Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fall Adventures...

Have you missed it?  Don’t miss out before it’s too late!  It happens fast and if you aren’t looking, it’s over before you know it.  For years I missed it.   I must admit I walked with my head to the ground distracted, busy, and overwhelmed with life.  All I had to do was lift my head up, open my eyes, look around, and peace would come.

What monumental event am I talking about?  …the FALL COLORS of course….The beauty of God’s creation.  It’s gorgeous!  I don’t know how someone could lift their eyes up and look around outside during this season and NOT see the handiwork of God.  It’s amazing!

Well, for some reason this year was different for me.  Maybe it’s because we took our fall break to go visit my husband’s homeland… MICHIGAN.  He wanted to show the boys all around where he grew up and expose us to the “true” fall colors... brighter, richer, and bolder colors.  Fall comes sooner there. 

I guess this year I looked a little closer at the colors since of course it was the whole point of our trip.  It was stunning!  The pictures I took couldn’t adequately capture the beauty I beheld.  The colors were astounding!   The views were jaw-dropping.  I kept asking my husband to stop so I could take more pictures.

We camped while there and it was beautiful!  We were right by the water.  The only down side was that it was COLD.  We had a heater to stay warm at night, but day adventures were a bit frigid for me.  We limited our boys media time while we were on the trip which about killed them.  I think sometimes a simpler lifestyle is better.  When we can slow down, enjoy the scenery, and connect one on one as a family… it’s good and healthy. 

Limiting media at times allows us to gain a new perspective.  It gives us time to re-evaluate.  Is media adding to or taking away from our family?  Media isn’t all bad, but I think scheduling regular breaks from it helps keep things more balanced.  It helps us find other things to do like… talk to each other, read, play board games, go outside and be active, and be creative just to name a few. 

I learned from this trip that we need MORE media breaks… more time to connect with one another.  I am only going to have these boys for a short while.  I want to make this time count!  I want to help them learn to connect their hearts with God and their lives with others.  In order to help facilitate this, media is going to have to become LESS of a focal point in our home.  I know it will be a challenge, but well worth it in the long run.

While in Michigan we visited old friends and one of my husband’s cousins.  The boys got a great taste of hard work and the simple life while at cousin Roderick’s house.  Their eyes got big when they were asked to help cut and stack firewood for their winter supply.  Al’s cousin and his wife live off the land… they cut wood for the winter for heat and cooking on their wood stove, grow their own vegetables & herbs, milk goats, and care for animals… It’s a working farm!

While the boys helped cut wood with Al’s guided instruction, I was asked to cook up some Sloppy Joe’s on their wood stove.  I didn’t quite realize how primitive it was until I asked if we could turn the burner up on the meat to cook it more quickly.  The lady of the house assisted me with a smile.  She leaned down gently to open the door below the stove revealing bits of wood and ashes.  She stoked the fire, blew on it with a special stick, and positioned the pan in a new location.  The heat was up!  WOW… I never did this before… cooked on a wood stove.  This was an experience I would never forget. 

Later we even hand cranked our own ice cream to add to our dessert.  It was a very eye-opening experience for us.  The simpler life seems to be a slower pace enabling more quality, family time.  Don’t worry.  I’m not ready to sell everything and move up to northern Michigan into the deep woods… yet.  I’m just seeing that there seems to be some positive elements to this kind of lifestyle.

So all in all it was a good trip.  Despite the cold, frigid temperatures we got to spend quality time together… talking, eating, exploring muddy roads in the country, visiting old friends & family, and making some new friends.  It was fun!  We made memories that will last a lifetime!  And this year I can honestly say I didn’t miss it…the beautiful canvas of God’s creation displayed right before my eyes.  Breathtaking!


There is still time to catch the colors if you hurry.  Run outside the minute the sun comes out and find a patch of trees… take a few moments to get lost in the beauty of God’s creation.  You may never be the same!

Living to leave a legacy,

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