For the sixteenth time in the past 18 years, Sandy and I carved away a little time last week for a family vacation to a little piece of heaven in Buchanan, Michigan. It is called Life Action Camp. It is at this place where we rest, recreate and revive. The camp’s motto is, “Pause. Engage. Reconnect.” And that is exactly what we do. With God. With each other. With our family.
We call it our vacation with a purpose, and we have been going there for this respite from the stresses and cares of the world since 1998. Over the years, our kids have grown (physically and spiritually) from little ones into mature adults. And for Sandy and I, our own personal walks with God and each other have taken leaps and bounds forward, all fed in large part by the people, the ministry and the Word from Life Action that we receive while there. It truly has been a godsend for our little tribe.
However, in retrospect, this year’s camp experience was a little bittersweet for me as it marks the end of an era. With our kids now all grown (Corey, 26; Casey, 21; and Aly, 18), the days of us all skipping off to camp together have likely come to an end. And quite honestly, for this Dad that kind of stinks. But, I have to choose to see it another way. With every ending, there comes a beginning. Alpha and Omega, you know.
So I choose to see what we have done with our family over the years at family camp as a foundation; a firm base from which our kids can launch their own life/faith/walk upon. And as such, it should not be bitter at all. It should all be sweet as Sandy and I sit back and see what amazing things God is going to do through each of them and their families. The immortal words of John Cougar Mellencamp come to mind, “Hurts So Good.”
I leave you with this, friends. Take the time to build traditions with your kiddos, whatever that looks like for you. And be sure to include Jesus in on it. It will not come back void. Treasure the time. Treasure the people. Treasure the Word.
From Rick Warren’s daily devotional: We must put on the character of Christ by developing new, godly habits. Your character is essentially the sum of your habits; it is how you habitually act. (See Ephesians 4:22-24, Romans 12:2)
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