Enjoy the Journey

As the summer winds down, we find ourselves busier than we would like to be. Some are transitioning into a new academic school year, deciding on extra curricular activities for the fall, or attempting to get organized for a new fiscal year. Is summer really over so soon? It seems as though when we were kids, time passed so slowly, days seemed so long, and we were often ready to return to school. Today is different. With the season of busyness for many, even the younger generations feel time flying by.

Our family is no different, this summer has blown by and has really caused me to reflect upon one of our last family memories of summer 2017. My family decided to spend a day on the water focusing time on each other in God’s majestic creation. What could be better than the ocean, fishing, sunshine, family time, and NO TECHNOLOGY with minimal distractions? Raising three boys has given me the opportunity to discover joy in the simple things in life — like being outside.

The day began with much uncertainty. The weather was temperamental and the decision to stay back was highly considered. However, we were determined to “fit in one more family activity” and so we did. My husband spent all morning preparing the boat, we stopped on the way to pack all our favorite snacks, we set out on the water with overcast skies and even a few drops of rain every now and then. We prayed on the truck ride over that we would give this day to the Lord, that every moment or challenge would be an opportunity for us to be still enough to receive God’s blessings throughout the day.

It wasn’t but 15 minutes into our journey out to sea “seemingly no where” that our faithful old boat started to sound its’ alarm. This alarm in past experiences triggered frustration, irritation, and even panic on my end. We were on a mission, we knew where we were going, how to get there, and we had “fish to catch”! Traditionally, this sound would cause us to stop, allow the motor to cool down and then proceed on our way. Today was different, though the alarm caused us to stop, this time we prayed for God’s mercy and trusted in His provision for our day. It just so happened that in this particular spot, in the middle of no where, we caught many fish, experienced great laughs, and were even able to catch a glimpse of a rainbow from the sun peering through the sky. It was a reminder of God’s promise, His faithful blessings experienced “on the journey”.

What if we had an internal alarm that would sound when our “motors” were at the point of burnout?   Would we immediately stop, right where we were, take in the rest and beauty that surrounded us in that instant or moment? What are we missing when we are so focused on our destination?

I pray this new season reminds you to slow down, enjoy the process, the journey, and to prioritize what matters most (God, spouse, children, family, friends, and then our jobs…and yes, in that order). If your alarm is sounding, though it may seem to be an impossibility to stop where you are, TRUST our loving Father for He is our true guide and will give adequate rest to continue on the journey. You may be pleasantly surprised by the blessings you discover along the way.

May this bless you abundantly!

Jamie Schofield

Back to School — Start the day out right!

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Back to school season can be hectic. Returning to a rigid schedule can be both a blessing and a struggle. Many times we rush to wake up, put food on the table, get the bags packed, and run out the door! In all of the rushing, it’s easy to pick up a stressed and negative attitude. However, our attitude as parents create the atmosphere in our home, and this can affect our children as we send them off for the day. We want to do everything in our power to set our children up for success in every area, emotionally, behaviorally, and academically.

Here are three simple tips that will be sure to establish a positive and peaceful atmosphere while creating a bright start to each day.

1. Give yourself enough time.

Being rushed adds extra stress and extra chaos. Set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than your kids’ wake time to guarantee at least one peaceful cup of coffee and a short devotion time with just you and the Lord. Remember, we can only give our best out of the overflow that is within us. Otherwise, we are merely surviving. It’s not easy, but it’s always worth it.

2. Create a peaceful and uplifting atmosphere through positive words and affirmations each and every morning.

Going back to school is an adjustment for the whole family, not just parents. Our children are making new friends, getting to know new teachers, and adjusting to a new work load. It’s important that we speak life into them, letting them know that we believe in them. Some simple examples are, “You are so smart in math, I know you are going to do great this year!” “Mom is so proud of you for choosing friends that will help you make good choices!” “You look so beautiful/handsome in that school uniform!”

3. Pray together as a family.

Before your kids get out of the car or onto the bus, stop and say a prayer with them. This helps to give a healthy perspective for the day and teaches children where to turn when they need help. It can be as simple as, “Lord, thank you for a new day. This is the day you have made and we will rejoice in it! We ask that you would lead us through this day by your Holy Spirit, helping us to make good choices. Help us to love others as you love us. In Jesus name, Amen.”

It’s our prayer here at Faithfully Guided that this would be the best school year yet for you and your family!

God Bless,
Elizabeth Parker

Intentional Connections

The goal of marriage and family counseling is to renew connectivity through intentionality. Typically, life happens and in one way or another we find ourselves completely disconnected from the people we are supposed to be connected to the most, our spouse and/or our children. Every family is different and therefore every disconnected causality is unique. Ultimately, we need to be reconnected and to ensure continued daily connectivity.

Be intentional with God.

Offer the first of your day to God. As Christ renews his mercies every morning, renew your commitment to serving him. Commit yourself and your day to God. Allow God’s words to bless you and in turn use your words to bless others. Ask God to help you forgive so that you can be forgiven. Receive God’s grace so that you can give grace. Reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice so that you too can self-sacrifice. Pray for your family members throughout the day. Fill yourself with God’s love so that you can actively love. Petition God for his miraculous peace so that you can easily rest. Cognitively process God’s hope for you, daily! Allow your spirit to be filled with his care, his joy and feel his loving arms embrace you!

Be intentional with family.

Use every natural break in the day as a point of connectivity. Daily, say a blessing over one another as you depart. Affectionately greet one another as you return home once again. Be intentional about spending family time together. Use meals as a natural communication and bonding time. Dine at a table, with no external distractions (electronic devices). Attentively listen and actively respond while dining. To connect, create fun household routines like Taco Tuesday, Friday Night Game Night, or Sunday lunch after church at Mojo’s. Be intentional about spending alone time with each other. Dates and any one-on-one time is greatly encouraged for parents! Always, always, Always be intentional and life giving with your words! Connect mentally, physically and spiritually with one another every day!

Barriers to reconnecting and staying connected.

The two consistent barriers in reconnecting and staying connecting are the words we speak and selfishness.

God Bless,
Scott Inman