One of the things that I really want my kids to know is that they can do hard things.
I want them to be able to look in the face of life's challenges and know that deep down inside that with hard work, perseverance, and a firm faith and trust in God's plan that they can overcome.
Whether it be a huge project, a health challenge, a difficult relationship, or whatever it is that may make them feel overwhelmed… I want them to know that with God, nothing is impossible. He will be there to ease their burdens, comfort their hurts, and give them strength beyond their own to face their challenges.
To help our kids to internalize this very important piece of knowledge, we like to participate in family activities that are physically challenging. It is our hope that by giving them opportunities to push the limits of their physical capacities, that they will learn that they are strong and can do hard things.
Yesterday we climbed a mountain.
Sure it was a far cry from hiking to a mountaintop in the Rockies, but it was still a hard hike that was a challenge for us.
Today we participated in a ropes course at Treetops Adventure Park in Asheville.
We strapped on our protective gear...
and scaled through the treetops for a few hours.
climbed across precarious bridges...
made new friends...
and in general pushed ourselves to new heights.
Most of us started off a little tentatively,
but after traipsing through some of the easier courses,
we gained confidence and soon were scaling to new heights.
Adam and Glen made it through four of the five courses (blue, green, yellow, orange)...
While Cami and Emma sailed through all five, including the black diamond of them all….the red course. The red course was the highest of all the courses and had the most difficult tasks to perform, including walking across the infamous hanging hula hoop trek. I watched a grown man scream all the way through that task!
We had mentioned Ellie's seizures to the staff before starting, but they seemed unconcerned by them since she would be strapped into her harness securely at all times. She ended up having several seizures while on the courses, but thankfully she made it through the blue and green courses a couple times each without incident. By the end she was a pro at hooking and "tweezling" her carabiners herself!
After a few hours of working hard, we were all exhausted, hungry and dripping with sweat.
But we were also beaming with a sense of accomplishment that we CAN do hard things!!!
(And enjoy a sweet reward at the end!)