We went to Florida for a family vacation. We packed the van with literally everything but the kitchen sink - and if we could have found a way to pack that, we probably would have.
Since Amy's family lives in Texas, we've made several long road trips over the years. When it was just us and the dog, we could drive with minimal breaks. Since Chloe and Cole came along, however, we've had to change our strategy a little bit.
We've discovered that the secret to a good road trip with children is good planning. We make sure we have a DVD player with plenty of DVDs. We bring plenty of CDs that the kids like to listen to. We stop at regular intervals to let them get out and stretch their legs. And when they fall asleep, we drive as fast and as far as the law will allow us before they wake up.
Finally, we bring snacks for them to eat. On this trip, part of our preparations included taking some plastic sandwich bags and filling them with Froot Loops for the kids to snack on. All was well as we began, but after a while Cole spoke up from the back seat. "My tummy hurts!" he complained. When I turned around to see what was wrong, I saw him take a handful of Froot Loops and shove them into his mouth.
It didn't take much to figure out what the problem was. I asked him to lay off the Froot Loops for a while and sure enough, within about 10 minutes he was fine.
His behavior was a great lesson for me, though. Sometimes we engage in behavior and we don't know why we're so miserable because we don't realize that what we're doing is sin. At other times we know full well we're engaging in sin, but we do it anyway - either through a conscious choice or because we can't help ourselves (Romans 7:15, 19).
What we must all strive to do is examine our lives and see if we're engaging in sin. If we discover (or already know) that we are, we need to stop it.
I know, this is easier said than done. But when we ask God to give us strength to turn away from our sins, we have the promise of scripture that he will help us (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Parrish Myers is a local minister. His column appears every other week in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com.