This past weekend, my husband and I got a weekend away.
A whole weekend.
(Profuse and unending thanks to my parents, my sister, and her husband for coming together to watch our three highly energetic children!)
When we talked about the possibility of this weekend a couple months ago, my husband and I had very different views of what the weekend should be like. I wanted to go to a bed and breakfast. He wanted to go camping.
Eventually, I gave in. He has a way of sweet-talking and a pair of puppy dog eyes that are hard to refuse.
Though, as I continued to think about it, I was not entirely convinced.
I like camping, but on Labor Day weekend? In the humid heat? With the crowds? The bed and breakfast was still sounding pretty good to me… As the weekend drew near, we watched the weather predictions.
Plain and simple, it was going to be hot. Really hot.
My husband looked at me after dinner one night and said, “Do you think maybe we should just stay home? Your parents will have the kids, and we could just be alone here…”
I confess, I was intrigued. I thought about avoiding the hassle that comes with camping. We wouldn’t have to pack up everything… We wouldn’t have to donate blood to mosquitoes… We wouldn’t have to sleep in the heat… We wouldn’t have to haul out our cooking utensils and condiments along with food… We wouldn’t have to deal with campground bathrooms! Anybody with me here?
But, we thought about it for another day, and he decided that he did, indeed, want to camp.
“I think we’d miss out on each other here,” he said. “We’d get distracted by the house and technology and end up not really spending time with each other.”
Although I wasn’t sold on camping in the crowds and heat, in this single statement, he had me. I love and cherish quality time. I’m pretty sure my heart melted into a starry-eyed puddle. He probably could have asked me to trek through the desert and I would have said yes.
So, we packed everything up, dropped off the kiddos, and headed to a lake.
I’m so glad we camped.
The campgrounds were not crowded, not at all. It was peaceful. We found a site just a few feet from the water. There was a small strip of beach where we lounged in our camping chairs, cool water lapping at our bare feet. There were small sunflowers all along the waters’ edge. My husband picked up rocks and shells along the shore.
We spent the afternoon talking together, thinking about Jesus and praising His work in our lives. We are not anywhere near perfect people, far from it. But in reminiscing, we can see how far Jesus has brought us over the years, how much change He’s wrought in our hearts and attitudes. This gives us hope that He will continue to transform us into people who diligently and joyfully live out His teachings of loving God and loving others.
We sat by a small fire and roasted hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls (a simple and delicious alternative to buns).
Then we watched the sun as it set over the water.
The sky changed from blue, to a subtle orange and yellow behind the brilliance of the sun, and finally to burning gold highlights on the clouds with pinks and blues washing together. We were captivated by the sun as it vanished over the horizon, leaving a bright pink glow.
Although the allergies and the crowds moved in the next day, and we ended up going home a night early, it would have been a tragedy to miss this.
I’m glad we camped.