My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right. Proverbs 23:15
For the past 22 years our family has gone on a camping trip with my husband’s family. When the kids were little they used to look forward to that weekend like it was Christmas. I have to admit, it’s one of my very favorite family traditions too. As the cousins got older, the weekend would often be broken up because of ball games, summer jobs, camps or other events that happen in life but the time together has remained a constant. This past weekend as I sat watching and listening I was amazed at how much things had changed but yet how much they had stayed exactly the same.
It doesn’t seem all that long ago I was packing the play pen, high chair, toys, diapers and two dozen outfits for wet dirty toddlers. This morning as we quickly packed up our stuff I watched as the nieces and nephews who once required all that stuff try to cram all those things into their own vehicles. I had to chuckle a few times at the whole “going to the beach” part of the weekend too. For years we raced to set up camp and get organized amid the excited pleas from the children to go swimming. We knew we only had a small window of time until the patience were all used up and the excited pleas turned into desperate whines! I watched the same folks who used to beg to go, load up their wagons with sun screen, towels, buckets and shovels, snacks and drinks to trek down to the beach. At first I felt old but those feelings quickly turned to blessed and grateful.
We live in a world that emphasis lots of things that stand in contradiction to solid family values. As I looked around the campgrounds all I could see were families. It’s a weekend steeped in good clean fun. There were babies to pass around and toddlers to play with and so much laughter. Sometimes I think this world changes so fast but then there are weekends like this one and I realize how many simple things in life never seem to change! Only one of our own children could make the trip this year and just at the point in the weekend when my heart was the heaviest my delightfully cheerful great-niece jumped up on my lap with the dirtiest feet I’ve ever seen and we just giggled. As her pregnant mommy was trying to get her and her two sisters into the vehicle to go home I got the chance to re-live an event that just made my heart feel better. I stood three little girls in the camper bath tub to scrub their dirty little feet and I was surrounded by the sound of toe tickling giggles and everything was suddenly alright with the world.
I was reminded this weekend of all the things in life I think I need…but don’t really need at all! I think it takes a weekend like this to realize all the greatest things in life come with a small price tag. Things like watching the nieces and nephews you once held on your lap hold their own babies on theirs. Watching cousins reconnect and laugh in their 20’s like they did when they were 5. Watching my brother and sisters in-law swoop up grandchildren and love on them in a way they didn’t always have time to do with their own children. The greatest part of all is seeing how God has so generously blessed this family with health and happiness and love. I don’t need God to grant me wealth or power or fame, I just need him to keep showing me his great works through simple blessings like this weekend. The way this family tradition has endured over time is his way of showing me he’s in charge and he will be generous and kind to his faithful!
A Seed To Plant: Take some time to think about the simple gifts God has blessed you with to show his great love…then tell him thank you.
Blessings on your day!
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