Observing and learning from other families throughout our marriage has taught us so much and we are grateful for the example and counsel of others. We want to share in YOUR triumph of victory and appreciate YOUR growth from trial and adversity. We hope that you will enjoy reading other family’s experiences and learn from them as well!
The Fisher Family
What has been your experience with Challenge My Family so far?
Our experience started with the family dinner challenge, and it has been a lot of fun for us to sit down together while we eat. We also started using our time together at the dinner table to share an experience of something nice we did for someone else during that day. Our four year old enjoys that a lot. He has now started talking about it throughout the day. It’s fun to see that our dinner conversation and activity has trickled into his thoughts and actions.
Tell us about your family:
Meet our family of 5. Ryan and Kylee are the proud parents of three young boys (ages 4, 2 and 6 months). Playing hide-and-go-seek and making messes takes most of our time. We also enjoy being outside (when it’s warm!) and playing with our cousins.
What has been one of your family’s biggest trials?
We have been incredibly blessed in all aspects of our lives. Though it may seem menial, one of our more difficult experiences together hit us this last year… Then continued on for what seemed like forever.
Last winter, Ryan tore a ligament in his foot while playing church/neighborhood basketball and required an extensive foot surgery. The recovery was about 15 weeks, rendering him unable to walk and drive for most of that time. This was a big struggle for Ryan, because he was used to a life of activity and service.
He is always on the go, and trying to improve his physical strength. He is a great dad, and I enjoy his support and involvement in taking care of the kids as well as pitching in with everyday tasks around the house. This injury really roadblocked what our “typical” life entailed and the long recovery really took a toll on us physically, mentally and emotionally.
Pregnant and Overwhelmed
I (Kylee) was newly pregnant still fighting morning (all-day) sickness, which made it especially difficult for me to be able to be the arms and legs for everyone in our household. I had previously been used to quite a comfort cushion of help. Now, at a time when I felt my weakest, more was required of me than ever has been. That was a difficult hurdle for me. Little tasks like getting the kids in and out of the car and then helping Ryan get in and out of the car– (all while I felt like I was going to toss my cookies) became quite intense tasks for me.
My eyes had been opened to how much Ryan consistently did for me and our boys. I saw how much I depended on him. I was grateful for the opportunity to serve him at a capacity I never had before. But, it did not change the fact that it came at a time when I felt like I was already stretching myself pretty thin just to keep up.
Thank goodness for our great friends, neighbors and family who were willing to help us get by. There was no shortage of support given by others while we were experiencing this trial. I almost feel bad relaying this story in fear of sounding ungrateful or petty…
It truly was a trial for our family, regardless of the small scale of our difficulty.
Winter turned to Spring, and Ryan had healed enough he graduated from crutches to a PEG LEG!
(If you haven’t seen or heard of this contraption, you should google it! Its called an iWalk)
This was a monumental day, because Ryan could now get around HANDS FREE! I once again had help with seemingly menial, tasks like carrying children or opening doors, or really just anything that required hands.
We were both thrilled with this rediscovered freedom. However, with the arrival of Spring, also came yard work– something Ryan still was unable to do. My condition (being pregnant) limited my abilty in this area too. Weeks passed…our lawn suffered and weeds grew… But again, we were shown incredible support and love by our neighbors and family. One day, I was reading with the boys and heard the sound of a lawn-mower.
I looked out the window and saw our sweet neighbor, whom we did not know incredibly well at that point. He was mowing our lawn while carrying his grandson on his shoulders. What a sweet, kind gesture. He offered an example to me of how we can serve others, and how meaningful that service can be. Our parents also took turns coming over to mow our lawn, fertilize, and help weed– (this was our first Spring/Summer, in our first house. We had a lot to learn about the hard work of home ownership).
As Spring turned to summer, a few more trials came our way. In July, our washer/dryer stopped working and needed to be replaced- just a week before our 3rd son was born. Soon thereafter, in August, we came home late at night from a birthday excursion for Ryan to find a flooded basement. That same month, we also had to replace the brakes and brake pads on our newly purchased (used) van. It seemed as though it was one thing after the next, for what seemed like an eternity.
Expenses piled up, savings depleted and we were exhausted. However, I can be eternally grateful that all of these things happening to us, were just “things”. We were going to be fine. Ryan was functioning back at his normal rate. Our kids were healthy. We had just welcomed a new and perfect son into the world, and though life was difficult, it was good.
Through each of these stumbling blocks, expenses, and trials… I can easily see the silver lining. There were lessons learned, and things felt that helped Ryan and I both to see the truly important things in life. We came out of this with a great desire to give back and serve others who may also be experiencing a string of unfortunate events. We came out with a greater knowledge that God loves us. He knows us. He sends us the help we need, when we need it most.
We had gained an increased appreciation for each other and all of the things we do to help our family function and progress. We were reminded to not take our health for granted. To appreciate even the most simple things our bodies are able to do, like walk, bend, and reach. It was a year intertwined with amazing, and difficult events. But, overall, I’d say we landed on our feet with improved perspective.We increased our desire to show love to others in their time of need.
What has been one of your biggest victories?
For our family, a great victory was the day Ryan and I both graduated college. Our marriage, the births of our children, the purchase of our first home, and upgrading to the long awaited MINI-VAN are also among some of our other great privileges and victories we have experienced together.
If you could offer one piece of advice to help fortify families, what would it be?
I’ve always loved the advice to make your home a “safe place”. Home is a place where you feel free to communicate and express yourself. It’s a place where you will always feel loved. –Kylee
Communicate more often, with an emphasis on listening over speaking. –Ryan