Thursday, February 2, 2012

Just for Me? (Stronghold Castle 2012)

Is it silly to believe God sends snow just for me? While this winter’s spring-like weather has been enjoyable, it can certainly threaten activities that need the white fluff. When our plan for a getaway weekend filled with sledding fun was threatened, pleads to God began to rise from our home to God’s throne. As I watched the snow fall heavier and longer, afterschool activities were canceled and traffic slowed, I knew sledding was still on the agenda. I believe God sent the snow just for me.

Our weekend getaway was an invitation from Rod’s aunt and uncle on their church retreat (Presbyterian Church in Orland Park). My husband, girls, and I packed up for our weekend of fun in the snow at Stronghold Castle in Oregon, Illinois. When we arrived at the castle, activities were already underway and everyone was getting ready to head out to the sledding hill. That first day always requires a bit of packing down the hill but sledding was still wonderful because God had sent this snow just for us!

We got in a bit of sledding before lunch and many were heading out again after the meal. My two youngest and I were some who stayed behind inside the castle. Without televisions or technology of any kind really, we rely on one another’s company as well as planned activities, board games and other materials to pass the time. When my middle daughter asked me to play a game of Chutes and Ladders followed by a game of Candyland, there were no distractions to succumb to. We played our games and then spent time filling a sticker book with my youngest. Looking around the room, it was a bit of an anomaly to witness groups gathered with crafts, board games, cards, books or activities of the like. People were relaxed and enjoying conversation without the distractions of everyday living.

We need more of this in our world throughout the year. I can’t help but get frustrated when the kids I pick up for a weekly commitment bring their PSP and I-Pod Touch for a 20-30 minute car ride. My mind simply cannot fathom why it is so difficult to communicate with friends, sing songs, tell jokes or exercise some creativity to pass the time. When exactly did we become so disconnected? I’m not against technology (this is a blog after all). I simply wonder when we decided it was acceptable to be attached to our cell phones more than each other. Why is it necessary to browse the internet while you’re in a group of people? And what exactly is so important that we have to text in the middle of a conversation?

Technology was supposed to help us better our lives. While in many ways it has, I think we all could benefit from taking a minute to stop and smell the roses. These past few days as the weather has returned to a confused state, I have walked with my youngest (at her pleadings) to pick up my other daughter from Kindergarten. Sure, it takes a little more time but my mind feels clearer, I’m moving my body and I wonder if my girls won’t just remember these moments when they have children of their own?

Stronghold was fun! Our family created lasting memories. We worshipped God with other believers. The rat race of life was set aside for a moment to remind us of what matters. A couple of days away from the humdrum of life pull my heart to return. But I don’t need to wait for a weekend getaway to create those moments. I simply have to be intentional at pushing aside the distractions and choosing what is important. I’m excited. After all, if God will send snow just for me, I can’t wait to see what He has in store for the future!

(One more thing... that snow that brought my daughter and husband home late from school and work on Friday melted away on Monday.)

“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” - Luke 11:9-13


  1. It looks like a really fun weekend! I also wonder why people can't be separated from their electronic device during a short drive. Um, hello, cant you just talk to me?!?

  2. What a treat to get away like that! I find that one of my greatest obstacles to really connecting isn't just technology, but my daily life at home. When I'm home I'm distracted with all of the things I can't keep up with and find myself in a constant state of striving. When I'm away from my domain, I tend to relax better and really focus on the kids.

  3. Darcy! Thanks for commenting... mainly so I can have your new blog information. I'm so excited!!