I really did love camping with the family. I wouldn’t want to say anything to detract from that, but…
take a look at this picture. I posted it again because I love what it says. First of all it is of my daughter, and she is delightful!
In addition, when I look at it, I feel calm, relaxed. It represents a perfect day. All is well.
It is tempting to leave you with that image, but I am quite sure that some of you, especially with children, have experienced vacations that turn out to be more work than pleasure.
I do love my family. Everything I wrote yesterday is true, but it is so easy to get the wrong picture.
While I sat in the garden weeding this morning, I pondered what I had written yesterday.
I looked down the row I had just weeded. It looked picture perfect, just like the pictures and my description of The Gift of Time.
Yet, when I looked over at another part of the garden… (well, lets just call it “The Jungle” where the kids go to pick tomatoes and end up getting lost), I realized I had only given half of the story!
We embraced our trip knowing rain was in the forecast. We hoped the showers would be intermittent, and they were, but each time the rain came, it seemed to pour double the amount! The tents leaked horribly. The sleeping bags, towels, back packs… all soaked. I am not talking about one or two sleeping bags, there were 16 of us! At one point, my love for camping may have wavered just a bit.
I could continue, there was a series of many unfortunate events… I will not take the time to describe.
Often, it is in the struggles we draw closer. We dig deeper. We build memories. Our character grows.
“Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.”
… taken from a little book called The Valley of Vision
So, we will continue to face the valleys of each day, to be continually increasing our vision in the heights.