One of the benefits of our new lifestyle is being able to travel at a moment’s notice. This past week found us on an unplanned journey and rearranging some schedules. Big benefit: we didn’t have to figure out what to pack! We were already packed. It was just a matter of rearranging schedules, putting things in “go mode”, pulling in the slides and hooking up. We were traveling on a holiday weekend, one that is traditionally marked by lots of camping – and sometimes making finding a campsite on short notice a challenge. Not to worry, when it came time to find a campsite, God had a plan. We found a campsite on our first night on the road – unique little place, and we were grateful that there had been an unexpected early departure from a site that was just the right size for us.
At our destination, we opted to stay for one night at a county park until we could check out the campground we planned on staying at. I will admit that for that first night, I was grumbly about staying here. No water hook-up, no sewer – just electricity. So grumbly, in fact, that I completely missed the beauty of this place. Maybe I was just road weary, I know I was worried some other things. Thankfully, God had this under control also. The next morning, I looked around and realized what Bill had noticed immediately – this place is what camping is about! There are other campers here, but you wouldn’t know it. We are about a mile from the entrance, and no roads or trains (this is a family joke) so no noise from these. There are also no lights in this park. The trees are magnificent – very tall and beautiful. It’s like being all alone in the middle of the forest. The shower house is a decent walk, but considering the setting, it’s worth it. It is unbelievably peaceful – and once I unbent my attitude, I was able to let the peace of this place start to seep in – and push the worry out. We needed this – a time of quiet solitude, some time together away from the world. I needed this – a lesson in letting go of what I can’t control, remembering that God is in control (and He is truly much better at control than I am), and allowing peace to refill my empty spots. I mentioned ego and control in an earlier post – and I obviously didn’t do so well at letting either go. There is much grace to be found in this lovely place of seclusion. As you read this, you might be thinking that we are somewhere far away from “civilization”? We are probably around 50 miles from Washington, DC. When we leave our sanctuary, we are very intimidated by the traffic! Another lesson here – peace amidst chaos – it’s there, I just need to have faith and open my eyes. Bill is so good at this, and I have so much to learn.
Rainy days – last evening, we were treated to thunderstorms. In a forest, they are pretty impressive. It’s not just a sound show. You could feel the thunder reverberating, and the lightning was no slouch either. We woke up to rain this morning, and it has continued all day. The good kind of rain – mostly gentle and persistent – a good soaking rain. We ran some errands and did some sorely needed laundry (think running out of underwear and socks), and Bill treated me to lunch. I talked myself out of my run yesterday and was feeling pretty upset with myself about that. When we got back home, I found a little paper fortune from a fortune cookie – “It’s time for you to learn to dance in the rain rather than wait for the sun.”. We didn’t have lunch at a Chinese restaurant, and this little slip just kind of turned up. I took this as a nudge from Above, so I put on my running stuff, dug out my new and unused running rain jacket, and did my 3 miles. In the rain, among the tall trees, alone, quiet with no music. It left me feeling peaceful and content, and at the same time – wanting more. Thankful that we’ll be here until Monday – and I can sneak in more runs. God is an excellent running companion, and I’m looking forward to a few more with Him in this place. Now, sitting here with Bill, it’s dark and the noise we hear is from insects and rain on our roof. Another bonus: living in an RV means you get to hear rain on your roof! It feels cozy, we are warm, safe, and together. I could have totally missed this joy if I hadn’t “unbent” and let go.
Butterflies – Freds #2, 3, and 4 hatched out before we left. Mom and I took them out and set them free in her lovely flower garden. It’s really pretty cool to hold a butterfly on your hand – something that is so breathtakingly beautiful and you have watched it through the amazing transformation. We have 4 more in various stages – two in chrysalis, one in a “J”, and one that Mom found really small, so this little lady is still munching her way through milkweed. Life really is a miracle – a never-ending journey of birth and rebirth, growth, and transformation – and that cycle continues from birth through death. Just like the caterpillar that can’t really control when it enters an instar, there are circumstances in our lives that are like instars. One of my “instars” right now is work. I’m not sure what God is planning with this, but I am trying to let go of control and have faith. This seems to be either a period of rest for me, or a time of change and transition. I am trying to choose to feel curiosity and excitement instead of worry and fear.
Those are my grace lessons this week. Working on staying open, grateful, and receptive to the abundance and joy around me, while remembering that I am “enough” yet unfinished – and I don’t have to be in control!