As parents to four, three very active boys and a busy toddler girl my husband and I often wonder if and when we will ever rest. How do you find a moment to just be when there is always laundry to fold, errands to run, papers to file, emails to answer and that does not include all the minute by minute refereeing and interaction with our kids. This summer was full and so much fun but I must admit a couple of weeks ago I found myself struggling with wishing we could create more quiet moments with our on the go kids.
All three of our boys LOVE to be outdoors! Most days from sun up to sun down they would choose the driveway or the backyard or the nearby soccer field. They LOVE it. Even Ava has quickly caught on to all the fun there is to be had outside. She craves the six boys who are typically in our drive and screams to let us know it when they close the door on her.
Summer was moving at a quick clip and both myself and Bob found ourselves searching for ways to connect with the kids before the cool breezes blow and the school buses roll on by. Last week I felt God nudging me to really think how we should spend our last summer weekend. Family camp came to mind and it was no mistake that this year due to Hayden’s heel injury we would be able to attend as a party of six. We attended family camp two summers ago and truly there is nothing quite like it for our crew. Of course we could think of many reasons not to go… Ava is so little and what if she doesn’t really sleep well, Hayden’s feet are still healing and he needs less activety, school starts on Tuesday… The list of no’s felt long. Then I called Springhill. They had one cabin with electricity left and guess what it was? The jail. I said it outloud and the boys, all three, burst into screams. We booked the jail, loaded up all the bikes and camping goodies and headed out last friday for a wonderful weekend of adventure and the much needed family rest. I know the two do not exactly go hand in hand but let me tell you more about the Springhill expererience…
Springhill exisists to create a life changing impact on those who attend by showing and teaching the love of Christ in beautiful and adventure filled surroundings. The camp is outstanding and from the very minute we arrived I knew that I had been beckoned there to find rest. We did everything as a family with no distractions. We rode bikes and created solutions for how to meet everyone’s needs and desires, we conquered fears and nurtured one another through disappointments. We shared all the responsibility of Ava and what it takes to have a baby in tow when canoeing or ziplining. We snuggled during family sessions while we worshipped with the band, we listened together to the word of God and whispered positive prayers into three exhausted boys at the end of the night. We shared our family story of Ava’s adoption and we watched Ava charm so many who were also attending the camp. We rode the tram and commented on the sheer beauty of the acres and acres of lush land, we met other adoptive families and talked with others who feel called to adopt, we shared in Ava’s enthusiasm for each new thing she saw, we held hands as we walked by lantern to the pool late in the night. We talked in the cool air on the front porch of the jail.
The weekend was amazing and although it takes mere moments to enter right back into the same patterns of filling our busy days, keeping up with the house and preparing for our first week of school there is no doubt that God was with us, guiding us, reminding us and showing us that we must rest in Him. Rest in Him to make whole your family, draw closer to HIm so that you might draw closer to your spouse, rest in Him that you might have your fears conquered and you heart made new. His grace abounds and His arms are open but we must take the time to seek Him and speak to Him. We must see all the moments of creating meaningful family memories as His glory and remember to give all the glory right back to Him. In spending time with my precious famiy surrounded by the bounty and the grace of God I truly felt the true meaning of rest.
And now the summer draws to a close and the new school year is here!
Peace and Grace,