This weekend the Nielsons went camping in the beautiful smoky mountains
to celebrate the end of school (which, for Lottie, is actually on the 8th).
And we tried out of Nie-Pee for the first time;
let me tell you, it was EPIC!
Before heading out, we made one last stop at Krispy Kreme for
a few dozen donuts because roasting donuts by a campfire is amazing.
Also, it was national donut day which also meant free donuts.
The weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold.
We set up camp and ate the veggie tinfoil dinners I had assembled
earlier that day. We ate more donuts and roasted marshmallows, then
had a little fireside chat.
We talked about our new tent and how putting our sleeping bags
close to the center of the tent
will protect us from water or dew that could get on the sides
and get us wet and cold.
This is also a metaphor for staying close to God, His gospel, and His people.
We read in the Old Testament that tents were tabernacles for the people,
places of refuge and worship.
Similarly, today we find refuge and peace by staying close
to the Lord, centering our lives around Him.
Through covenants, we can enter God's tent and receive
the blessings of His love and mercy, a place
"for a defense and for a refuge from the storm."
We want our kids in the tent, especially in the center of the tent
where they can focus on the Savior, hear his guidance, and love,
where keeping His commandments and where following His prophets is easiest.
We know lots of people who are in the tent but insist on staying near
the edge where outside influences continue to sway them, making
it difficult for them to keep the commandments and hear the voice
of the Lord.
They're not happy and always seem conflicted.
We don't have to be conflicted. We can be happy, we can have peace,
and the faith and confidence in God and His plan for us.
"We need to stay close to the Lord every day if we are to
survive the adversity that we all must face."
In the morning, we went on a 5-mile hike and
Christian and I packed our bags full of gear for our Killi prep.
We saw spiders, remarkable rocks, and a tree with bear scratches, annoyed each other,
and got lunch and ice cream on the way home.