On the road of life, watch for signs

There is nothing wrong with a curve in the road as long as you make the turn. Mom and Daughter writing team share their hilarious life journey as every turn takes them to unexpected places.

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  • Have you ever woken up and wondered, "How did I get here?" Or thought, this was not where I was going! Husbands, mortgages, 10 children, and six chickens later, this is almost every morning for us. We had policies to change and jobs to do. Now, we have diapers to change and school. As we look back on the roundabout road that got us where we are today, we realized some key points we'd like to share with you.

  • God's GPS

  • can give you directions. It's up to you to listen and follow them. Prayer is a direct line to your own personal roadside assistance: The Absolute Almighty Authority (TAAA) on everything.

  • Cruise control

  • Oh, the joys of love can blind you. Do you remember the moment you realized you were in love and getting married soon? I would think of my soon-to-be husband and giggle out loud. How embarrassing! What a wonderful time in my life. As you stare longingly into your spouse's beautiful eyes turning on the cruise control, you may not anticipate the next bend in the road.

  • Children at play

  • Are you stuck in an endless cycle? Diapers, bottles, and Cheerios, oh my! As you're drowning in laundry, and kissing scraped knees, remember to laugh. They will only be small for a few miles and can be great fun to have on your journey. Some of your fondest memories will happen during this time; handmade valentines, sticky fingers and little arms around daddy's neck. It can't get better than this.

  • Not a thru street

  • A sudden turn can bring you to an abrupt stop. Changes in jobs, illness, going back to school, and other seemingly endless trials can send you scrambling for your map. If this happens call TAAA.

  • Freeway entrance, please merge

  • In a world filled with soccer, ballet recitals, scouting, campouts, homework, dogs and, in some cases, chickens, family experiences can set you into overdrive. Pretty soon you are going faster than you expected. Don't forget to stop for gas.

  • Auto maintenance

  • Regularly scheduled maintenance and small repairs can save you. When something big breaks, it may cost you a lot. Evaluate your relationships as you go, so you don't get a flat. Love takes work.

  • Refueling stations

  • Consider some of your favorite stops along the way: Trips to the beach, family vacations, and camp outs in the backyard. Not to mention the occasional trip alone with your spouse. All are necessary if you're going to make it to your destination in one piece.

  • Recalculating Destination

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  • Everyone has moments where they realize the road took a turn they weren't expecting. When Erin was trying for her fourth child, she suddenly had fertility problems, despite the fact she had three trouble-free previous pregnancies. Life had given her a bend in the road. She took the turn and pushed on. Eventually she was blessed with a beautiful little girl and a lesson: Sometimes you must put your foot down, pedal to the metal, and merge back into traffic. Press on to your destination no matter how hard. Find a way to enjoy the scenery and appreciate what God has given you. Before you know it, you're on your way, again.

  • Just when you can't buy a van big enough to carry all your children, they start getting out. Some disembark after careful planning, while others leave quickly at the first stop. At age 18, Erin leapt from our speeding vehicle and joined the army. We soon realized God's hands were guiding her and let her take her own road.

  • On your journey, you may find yourself going in a direction you didn't choose. Yet, you arrive at a destination you wouldn't trade in the end. No matter how you get there, find joy in your journey. As we look back on ours, we realize we may have taken the scenic route and picked up a few hitchhikers, bumper stickers and flat tires, but it was worth it.

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Shannon and Erin are a mother and daughter with lots of children and Utah and Oregon roots.

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