Monday, June 28, 2010

Camping Encounters with God...

...And how it strengthens the marriage. Really! Camping can strengthen your marriage. I believe it 100%!!! It's do or die! Especially with two small children. A blast, for sure. Totally worth it. But you really have to work together and communicate. Therein lies the essence. Communication. We are told countless times of the importance of good communication skills in marriage and yet, most of us are lacking seriously. With the influx of advanced technologies, we need not speak to one another anymore. Text, email, picture text, instant message, facebook, twitter, etc... The list goes on! No one talks to one another anymore. Not even written letters. Postcards and notes in the mail seem like a hindrance from times past. With the busy lives lead in our culture, we are missing the essence of each other: communication. Who are we? We don't even really know one another anymore. there's a switch of pace. I didn't realize it before we went but now??? WOW!!! Just the ride there (6-8 hours) is enough to at least get you chatting about the weather! But when you get there and are completely phone, computer, work free, conversation really takes off! Now don't get me wrong, Joe and I communicate real well. However, conversations just become so much more in depth. These are the times when your heart cry is exposed.

We talked about the beauty God has placed before us and how yes, it is post-flood, post-sin type beauty but to us, it's still beautiful! We know nothing else. We never saw Eden and all It's Glory! Our hearts seek to see beautiful things. So we take vacations with beautiful views. No one vacations to the sewers despite how fascinating it is to see rats the size of grown yard dogs!!! (Yeah right!) God gave us these amazing beautiful things to appreciate and care for. There is a sincere reason and as Joe and I were talking about this yesterday, we discovered it together. God never starts out giving us the whole package. If He did, our appreciation would be diminished tremendously. No, He starts us off with a little bit, just as you do small children, to establish trust in us! He wants to see what we will do with it. Because it is then, when He is confident in us, that HE has promised us the Kingdom. Which, by the way, is BEYOND our greatest expectations and imaginations. We cannot even fathom what Heaven holds. I am reminded of the desolate as it may seem, all you have to do is look around for the beauty in our world. The mountains snow capped with fresh powder, the trees with dangling icicles, even the barren plants and's just waiting for that perfect time to spring forth new life. Which in itself, is pretty beautiful and amazing! In discovering this amazing concept through our conversations, I realized that God created all of those amazing and beautiful wonders for us, His children, to enjoy and marvel in. But He says He loves us more than all of those things and that we are of more value and more beauty. Women, listen up:: God thinks you are more beautiful than any of the 7 wonders of the world!!! You are the 1st true wonder. You bear the image of God! You give life! You nourish life! You are His beloved! Despite our sin and despite our lack of glory, we are still His and He still loves us more than ever! So when you see a picture of yourself (as I did yesterday) that you really hate and are disgusted with, rest assured that your eyes are certainly NOT the eyes of the Lord! His eyes have a much better focus on who you are and what you look like. If you are moving in a different direction (as I am with trying to get my health on the right track) rest assured as well. God never sees you where you are when you are taking an active role in your personal change. He sees you where you are going and He knows there is much more in store for you than you know your self!!!! Us women, we need to stop devaluing ourselves, by first, stop comparing ourselves to other women around us. Don't look at them as a threat or as a standard. Look at them as God does...with Love and with Respect! Inevitably, there will always be someone smaller, bigger, prettier, smarter, richer, etc...than you. But with your eyes on Him, no one can be more Joyful than you or more Happy than you!

There is a new song out that I don't know the name of or who sings it but there is a part of it that goes, "If our God is for us, who could ever be against us? And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?" The answer: No One!!! No one can be against you and no one can stop you when your eyes are on the King and your heart is for Him!!!!

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