No RVs in this family, only lots of tents, sleeping bags, lanterns and hiking boots.
I often ask for camping gear for birthdays and for Christmas. One Mother's Day I specifically asked for only one item. . . tent stakes. I got them too!
For us Texans, the camping season is pretty limited. Most of the year it is just too hot and that is why all of us trek up to Colorado in the summer, especially if we have camping on the brain.
Sleeping under the stars is a tradition that I grew up with. My parents invested in a Starcraft pop-up camper when my sisters and I were young and every summer vacation found us in our favorite Rocky mountain campsites. I have such wonderful memories of cold rainy nights and competitive card games with my cousins. Luckily I found a terrific guy who also shared my outdoorsy love of the wild. Can you believe that our exotic honeymoon destination was a tent in an Oklahoma campground? Shocking, huh?
Hooray!!! It is finally cool enough around here to go camping again and we headed for the pine forests of Tyler last weekend. One night, while all my guys went fishing, I stayed behind to relish the smoky fire and do some reading. Campfires have a way of stopping time and bringing out our reflective sides. Why do I love camping so much? My fireside contemplation revealed 3 key reasons:
1. It nourishes my soul. I feel closer to God and seem to feel his presence more in a natural setting. My husband feels it too and says it is worshipping God in his natural cathedral. Several campsites have Sunday morning services as well.
2. It strengthens family bonds. This is family time and we are making memories that will last a lifetime. We have time to walk, talk and catch up with each other.
3. It is a welcome break from reality. We leave computers, televisions, agendas, and "to-do" lists behind. If I were home I would not be sitting still absorbing the beauty of God's world and appreciating His gift of the changing seasons. I would be busy, too busy for God to visit with me.
As I sat quietly enjoying the last few orange coals of the fire, it struck me that these are some of the same reasons our readers will pick up our books. Hopefully they will come away with a restored soul, ideas and techniques to strengthen relationships and have a refreshing break from reality in the process.
What do you think of camping? Do you have a hobby or getaway destination that restores you?