Mowana, Magic, and Monday

Snow is not my deal. I don't like to be cold, so I politely decline to make snowmen, ride sleds, ski, or ice skate. Well, I have ice skated on occasion. It's rare. Mostly, when the kids want to play outside, it's on Daddy. Granted, in my overachieving 20's and and early 30's, I suffered through these activities, but not now. My kids know I love them; I don't have to get my toes frostbitten to prove how much.

However, this past weekend, we attended Making Room for Jesus at Camp Mowana*, and my snow perspective shifted a bit. We hiked through beautiful, picturesque, landscapes; every picture I took looked like a Christmas card. Okay, I still had frozen toes and skipped sled riding and the second hike, but for awhile, it was pretty amazing.

In those quiet, still, cold, and beautiful moments, God felt so close. It is easy to feel close to God when you remove the pressures of daily life. No tv's, ipads, xboxes, or computers, but no one gets bored. Kids play chess, hike, color and make crafts. Moms had great conversations, Bible studies, and spent time in prayer, fellowship, and worship.

It is one of those places where God is just so near. You know? You can feel His presence. You are calm. You are centered.

The bad thing about going to those places is that then you come back home. Home to dog hair--seriously, IT'S DECEMBER! ENOUGH ALL READY. Home to migraines and tummy aches and another day off school. Home to "Are you done with your Christmas shopping yet?" I HAVEN'T EVEN STARTED. Home to whining and bickering and sickness and cooking dinner and shopping, and did I mention the freaking dog hair?

Just yesterday, I felt so calm, centered, close to God. Well, I was close to Him this morning as I yell-prayed, "Please LORD, I have so much to do. PLEASE, Lord, no more headaches. NO MORE STOMACHACHES. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE." And God said, "No."

But in His no, He reminded me that cleaning, working, writing, scrubbing, gifting, shopping, cooking, and stressing can wait. Stop, look around, and embrace the magic in the moments that you are forced to be still. It's not about going away to find Jesus in a perfect, beautiful place. Sure, that's great and wonderful, but it's really about making room for Him in my messy house, cluttered mind, and imperfect life.

It's about shifts in perspective. It's about seeing the obstacles as opportunities. I didn't make it to the gym Monday, but I got to spend the afternoon watching movies with my sweet boy. I'm not going to finish my shopping today, but I get to hold my snuggly littlest all day. I'm not going to spend as much time this holiday with my precious firstborn, but she is going to have an amazing experience on the west coast.

Today, Lord, I'm thankful for messed up plans and the magical opportunities they present. I'm thankful for the ability to see You not only in the picture perfect beauty of Mowana, but also in the messy chaotic beauty on North Park. I'm not thankful for dog hair, but I'm a work in progress. Amen.

* We are not Lutheran, but our good friends are. Also, the camp is more loving Jesus, less being Lutheran.

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