Family Time and Dirty Feet
They went to bed with dirty feet. With heads that smelled of sunshine and bodies slow with sleep, they climbed into their sleeping bags and nothing more was heard. I love camping.
Sometimes it feels like the whole wide world is headed off for a week with Walt Disney and it is easy for me to become discouraged when our bank account will not allow for such a splurge. Somewhere along the way, it became the norm that all children would experience a trip away with the goal of frolicking and fun and frivolity.
And at times, it sure sounds good. But for our family, this will not work. With a recession that crushed us, job insecurity, educational expenses and a tight monthly budget, dropping thousands of dollars for a family trip is just not our reality.
But packing our bags to spend a long weekend surrounded by Creation and loved ones is totally within our reach. Wandering through woods and lounging by the lake leads to wondrous moments between parent and child. And the truth is that there is no better way to end a summer day than by relaxing fireside with a pie-iron warming, bodies calm from a day outdoors.
And yes, we may miss the rides. We rarely board a plane or spend big bucks on family entertainment. But, somewhere along the way, we find that we go away to find something else. We go away to find time. Time to sit. Time to relax. Time to unwind from the schedule that drives us. We go away to find space. Space to spread out and space to draw close and space that is new to us.
So maybe it’s okay that our budget is tight because all of my children are fast asleep with smiles on their faces and sand on their toes. They will wake up for another day together. The computer can’t go camping and will not call. The phone is quiet and still at home. All we have is what we brought and the things we find most important are really not things at all.
Yes, I love camping. The dirt and the weather and the slow-paced days--I love the whole of it. It is vacation enough for us because it brings us right to what we are seeking: space and time together. Nothing could matter more.
Step families come with a variety of challenges to weather from the moment they say “I do.” Ron Deal addresses specific challenges and offers biblical insight as well as clinical experience as a marriage and family therapist to help equip couples for the journey ahead. He offers hope and encouragement for helping families navigate establishing working relationships within the new family as well as with the extended family.
http://glendora.patch.com/articles/your-marriage-is-a-gift Advice for weathering the storms of marriage from the Glendora Patch
"More importantly, if it is so difficult, why bother trying to make marriage work? For starters, it is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children. Research consistently shows that children tend to fare better in married, two-parent households. The investment you make in your marriage not only rewards you and your spouse, the dividends spill over to your children as well"