Hello family and friends!
Amy and I wanted to take a few minutes and shared a some thoughts about the blog and where we're going with it. But first, thank you, to the many hundreds of you who have continued to visit, read, share, like, comment, and encourage us here on TheHighamFamily.com blog. We are so very blessed that we get to share our story with you, via the blog and our vlog. Knowing that you are coming back over and over again, well, it's just amazing. And for all of you who continue to engage with us on Facebook, keep it up! We love reading your comments and participating in the conversations.
Now, this being the end of August, it's the perfect time to bring you up to speed with what we will begin sharing come September. And because we value your readership and support, we want you to hear our heart as we make some big decisions. So let's get going with what YOU need to know!
1. You need to know that the website and vlog are a source of income for the Higham family.
What does that mean? Well, basically, we hope to help supplement our monthly income with the blog. We believe very much in family. We've worked very hard over the last 20 years at raising our family. One of our biggest family values we hold is the belief that Amy's primary role in our marriage and in our family is to be the stay-at-home-mom. As a young couple, we committed to the idea that while our children were in school, Amy would stay home to care for the kids and the house. That meant that when children came, we would sacrifice her second income. And that's what we did.
At times the sacrifice was great, as we struggled and learned how to live on a youth pastors salary. We went without many of the extras others living with two incomes enjoyed, and we were okay with that. We made a commitment and our desire was to honor that commitment and trust that God would provide. And provide He did. Over and over again we saw God at work in our lives. We served in two amazing churches who cared very well for us and our growing family. God brought people into our lives who blessed us far beyond measure. And God opened the door to relationships that created many wonderful opportunities for Amy to babysit children in our home. But much has changed. Today we still trust that God will provide, but we believe He is leading us into new ventures that will lead us to deeper places of faith and trust. This blog and our YouTube vlog are two of these new ventures.
You see, we still believe that Amy's primary role is to be the amazing caregiver that our family has grown to rely on. And so we are seeking to supplement our income through the blog so she can continue to stay home and care for our children while we share our family story here on the blog.
How do we plan to make money? There are 5 primary ways that we will use the blog/vlog to supplement our income.
2. You need to know that we are a blog committed to encouraging the family.
As you know, Jay has been blogging for years. Mostly it's been a hobby. But a couple of years ago, Jay began to get serious about his writing. Along with focusing his blog (www.JayHigham.com) on the student ministry, he has been working hard to get some of his articles published on other student ministry sites. So far he has been featured on the YouthMinistry360.com blog, the YouthSpecialties.com blog, and the YouthMinistry.com blog (also known as the SimplyYouthMinistry.com blog) You can read some of his articles by visiting this page: www.jayhigham.com/published-articles.html.
But this blog is different. This blog focuses on family. We truly believe that the family is an essential piece to the stability of society. As Christians, we believe that the family is part of God's beautiful design for life. We believe that marriages should be honored, spouses valued, and children treasured. We believe that parents should BE parents. And we believe that the family home needs to be a place filled with grace, love, forgiveness, and hope! And we want this site to become a place where husbands and wives, mom's and dad's, even children, can find encouragement, support, resources, hope, help, and maybe even a little laughter along the way.
You see, we're not a perfect family. We make mistakes. But you don't have to be perfect. And it's okay to make mistakes. Because it's through the trials and errors that we learn and grow, and we see God do amazing things. This is the place where we can share those things. That's why we say, "Raising stronger families together!"
3. You need to know that we are striving to raise a healthier family.
After our miscarriage in December 2015, we were introduced to essential oils. Essential oils are the natural plant extracts. We were encouraged to begin using the oils to help relieve some of the emotional and physical struggles we started having. It didn't take long for us to discover the great benefits of the oils. So this summer we decided to take a bigger step into the world of essential oils, and became an independent disturber for the oldest and most trusted leader in the industry, Young Living.
Young Living has pioneered the essential oils industry, developing a Seed to Seal process that guarantees the delivery of the most powerful extracts on the market. 100% natural from plant to home, these essential oils have changed our thinking and how we live in so many ways. We shared many of our reasons for trying essential oils here, The Journey Begins. Because we have seen a significant difference in our lives, we decided to share what we are learning and using with you, our readers here on the blog. Our desire to to raise a stronger, healthier family, and Young Living Essential Oils is helping us do that.
We have created a new page here on the blog labeled, Essential Oils. On this page you will find resources, our own personal testimonies of products we love and use, announcements of discounts and special product promotions, and tutorials on how to use the various oils. And every Wednesday, we will highlight one or more products through a blog or a vlog post.
So there you are, 3 big updated coming to the website here in the month of September. We love sharing our lives here with you on the blog and in our vlogs. We are so grateful that you take the time to visit the site to read, watch and encourage us. And we want to continue doing this; sharing the amazing story that God has written for our family, offering encouragement and practical helps as you raise your family and growing a deeper community of friends who cherish, value, and support the family!
Thank you again, for all your support. Be sure to comment and share your family story with us! We want to know you!
- the higham family
A number of years ago, Christian comedian, Tim Hawkins did this bit...
Tim recognizes one of the craziest things about prescribed medications, the side effects. In a comical way, he highlights a significant problem with medications. With just about every medication, both over the counter and prescribed, there are side effects. I (Jay) love watching commercials for medications. In a 30 second commercial, 45 seconds of the ad is the narrator listing the possible side affects. It's comical, and yet it's not, especially when you have to face the choice of dealing with the side effects.
In my (Jay again) early 20's, I spent a couple years working as an E.M.T. That season of my life took me from an ambulance to working in a major city hospital in Philadelphia. In the hospital I worked as a Critical Care Technician on what was called the Medical Respiratory Intensive Care Unit, MRICU for short. On this unit I saw my fair share of very, very sick people. Some of those very sick people included patients who tried to end their lives by overdosing on one medication or other. One of the most most popular with Tylenol. The problem with Tylenol is that it damages your liver. In normal conditions, Tylenol or Acetaminophen, is processed in the liver without significant impact. But in our overdose situation, acetaminophen can lead to liver failure and/or death.
As a couple, we have never been ones to question conventional medicine. We're not opposed to vaccinations for ourselves or our children. All five of our kids have been birthed in a hospital by an OB/GYN. Our kids receive yearly physicals. When they do get sick, we take them to the doctors. If medicine is prescribed, the take the medicine as prescribed. Two of us wear glasses, and almost all of us deal with allergies of some sort. And while we have five wonderful, healthy kids, we have had to deal with four miscarriages; two of which we believe resulted because of medication that was taken without us being away of the impact they would have to our babies. The last miscarriage came at about 20 weeks and led us to a DNC and severely broken hearts.
Amy started taking one of the oils to help with her hiatal hernia.
We were intrigued; the oils were helping.
Not long after that loss, we were introduced to Young Living and essential oils. A dear friend started sharing how the essentials oil were making a significant impact on her life and her family. While we were interested, we were pretty skeptical. Then Amy started taking one of the oils to help with her hiatal hernia. We were intrigued; the oils were helping. Then Jay got sick. Amy applied a mixture of oils and significant improvements were noticed.
Last month, both Amy and I attended a workshop to learn about these essential oils. We were pretty impressed by the research and amazed by the testimonies. But what we were most taken by is the idea of living a healthier lifestyle without the impact of chemicals or side effects from medications. Natural. Chemical free. No side effects. And a possibility of being free of some of the ailments that we have been struggling with? We're intrigued.
So here is what we're doing.
It is our hope that at the end of the 30 days we'll be able to share our first hand testimony of how Young Living Essential Oils have impacted our family. We will share exactly what oils we've used and how we used. We will also share the specifics on what lifestyle changes we've made and the results of the changes.
We want to invite you to come along with us and follow our journey. If you currently use essential oils, we'd love to hear from you. Your experiences will help and encourage us. If you have been thinking about using essential oils, let us know. We can help get you started with the same starter kit that we are using as we begin our journey.
As always, we'd love to hear from you! Please take a minute to comment below. And don't forget to look us on on social media and follow along as we share our story with you!
- the higham family
As a parent and a youth pastor, I am constantly aware of the impact that the internet has on our kids. Not only is it a source of temptation, it is a place to learn just about anything. I know this, because I've used the internet to learn how to fix, repair, replace, and do a bunch of things.
Our kids are doing the same things. #2 have learned how to replace iPhone and iPad screens and digitizers by watching YouTube videos. #3 has learn all sorts of soccer moves by watching, replaying, and practicing. The internet is a great source of information. But are we losing something when the internet becomes our first source of learning.
My friend Walt Mueller, posted on his blog, a link to a recent Gillette commercial that went live on June 6th, 2016. It was a Father's Day campaign, which pits the knowledge of the internet with the the know-how of a dad.
Take a minute to watch this video.
If the video isn't visible, click on this link, https://youtu.be/fmWRODY0ing.
First, kudos to Gillette. They have joined a small number of companies that our challenging us with a push to reconsider the importance of home, family, and relationships. I appreciate the marketing genius behind these ads. Not only to they tug at our heartstrings, but the take a stab at some unsettling realities of post-family and post-modern life.
Second, what a punch in the gut. A wake up call for us dad's who have, over time, moved further and further away from the idea of intimate relationships with our kids; in this case our sons! I remember asking my dad to teach me how to tie a tie. I remember my dad showing me how to change the oil, gap a spark plug, replace a car battery, and changing a tire.
Men, are role in the lives of our boys is incredibly significant. We are the ones charged with training them up, both in matters of faith and in the courses of life! But too many of us, myself included, have taken a back seat, and are allowing our kids to find answers on the internet, through asking their friends, or fumbling around on their own.
This coming weekend I will be preaching on the importance of the family and the role of mom and dad to be the spiritual leaders/teachers of their homes. I find it timely that this little ad should find it's way across my computer screen, because, as the ad suggests, the task of being a dad is one better not left to the internet.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, "Come on guys, let's get it together!"
Let's reengage with our sons and become the teachers and examples that they need. No more waiting in the wings hoping that somehow, someway they'll figure it out. Our boys in men in their lives. Men of integrity. Men of honor. Men of courage. Men of compassion. Men who are brave enough to remember what it was like to be a teenager struggling to figure out all the complexities of adolescence.
Dads, don't wait for them to ask you.
- the higham family
I have a friend who once said that he didn't like going on vacation. I thought, strange, who would love to go on vacation. He's reasons though, make sense. He says, you have to work extra hard the week before you go away, so that while you're gone, work still happens. Then when you return, you have to work twice as hard to catch up with the things that weren't done because you were not there. As I have thought about those statements, I might have to agree. BUT, I don't think I could ever give up vacation with the family no matter how much work it required. Hoever, we have had quite a week!
Since coming home late Saturday night from our week in Bethany Beach, DE, it has been a epic recovery for the entire family. Are time away was simply awesome. A much need break from the norm's of life. But stepping back into what has proven to be a crazy week has been a bit challenging, to say the least. So let me recap some of what we have faced since Saturday evening.
But that's not all that happened on Tuesday. While at football camp, Logan started throwing up. Apparently he threw up a number of times on Monday and Tuesday morning. This led him to his first experience with dehydration. I left work early on Tuesday afternoon to take him some additonal needs and to possibly bring him home. But by the time I arrived, he was feeling better. Tired, but better. He said he wanted to stick it out and see if he could over come it. I left him with a bunch of water and some fruit, and instructions to drink as much as he can. It's a fine line to walk in knowing when as a parent you step in and call it quits for your kid and allowing them express independence. We try to encourage our kids to keep their commtiments, overcome obsticales, and see challenges as an opportunity to glorify God. We weren't sure that what Logan was dealing with was mental instead of physical, so we didn't want to panic and simply take him home because camp was "hard". But where the mental started the physcial continued.
Nerves and anxiety initiated the throwing up. That led to the dehydration. And but Tuesday night the damage was already done. That evening, Logan collapsed when getting off the team bus following practice. He later told me that he had been able to keep his lunch and dinner down and drank a lot of fluids and so thought he was doing better. But on the bus his legs began cramping up and he fell. By the time the coach came to talk with him, Logan looked to be in bad shape.
So late Tuesday night, I met the coach half way between home and Cal U. to retreived Logan. After a good nights sleep, Amy took him to the pediatrician who looked him over. His guess was that Logan was dehydrated, but they wanted to rule out any other complications. So it was off to the ER at Children's Hospital. After a couple of hours, dehydration was confirmed and all other possibilities eliminated. However, the dehydration was pretty serious, requiring a IV to administer fluids. He was then sent home with orders to drink enough water to make him pee continuiously. (Now I'm sure there was a little sarcasim in there somewhere. But he got the point.)
and earlier wake up calls to get everyone moving in the morning. It's only a couple more days till the big yellow buses are rolling again, so it's time to get ready!
I myself have jumped back into the 9-5 job, trying to get caught up on projects that have sat for a week WHILE trying to catch up on church work in the evenings. Needless to say, it's been quite the juggling act we've been doing.
But here's the good part, God is soo faithful! I mean, for as busy as this week has been, we know that it could have been a lot worse. While dehydration is a scary thing, we were relieved when all the other concerns were eliminated. Yes, it does take a lot of work to get things ready so you can go on vacation. And yes, it takes a lot of work to reengage with the realities of life after vacation. But we know that a Good and Faith God sits Sovereignly on the throne in heaven. He is in total control of all things, both good and not so good. He ordains and anoints all the things we face.
It's in these crazy times of life that I often think of Job. Job was a man that caused God to brag. He was obedient and faithful, and he loved and feared God deeply. But then came the challenges. Job lost everything, and I mean everything. And yet, in the midst of all that he lost, he praised God! If you don't know Job's story, I would encourage you to read it in the Bible, in the book of Job.
Now we might not have lost everything, and praise God for that, we do fight the daily battle of faithfulness. The thought of taking your child to the ER is never good. But God is always good and always in control. And when things look dim and scary on the surface, we can rest in know that we are not alone. And so, we choose to praise God. Even in the busyness of life, we praise Him.
- the higham family
Hi we're Jay & Amy, and we've been married for 19 years and are super blessed to be busy raising our 5 kids; 4 boys and 1 girl. We juggle the adventures of life and ministry and share what we are learning as it relates to marriage, family, raising kids, serving in the church, and chasing after Jesus. Raising a family is hard work, especially in today's culture. But our hope is to encourage you and your family, as we live for the glory of God.
Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.