Our trip to West Texas was so great. I was a little scared that all of the traveling recently would drive my little lady (or myself) to insanity. She was a trooper as usual though & we made it there on Wednesday and stayed until Sunday afternoon. I'll give you a quick, small back-story as to what campmeeting is and why it is so important to me. It started 122 years ago (no, that is not a typo) by Dr. W.B. Bloys (my best friend Nicole's great-great grandfather) in a mountain cove located between Ft. Davis & Valentine, Texas. Back in the horse-drawn carriage days, the cattle ranchers would have the preacher/pastor/priest travel to their ranches a couple of times a year to hear the gospel. As it was difficult to travel back then, they decided to have an annual campmeeting where all of the surrounding ranch families would gather for a week of worship, teachings, & fellowship. From the days of tents, horse-drawn carriages, & a gathering of approximately 47 people, blossomed a tin cabin campground, an attendance of around 2000 people, & a holy experience like no other.
I have been going with Nicole & her family since I was 5. Because of a family reunion in Washington, D.C. and mine and Chad's honeymoon, I have had to miss 2 since then. This year marked my 20th year of attendance & it was just as special as ever. Some of the most wonderful things about campmeeting are getting to see the same families every year. The children have grown a year older and inches to boot. There is no tv or Internet which allows for some amazing naps, book reading, or anything else that soothes you. Sitting on the balcony in a Papasan chair while the rain clinks down onto the tin roof carrying a cool breeze might be one of my favorite things to do, ever. At campmeeting, the conversation is always sincere and sometimes deep. Laying underneath the west Texas sky is unreal. In one evening, we laid back and saw at least 30 shooting stars. The Milky Way is so bright and beautiful you feel like you are in it (which technically, we are). But still, the quietest moments, the darkest nights, & the cleanest air are just a few of the things that I appreciate so much out there. Even the smell of dirt and mustiness get me giddy there. It is impossible not to see the beauty of our God and his works when you are surrounded by a nature that speaks & sunsets that light up the mountain skies. You can feel God's presence & the worship is some of the best & most intimate I've ever experienced. To say it in a few short words, I.Love.Campmeeting.
Nicole & I used to cry in the car as we drove away because back then, a year felt like an eternity and there were so many special things we didn't want to leave out there. I had my first real kiss there (At church camp, yes. Don't judge me. Ha.) with someone who is still one of my best friends (pic below, hehe). I climbed my first mountain & went through my first bat cave there. I had my first major water balloon fights out there & some of those were epic. Every year, I come closer to Jesus while being out there & it is so refreshing.
I am so thankful and excited for Kennady and that I get to share the experience with her. She got to mingle with other kids, play in the dirt, blow bubbles, swing her little heart out, & enjoy all things that make being there special. It was so fun & I think if we continue to attend, it will become one of her favorite experiences too.
This link shows a picture taken from the bat cave down to about a quarter of the campgrounds. The rest are a couple of pictures from this year. It brings warm and fuzzies to my heart to see these pictures and to remember the memories. I am so thankful that my best friend and her family were so thoughtful so many years ago, to include me on an experience so special & to continue to invite me every year. It's truly something I could never repay them for.
|Just a swingin'.|
|One of my new favorite pictures.|
|Silly little princess.|
|Besties...that's Nicole on the right of course.|
|Precious little cowgirl in the making.|