Brad Mathias’ family survived a crisis due to his infidelity when God miraculously restored his marriage and transformed his life. Eight years after that life-changing event, the Mathias family would find itself in crisis again when their middle child, Bethany, began to withdraw from everyone and everything she used to enjoy.
Responding to a prompt from God to ask her what she was hiding, Brad and his wife, Paige, discovered the root of her withdrawal, a close call with death and an eye-opening revelation that they were not as engaged with their children as they could be.
One of the ways God led them in healing and restoration was to take a two-week roadtrip to Canada and the western United States to experience nature and be together as a family.
It’s a journey Mathias chronicles in his book Road Trip to Redemption. (Disclaimer: In exchange for my review, I received a free copy of the book from Tyndale House Publishers through the Tyndale Blog Network.)
The first section of the book is some backstory and parenting principles, and while I found them helpful, I was eager to hear about the road trip and the experiences the family had traveling together. So, the first 100 pages were a little slow for me.
But sticking with it paid off. The road trip chapters are well worth the first part of the book (which gives the road trip context) and are inspiring. Mathias’ love for his children and his desire for them to see God for themselves in a personal way in their lives is evident. We’ve experienced one road trip vacation as a family with our young children and Mathias’ tales of their trip made me eager to take our kids on trips as they grow older.
The point of the book, however, is not to say that every family needs to pack up and head out on a road trip, although Mathias provides some tips and plans in the back of the book for that. Instead, he encourages families to be in tune to the uniqueness of their personalities and engage kids where they are. One of the reasons this road trip was necessary for Mathias’ family was the disconnect between the parents and what was really going on with the kids.
In the final chapter, Mathias ties the road trip to parenting and what all parents can learn from this experience.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, which contains pictures of their trip and journal entries from Paige and the kids, and found it a helpful reminder to invest in my kids and my marriage and not become too busy or out of touch that I can’t see what’s really going on. I was inspired by Mathias’ obedience to God when he heard things that didn’t seem to make sense but turned out to be some of the most special experiences of the trip.
For more, check out http://roadtripparenting.wordpress.com/