This past Friday night I camped out with my nine year old daughter, Tabitha. Earlier in the spring my dad built her a treehouse on the hillside beside our house in the woods. Nice . . . but nothing extravagant.
We lugged our sleeping bags up to the treehouse along with cheese and crackers, flashlights and bug spray. My wife bet me that we would be back inside before midnight. She lost the bet . . . we made it all the way.
Sometime in the middle of the night Tabs and I both awoke. Our faces were about two inches apart and she asked, “Daddy, is it almost morning?” I thought to myself, good, she probably wants to go inside now . . . back into my comfortable, warm bed. Enough of this sleeping on a wood platform with bugs and dew. At that moment I was not very content. I responded, “See how the sky is lightening up? It will be morning soon. Why do you want to know?” Tabs looked at me and said, “Daddy, because I don’t want this night to ever end.”
“We’ll do this again Tabs.”
She responded with one word . . .
Suddenly I was content. It didn’t matter that I was sleeping (or not sleeping) on plywood. What mattered was that I was with my daughter who loves me and whom I love.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing, or with everything.” (Philippians 4:11b-12a)
God, in every area of my life, help me find my contentment simply by being with my Father who loves me and whom I love.
I had a similar experience this summer only it was at the Alive festival. My thirteen year old daughter borrowed a tent and after much difficulty setting it up. Now she expected me and her friend to sleep there. Mind you that all we had was the tent and some blankets and trust me not enough blankets. It was a cold miserable night but I awoke at sunrise and sat in a chair by the calm lake and had a wonderful quiet time with a cup of coffee. My daughter was thrilled that we stayed overnight since we usually commute from home that she said she really didn’t need any souvenirs from the concert. Staying with me was a big enough sovenir and that didn’t cost me any money. I wouldn’t trade any of these good times or the bad times I have had with any of my 4 children.
O.k., I actually teared up when I read “Daddy, because I don’t want this night to ever end.” That is just awesome!
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They don’t carry them at Gander Mountain, but they do carry similar products there.
This teared me right up! It made me realize how much I miss the special bond my little Megan and I had before she went home to be with the Lord. Thanks for the smile through the tears! :-)
Mad Love to ya bro!