Tales of a Diva in the Desert

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This past weekend, I went camping. Yes, camping. In a tent!  I stepped WAY outside of my comfort zone on this one. I went to a place I had never been, tried activities that were definitely not on my bucket list, and well actually, had a blast. One of the dads in our group of campers kept telling his son, “Step up!” every time he was faced with a challenge to either get angry, wimp out, or take the higher road

photo-2and do the right thing. The parental advice he gave to his six year old son became an oft repeated mumbling under my breath to myself. Step up, Erica, this is for your kids. You are making memories and they are having the time of their lives. Step up.

Every time I caught a glimpse of their precious faces I saw sheer joy, pure determination to master a new skill, sparkling eyes at the wonder of their wilderness discoveries, and incessant giggling as they played and explored with their friends.

As I brushed mosquitos off of my shoulders and dug grime out of my fingernails I looked at my children and stuttered, “Step up!“. When I struggled to keep up with the group on my mountain bike with the wind burning my eyes and dust in my face, I gritted my teeth and said, “Step up!”.  When it was pitch black out on the beach except for the bonfire and I was sure my children were going to get lost in the dark, I whispered a prayer for their protection and humbly agreed, “Step up!“. When the sun came up way too early and the morning beverage was brown water rather than coffee, I splashed cold water on my face and resolutely commanded myself, “Step up!”

I can’t say I’m eager to go tent camping again anytime soon. I won’t lie that I took a 45 minute shower when I got home even though that is an extravagant use of water. I will admit that when it was time to pack up and go home, I was more than ready. But watching my children try new things and feel proud of their accomplishments, made it all worth it. Making new friends around the picnic tables and sharing our lives together made it meaningful. Reminding myself how important it is to always be willing to step out of my comfort zone made it priceless. Especially when that willingness blesses my family.

I don’t know when the last time was that you had to step up. It could have been five minutes ago or several weeks prior. But if you haven’t pursued a stepping up moment lately, I challenge you to try it. If this diva can survive in a desert, I’m sure you can manage something. Bless your family. Step out of your comfort zone. Make a memory. Try something new. Step up. It’s always a great view at the top!

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