When I was a child my dad would take my brother and me up into the local mountains for a day or a weekend or a week at a time. He taught us to shoot a bow from an arrow, to maneuver our sleds down snowy slopes, and skip stones across icy streams. Grandma and Grandpa had a cabin up in those hills above Los Angeles, and the shag carpet smelled musty and safe beside the fireplace. Needless to say, that campground is near and dear to my heart. Forest Home.
Our church group also brought us up the same mountain pass for youth camp two times a year. I gave my life to Christ at a campfire in fourth grade. My best friend, Matt Morgan and I walked back to main camp that night, laughing and throwing snowballs into the branches, heavy laden with snow. We drank our fill of hot cocoa in the winter and milkshakes in the summer, and played more card games in Blinko Lodge than I can count.
Faith becomes a child's own at camp in the mountains. I believe that with all my guts. The majesty and the splendor assailing young senses, followed by the truth of God's Word and campfire worship. In sixth grade I was sitting between Heather Coombs and Brooke Donald in Hormel Hall, and we were singing "Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me." And I felt His Spirit upon my shoulders so tangibly... I believed with every fiber of my being.
I went away to college and my Grandpa passed our cabin to the camp, and time passed. Before I knew it I was a grown woman raising children of my own, not far from my old stomping grounds. Since our family cabin is gone, I haven't been back in many years. But that's about to change. In a week and a half, on April 1-3, I'm taking my boys up for Forest Home's annual Mother / Son Retreat. And I am over the moon excited!
An entire weekend to invest in memory making and faith building and worship singing experiences with my three sons! One day they'll have recollections of their own, of stone skipping and the sense of a very real and near God who loves them. And I'll be in those memories too.
FYI: a few things have changed since I was a child at Forest Home! They now have a ZIP LINE! Which I am totally doing!
If you are a BOYMOM in the Southern California vicinity, would you consider joining us? I know that I have quite a few Mothers of Boys who read this blog, and I'd would love to get to know you [IRL]! Forest Home is less than a two-hour trek from Los Angeles in the San Bernardino Mountains!
Forest Home is a magical place, and the Holy Spirit is present. But truly, the simplest reason of all to go is because it feels so good to say yes to our boys... Yes, I want to be with you. Yes, let's hike. Yes, let's grab a milk shake. Yes... God is crazy about you and so am I. Yes!
For more information about Forest Home's Annual Mother / Son Retreat, April 1-3, go here.
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