Summertime The Sequel Encore..the last camping trip for real this time

We just spent another night camping.  We finished off our harvest season Friday and promptly threw the kids in the car, hooked up the trailer and drove to the lake. 
The weather here Friday was amazing!  I didn't even take swimsuits because...it's OCTOBER!
but it was warm enough for them.

This trip was unique because we met up with some "new friends".  Funny story.
We met a family at this park a couple months ago and decided we should be friends.
It's not everyday you meet someone at the beach, strike up a conversation, and make  plans meet up for a camping trip in the fall.  It was that wierd...or God ordained.

This young family stood out to us the day we met them because of their multi-ethnic fabulousness...and they had a whole herd of little kids.   Upon further stalking we discovered that 4 of their children are adopted from Ethiopia (at varying ages) and two grown the old fashioned way.  They have a passion for adoption (obviously) and take their faith, missional living, and raising their brood of kids seriously....although not serious enough to be moralistic elitists, legalists, or freaks...well maybe they are freaks by most peoples standards but only in ways we think are awesome.   They are authentic, grace filled people.   So relaxing.

It was so cool to spend 24 hours with a family that loves Jesus and lives their whole life in light of the extravagant grace they have received.  
We had the campground basically to our selves and we parked in front of the old-school play ground.  The 10 kids ran like a herd or howler monkeys while the four adults talked each others ears off sitting by the fire.  We had SO much to talk about.  I used up my words I think.  The great part is my new mommy friend is a great chatter box too so I didn't end up dominating the conversation like I sometimes do.  

 I hate small talk and casual conversation with acquaintances (I'm a total social nerd)... but I LOVE getting to really know people, building relationships, and joining in authentic community.  

 I love it when people are genuine.  No competitiveness, no agenda,  no insecurity,  no strings attached, no image to keep up, nothing to prove.  So refreshing!  All our kids ate junk food and ran around with holes in their jeans.   Only once did I point out the fact that I was a better mother because my kids had lettuce in their sandwiches.   Ha!  Just kidding...well, actually I did say that, but just to make a sarcastic point about parental pride and competitiveness.

 Honestly though, they are a few years younger than us but we can learn a thing or two about grace filled, dedicated, gospel focused parenting from this couple.  I look forward to gleaning more wisdom.   

Speaking of love...we have already arranged the marriages of our children...although I need to add a couple to keep them from being polygamists.   These two walked around like this both days...the whole time.  A four year old boy and an 18 month old girl aren't a typical favorite playmate combination but they were inseparable.  This sweet little boy was like a little mother   father hen.  I fell in love with all their kids...and my new mom friend.  
It was God's provision, and encouragement for this discouraged mommy {me}at just the right time. 

We chatted for hours about adoption, Africa, foster parenting, curriculum, homeschooling, practical and applied theology, parenting....
I'm still on cloud nine.   It's a rare thing indeed to find someone who can relate, give advice and share wisdom on all these things that make up my own life and interests.  

The kids had a great time together. Although it started to look a little "Lord of the Flies" once the t-shirts came off and they found old tiki torches in the trees.    


Marcy said...

Ok, now I am a little jealous (not in an ungodly sort of way of course). How on earth do you find an amazing family like that in the middle of nowhere? Oh, God. Right!! So cool that you met like that. Someday I may have to meet you all. Does that sound stalker-ish? What fun to camp with a crowd like that!!

Carla said...

We totally have to meet up someday Marcy! We'll have to do a camping trip next summer and get our crews together.

Jenn said...

Wow how amazing! Friends like that are 1 in a million and I too am jealous! ;) So glad you were able to be refreshed!

carrie church said...

Carla, it sounds like the perfect camping trip - authenticity abounded, children were free and happy and the parents were refreshed... And I love the pictures...