“I am what you would call ‘indoorsy.’” ~Jim Gaffigan, on camping

Well, I thought I’d share some pics from our vacation earlier this summer.

The husband ordered up a weeklong getaway for the family to a place called Camp of the Woods in the Adirondacks.

Now. I am a luxury hotel, fine dining kind of girl. So you can understand why I might have a problem with a destination called Camp of the Woods.

The husband assured me that we would not actually be camping, that we would be staying in a lakeside cabin equipped with beds, a refrigerator, stove, etc. We’d eat in a dining hall for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He said, “We will not be roughing it.”

What he failed to realize is that my definition of the word ‘camping’ is totally different from his. If (-and this happened of course-) I pull back the bedcovers and find a chunky spider sitting under the pillow … and get this… I’m not surprised to see the chunky spider sitting there… then I am indeed CAMPING.

Looking back on it now I can say that our accommodations really were nice but it felt like ‘roughing it’ to me and I might have had a tiny bit of a bad attitude and maybe acted like a big baby for the first day or so. Just maybe. Because my visions of vacation are me lounging on an island beach, eating, sleeping, reading, repeat.

This was me the first night. I wasn’t keen on sharing the bed with Mr. Spider and his homies so I wrapped myself in Rhema’s plastic mattress cover that we’d brought from home!


In the end we had such a great time going on little adventures together, enjoying the beauty of our surroundings, hearing great speakers and incredible music, I forgot to care about the fact that it didn’t fit my grand dreams of vacation.

We did things as a family we’ve never done before. We rode a gondola to the top of a mountain. Played ping pong. Attended concerts. Took a boat ride. Hiked to a waterfall. Built sandcastles and had a carnival on the beach. The Camp of the Woods staff was wonderful, and I’m probably not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition but I can’t think of a better way to say it: we felt ministered to.

All too often God takes my plans and expectations and shows me He has something better, something I need more. I was reminded of a favorite Emily Colson quote: “It’s time to throw out my ideas of what I thought life would be, should be, and let joy fill up those brand-new vacancies.”

Rhema certainly had times when she struggled, but I think she would say it was worth it. Throughout the trip I tried to jot down reasons to be thankful, things I never wanted to forget. The first one occurred when we were driving on an open road in the mountains. The air felt so good and the beauty of creation enveloped us. A song was on the radio – Multiplied by Needtobreathe. Rhema began clapping. On her own. No one guided her hands or held them together. She clapped to these words:

God of mercy sweet love of mine
I have surrendered to your design
May this offering stretch across the skies
And these Hallelujahs be multiplied…
These Hallelujahs be multiplied



Rhema_Russell  hope horizon IMG_1098


DSC_0256 IMG_1078 famcrop


5 thoughts on “Adirondacks

  1. I’m really pleased to hear you had a great time :). I also think that my idea of a holiday is a lot like yours, and that my husbands’ idea of a holiday is a lot like your husbands’ idea! LOL

  2. I love the clapping. I love the quote. I love your grammarly desire not to end a sentence with a preposition.

    I do NOT love the funky, chunky spider lurking in the bed.

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