Camping

I’ve never really wanted to take our girls on a camping trip.

Oh, they’ve been suggesting it forever but it has always been one of those ideas that we answered with “Uh yeah, that would be precious! Let’s think about it and next year or maybe next decade we will do it and it will be lots of fun!”

Because honestly, most of our girls are from the inner city. They have not been camping. They are scared of gnats and ants and dirt and they think we live on a farm because our neighbor has a goat in her backyard. We have to have family counseling for a week when there is a thunderstorm or when someone finds a hair in their food. They generally know how to endure life on the streets and do all kinds of things you’d rather not know about, but they can’t … I don’t know, step on a spider, for instance.

Do you want to take a group of unprepared, scared teenage girls into the wilderness to survive for several days? No, you do not. And neither do I.

Ok, all joking aside – I love camping but I’ve just had my reasonable hesitations about undertaking a camping adventure with our kiddos.

This year, however, we have a group of girls who have brave little hearts and who were QUITE persistent with their request for a camping trip. They asked me approximately 10.5 million times if we could go and we figured it was now or never.   

So we went. And it was beautiful.

It was like a breath of fresh air in a year that has not been bad but just…hard.

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Three days in the wilderness with girls who were thrilled to be there blessed my heart more than words can say. They smiled and laughed and ran and yelled. We biked and canoed and fished and cooked over a campfire. We rode in the back of the truck and looked at the stars. I saw peace on their faces and joy in their hearts. In quiet moments I thought about what they’d overcome already just to be here. I thought about their fears and their pain and their struggles and I saw it all wash away, just for a little while. I thought about the extraordinary way God is weaving His love and His plan through all of us – how He’s changing our lives, how He’s making us more like him. I looked around at the beauty of His creation and I saw it reflected on the faces of some of the people I love most.

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I’m glad we went camping. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll do it again next year. 

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