Last week saw quite a few miles put on the car as I took my eleven year old daughter back and forth to a Christian day camp. Using lots of gas is not something we really want to do right now, especially given my husband's unemployment. But more on that later...
We were given a half-scholarship, meaning we still had to come up with a lot of money, plus gas, in order for her to go. But somehow we did (with a little help from our girl who had lemonade stands.)
She had been terribly disappointed not to go to a horse camp with her best friend, so we wanted to try to make this work as a compromise.
Lots of getting up early, packing lunches (so that's what not home schooling feels like!) driving almost two hours daily (except when I stayed in town two of the days) and just the coming up with the money which they let us pay in installments were all necessary for her to participate.
Turns out, our sacrifice (mostly mine, in this case) was indeed worth it...she ended up loving it so much and stated when it was over that the counselors and everyone had become like family and she was so sad so say good-bye.
It wasn't all hardship on my part, however...the drive there is so scenic and picturesque.
And on Tuesday, my fourteen year old came with me to hang out there for the whole day, and we had a great mother-daughter time cruising antique and thrift shops, eating our sandwiches and reading our books in the countryside. She even found some more Narnia books for .50 to add to her collection! It was a sweet time together, even with our limited budget. Yes, seven whole hours! (And as any mom will tell you, just having quality time hanging out with a teen with no drama involved and just good camaraderie is definitely a good thing!)
But after five days of rushing out the door and driving, driving, driving... I was glad the week was over.
Still, if I had to do it over again, I would. My youngest got an incredible experience...swimming in a lake, canoeing, hiking, playing on the zipline and big swing, petting the calves and other barn animals, doing group Devotions, and being entertained by the antics of the crazy counselors. Being in a group setting without her parents for 35 hours in a week is something she doesn't do often as a homeschooler (and frankly, we're glad!) but I think it was good for her to experience it in a safe setting.
Of course, just being able to spend time in God's creation every day was wonderful for her. When you tack on the lessons of sacrifice and working at earning part of something you want, it gets even better!
I hope to be posting soon about the way God has taken care of us during this year of unemployment. Because He has...and in amazing ways!
But for now I'll just say that I hope (and from talking with her, I think this is true) that my youngest felt even more blessed to be at camp all last week. That perhaps it was even just a bit sweeter knowing it was a sacrifice of sorts...and that she learned the value of working hard by earning a little of the money herself- and that, in turn, made her appreciate the reward all that more.