Why I Make the Sacrifice to go Camping

This weekend was a camp out with a group of friends and people from my church. I really loved seeing my friends, and getting to know some new friends. The more I go camping, which isn’t very often, the more I realize that I am not meant to camp.

Mary and BellaFirst of all, the ground and I do not get along when it comes to sleeping. Thankfully this year my air mattress did not deflate. I still woke up sore every morning.

And I woke up so early! When you’re in a tent, it’s hard not to wake up with the sun. And the birds. And anyone else in the camp. Which would have been fine (maybe) if I had gone to bed when it got dark. But no, we stayed up sitting around the fire sharing stories. And others stayed up even after I went to bed, so I could still hear them. This year, I was tired enough to crash pretty hard when I went to bed, so that wasn’t as much of an issue.

Outhouses stink. I don’t think these had been emptied in a VERY long time. The camp site we were at was putting in actual washrooms, but they weren’t quite complete. So instead, the building taunted us from behind the construction fencing.

I don’t warm up easily, so being cold is not fun for me. It rained on and off all weekend. I lived in my sweater coat. All weekend.

I’m lucky there were other people to start the fire, and that my husband looked after the cooking. I appreciate him so much!

I know. I’m spoiled. When I was a child, my grandparents lived on a lake. We never went camping. We just went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, and slept in real beds, cooked in a kitchen, and used the bathroom with running water whenever we needed to.

So why did I do it if it makes me miserable?

Because of the people. There were some people there that I love, and I don’t get to see them as often as I would like. Good friends from the Mainland that I admire, and mentors from the US. I was able to sit with these people and talk with them and learn from them in a way that I am not able to at larger gatherings.

And there were people there that I had never met before that I am extremely grateful we had the opportunity to meet and talk. We planted the seeds of new friendship.

Growing in my spirituality and my ministry is important to me. Extremely important. So I will make sacrifices and do things that are out of my comfort zone in order to learn and grow.

What do you love (or want) so much that you are willing to make sacrifices to achieve it?

Blessings,

Mary

 

What a Weekend!

I’m in a bit of a sleep-deprived haze while I write this. It is Sunday evening, and I’ve just gotten home from a weekend of camping. Which is a pretty impressive thing for me, really.

When I was a child, my grandparents lived at a lake. We never needed to go camping – we would just go to Grandma and Grandpa’s place for the weekend, complete with really beds, running water, and actual toilets. “Roughing it” was sleeping on the day bed in the screened in porch. Camping just wasn’t a part of my childhood. The car accident my family was in may also have been a factor in that choice.

This weekend was the camp out that my church organized. I was looking forward to it with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. I was looking forward to meeting new people, and enjoying some relaxing time to get to know them. But sleeping in a tent in and having to pack 4 days worth of food was daunting.

The first night somewhat confirmed my fears. After more stops and about an hour and a half longer than expected to get to the campsite, I was a little short tempered. The boys were overly excited to arrive, and had begun acting out in the vehicle, driving mommy more than a little crazy.

We had a good dinner, and some good conversation around the fire that night. The boys all had friends to connect with, and they were entertained. And then I went to my tent. The air mattress was a little soft, but I figured that was because it had been so hot and now it was chilly. I blew it up a bit more, and drifted off to sleep.

When my husband came in, I turned over in my sleeping bag, and my hip hit the rocky ground. That was not a good sign. I dozed off, and it wasn’t long before more of my body was on the ground. As much as I tried to ignore it, I was not comfortable. Then my youngest started doing an imitation of a cat, and trying to crawl under my pillow or otherwise curl up around my head (he’s 7 years old, and tall). I was very much not amused, and in pain. I blew up the air mattress again, but it wasn’t long before body and ground met once more.

By morning, I could not sit up without help. I was in quite a lot of pain, and to use a word of a friend, feeling stabbity. I got quite angry with a friend who tried to make a joke about it (sorry, P!).

I am so glad I have the tools to help manage my pain levels and calm down! I secluded myself for a while of to the edge of the campsite, put on my headphones and meditated. I grounded, and connected with my chakras. After about a half hour, I was feeling much more calm, relaxed and sociable, and my pain levels had decreased dramatically. I was able to be friendly even. And I went out that afternoon to get a new air mattress and make sure there would be no more stabbity moments.

The rest of the weekend was very good – great food and my husband did most of the cooking, great conversation, lots of laughs, a few tears, and most of all, good community and connection. We even re-kindled an old friendship. The children all played very well together, and all the parents helped keep an eye on everyone. It became our own little village for the weekend. I’m so glad I was able to attend this year, and I look forward to next year with a lot less trepidation.

Blessings,

Mary

PS. The Elements of Abundance starts this week! There is still time to register here.