everyone where they need to be is a big deal sometimes. Add to that, all the craziness of life at home; the chores, responsibilities, homework, and personality issues, and you'll find that your plate is over flowing with challenge. But what I am learning is that in those moments of challenge, we as husbands and fathers, have a decision to make. Do we allow the overwhelming stresses of life crush the joy in our kids, or can we find the time to celebrate and laugh?
My wife often reminds of Ephesians 6:4. "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."
As a father my attitude, my behavior, my speech, my faith, have the opportunity to influence how my kids grow is something that is becoming more and more real.
As a father my attitude, my behavior, my speech, my faith, have the opportunity to influence how my kids grow is something that is becoming more and more real. Over the last year, I have seen both of my teenage boys struggle with issues of anger, bitterness, and apathy, and I can't help but wonder, if the stress that I have felt in the last year has been transmitted onto them. I have heard from both my wife and kids, that they have noticed that I have been more short tempered then ever before. And my wife, is often asking, what has me so stressed out? All of this is leading my family to a place of brokenness, and I am no longer willing to allow this to be the case.
I think Ephesians is one of those verses that is sometimes looked at with too narrow a view. My wife likes to remind me of the, "do not exasperate your children," after I've had to deal with an issue that got out of hand. (That's a nice way of saying, I lost control and ended up yelling at one of my kids.) But I think it's more than that. I don't think the verse is simply an instruction to not yell out our kids, or deal harshly with them. I think we need to consider the second part of Paul's instruction, the, "bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."
I titled this blog, When was the last time you laughed with your family, not so much to encourage more laughter in your home, but to encourage you as a husband and father to think about what you're intentionality in creating moments that become treasures in your families database.
Over the last couple of weeks, by God's grace, we have had more moments of laughter. It feels good. It makes us feel closer. And as a father, I want that. I want to see my kids laughing, and I want my kids to see me laugh. I want my kids to see, both, me and my wife laugh. So as I think about those moments, I want to be intentional about allowing myself to let go of the stresses of life and being in the moments of joy with my kids.
Take time in the days ahead to laugh with your family. Sit at the dinner table a little longer. Listen as they tell you about their day. Ask, What was the funniest thing that happened today at school? And laugh with them. Enjoy your family and the moments that become those memories. By learning how to laugh with your family, you take another step in becoming a good husband.
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Parents...I have a question for you. Are you happy with how your kids are growing up in this culture? Now, don't just say yes, and move on. Take a minute to think about the question.
I was listening to Focus on the Family recently on the radio. It was part 2, of a two-part show entitled, Keeping the Romance Sizzling in Your Marriage. Bill and Pam Farrel, the show's guests, we're talking about their book, Red Hot Monogamy (which Amy and I will be talking about on the blog soon). The subject matter centered on intimacy in marriage. But what caught my attention wasn't the topic, but something that Pam Farrel said in part 2.
Jim, the shows host, asked the following question, "Pam and Bill, let me ask you this delicate question. Um, some in the Christian community feel that this topic is taboo, maybe even that the Lord isn’t pleased with it although He has created us in this way. What would you say to that couple that may struggle with even within the two of them, this kind of openness about their desire? Is it wrong, biblically, to have a desire for sex?"
Pam responded with this answer. "I think it’s right, biblically. I mean God said, “Leave and cleave and the two shall become one.” It was like a command right at the very beginning in Genesis. And so before the church was formed, before there was a tabernacle, before there was a temple, God said there was a marriage. And the gift that he gave to solidify that marriage was the gift of intimacy. And so it really is up to us to protect and regain that gift that God so graciously gave."
It was that last line of her statement the got me, it really is up to us to protect and regain that gift that God so graciously gave.
(Quotes taken from the transcribed copy of the radio program titled, Keeping the Romance Sizzling in Your Marriage. You can read and/or list to both parts of the program by clicking on the links below.)
The conversation continued as guests and hosts moved the discussion into areas of intimacy, struggles and issues with pornography. It all got me thinking, as a parent and a husband, what am I doing to instill God's truth into my marriage and my kids.
We live in a culture that gives the freedom of life-style; and that life-styles draws us further and further away from what God originally intended for a husband and a wife. We can either sit back and watch culture continue to spill it's lies, or we can take a stand and speak about the Truth we find in scripture about the relationship between a husband and a wife.
As I listened, I realized that it was up to Amy and I to not only protect our marriage, but to protect our children, and speak about what it looks like to live in agreement with God's word, especially when it comes to the most amazing gift that God gives outside of his Son; sexual intimacy.
When Amy and I talked about starting a family blog, one of our goals was to create content that encouraged the family, helped the marriage, and glorified God.
When Amy and I talked about starting a family blog, one of our goals was to create content that encouraged the family, helped the marriage, and glorified God. We are passionate about the family, raising our kids, and doing everything we can to strengthen and enjoy our marriage. It's what prompted Parents Talk, our web series that tackles topics such as raising kids and building healthy marriages. In the series we take questions and share our experiences. We'd love to hear from you!
But, back to the original question. Are you happy with how your kids are growing up in this culture? Think about it. With cell phones and multi-media devices, social media and picture sharing apps, the internet in your pocket, TV programs that embrace the growing cultural norms, and news outlets that bend just as far right as they do left, are you okay with your kids growing up in this culture?
As a parent with two adult children, one teenager and two tweens, what I once considered okay 6 to 8 years ago, I'm not sure I am okay with today. What I once thought was okay for my adult children when they were teens, I am now rethinking as my tweens approach their teen years. Things have drastically changed as technology continues to propel us into a deeper waters of temptation. I worry, more now than ever, about what my kids are viewing. I'm concerned with what they're hearing. And, it's forcing me to rethink the practices we once held with our older kids.
Watch the Vlog Post...
I wonder, am I the only one concerned? Am I the only one who still wants my kids to chase after God? To make His plans for their lives, THEIR plans for their lives. Am I the only one who still hopes that my kids will desire a healthy marriage and thus make the choices that lead them in that direction?
I can't be.
So, I'm asking, where are the parents who want more; more for their marriages and more for their kids? If your out there, what are you doing to raise your kids according to God's word and how are you strengthen your marriage so that you are experiencing the intimacy and joy that God desires for your relationship?
Let's start a new conversation and let grow stronger families together!
Do your remember Mad Libs?
They're still around, and still a lot of fun!
While traveling over the 4th of July holiday, we posted episode 12 of our summer Kids Talk series. In the episode, we talk about one of our favorite family activities, Mad Libs! They've been around for a long time, but they are still as funny as I remember from when I was a kid! Read and watch the episode!
[ AFFILIATE LINKS ]
We remember as kids, playing with Mad Libs, creating all sorts of crazy stories. Now our kids are having the same fun, creating weird and funny stories that make us laugh.
We have found Mad Libs to be great fun in the car of road trips, at restaurants waiting for food, or just sitting around the house on a summer day with nothing else to do. Mad Libs get the kids talking, laughing and having fun together.
[ AFFILIATE LINKS ]
Of course with teens and preteens, it doesn't take much to derail the subject matter towards something a little more inappropriate. With that being said, sometimes it the inappropriateness that makes Mad Libs even funnier! Just last week, while visiting family, Amy and the kids were doing a Mad Libs story that, while slightly inappropriate, was absolutely hilarious!! We were all laughing heavy bellies laughs; you know that kind that make it hard to breathe...yeah, that funny!!
Watch our episode of Kids Talk
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.