I recently read a post by Kristin Armstrong on Mile Markers where she took the time she needed to run alone to refill her "red solo cup." I liked the post then, but after this weekend, I really feel like my own cup has been filled...and even better, it gave me the opportunity to talk to my kids about our "cups" and how we can fill each others and our own.
This weekend, we decided, a little later than this type A person would have liked, to go camping. Chad had mentioned it late last week, but then we never decided anything for sure. Then Sunday, we went to church (which was a good lesson on loving each other), had lunch, swam...and then decided to go camping. That. Night. And we did.
We quickly packed up the camper, stopped at the store on the way out of town, and drove an hour to a nearby state park that I used to frequent with my family camping growing up. We got there after hours so we were able to drive around and pick out our own campsite. Luckily, they did have some pull through sites...so much easier for these newbie campers! As we were setting up, the sun was starting to go down and we had the surprise of seeing a doe and its fawn walk by. How cool is that?!
We didn't eat until about 8:30, switching from what I had planned to make to easy sandwiches. We all enjoyed sleeping in a little the next morning and had a breakfast of pancakes, bacon and eggs before going to explore the old fort buildings in this state park. That afternoon we went into town to get a few things and have some ice cream. That evening, we made a hearty dinner of sausage, potatoes, onion, zucchini, and peppers, which we enjoyed out under the camper awning. There we were joined by more than a dozen deer traipsing through our campsite. The kids loved it...with SB giggling when her daddy joked that the deer were surrounding us. It really was an amazing experience to have as a family.
We played a couple of games of ladderball, one of which was interrupted by a giant tarantula. The kids laughed and laughed (from the trailer windows) as Daddy swept the spider away.
We did have one of those "That which does not kill you..." experiences after that though. We realized we hadn't been careful with water conservation and had filled our holding tank (luckily, just the gray water). Nothing could be done but to go dump it...in the dark...by disconnecting everything, hooking it up the trailer, and heading to the dump station...and then reconnecting everything when we were done. We can laugh about it now, but it wasn't fun then. However, we handled it well and continued with our night after that.
But this morning...that was what really topped off my own cup. Chad and I got up before the kids and sat outside talking, with me drinking my coffee. The weather was beautiful. I had taken my running stuff and would have loved to enjoy a run in that weather...but my foot has been killing me. But if I'd gone for a run, I wouldn't have been able to enjoy that time with my husband and later with all of us. It really did my soul good to have that time outside with my family.
And that brought me to talking to the kids today about how we all have cups that are filled by good times and kind words and nice actions, but are easily spilled by negativity. We were able to discuss ways to fill each others' cups and how to take care of our own cups.
I am so glad that I stepped outside myself and what I would have liked in the way of time to plan and organize this trip and just enjoyed the time we had together in all its little ways. And now, with reference to Psalm 23:5, my cup overflows...