August 19, 2022
In July, I attended church camp in Glorieta, New Mexico, with my children. This will likely be the first and last time I'm there with all three. My oldest daughter returned as a counselor while my son attended as a high school senior and my Little as an 8th grader. Thankfully, my Little has four more years to participate.
I don't know what it is about church camp, but I love it and enjoy the opportunity to hang out with kids. Growing up, I attended Camp Butman near Abilene. Every summer I couldn't wait to make new friends, relish my brief independence while anticipating daily letters from home. My mom's detailed notes always arrived in envelopes decorated with pictures, fun fonts and sayings. Something was exciting about hearing your name called during mail call each day and opening the letters.
I remember the camp store where cokes and candy could be purchased daily, depending on my camp budget. Rarely did I have daily access to either at home. I looked forward to recreation, crafts and free time and scouting out the cute boys. Somewhere in the mix, I got some Jesus as well!
This year, I waffled in my commitment. Between family vacation, sports, work (which included a trip to Florida) and the farm, I wasn't sure I could fit it in. But health issues with one of my kids that couldn't be resolved until after camp, made my decision.
Glorieta is a large campground located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range of the Southern Rockies. In five days, we trekked more than 28 miles, and that didn't include the volleyball, swimming and basketball the kids played. Each day began and ended with a worship service followed by a message. I love the environment and energy plus the relationships built when in a different setting.
After arriving home, exhausted and a little anxious about what awaited me, a Facebook memory from preteen camp eight years ago surfaced. As I looked at those young faces, I thought about how quickly time moves. Those preteens are now in college or parents, married and/or working full-time jobs. I thought then, 'I don't have time.' And as I looked at that picture, I'm so grateful I did.
Time and balance are hard. As working moms, we juggle between professionally excelling, raising children who love God and people, farming, being a loving wife, and allowing some time for ourselves, to name a few. All require time. Each its own sacrifice and reward. Often, I drop the balls, sometimes only a few.
I'm a bit nostalgic as my children complete college, high school and junior high this year. I don’t want to miss the moments that count. Sometimes those are hard to decipher. I want the wisdom to know when to say 'yes' and 'no.' Check back with me in eight years and I'll let you know how it went. My hope is that it will have been time well spent with little regret.
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