4 Things We Learned at Family Camp

My family and I had a great time during Family Camp at Camp Christian. This year, I had the opportunity to present about family life during family camp. I enjoyed preparing the lessons and presenting them during camp. I truly appreciate the support and encouragement everyone offered in response…thank you. It was a humbling and fun experience (the picture is me speaking on “Grace Begins”). Throughout the weekend, we explored ways to apply honor, grace, and celebration to our families…and I saw people practicing all weekend. It was wonderful. Here are a few things we learned:
    1.      Make deposits of honor into your Family Bank of Honor every day. Jim spoke to me to make a wonderful addition to the idea of Family Banking. He noted that while we can make daily deposits into our account, we can also invest acts of honor in our long-term savings accounts. Those investments of honor impact not only our immediate family, but our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren. When we make regular deposits into the Family Bank of Honor we create an environment of honor that benefits generations to come…we change our family and leave our grandchildren’s children an inheritance of honor! What a great concept. Thanks Jim.

2.      We give grace to our family when we give them our time. Show grace to your family by “tarrying” with them. Jack and I were watching the younger children play in the creek with their parents. They were having a blast, especially when someone caught a frog. The children gathered around to look at the frog and then carefully carried it from parent to parent with the desire to share their treasure. Because their parents were there, giving the gracious gift of time, they were able to share that moment and the treasured frog. Jack noted how much children enjoy these simple acts of togetherness. They don’t need us to make an extravagant show to entertain them or spend big money for fancy toys. We don’t need to rush them from activity to activity so they remain involved. Our children simply need us to “tarry” with them…to give them the gracious gift of our time. We can “tarry” with them in the backyard, in a park, near a creek, or in the living room with a board game. In fact, I have watched children have more fun with a cardboard box than many an expensive toy…and I remember doing the same.  Thanks for sharing this with me, Jack. (This weekend, we even had fun putting a together a four-sided puzzle-see picture)

3.      Keeping a healthy family takes diligence. Bob shared that during a campfire talk one night. Just like keeping a garden, raising a family takes diligence. Satan is out to destroy the family. He sends pests, weeds, and animals to break the family apart. We need to diligently protect our family from those outside forces that threaten to pluck our children up before they are mature enough to protect themselves. We need to fertilize our family with plenty of honor and grace, encouragement and discipline to promote growth and intimacy. We remain vigilant to any signs that little unseen pests like disappointment, discouragement, or fear are eating away at any family member. And, we come to their aid with love, support, and encouragement. We also keep the weeds of over-busyness from growing in our garden, keeping the garden clear and open so our family can enjoy the nutrients found in the soil of a simple, loving family. What a wonderfully rich analogy, Bob. Thank you.

4.      We build our family through celebration. One of the things I love about Family Camp is the celebration…the times of worship celebration and the times of playful family celebration during free time. This year Greg led the worship with Cameron on guitar and Hanna on piano. They did a wonderful job…I could see the joy of worship in their faces. I really love to see the small children praising God with total abandon—singing, dancing, and enjoying the celebration of worship. It makes me smile and reminds of David dancing before God as he brought the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem. Thank you for those times of worship and celebration. They draw us closer to God and to one another.
There are so many people and experiences that make Family Camp so much fun. I just wanted to mention these 4 simple things that added to what I learned about family this weekend at Family Camp. Thanks to each and every one of you. I pray your family was blessed through your experience at camp this year and will taste the fruit of this experience for weeks to come.

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