A weekend away is just what the doctor ordered before the crazy hits. The countdown is on. We fly across the ocean in five days.

We have done this routine many times, but it still catches me off guard. Thinking through what a family will need until the next time we are in the States, packing, weighing, and repacking suitcases to exactly 50 lbs, checking lists, packing up the house we have been staying in the past five and a half months, saying goodbyes and squeezing in as much American food as possible before we leave – well, it is intense.

This time we intentionally started the work early and planned a weekend off before the final push towards being ready to go. Deep woods camping with no internet or cell coverage was such a great break. I needed the time to set aside my lists and focus on the kids. I can’t say that I was totally successful – it is a hard discipline for me to set aside a large job and be present. I tried.

Fishing and playing in a freezing cold river was the highlight of the weekend for some of the kids while others felt that the highlight was playing games and the campfire. Who doesn’t love gathering sticks and throwing them in the fire pit? We swam in a lake and watched the loons. We embraced life with a wheelchair and experimented with short hikes and enjoying nature as we drove trails.

I hate that while I was trying to focus on marshmallows on sticks my mind would wander to the suitcases waiting in our living room. For me, the struggle is real. I know I need rest. I know my family needs the break and the fun – but the story that rolls around in my head can have a desperate tune.

“If you don’t keep at it, then the job won’t get done. There isn’t time to rest. You are too busy for sabbath.” I am fighting hard against these lies. The truth is, I might not have everything wrapped up as cleanly because we went camping in the midst of our craziest week of the year. But play, rest and time to seek God in the midst of the storm is always worth it. That is the truth I am leaning into. I need to set things aside and seek God. I need a break from the demands of life. God created me for rest, fun and relationship.

My goal for the coming year – to be intentional about rest, fun and sabbath so that my relationship with Jesus will be fuller. The camping trip is just the beginning.

Next time I write will be from the other side of the world. I would appreciate your prayers as we prepare and travel, but more than that would, you pray for my soul as I lean into the discipline of sabbath? What have you found that helps you to seek Father in new ways? How do you practice sabbath in the midst of your crazy?

Mountain Man

This past weekend Hubby had the delight of chaperoning a camping trip for Soccer Dude’s afternoon 6th grade class. ¬†Delight isn’t the first word that Dad used as he walked in the door smelling of campfire and needing a desperate cup of coffee after no sleep and miles of hiking….but after a hot shower and a cup of coffee! ūüėČ

I have mentioned in the past that we live in a city of millions – but I am not sure if I have explained that we are also in the mountains. ¬†The city where we live is huge…..but if you travel just a short distance you realize that the mountains that surround us dwarf the city. ¬†My guys went and tackled some of those mountains.

I loved hearing that as soon as camp was set up Soccer Dude had a large stick and took off on his own to hike to the peak. ¬†Once he made it, he opened his pocket knife and used it to slow himself down as he jumped to the waiting cliff more than 16 feet below. ¬†(That is why Dad’s chaperone and not Moms!) ¬†Once at camp again, he rallied his friends and led them to the top as well.

photo 1

Can you find our Mountain Man in this photo?

Here is a zoom in to prove he made it!

photo 2

There are many, many more peaks to explore on future trips.

photo 3


There is nothing like getting out of the city for a few days. ¬†We might be country people who are thriving in a large city, but every once in awhile you just need a bit of country. ¬†Thankful that we are surrounded by places that can scratch that itch. ¬†My guys came home with grand plans of picking up more camping gear and heading out as a family! ¬†The little 2 man tent that Hubs feet stuck out of all night (we are taller than most asians!) isn’t quite gonna cut it! ¬†Tents, sleeping bags, fishing poles and fire gear are in our future….now just for a car! ¬† Can’t believe I am even thinking about driving in this country; I love me some city buses! ¬†After seeing these photos and hearing the excitement in my boy’s voice….it might be worth it.