Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hike and Bike

Greetings friends and family,

Thanks for the feedback on the videos.  Here's a clip of Layla quoting her verse of the day.  Then she throws in a random shout out to Ouma because she is coming to visit in 6 days!

Easton is able, but not willing to go on video saying his rendition of the verse.  Trust me, he gets it and believes it, but he's just less comfortable than Layla in front of the camera.

Our city is stirring after 5 months of hibernation beneath a blanket of heat (not snow).  Normal animals and cities sleep during the cold, dark winter, but not in Phoenix!  As the rest of the country breaks out sweaters and warms their hands on pumpkin spice lattes we get outside and get active.

I'm not sure how many peaks exist along the main path we hike, but we climbed to the 3rd peak this past week.  I started hiking with them when they were 3 years old.  Since then we've tackled several trails.  As their balance improves along with their ability to walk like big kids we continue to hike further each time.

I took this fun picture of our hiking shoes as we talked about the scene and our city.

This is a panoramic view of the view from our third peak experience.  I take them up here often because I want them to view life with the same perspective as we view the city which is: from above, not below.  I don't know many kids who are born in the ghettos where all they have are big buildings around them and they never leave their block their entire life.

Easton and Layla live a charmed life compared to that, I know.  But in addition to our many travels and adventures to other cities and states, I want them to view our city with a tops-down approach.  Not so they can look down their noses at those less fortunate.  Quite the contrary.  I want them to see how much opportunity exists to achieve greatness and help others along the way.  One measure of assessing my role as their father is this:  How much did they allow God to work through them to touch the lives of others.  These two are positioned for greatness if ever two people were.  It's their choice when it comes down to it, but from what I see in their kind, loving hearts so far they are already starting to fulfill.

I still feel needed as we climb over the difficult sections.  They boldly ask for me to help them down or up the steep cliff, reach out their hand, and wait for me to meet them with my outstretched hand.  I'm not God. I'm not even A god.  I'm not their God.  However, I am shaping their view of their Heavenly Father based on how well I fulfill my role as their Earthly father.  I want them to feel just as bold and comfortable asking their Heavenly Father for help.

What kept them going from one peak to the next was not bribery, but I agreed to let them have two skittle each at the next peak.  This proved to be fairly motivational.  Layla encouraged each and every hiker we passed with a well-timed comment such as "You're a great hiker!" and "Way to go, you're almost to the top!" and "Your puppy is adorable".  

The hiking wasn't what I consider to be strenuous exercise or challenging, but they are my priority even over my own hobbies.  I finally took the opportunity to ride my bike again.  Each day I pass it going in and out of our bedroom where it stands against the wall.  It's like looking at an F1 race car sitting in the garage just begging to be driven.  I went for a leisurely ride with my friend, Judson up South Mountain.  My lungs and legs were burning equally, which means I'm a little out of shape.  No better time to get going in the right direction than today though!

I might go for a night ride this coming week with my friend who has an extra bike light.  Seeing beady eyes glare back at me from the desert sounds a little spooky, but I'm always up for a new adventure.

See you soon!

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