Sunday, September 21, 2008

Our date with God-Camping Trip

We had a great time on our mini camping trip this weekend! I haven't been real camping in ages.

We headed out late on Friday night after Chris got off work. Surprisingly, I was able to get everything packed and in the car before he got home. This meant that I went to the garage and found things like the sleeping bags, tents, chairs, fishing poles, etc. Things that tend to bury themselves in the garage. I even had time to go to the store to grab essentials such as ingredients to make smores, dinner and lunch food, and snacks. We headed out once Chris got home, but it was later than expected.

I envisioned watching the sunset at the camp site, but we didn't make it there in time. It worked out perfectly because we were driving into the sunset most of the way there. We turned and headed over the bridge that crossed the lake. The sun was subdued and I caught myself just starring at it. As it sank into the water, it painted the water beautiful shades of orange. I wanted so badly to stop and get my camera from the back of the car to snap a picture of it. I wanted to be able to remember just how absolutely beautiful that moment was. There was no pulling over on the bridge so I tried so hard to notice every detail--every wave in the water, every color of sun-as if to snap a picture in my memory to save for a later day. [click]

We finally made it to the campsite where my dad had already set up his tent and was getting the fire going. While Dad and I started on the burgers, Chris worked on putting up our tent in the dark. Aleeyah wandered around looking for something to do and was quite good at keeping herself entertained.

As we sat by the fire eating our hamburgers and then roasting marshmallows for smores, I felt so at peace. I sat there between my dad and my husband with my daughter in my lap and I felt secure and safe. There is nothing quite like a father and a husband. When we lived in Oklahoma, my dad lived here and Chris wasn't always around due to traveling with his job, there were days that nothing else could make me feel better. I longed for the safety of being in my father or husbands arms. And here I was with both of them-sitting by the fire talking about the days we last ate smores. Maybe just another moment to save. [click]

As the night sky got darker and darker, the stars starting popping out by what seemed, one by one, until the entire sky was covered in tiny white gleaming dots. If you were to ask me about my most favorite night time activity, I would say every time, gazing at the stars. When I look at the stars, I am reminded about how small we are and how little control we really have. To some that may sound scary, but I know that God is just beyond the stars watching His children-watching over me. I feel so close to Him in those moments. It's like I feel His eyes looking into mine, I feel my chest open to reveal my heart to Him, and I feel that with every breath I take, He breathes His life into me. I can almost see Him reaching His arms down from Heaven and wrapping them around me to remind me His arms and chest are always available. [click]

Dad headed to bed and Chris, Aleeyah, and I walked down to the lake. The moon was still tinted orange from the reflection of the sun as it rose up into the sky over the water. As we talked by the water, I was reminded of how much I loved those moments with Chris and Aleeyah. That these quiet moments I spent with my little family and with our God, were something that I will always treasure. [click]

We headed to bed, but I couldn't sleep. I was tired but I instantly became a three year old that didn't want to go to bed in fear of missing something. There isn't too many times in my life that I get dates like this with God. Our dates do not generally include millions and millions of stars. I put my shoes back on, grabbed my Bible, a flashlight, and headed back outside with the bugs to go on a date with God. I sat in the reclined folding chair, unable to take my eyes away from the stars long enough to read my Bible. It sat in my lap, unopened, as I got lost in the beauty of the stars. [click] [click] [click]

I soon heard Aleeyah's voice telling her daddy that she wanted to come out with me. I contemplated getting her out of the tent. I was enjoying my alone time with my Father, but as I was quickly reminded that I was sitting out watching the stars because I didn't want to miss anything either. I put my Bible in the chair next to me and went to get her. We sat in the chair under the blanket with my arms wrapped around her-listening to the locusts in the trees, talking about God, and counting the tiny specks in the sky that continued to amaze us both. [click]

As I felt God's presence and peace, my eyes began getting heavy and we walked back to the tent. With my family cuddled beside me, I drifted off to sleep while listening to the most amazing concert I will ever have the privilege of hearing. [click]

I brought both of my cameras with me this weekend in anticipation on capturing a moment or two, but the moments I wanted to save and share the most could not be captured with either one of them. I wonder if God does that on purpose. If we were able to capture those moments to be saved for another day, would we continue to come back to see His masterpieces and to feel His presence? Or would we tuck our picture away for those moments in our life that we decide to remember what we once knew. I think He wants us to seek Him in everything that we do-even when we know that it won't be able to be saved to a computer and played for a later day. He wants us to go to the places that we can feel Him the most, and sit back and relax in His presence. Maybe even take a picture in our hearts and minds so on those days that we feel alone, we are reminded that He is always near.

Here are a few pictures that I did take this weekend. :)

1 comment:

Juli Jarvis said...

Abbie--This is such a sweet story -- love the photos that go with it! These are special times to cherish forever -- I know you will!

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