About the Book:
Brad Mathias thought everything in his family was fine. A busy, contented dad, he had vaguely noticed that Bethany, his middle child, had become withdrawn and moody, but he assumed it was part of being a “teen” and didn’t look any deeper. Until the night God spoke clearly to Brad and his wife: Ask her to reveal what she has hidden. They did—and learned the secret Bethany had been carrying, one that rocked their family to the core. In a desperate attempt to reach their daughter and to reconnect as a family, Brad and his wife piled everyone into the car and embarked on a wild, crazy, seven-thousand-mile, what-are-we-thinking trip across the country. As they drove, they realized how far apart they’d drifted, found unexpected blessings along the way—and journeyed together from pain and loss to recovery and redemption. In this book, Brad shares stories from the road about God’s grace, gives practical tips on what he learned about reconnecting as a family, invites you to consider your own epic journey as a mother or father, and calls you to trust wholeheartedly in the amazing love God has for your kids.
A Video Trailer by Brad Mathias:
About the Author:
Dr. Brad Mathias is the president of Berna Media LLC, parent company of iShine, the largest preteen Christian media group. He also serves as co-pastor of the Four Winds Anglican Mission in Spring Hill, Tennessee. Brad has been married to Paige for over 22 years, and they are the parents of 3 teenagers.
My Thoughts and Review:
I was approached by Tyndale and asked if I would like to read and review this book. I read the synopsis of the book and immediately knew I would LOVE to read and review. I am SOOO glad that I did!
The book started out slow telling the tale of the lovestruck college students who decided to get married, the adultery that happened about 7 years into the marriage, the "Coming to Jesus" moment for Brad, the reconcilation of the marriage after 1 yr of separation. I almost lost interest in the book, but kept on reading. The reconilation of the marriage didn't happen overnight, it took about 5yrs of rebuilding the marriage.
The Mathias family was "Flowing through life" as many families do nowadays. The "flow through life" includes Dad being a workaholic, while mom either is a Stay at Home Mom or works outside the home(both of which still requires a lot of mom). The kids are active in school and After School events. Families have a serious "disconnect" and not spending lots of time together. The Mathias family certainly "fit this mold" and this would lead to a Family Crisis that would break any parents heart. 8yrs after the Marriage Reconciliation, Brad and his wife would make a discovery about their middle child, Bethany, that would lead the family on the "Road Trip to Redemption".
The discovery of what his middle daughter, Bethany, had been keeping secret for a while, lead to some realizations on how disconnected the family really was and how "out of tune" he was a father in not knowing what was truly going on. Brad "beats himself up" a little for not being there for his daughter and really connecting with her and his 2 other children, he decides to take the family on a Road Trip across the country to connect as a family. The family set out at the Beginning of Summer and arrived home 3 weeks later. The Road Trip was not without troubles, like a couple of major weather issues, but the Road Trip was all in all a SUCCESS. The family spends time in different areas of the country and God reveals much to them, and gives them opportunities to not only grow closer to each other, but more importantly grow closer to God.
I REALLY enjoyed this book. I really felt like I was experiencing the trip right along with the family. The back of the book, Brad Mathias gives ideas on how to connect as a family if a Road Trip isn't in the budget, and he gives ideas on how to do a Road Trip on a budget. The BIG message in the book is that Parents really need to connect with the kids and not "flow through life". Parents only have a certain amount of time to really capture the hearts of their children and connecting and reconnecting to them helps create stability and sense of "Being". My boys are 11, 10 and 8 and even though we haven't had an experience like Brad had with his daughter, I certainly learned some important parenting info from Brad and was soo encouraged by this book. I am now planning "Connection Time" each week with each boy and together with them.
I HIGHLY recommend this book for all parents and give it 5 out of 5 stars.