time to go into the wild.

IMG_3238

hi friends, near and far!

it’s down to the wire now. there’s not that much time left before the big move, and the time that is left, i’m gonna be a little sporadic here on belovelive. so, i’m going old school with my journaling for a week or 2. the little back moleskin notebook & a black pen will be my best buddies during this transition time. ok. my camera will be my third best buddy, of course. but, i’m gonna be checking in here every couple of days. and hopefully have a post or 2. but, you’ll survive. so will i. it’ll be good.

here’s what’s coming up (besides the move):

IMG_3238photo from last year’s camp. the one really good day of weather. when it’s good, it’s goooood.

today i am leaving for the swedish archipelago. this is an annual trip for families & church friends (the church where i work – yes, i still work there). lina’s family has been going to this particular camp for like 30-some years, so it’s a major tradition that you don’t want to miss. of course, it’s also a camp for the church, as i said before, so i’ve got duel roles going on this week. i’m the camp’s “official” minister, which means i plan 2 worship services, and then a devotional hour every day. other than that, it’s all about relaxing & enjoying the people, nature, and relaxation. and let me tell you, the wilderness, the water, and the simplicity is an amazing part of this upcoming week. and then, there’s the fact that this is a great chance to hang with important people before we jet over the pond.

so, this coming week, i’ll be on the coast on sweden, in the island/archipelago area, and there’s no good phone service, and of course no WIFI out there. this is a good thing. a chance to be off the grid and into the wild. and to just be. especially right before our move. gonna soak up every little moment i can. now, it’s just to ask the weather gods to provide us with sunshine & warmth… and to take away all mosquitoes and ticks. ewww.

anyway, i’m back on the grid next saturday sometime, and then it’s only FOUR super duper intense days until we fly! crazy!

i’ll be thinking of you… sending you lots of love & peace.

wordless wednesday: for the nature lover.

brought to you by the gorgeous nature found during my week in the swedish archipelago.Β β™₯ hej dΓ₯!

now go hug a tree. peace.

all packed.

Β all my stuff for the next week. neatly organized on my chair (ok. sofa.) but it works.

whew. i’m tired. and ready for a long week by the water.

let me explain. tomorrow morning i’m leaving for 7 days in the swedish archipelago (= group of islands) on the east coast. it’s gonna be half vacation/half work, but i’m still really looking forward to it. so, the feel will be like a vacation, with the down times, relaxation, and opportunity to be in nature. but, i am technically working. you see, it’s a family camp week… something that’s been going on for… well, i don’t know how many years. at least 30ish. anyway, the camp is owned by the (former) methodist church in sweden, and the congregation where i work rents the camp area for a week. our week starts tomorrow.

now, let me further explain what i mean by “camp”. we are not camping in tents in the middle of the forest. by camp, i mean a beautiful green area with fields and woods by the lake-ish/sea, on an island surrounded by other islands. it’s a space with a big house, a dining hall (with 2ish sleeping rooms on the 2nd floor – one of which will be mine for the week), a little wooden chapel, a few tiny cabins, and a field for camping with tents or campers. of course there is a campfire area, a dock, rocks to hang out on by the water, and canoes to use by a little boathouse. the purpose of the camp? to be together. to relax. to enjoy nature. so, i don’t have some crazy, busy schedule to follow (like i did with the youth camp a few weeks ago). however, i am responsible (with the other pastor/minister i work with) for 3 services – times to connect with the divine, and 3 hours for discussion & meditation. one hour of something per day. other than that, it’s just about being in relationship with people. laughing, talking, eating, and resting. in addition to the relationship building and nature-loving that i’m gonna be doing, hopefully i will find a little bit of time to really write & reflect some on the past few months of my life.

one thing i won’t be doing is updating my blog. at least i’m not counting on it. i will be taking tons of pictures… you know me. and if i happen to have service at some point (seriously, i’ll be in the middle of nowhere, by the sea), perhaps i will post something. but, my main focus is just being. recharging. and moving into my summer vacation… which starts officially the minute that i arrive home. three weeks of pains vacation. oh yeah. and then i still have 5 weeks to use later on in the year. that’s right, you read it correctly. i have 8 weeks total of paid vacation! i love you, sweden.

gaaah. it’s late. and i’m tired, having worked hard to get laundry done today (i’m cursed. but that’s another story for another day), shopped for food for 60-65 people for one entire week (it took 8 of us), packed, organized, and cleaned. i still have a few last minute things to take care of, but they’re gonna wait until the morning… my eyes are really heavy right now, so i think it’s time to brush my teeth and lay my head on my pillow.

can’t believe i’m gonna spend a week out in nature. living the camp life. singing camp songs. doing some light hiking/walking. making s’mores (oh yeah. this american girl is bringing the tradition to sweden!). besides, it’s not camp without s’mores. if you don’t know what that is, i’ll explain later. but mostly, i’m looking forward to just being me… and being inspired by the beauty of sweden.

some of the most important & powerful moments of my life have all taken place outside in the midst of nature. yes, i am a hippie. tree-hugging chick. but i feel the heartbeat of life, the rhythm of life, the presence of something greater than ourselves, and yet something so personal & spiritual when i am in the midst of trees, or gazing out over water, or pondering the distance & beauty of the stars.

yeah. i’m ready for a retreat for my soul.

wishing you a great weekend, dear readers. summertime peace.