This weekend, my daughter and I are camping together at Orchard Lake Campground in Saluda, NC with my neighbor,  Austin Bruce, and his two boys. Austin and I used to work together and we bought adjoining properties together years ago where we could have small farms and our families could grow up together. We spend evenings together several nights each week in the pool, on the trampoline, in the yard, in the creek, or whatever the kids are interested in (depending on the time of year).

As I woke up this morning, I found myself in awe of “knit together relationships”. After a night where our inflatable mattress deflated and Mia and I found ourselves trapped warmly within our Teton Leef 0 mummy sleeping bags, with her on top of me and with both of us struggling to move (like caterpillars inside confining cocoons), laughing about how silly the situation was, then getting up in the middle of the night to walk to the bath house together — I realized how different this is from my normal nights sound in bed with my sweet wife.

I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself.
Colossians 2:2 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/col.2.2.NLT

So the first thing I did this morning was to thank my wife. She isn’t here,  but without her,  this trip wouldn’t even be possible. It is the relationship that she and I have together,  it is the marriage we have, and the child we are blessed to parent, and the decisions we have made together,  and the friendships formed that have led to this moment. And I’m grateful to her. And I’m grateful to God for this amazing thing He has done and is doing.

I don’t always remember this. So I am grateful for today’s reminder that He wants us knit together in relationships, encouraging each other in love. And as Austin and I sat by the fire last night in the quiet of a night away from the “normal” that is so blessed and wonderful — this time of talking about God’s mysterious plan and spending time together encouraging each other has me appreciating these moments and also appreciating greater the renewed longing to share moments and encouragement with my wife, my real best friend.

May He knit together beautiful relationships for us, friends. And may our appreciation for Him and His many blessings toward us have us encouraging, appreciating, and loving one another. Amen.