I wrote this a few weeks ago … for some reason, I’m just not willing to go back and remove all the time-sensitive wording. I guess I’ll just publish it with a postscript at the end.
Yesterday was the first day of camp at Wilderness Northwest. We drove out to the Olympic Peninsula on Sunday afternoon and settled into our faithful “Duckabush House” with two carloads of stuff. Sometimes I think that we take more luggage on a one-week vacation than many families have in their permanent dwellings. Of course it didn’t help that we stopped off at Costco and WalMart in preparation for the week of camp lunches and evening meals for the hordesfolk.
We celebrated Kathy’s and Sarah’s birthdays on Saturday, and again on Monday, since several gifts from various family members had not yet been opened. It is always fun to buy things for those two girls … they are so very appreciative.
I really love that house in the Duckabush … it is a shame that we don’t go out there very often. It brought back some lovely memories to see the house filled again with friends and family … I think we had twenty-seven people in the house on Monday night, either for a lasagna meal or for the ensuing game night, at one point or another.
I wish I could have stayed for all the fun … having to work in Seattle today, I left the valley a little after 8 pm last night and headed back to Lakewood. As I turned south onto Route 101, the sun was still pouring itself over Mount Jupiter’s shoulder, filling the space between the ridges with a shimmering golden light that was almost liquid, and blazing in reflected glory on the river. It made me think of the words referring to the “kingdom of light” in Colossians:
“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:10-14
I think we are very quick to treat darkness and light as metaphors for good and evil, yet we forget sometimes that God’s kingdom is very literally a kingdom of light, wherein He Himself will provide the illumination throughout the kingdom. Toward the end of a recent vacation in Michigan, in which we spent many long, sunny days on the beach, my mother-in-law quipped, “I can see why people in ancient times worshipped the sun.” If our sun is merely a shadow of the glory of God, I think we’ll spend a lot of time in heaven just sitting around in breathless wonder.
It has truly been a golden summer so far. Coming on the heels of a glorious Fathers’ Day, we spent almost two weeks vacationing in Michigan with Kathy’s parents, returning home barely in time to rush off to Day Camp at Wilderness Northwest with game nights and cousins galore. In early August the older three kids will go to camp at Miracle Lake Ranch and later in the summer we’ll travel to Fort Clark, in Texas, for yet another week of vacation. Not wanting to leave any time idle, Kathy has scheduled several of the kids for various YMCA sports camps (baseball, soccer, gymnastics) throughout the Summer as well. And then there is the trip to Texas with Kathy’s folks that we have planned at the end of August. I expect we’ll be anxious to see the Fall arrive if only out of exhaustion from all this fun.
When I think about my childhood and the many happy memories I have of summertime, it warms my heart to think that my children will also have the opportunity to remember many joyful summer days. Although we continue to homeschool through the summer, we take frequent breaks for vacation, and so I think that the kids can enjoy some significant freedom, without boredom setting in. They seem to enjoy the Homeschool Co-op and the Homeschool PE program at the local Y so much that my children actually look forward to the school year beginning again in earnest (both of those programs take a recess in the Summer).
Now my train is rolling in to the station in Seattle, and I must work for the next several days before I can slip back out to the Olympic Peninsula for the last day of camp. I guess it isn’t too unreasonable that someone should work, for at least part of the summer.
Postscript: It is now a month since Wilderness Northwest Day Camp, and the Summer continues to fly past. Now that we have closed on our house, we have crossed over from renting to owning* our current abode. Kathy has acquired some ‘Ooops’ paint from Home Depot and Lowe’s, and has big plans for painting some of the out-of-the-way areas (like the pantry and the mud room) as we embark on a ‘journey of discovery’ in decorating this house. I’m on the hook to build some much-needed utility shelves in the garage, and we have quite a bit of work to do around the outside of the house (landscaping, etc.). There are numerous small repairs that need to be made as well as several intimidating projects (like re-tiling the master bathroom). I keep telling myself, “Just one thing at a time.” This is, of course, good advice for life as well as home repair … as Jesus said in Matthew 6:34:
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Each day seems to require just one thing from me: that I step out in faith to love and serve God. Well, that and getting out of bed when that cursed alarm clock goes off at 5:48 am.
*For some very small values of ‘owning’.