"Life, it's a relatively simple word—two consonants, two vowels, and one syllable. We all have one, but how we choose to live it makes us who we are. Boy or girl, rich, poor, skin color, clothes, social status—it doesn't matter. We each have the power to choose how to react to, cope with, and move beyond the challenges we face. I believe that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Life is a journey where what you want, how much you want it, and how hard you are willing to work to get it are the forces that drive you to overcome obstacles and shape who you become."
Quote from Beyond Ikenick Creek
Sixteen-year-old Eli Parker is in trouble with the law—again. Raised by a single mother and plagued by a tragic accident, all hope seems to be lost. With his crimes getting progressively worse, it is now up to Judge Mosaron to turn Eli's life around. He sentences Eli to New Beginnings Camp for Troubled Youth for the remainder of the summer. Located just beyond Ikenick Creek—near the McKenzie River—this camp will change Eli in ways he never expects.Through a series of team-building activities and near-death mishaps, Eli learns about trust, forgiveness, and God's grace. He also discovers the campers have more in common than he initially thought. Everyone, including the mysterious Amber, has their own personal battles to overcome.Beyond Ikenick Creek utilizes action, adventure, drama, and a bit of humor to capture the imaginations of both teen and adult readers. It is a story about how courage, wisdom, faith, and hope might inspire an individual to change and prevent the lifelong consequences of poor choices.
"I loved this book and it kept me turning the pages quickly. It is filled with wisdom, insight, hope and conviction. The author, Tracey Mayfield, has a strong literary voice and has certainly put in a lot of research, knowledge and insight into this story which makes it a very interesting, enjoyable and smart read. It is a book filled with adventure, action and unexpected series of events and circumstances. I thoroughly enjoyed Beyond Ikenick Creek and wholly recommend it to teens and parents as well." Review by Faithful Cafe/Chick Lit Cafe at http://faithfulcafe.blogspot.com.
Other Published Works
I was thrilled when I was asked to submit a story to the EncouragingDads.com Project. It is a wonderful organization that encourages men to be more involved in the lives of their children. You can learn more about the mission by going to thefathereffect.com.
An Amazing Father
Fathers have an important responsibility in the upbringing of their children. The presence or absence of a father can influence who a child becomes, and the effects can be positive or negative. An absent or abusive father can generate feelings of anger, betrayal, and distrust in their children which could lead to aggression, disrespect, poor choices, and lifelong consequences. On the other hand, a father who is a positive role model and actively participates in the raising of his children will be more likely to encourage love, trust, faith, honesty, and moral decision making. Fortunately, my kids’ father belongs to the latter category.
It was nearly five years after we married that our family started growing. My husband and I worked opposite shifts at that time, because we didn’t have relatives nearby to assist with childcare. I had six weeks of maternity leave to be home with our daughter and—nearly two years later—our son. Following each of those six-week periods came the true test of commitment. Brian and I swapped the kids, car seats, and diaper bags from my car to his after he finished his job and I headed to mine. He had dad-duty until I returned home at midnight. Dinner, diapers, bathing, and bedtime became the nightly routine for him. After a few years of this schedule, we moved closer to family.
My husband spent time teaching and encouraging our kids as they grew into young adults. From family camping and fishing trips to attending sports practices and games, Brian was there with me to support their efforts. He also taught the kids about a strong work ethic while he balanced his job, an apprenticeship, and home remodeling a few years ago. When homework help is needed, both of us assist with math and science. (With English homework, however, he volunteers me without a second thought!) He’s very good at brainstorming solutions with the kids to help navigate the stormy seas of adolescence, and we’re a united front when it comes to discipline. When the kids request to either have or do something he asks, “What did your mother say?”
Our kids have become compassionate, hard-working, honest, and respectful, and I believe that having such an awesome father made them who they are. I thank God for bringing Brian into my life over twenty years ago. Not only has he been a positive influence on our children, but he has made me a better person. I hope that other men can step up in the way he has. The children of today are our leaders of tomorrow. We need to provide them with support and opportunities so they will be successful now and in the future.
July 6, 2017 Tracey Mayfield