Rest is something I've tried to be very intentional about on this cross-country adventure. It's hard enough to deal with the stress of moving out of your parent's home and into your own place across the country, but add onto it the stress of road life and you've got the perfect recipe for exhaustion, emotionally and physically. Day fourteen was definitely a major rest day.
It started with Emily and I waking up to a sweet letter from Hannah offering (once again) anything we could find to please us. She was truly such a great host and I couldn't ask for a more perfectly weird human to spend time with. Emily was incredibly tired and beginning to really sink into being sick, so I let her sleep and walked to and around Liberty Park.
Anytime I'm alone in nature is such a fruitful time for me.
I probably looked a little crazy having just woken up and walked to the park, hair all bed-crazy and eyes heavy with sleep, as I prayed aloud on a bench. Oh, well! I felt such peace and happiness in my spirit being able to let all the stress go and ask God to carry it for me. Freedom is what this journey has brought to me; the freedom to love deeper, the freedom to let go of control, and the freedom to respond to all things with a posture of thanksgiving.
Later in the morning, I walked back to Hannah's to find Emily up and dressed, so we went to the breakfast restaurant Hannah suggested. We had the most delicious banana pancakes and I maybe say that each breakfast we have is the most delicious, but I can't help it. You really can't go wrong with breakfast foods.
It's been a really frustrating experience to find trustworthy WiFi to post updates in the places we've been to. The Coffee Garden was no exception, but it did provide a really wonderful space and environment to just relax and rest - as was the theme of the day. I spent some time in the word and reading up on She Reads Truth devotionals which always help to refocus my heart when I feel off balance.
After coffee and an unsuccessful attempt to post, we went to our sweet little campsite (complete with our own personal Christmas Tree - see first picture) in Big Cottonwood Canyon. I spent most of that time reading a book I bought in Yellowstone called Yellowstone Has Teeth, about living year-round in Yellowstone. The other half of the time I spent walking around feeling overwhelmed by the amount of people there and trying to find comfort in the shape of the trees and the detail of the leaves.
This night was really the hardest for me. I came the closest to an anxiety attack and only found peace in my car when the noise of voices and drums (yes, some campers brought drums) were silenced. It's weird to see how much of an introvert I've become as I've grown. I find comfort in solitude and quiet.
I fell asleep to the sound of drums, singing, and children screaming from their friends pranking them, but I woke up at two in the morning to the vast expanse of stars and the still, quiet trickling of the stream that ran near to our tent. His mercies are new every morning - even at two, when the darkness surrounds you and the breathing of the people around you is overwhelming to your rest-depraved heart. Even then, He reminds you of His love for you. Amen, amen, amen.
Lessons from camping in SLC:
Shaving isn't something that happens often on the road
He always provides
"Oh, well... I'll never see them again" is a constant motto
Going with the flow is a sign living in harmony
Maintaining a shorts-tan is something that happens often on the road
Remember His promises
A four-dollar breakfast can't be beat
People actually read these posts and wonder if you're okay when you don't post, so make an effort
When you feel like nothing is quiet, close yourself in
ever free, ever true, ever kind.