Sometimes I Learn Things On Camping Trips

This past weekend, we took our youth group on a camping trip to Maquoketa Caves State Park.  It was the first big group camping trip I have ever organized, as well as our first time to go camping with Emmett.  And it turned out to be quite the humbling experience for me from leading our four-vehicle-caravan down a muddy gravel road and getting everyone stuck to forgetting the ketchup and mustard.  I also felt inadequate as Adam and I tried to corral the kids and then collect our thoughts on spelunking right after I had taken a full-blast water stream to my open eye from the malfunctioning drinking fountain.

That was when all the emotions broke loose and I finally cried and cried. . .  about my water-logged, bruised eye of course.  These are the humbling moments when I realize how undone, how unorganized, how broken I really am.  As much as I would love for everyone to think my life is put together, it really isn't.  But the kids didn't seem to mind.  I wish we all could be more like teenagers.  Not caring about the mess, the forgotten things.  They seem to have this uninhibited way of enjoying the simple things in life.  Colored laser lights in the smokey night and endless bags of chips, scaling rock walls and for the boys. . . peeing in the fire after the girls have all gone to bed.  

Oh Lord have mercy on this mother of a son. . . 
Despite it all, there is something about camping that is so good for the soul.

The smell of campfire smoke.
Sticky marshmallows and melty chocolate.
Cuddling down into a sleeping bag that still smells clean from it's last washing.
Birds chirping in the early morning sunshine.
Smokey light on the dewy grass.
The accepting that it is really ok to be naked faced and messy-haired sometimes.

And I may or may not have broken my cardinal rule of never wearing tennis shoes with jeans.   What can I say, when on the hiking trails of Iowa. . . 

^^ In other happy news, Emmett was so exhausted from all the excitement that he slept the entire night through, all bundled up in his Moses basket.  This kid is such a dreamboat.  ^^
^^ I am so thankful for this dear girl who was our extra adult leader.  Would not have survived the weekend without her. ^^ 
^^ So much love and happiness being squished between these two boys ^^
^^ Of course it makes sense to search for firewood up in the trees. . . boys are so weird. ^^
^^ As I was saying. . . ^^


  1. I love that you took the baby camping. We are trying it ourselves this weekend, but in our good friends back yard. We're going easy on ourselves and trying it out for the experience! :) our 5 year old son is excited, and will surely do fine. Not sure about their 3 year old or our 16 month old-but you give me courage!! ;)

  2. mm. there is something good about camping. just getting away and being in His creation!!

  3. Oh wow. You are my hero. Baby + camping + a huge group of teenagers. That takes magic my friend. Oh, and little Emmett looks so so cute and is getting so big!


  4. Beautiful! And bringing your wee babe with you? You GO girl!!

  5. This totally makes me want to go camping! :) Looks like a great time!

    ISN'T THAT THE TRUTH ABOUT TEENAGERS! I remember thinking when I was teen that when things didn't go like planned or they were spontanous or unorganized it was a "new exciting adventure!" :) Now as a mommy, wife and adult... I don't feel the same.. but maybe I will work on that.. :)