This summer we decided to split our week of family vacation into two long weekend getaways. Our last step away from normal life was to Myrtle Beach. As expected with four boys there was never a dull moment. Now, I could bore you with what we did, but I would like to share with you my favorite moment of vacation.
We were all gathered around the kitchen table playing a dangerous game of Yahtzee. You know, those dice always have the potential to blind someone when in the hands of a young man. It was great to do something together after many weeks of feeling a million miles apart. We never did finish the game, but we did have one of those family moments you just don’t create.
Everyone was hoping to go out to eat at least two nights while we were away, but due to unexpected expenses that was not going to happen. I informed the boys our plans had changed and money was tight. Of course, they instantly asked, “Why Daddy, you promised we would go out to eat another night?” I responded, “Well, plans have changed and we’ve got to be wise with the money God has given us.”
I used this moment to share with my boys things they need to hear from time to time. I told them that plenty of kids don’t get to do the things they take for granted. That many kids around the world were just hoping they might have anything to eat for lunch or supper. You see, I’ve been at too many local homes where the floors are collapsing, the pantry is bare, and the families are struggling to keep the lights on. In fact, you might not be aware that a recent study showed that over 14,000 throughout Colleton County live below poverty level. I then shared with them the top three goals we have for our family.
One, we pray our family stays in God’s will. If this means moving to Africa, staying in Walterboro, or making countless life adjustments, we will do it. I want my kids to understand that all that matters in this life is God’s will for our life. God will not lead us to a dead end street. Where God guides, He will provide. Living in God’s will brings favor and the confidence of knowing God is with us. My kids know by now that we aren’t marching to the beat of our own drum, but every day we ask God, “What is God’s will for our lives?”
Secondly, we pray our family stays together. Our kids know from living in this world that any family can fall apart at any time. We don’t plan on being one of those if we can help it. I shared with them that it’s more important that their mother and I stay together and our family stays together than whether we go out to eat or experience the next thrill. Of course, each of them agreed that our family staying together was more important than any other single event we could experience.
Thirdly, we pray our family stays healthy. God doesn’t just want our family to survive, but to thrive. We don’t want time to pass us by and the kids are all grown up. We want to grow together, spend time together, and love another every step of the way. None of these things require money, nor can money buy any of them. I want my kids to look back and be grateful for their family. I want my kids to know what it looks like to live by faith. And, I want my boys to lead out healthy homes of their own, one day. The only way any of these things become reality is for us to exemplify what is really important.
At the conclusion of our talk that night, we grabbed hands and had a family prayer. Why? Because, I needed my boys to know that without God’s help and everyone’s efforts we could never reach any of these God-size goals. However, if we stay in God’s will, stay together, and stay healthy we will be one blessed bunch.