Saturday, July 5, 2014

Day 186- A Whitewater First

Today, I took Hannah Grace and Joel whitewater rafting for my "first." 

I've been whitewater rafting a couple of times, but I've never taken my children.  When I asked if they wanted to go both were a bit hesitant.  After thinking about it, they both decided they wanted to go. I was really excited about that because I truly thought they would enjoy the experience a lot.  Laura called and booked the reservations for 14 of us (Laura could not go due to ongoing neck problems).  When we got there, I had to fill out waivers for all of us.  This is where you admit that you are subjecting your child to serious injury and/or death.  I chose to not read it and just sign it. I do not recommend that, but honestly that is what I did.  I think I read it the last time and was OK with it.  Then we got our PFD's (I knew what that was from the last time; personal floatation device).  We used to call those life jackets. Actually, I still do except when I go whitewater rafting. Then they showed us a video of people falling out of rafts and how to do rescues.  I wondered if this would talk either of my children out of going. It did not. Then they showed us how to float if we fell out.  The video cautioned us that if we did not float and tried to stand up, we could possibly drown. Both children weathered that discussion fine though at this point I'm feeling like a pretty terrible father. Let me mention that this river was labeled "beginners."

We get in a bus and go up river.  Of course, both children wanted to know what we were doing getting on a bus if we were going rafting.  After a bus ride, we got in the raft and got on the river.  The water in this river was cold.  We knew that beforehand because the website said that this river had cold water. They were right.  The other rivers were warmer, but this was the one closest to us and that we could do considering all the ages of our participants.  Right off, we went down a pretty good rapid and we all got wet and everyone was laughing and I could tell this was a hit.  Both children loved whitewater rafting.  They were very glad they went.  Hannah Grace laughed a lot and Joel wanted to splash cousins in the other boats; needless to say we got wet.  I will admit the others splashed us first and Joel was all about getting them back.  It was quite the fun "first."  I decided not to bring my phone on the river and so don't have any rafting pictures; sorry.  How about a few family pictures?

The one picture from the rafting place

A good portion of the family gathered

Laura, her siblings, and her Dad

Laura and her Dad

People taking pictures; this is quite the event

Joel, cousin Maren, and Hannah Grace

Laura, her sisters, and her Dad 

 As we were driving to go whitewater rafting and the children were asking me questions about how this thing was going to work, I kept saying to them, "Listen to the guide. Do what the guide says and you'll be fine." It turns out that our guide had worked the most dangerous rafting river in this area last year.  He got injured a good bit and decided to work this river this summer plus he was working with this company to try to gain a couple of college credits. His Dad was in some type of forestry job and started out as a river guide.  This guy (Ben) definitely knew more than any of us in the boat about rafting.  Every time the children would ask a question, I would try to answer it and then say, "Just do what the guide says."

As a follower of Jesus, that's not a bad idea.  Just do what God says.  Just follow Jesus.  You and I don't have not know everything about what's going to happen next or how this is going to turn out. Just listen to the Spirit as best you can and follow Jesus.  Ephesians 5: 1-2 says, "Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God."

Seeking to follow the One who gives abundant life

3 things I thank God for today
1. Mountain trails
2. Whitewater rafting
3. Jesus' obedience

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