Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mammoth Caves


In honor of our missed camping trip to Land Between the Lakes this past weekend (because said child hid the truck keys from other said child who was setting off the truck alarm, in her clothing drawer and forgot about them)...I will catch up on my blog post from our last camping trip. Although our family was brokenhearted that we missed the trip, looking back we realize it was all part of the Master's plan for the weekend. Sometimes His ways are not our ways!

We have become a camping family. It only took a few trips and we were hooked. There is nothing like the serenity of being away from the "world". One can wake up to the sound of a twittering bird. I begin to relate that this must be a mama scolding her chicks for dirtying up her nice, clean nest! We watch the various flying insects dance from one place to another. I compare them to our children as I watch them playing with friends, and how they all look different but are all marching to beats of similar drums. God is intentional in His design and much of it for our enjoyment; much of it to instill wisdom. One is free to remove their masks for a time, allowing themselves just to be who God created. Another fascinating part for me in the mere silence. There is something to be said about silence in a house of seven. Although our house is filled with much laughter, singing, squeals of joy, and even shouts of frustration, it is easy to let the knocks on the doors of our hearts by God, go unnoticed. In the middle of one of God's handcrafted little nooks of earth, that has not been all dolled up by society, it is not so hard to "....be still and know that He is God."  It seems He will speak loudest when all is quiet, but truly He speaks at the same volume. There is just little background noise. Some of my purest conversations with my Creator have come in the calm of a morning before all of mankind wakes. That is a sliver of what days removed can bring.   


Our family took our first camping trip of the year back in March with our boyscout pack. We ventured to Mammoth Caves, Kentucky, spending two nights at the National Park. Upon our arrival late Friday evening, the kids were happily surprised to get to take a ferry across the river to our campsite. Good friends and a warm fire were waiting to welcome us. It was a pleasure to be in the company of godly families while we explored and marveled at the world around us. Saturday morning, Daddy and the "big" three (Eva is so excited to be considered a "big" now. To us she is still in transition, but we give her the title nonetheless.) delved into Mammoth Caves, the longest known cave system in the world, exploring through places such as Fat Man's Misery and Tall Man's Misery. 





I stayed back with the two "littles" and the other mothers of small children. Had we both gone, chances are we would have returned a couple less children. We have some spirited children in this family and on MOST days we like that very much, but it is a goal of ours to not lose any children by our own doing!

The following day the big three and I joined the group for a 2-mile hike along the Green River.  The weather was beautiful during the days. The kids had loads of fun playing sports, exploring the wooded areas, building forts, and digging. They even caught a crawdad, properly known as a crayfish. Temperatures did fall into the 30's at night, but we were all prepared and bundled up.


This was our first camping trip with Shy in tow. She was born to camp! She enjoyed her new surroundings and let nothing unsettle her nap times. She slept well at night, still waking for a midnight snack (or two) but dozed happily back to sleep once satisfied. 

The forecast called for storms to roll in Saturday evening, but two other families and we decided to brave the rain and stick it out for the night. Another enjoyment of sleeping in nature is falling into slumber to the sound of rainfall! We packed up after breakfast Sunday morning and headed for the comforts of home that awaited us in Jackson. What a wonderful beginning to an adventurous season to come this year! 

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