Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I love camping! Anyone that knows me, knows it is my favorite hobby.

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?


  1. Me and camping are mortal enemies.
    As my hubby likes to say, "My wife's idea of roughing it is if the hotel doesn't have a concierge." :) What can I say? I'm a princess, okay? LOL
    But my kiddo LOVES camping so I bite my tongue and snuggle with spiders for her sake. LOL

  2. I'm with Jennifer on the camping! I just cannot operate in nature with my eyes closed at night time. No. Thank you.

    I do however think finding time away is a requirement I ignore too often. My husband normally plans the getaways to pull me back from writing/working/cleaning/cooking/church activities I'm always working on.

    Glad to hear you are refreshed!

  3. I am so not a camper. I have done it, but it is not fun to me. I enjoy the fellowship, but not the...the...lack of comfort! Spoiled creature, I am! I have to confess I was a bit relieved when John told me he had waited to long to reserve a spot with the group this weekend. We will come for the day Saturday, but not sleep over. Is that bad???? :)

    I am glad camping is a restorative tool for you. All of us have our ways to rejuvenate and reconnect with God and family. Looks like you get a double dose of it!

  4. I do love to camp. I love when we wake in the morning and it is freezing cold, and then I take and pull the sleeping bag up over my head and go to sleep a little bit more, warm and comfy and forgetting the cares of the world.
    I love the way my clothes smell like a camp fire a few days later and I love sitting around the campfire with those I love and care about, talking about the most meaningless things and realizing just how funny meaningless things can be. Around that campfire we reconnect with each other as well as with God. I do love sitting in and staring with awe at the grand cathedral that is nature. Thank you for reminding how much I love this.

  5. Camping and I aren't friends. I love that others love it and I can see the romance of being under the stars I can even see how that would make you feel closer to God. I just like my five star hotels... what can I say? :)

  6. Hey! I really appreciate people like you! I know missions brings to mind rustic situations, and I have lived in some of those (huts without walls, huts in Africa, outdoor bathing, bathrooms, etc), but the truth is--I hate camping. I don't mind it so much when I'm overseas because I feel it has a purpose (i.e., I'm living in a hut so I can live in this place and tell them about Jesus). But on my own, I can't stand it. It's just not relaxing to me to not have a toilet or to sleep on rocks. I'm a walking contradiction, I know!

    But I'm really happy for you! I hear that camping can be SO relaxing and wonderful--I hope you get to do it a lot!

  7. I really enjoy camping. I finally got to go over the summer after not having been for years. I've only ever camped in Colorado and Arizona. Colorado is an excellent place to camp. Too cold now, at least for me.

  8. Not a huge camper, although whenever I go (like once in a blue moon), I think it's quite fun!

  9. Wow, it's hard for me to imagine that you are just beginning your camping season! We're starting winter--freezing temps, rainy, snowy, indoor-kind-of-weather! I grew up camping in the Rockies and loved it. But with my own big family, I haven't had the energy to invest in camping! Maybe once they're older it won't feel like so much work to have fun!

  10. Camping is indeed one of those times that makes time stop and allows me to stare into the fire and not think about the rest of the world going on. Cares and concerns, job responsibilities and stress of any kind just whisps away like smoke on the wind. I enjoy it more these days from a pop up camper than a tent, but it's not been that long since the ground served as the mattress.

  11. When I read in a parenting book by Gary Smalley that they'd done a study of healthy families and discoverd ALL of them camped, I decided our family was going to do that too! My husband was not convinced. I prayed and believed for years before he got on the band wagon. Now that our kids are grown and gone, he agrees that those vacations were our best.

  12. I often pray, please God deliver me from camping lol. That actually made it's way into a manuscript as well. You are a rare breed. Remind your husband how lucky he is to have you!

  13. I think I would love to camp! I haven't camped in about fifteen years. I think my children would love it as well! We need to do that. You're inspiring me.

  14. The no technology is a huge reason for me to want to drag twelve people into a primitive bush camping situation. The richness in us all pulling in to be a cohesive family with each other as the agenda is worth twelve bodies in a six man touring tent.

    ...and even though last time, six of them were throwing up; and it was raining.

  15. nice post! thanks for sharing...blessings soraya


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