Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"Before you ask, I will Answer!"

(Part 2 of Camping Experience 2008)

Each season has its beauty in color, does it not ? The leaves were already turning where we were camping... the winter season takes the largest piece of the year in the higher altitudes and the other seasons take what is left.

I thought this leaf was exceptionally beautiful ! God's beauty around me is always a joy to me when we are in His wilderness but to enjoy His beauty we do need to have at least a minimum of creature comforts !!

We have tried over the years to find ways to improve the 'quality' of our camping experience and a few years ago when I saw this two room tent (10 x 20) with 7' ceilings I had to have it !

I found when I was looking through my photos that I did not have a good one of our tent, but this one will do ! The two men in the photo - my husband Vic, and Brandon (our friends' grown son) - figure in my story today !

In the bedroom of our tent, we have a queen size air mattress. It is two 9" air mattress zipped to-gether to make it 18" high ! Nice !! Except have you ever slept on an unheated water bed? An unheated air mattress feels exactly the same !! Cold ! So we learned - after the first year- that you really need to put a quilt in between the mattress and your sheet!
We were trying to pack light this year because we no longer have our van. Everything had to go into our car.
I was packing up the food and Vic was packing most everything else. At one point he asked, "I guess we don't need this extra quilt?" Without turning around I said ... "Yes, we do !! we need it for over the mattress!"
Later ...... after the tent was set up and the air mattresses were blown up, I was making up the bed when.....I suddenly had a sinking feeling.
"Where is the extra quilt ?" I asked . "It's right here," Vic said, holding up a small afghan ! "That is NOT a quilt !" I informed him, but it was tooo late to explain the difference between a quilt and an Afghan.
Well, there was nothing we could do. I was thankful we had a flannel sheet and we put the small Afghan over the mattress but I knew it would not do much good and it didn't !!
We were cozy warm on our topsides, but our undersides felt like they were lying on ice ! So we turned a lot the first night trying to keep from freezing !! It was cold !!
The next morning, laying in bed trying to decide if I was ready to brave the even colder air outside the covers..... I tried to think of something we could do .... We had no extra blankets ... there was no place we could buy one !
I finally gave up trying to come up with a solution ! We would just have to suffer !!
I had already turned my thoughts to other concerns of the day when suddenly the Lord dropped one word into my mind . "Newspapers !"
I knew immediately what He meant !! Of course !! News papers are an excellent insulator! I then realized that I hadn't thought to pray about my problem ! It seemed like one of those things that was our own fault and how could God provide a blanket where there was none ? Don't we often limit the power or resourcefulness of our God ??
I woke Vic and told him.... "The Lord told me how we can be warm! Put newspapers between the mattress and the sheet !"
"Nah, that won't work!" was his off the cuff remark!
I was adamant that I had received instruction from the Lord and He wouldn't tell us to do something that wouldn't work !! So Vic agreed ... we'd drive to the lodge and the little grocery there and buy newspapers and hopefully pick up several free local papers.
Later in the day. on our way back from our hike. we pulled in to the resort center and found there were no papers to be had anywhere!!
"Well, I guess we can't do it !" my husband logically stated.
But I was not so easily deterred ! "But the Lord wouldn't have said to use newspapers if there was no where for us to get some!"
Lori, our friend spoke up ! "You know, I think we might have some newspapers in the back of our tent trailer cupboard that have just accumluted over the years!"

And sure enough.... soon after she walked triumphantly into our campsite carrying a stack of old newspapers !
I spread them out over the mattress, put the Afghan over and our sheet and there we were !! Problem solved and we were toasty warm the remaining nights ! As long as we didn't stick any part of our body out from under our covers !!
We saw God's watchful provision for us on our camping week-end not once but twice !!
Brandon packed his clothes quickly when he came home from work Friday and since it was warm he packed accordingly - shorts and t-shirts -- no jacket at all !!
Since he and his parents arrived in the camp after dark we were already in bed and didn't see them until the next morning when Brandon came walking into our campsite !
I took one look at him and said , "Brandon, aren't you freezing? Where is your jacket?" And that is when he told me ... shorts and t-shirts is all he had thought to bring. The temperature was 3' C /37'F.
Brandon is bigger than either his dad or Vic and his dad had no extra jackets !
Vic immediately came to the rescue ! He said .. "I have an extra jacket ! It's too big on me!"
Why he would have packed that jacket I have no idea ! especially when we were trying to pack light ! The jacket was a warm one.... and Brandon got into it .. except for the sleeves being too short but he didn't mind !! He credits Vic's jacket for saving his life ---- only indirectly because of course it was God who moved Vic to pack a jacket he would not need or wear !! And he was obedient to the prompting even though it would have made no sense had he stopped to question it !!
Our Father is truly a great God !!
He proved to me again this last week-end that often before we think to ask, He answers !!
Mat 6:8 "For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him."
Isa 65:24 "And it shall come to pass.. That before they call, I will answer.."


Lovella said...

Been there done that. . last year when we camped and used a double thick mattress just like yours .. .I learned after the first night that one of the many quilts "I" packed needed to go under the flannelette sheet. I love how God speaks hints into our lives. . .not only to sustain our lives but to satisfy our needs. .
This was such a great post Julie. . .I'm going to pay close attention to God hints today. .

Vicki said...

God does provide in our time of need, doesn't He? Of course, we have to be open to listening and then actually hear Him and obey.

Betty said...

I noticed in the precious pic´s that B. was always in shorts, but now it makes sense.
I´m so glad the Lord provided for you. It sure looks like fun to me!
We are planing on going camping this month too, and I can´t wait!

Nicki said...

I grew up doing a lot of camping with my family. Christmas school holidays usually meant at least a fortnight spent camping beside the beach (most of the places we camped are now closed off or restricted with toilets and sometimes showers now provided). As the years progressed it got less and less like camping - generators running freezers (for the fish) and lights, gas BBQ's, portable showers, bigger and better tents. My husbands family were not campers. He believes any hotel below 3 stars which does not have room service is camping. Therefore by his standards we have camped on 99% of our holidays (you could probably count where we live when not on holidays as camping as well). Family are trying to convince us to buy all the camping gear and head off camping with them. We'll see how that goes.
Loved your photos - what a glorious place to camp. I love how you find God in everything. I need to stop more often and look at what He has done in my life and those surrounding me and be more open to listening to Him and actually hearing. Thanks again for sharing Julie.

Lavinia said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. Your resourcefulness with the newspapers was indeed another shining example of how God lights our way, and intervenes, in all things. Jesus said again and again, that we should come to him with all our requests big and small, no matter what. And your request was certainly "queen sized!"

Then about the jacket...funny how your husband packed something too big for him...not really intending to get any use out of it...but again, a higher power was at work there...

You know, it is so hot and muggy here that the thought of 3 degrees sounds like heaven to me.

I love your Lord-affirming posts.

P.S. By the way, Strider would recommend 'glamping'...he knows all about it....

Carolanne said...

The photos were beautiful! I hate being cold when out camping but guess there's worse things!

It is awesome how God knows what we need and answers sometimes before we even ask!

charlotte said...

what an adventure julie....not my kind of camping being cold and wet, but i love how God just provided wisdom for you...
i love love love your pictures, they just capture God's majesty in them

Strider said...

Been there before. It was so cold camping that it froze water on the picnic table. We forgot our space blanket and froze at night. The next night, I found some newspapers and also pulled the liner out of the trunk of the worked great. The kids were little was quite a time.

Sara said...

Hi Julie, I enjoyed your camping story here and God's provisions for your comfort!

Also...I just adore that little hummingbird in your sidebar because of the pretty red ruffle around his neck and the way it sticks out when he bends his head to sip the nectar in the feeder.

Demara said...

Wow Julie, I think this post was the best you've EVER written! I loved how it flowed AND I especially liked the fact that you had a GOD story to tell that was so close to the heart.

btw, i dislike camping in the cold very much! sleeping on what feels like ice is NOT a pleasant feeling at all. in fact, i can not sleep when cold! how ever did you do that first night?

glad God intervened when He knew to!