We went camping over the weekend with a group from our church. This was our fifth year to go on the church campout. Our children were four and two the first time we went, and that was the first time we worked up the nerve to take them camping. In the old days, before kids, my husband and liked to go backpacking. We would bring only what we could carry and hike (sometimes miles) to a campsite. While we haven’t gone to any remote spots with the kids, we have enjoyed camping together, and I think we’ll try backpacking with them someday, when they are a little bigger and better able to carry in their own clothes and sleeping bags.
The location for our church campout was perfect for our family. From our campsite, we could walk to a beach and a playground. And since there was a group of us, we could also visit each other’s campsites to chat, sit around the fire, and make s’mores.
Here was our home sweet home for the weekend.
Here are my kiddos on a walk to playground.
Here is the lake where we enjoyed swimming. This picture was taken early one morning, when there were hardly any other people out and about. In the middle of the day, though, the two beaches were packed and there were a lot of boats on the water.
One fun thing we do for the church campout is to gather for a devotion and potluck dinner. Everyone brings their own meat to grill (I’m pretty sure everyone present ate meat, anyway), and a side item to share. I’ll share my salad, and then I’ll share a bit from the devotion.
Green & Yellow Bean Salad
1/4 cup salt
2 pounds green and/or yellow beans, tipped and tailed
1 pound sliced cucumber
4 scallions, cut into 1/4 or so inch slices, including the tender part of the stems
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill (from my herb garden – love that herb garden!!)
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
* Bring large pan of water and salt to a boil. Add beans. Return to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain beans and put into ice water to cool quickly. Drain again.
* Combine cucumbers, scallions, cooled beans and dill. Add oil and lemon juice shortly before serving.
As for the devotion, our Pastor spoke of a time when Jesus’ disciples had been preaching and were hungry and exhausted. There were so many people coming and going that it seemed they would not be able to take time to rest or even eat lunch. Jesus said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31)
He spoke about how our lives tend to be so busy that we often find it difficult to take time to rest and to spend time with Jesus. He pointed out that this problem is nothing new, that this tendency has been going on for many many years, as we could see in the Bible passage. We were lucky to be in a beautiful park for a weekend of rest and refreshment. After the short devotion, we prayed and sang a hymn together. “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20) We then shared a wonderful dinner and enjoyed a time of rest together.
I think the “find rest” carried over into Monday for me. While I was very busy and had a lot of things on my to-do list, I decided that I would wait to share these photos and memories here. Trying to get them loaded up yesterday would have had me pretty frazzled, and I thought better to allow myself a smoother day and get this ready a day late.
For me, personally, finding a quiet place to rest with Jesus resonates. Time spent in prayer or reading the Bible can truly refresh me and calm my nerves. Whatever your beliefs, though, I think we can all agree that it is important to take time to rest and refresh.
I hope that these words will encourage you to find a quiet place of rest when you need it.