A New Chapter in His Majestic Creation

     Four nights under the His canopy of stars. Almost five days of trekking through His forest of towering pine trees. In awe of God, I spread open His word and worshiped Him for His glorious creation that brought me peace.

      It had been 11 years since Hubby and I had camped together. And the last time we popped open the blue canvas walls of our tent trailer, we had two sons cranking the shaft to raise them. One on the sides checking to make sure latches were open, another crawling underneath to pull out supports for the beds and snap bungee cord straps to secure the tent walls.

The moment was bittersweet. A new phase of life was starting. Our tent-trailer nest was empty. But our senses were filled with His presence from the scent of the freshly rained on pine needles to the glow of a mountain sunset peeking through the trees and friends with whom to share this journey.

      I pulled out the turquoise plaque with the quilted heart that decorated our table on every camping adventure with the guys.

     "Families are like quilts~Lives pieced together stitched with smiles and tears colored with memories and bound by love."

 I remembered our trips fondly, somehow forgetting all the difficulties we encountered. Mostly just the pleasant moments played through my mind.Tubing trips down the Big Sur River. Hiking to see Mt. Rushmore. Trekking familiar paths through Sequoia National Park and its giant redwoods. The summer of the National Park Circuit. The cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde. The grandeur of skipping down trails through Glacier National Park. The incongruity of stepping out of a tent trailer in a dress and heels to have dinner at the Lake Louise Chateau. The elk who ambled through the campground thought I was out of place as well. The memories rolled on.
     I got up from our mini kitchen table and crunched across pine needles to our friends' RV where we would have our first shared dinner. We were making new memories with the warmth of friends to show us the pathways our feet would now trod (sort of like the Girl Scout camping song).

     We were 30 degrees cooler along the Mogollon Rim from the Phoenix valley but not cool enough to wear sweatshirts. Short sleeves and capris were the dress of the day.

     We played games, relaxed and read, some friends hiked, and we all ate filling camp dinners.
     A new chapter had opened in our book of camping.

     Giving thanks to the Lord for:

     981) Pine tree forests

     982) Starlit skies
     983) Sunsets after a monsoon shower
     984) Friends who welcome you to new experiences filled with love and fun
     985) Val's turkey chili--yum
     986) Chicken fajitas in the mountains
     987) Showers by the entrance
     988) The vast pine-tree carpeted Mogollon Rim

     989) Finally finding a comfortable and beautiful campground in Arizona--all the luxuries of running water
     990) Coming home and wanting to clean our home on wheels--just in case we do this again
     991) A blog post honored
     992) Online friends who help me with editing
     993) Dinner with youngest and his girl
     994) Having time to get together with my friends

Sunset reflected in our van

     995) A new breakfast restaurant close by that serves delicious, decadent French Toast!
     996) Sisters-in-the-Lord who pray me through some rough spots

     997) For a good report from the doctor
     998) For our dog being healthier
     999) Oldest looking for more work
   1000) Hubby's love and compassion
   1001) That You, O Lord, for loving me through all of my sins, my rebellious nature, and my stubbornness. Thank you for saving me.

     "Sing to the mountains, sing to the sea.
      Raise your voices, lift your hearts.
      This is the day the Lord has made.
      Let all the earth rejoice."

by Bob Dufford
copyright 1975 by New Dawn Music

From My Heart to Yours,

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