Sunday, April 19, 2015

Don't Want to Miss the Sun Because of a Little Rain


That's all we saw when we looked at the forecast for the week of our family camping trip.

And not just rain, but nearly a 100% chance of rain for every day of our spring break.

We had no way of knowing there would be so much precipitation when we booked the campsite weeks before the trip.  I mean, is there really such a thing as "April showers"?  To which all my soggy, starting-to-mold Georgia peeps would answer with a resounding "Yes!"

So days before, we checked and rechecked the weather app on our phones. We called the park and inquired the last possible date to cancel and the penalties if we did so.  And of course we prayed that the rain, rain would go away and come again another day.

All the while, I continued to badger ask Derek, "Do you want to cancel?  Do you think we should go?  How much fun are we really going to have if it rains the whole time?"

Rain certainly puts a damper on camping, but especially if you plan to tent-camp, which we had.  Especially if you have to tote "house and home" back and forth from your car down a hill to your campsite.  Especially if all your meal prep and dining will be occurring outside.

Each time I questioned, my husband confidently agreed we should still go. "Why not?" he said.

So off we went.

Because we expected heaps of rain, we prepared and packed accordingly. We brought rain jackets, rain boots, and a bag full of "inside the tent activities in case of rain lock-down", including games, art stuff and even math.  (Gasp! Homeschoolin' mama still means business, even on spring break.)

We knew we would be good our first day.  And we were.  We set up camp, explored, played in the creek, and grilled out without one drop of rain.

But the rain did come...while we slept snugly in our sleeping bags inside our tent.  By the time we woke up, it was clear.  Perfect for breakfast.

Later a light misting began, but certainly nothing to stop us from taking a hike on one of the park's trails.  A couple hours later, the rain stopped altogether and we had another great day outside.

The weather was an entirely different story the second night.  For hours, torrential poured down upon us. But thankfully, we were camping in an awesome pavilion site.  So while the storm raged outside, again we were snug and warm and dry inside the tent, under our shelter.

As we came out to get breakfast ready, the rain stopped.  And it stayed dry. We went fishing, the girls played on their scooters, and we went back to the creek.  Surprisingly, we enjoyed another super day of camping.

But by the end of the third day, we opted to go ahead and pack up.  The forecast was getting worse, and we concluded packing up a dry tent and all our camping supplies on a dry evening would be far superior to packing up a wet tent the next morning.

As we drove home, I thought about our trip.  I thought about the rain predictions and my uncertainty about going.  But then I thought about how the actual trip was far different from what we expected.

(At one point, our oldest expressed her disappointment that we were not cocooned inside the tent for the majority of the trip. I guess she went from just hearing it was a possibility to hoping it would actually happen.)

If we had caved to what the forecast was telling us, believing that there would only be rain the entire time and had chosen to stay in the predictable safety of our home, then we would've missed out big time. We would've missed out on camping at a "new to us" state park, laughing and playing together, and most of all, seeing God act on our behalf regarding the rain.

Last weekend when Derek and I attended Show Hope's "Empowered to Connect Conference" simulcast, we listened to adoption guru, Dr. Karyn Purvis, speak to adoptive/foster care and prospective adoptive/foster care parents, and we heard a lot of predictions.

We heard about various attachment styles and bonding.
We learned about the state of a child's brain who's experienced abandonment, abuse, neglect and/or trauma.
We heard about lacks and deficiencies and the struggles that come with parenting a child from the "hard places".

And as one could guess, the forecast wasn't so positive. So much so that at certain moments, Dr. Purvis encouraged us all to pause and to take a   d-e-e-p, cleansing breath.

Reassuringly, she then said, "But...there's hope. The brain is plastic. And with its plasticity, change can happen with nurturing."

Cognitively, we realize adoption is not easy.  On paper adoption may even appear bleak or discouraging to some. But not to us. Not so much anymore.

Because we're choosing to hope. We're choosing to believe. We're choosing to dive in and do the hard stuff that is required of us because she matters. We're choosing to rest in the safety of God's tent as He shelters us through whatever less than desirable weather may come our way.

"For in the day of trouble 
He will keep me safe in His dwelling; 
He will hide me in the shelter of His sacred tent 
and set me high upon a rock." Psalm 27:5

We'll prepare. We'll cocoon in when necessary. And we'll emerge when it's time to come out.

Sure, there was some rain while we camped.  But there was w-a-a-ay more sunshine. Sunshine we would've missed if we had let a possible forecast be the sole dictator of our plans.

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