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Life lessons from a rattlesnake!

8/16/19

This story goes out to all of the mommas in the middle of that messy season… Making the most out of each day… Fighting for the hearts of your littles in the day in and day out , finding yourself in the waves of this delightful mess that is parenting…

I enlisted the help of some people who have my heart. Today my crew joins me to share the story of one of our most recent hikes. We had a big encounter! But what I found more important than the story itself was how we circled back to this messy story to share some gems of truth I hope they tuck into their heart.

Y’all I wrestled with posting this video… It’s a little less than professional… But it is the cry of my heart! You can watch the story on our IGTV or you can read it here. As a young and big family – We are loud… We are easily distracted… We are busy… We don’t alway pay attention… Sometimes we can have more hard moments than easy ones in a day… But this season of investing in those young hearts matters. I believe wholeheartedly that we can make a big impact in the hearts of our kids with little day to day stories. Even if they don’t remember everything we say all the time… We can use stories to remind them of sweet truths and encouragements I pray they cling to as they grow.

If you want to feel real good about your messy crew watch our IGTV chaos to the end! All I can say is they crack me up! But i also feel like there is power in the reality of our season! “There’s a snake in my boot”

I hope you are encouraged to sew little seeds of truth and encouragement into those precious hearts you have the privilege to raise. Right there in the mess of it all!

At the end of this post we share the link to all the details on this specific trail. It’s an easy one to do in an afternoon with all levels of hikers and includes some sweet water falls!

We headed out on one of our favorite hikes! It was a hike that is just over an hour away and one that I grew up going to with my dad and brother as a kid. We headed out with the kids to explore.

We were with my dad and brother and if you’ve ever hiked with kids you know that it can be hard work to keep them moving.

So at one point, as we headed up the biggest hill I challenged the kids to a race on up. I counted “3… 2… 1…. Go!!!!!” And cheered as Jax and Keags took of running. Keags sped up to the top! But just as fast as he ran up the hill he circled back screaming as he fled back down the hill. “SSNNAAKKKKEEE!!!!!”

He came back to the rest of us still slowly walking up the hill (it was one of the first hikes since my accident. Slow and steady was my plan :)) Sure enough we all made our way up to the top. And there was a legit rattle snake in the middle of the path. Keags clung to my leg as we worked our way to the other side of the path and made our way passed. (my dad did poke the snake with a long walking stick and that snake confirmed for us that his rattle was in working order!)

We continued on our way to the part of the trail called “little Yosemite.” I thought it was so interesting as Jax warned everyone we passed by that “there’s a rattle snake at the top” They made it a point to make sure strangers knew where the danger was.

We found the spot to enjoy the water falls and little wading pools. We played. We swam. And we hiked back to the cars.

It wasn’t till the next day we were in the car together again and we started talking about the story of the rattle snake again.

We recalled how it all happened.

Then I shared with the kids… How there were lessons we could all learn from what Keags did. I likened the snake to sin or choices we hope our kids avoid. We laughed as we recalled Keags in sheer panic yelling as he ran down the hill. It was funny now because we knew he was out of any danger.

Love these sweet moments… helping each other! They are the sweet spots in the chaos of it all!

But I shared with the kids “Keags did exactly what I hope any of you would do when faced with sin or things you know are bad for you! I want you to run to me! RUN fast back to our family. We know that in life we will be faced with things that are unsafe. Things that are not good for us and I hope that when you come upon them you run back to the place you know you are safe!”

I continued ” We can then come together and walk through those hard things together. We can do hard things together” I said as I talked about inching along on the other side of the trail opposite the snake with all four of my kiddos clenched to my leg. “We can go around or through those hard things in life together!”

Using this same story I told them how proud I was of them for sharing with strangers that there was a snake on the trail. All on their own they shared one by one as we passed by people on the trail. Jax loved it most. I think he might have just loved seeing the look on people’s faces as they tried to figure out if we were telling the truth and if there was a rattler up there. There was! TRUST US!

I encouraged them “that when we encounter things that we know are dangerous it’s important to run back to safety. It’s important to go through hard things together. And it’s so important to encourage others to avoid that danger too”

I feel like as I was sharing this bit of encouragement there were all sorts of interruptions and louder recalling of their own accounts. But when we broke it down… Bit my bit… I think at least little bits of truth settled on into their hearts.

I want to keep using stories to make an impact in their brains. I want to make them count. They may not remember a laundry list of dos and don’ts but I know they will remember this story and I hope they remember those little bits of encouragement woven into it.

I get it dear sweet momma in the middle of this messy season of raising kids.

I get what it’s like to be tired. I get what it’s like to be overwhelmed by the noise of it all. I get what it’s like to so desperately hope they hear the bits of encouragement You share.

What I want to cheer you on in today is to keep at it. Remind your kids of those life lessons. Even if they don’t remember every detail… Share those stories with them. Remind them of who they are and where they can find safety. Help them to remember where to go when life gets hard.

Y’all this is not about the snake.

This is not about this season of life. This is about the bigger stuff they will face in the future. I want them to know without a doubt this is the road map or story of how we do things as a family.

We run to the safe place (working at making that safe place our family)

They aren’t alone! We can do hard things together (squeezing by the snake on the trail)

And we can encourage others to avoid the danger too!

It’s so not profound. It was so simple. It was still loud. But it was a moment where I took the opportunity to build that memory for the future.

Think through what simple story you have walked through with your kids this week. How can you weave bit sized nuggets of wisdom into it? We would love it if you shared your stories with us! We can learn from your stories too!

Two things that are important to keep in mind as you impact those stories on the hearts of your kids are:

First – Keep it short! It doesn’t have to be super deep. Keep it brief to keep their attention.

Second- Keep in simple! It doesn’t have to be super deep to settle into their hearts.

Cheering you on Mommas as you cheer on your crew!

As promised here is the info complete with maps and links for one of our favorite hikes in the Bay Area of California.

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