I love going camping! Really….I do!
I love the fresh air, the open space & the “getting away from it all” of the great outdoors at the mountains or the beach, hiking to see waterfalls, lazy days sitting by the lake reading a good book and munching on snacks, the family togetherness singing silly songs by the campfire while roasting mouthwatering s’mores, playing cards, laying in the tent surrounded by little ones in a hushed atmosphere listening to the sounds of the night and peering through the screen window at the multitude of stars and of course nothing can beat a “camping” breakfast of eggs, sausage, pancakes & piping hot coffee. Yes…I really do love to go camping!
However …last night was miserable!
We headed to bed a little after 10pm ready to settle in to our cozy sleeping bags and whisper to each other before dozing off for a peaceful nights sleep. The baby had nursed & fell soundly asleep and my 4 year old, Joy, was in awe looking at the shadows of the leaves wave back & forth on the tent. And then it began. The stillness of the night was shattered by my sister screaming out…”Oh my! There’s a bear!” The commotion began as all three campsites holding over 20 of my family members were awake & peering out of the tent to catch a glimpse of the bear. Pots & pans were banging, kids talking loudly & excitedly and little ones whimpering for their Daddys. Just after getting everyone settled back down….another bear rattled away at our bear locker just 10 feet from our tent. That was it for my 13 year old who came running over from the “cousins tent” to sleep with Mom & Dad. So much for a peaceful night sleep! And thus the beginning of the worst camping night ever!
11pm – 1:30am Spent comforting & nurturing kids who were freaked out by the bear incident & can’t go to sleep. (This is very hard & requires much patience for a Mom who usually responds with “get over it!”)
1:45am – The 13 year old needs to go to the bathroom…fun.
2am Baby wakes up to nurse…I notice the air mattress has slowly been losing air & dear darling hubby and I are slowly sinking to the bottom like we’ve fallen into a canyon!
2:30am The 8 year old exits the cousin tent to join Mom & Dad thus requiring us to move sleeping children to make room for them.
2:45am The air mattress is unbearable any longer & I tell Dan to just let the air out….and then after he does I realize, that do to nursing I have a clogged duct & cry out in pain as my left side hits the hard floor…up I get to take tylenol.
3am The 8 year old has to go to the bathroom, the baby wakes up…we all hike to the bathroom.
3:30am I inform “Dan the man ” that I cannot sleep on the hard as rock floor in my current painful nursing condition so he goes into the van (so no one can hear the noise) & blows up 2 twin size air mattresses for us to sleep on. Baby wants to nurse…very difficult on a twin size mattress but we pull it off.
3:45am The 4 year old starts crying that she has to go “potty”…since she is wearing a pull up…I tell her to just go in it. More crying, baby wakes up, she can’t do it & up we all go again to the bathroom.
4am I settle down to finally try to get to sleep only to notice that my twin air mattress is now losing air…oh no! I turn over to see my husband snoring comfortably away on his fully inflated air mattress and after using much personal restraint and deciding not to tell him to get up & give it to me…..I lay there on the hard ground for two hours & wait for the sun to come up.
As I drag myself to the shower at 6am…I wonder….”what is it that I love about camping?” and “why exactly am I here?” and thinking “Hmmmm…perhaps I should head for a hotel!”
You see isn’t that just how life is? Even the things we truly love at times can turn sour momentarily and take a toll on us and damper any enthusiasm or joy we thought we had.
Yes….I love being a mother to my children but there are times when I want to scream out in frustration!
Yes….I adore my dear darling husband but there are times when he drives me crazy! (as I do him!)
Yes….I love the Lord & want to serve Him but there are times when it would be so much easier to give in to the ways of the world or just “do my own thing”.
Yes….I love my business that allows me to stay at home & provide for my family but at times I want to quit!
Yes….I love my friends & family but sometimes we don’t see eye to eye on everything!
Yes….I love my church but occasionally I don’t want to sit through even one more Sunday service!
Yes…I love my full, blessed “never a dull moment life” yet every once in awhile I want to walk away from it all!
I could go on & on listing things I love that at times…because of hardships, conflicts, weariness, hard work, effort, disappointments, discouragement & momentary afflictions…lose their appeal. Yet this does not mean that I stop loving them….it is usually just a temporary feeling based on current circumstances that will soon be gone or overcome if we just “hang in there”, continue to press on or give it one more try.
As I walked along the shores of Lake Tahoe this morning taking in its incredible beauty of Gods creation and as I lay in the warm tent (on my NEWLY purchased air mattress) this afternoon in a lazy, weary & tired stupor and as I watch the smiling faces of my loved ones tonight through the sparks of the campfire…I will remember once again exactly why I love camping!
Don’t let temporary setbacks, momentary afflictions, hardships, or even miserable never ending nights keep you from pressing on and doing the things you love most!