My Camping preparation is continuing. Today we are going to try to make healthy deserts over the camp fire.
Making anything over the camp fire is a challenge for me, and making it healthy is even a bigger challenge. Instead of getting depressed over my burnt, yucky food (which has been the majority of what I have been taking off the camp fire) I am having lots of fun. If I were on an actual camp, I know this experiment would not be a hit, and complaints would abound. Gratefully, when someone pulls out ruined food, they have the option to make more or to go in the house and get something edible. On a camp I will not have this option-which is why we are working so hard to prepare ahead of time and see what really works. This is a simple concept I learned from my sweet sister. For years one of my sisters has been blessed (or cursed) with a enormous desire to be prepared for any natural disaster. For years she would wake up, having had a dream about one natural disaster or another, and in panic she would lay awake for the rest of the night wondering what she needed to do to be prepared. I would receive many calls in the morning telling me her dream and instructing me to put certain things in my food storage.
Since I was not the one receiving these dreams, I was very grateful for her experience because she helped me think of things I never would have. I never realized what weight this was for my sister until she took the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training. The CERT organization is an organization that trains communities to be prepared for most disasters. This “program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.”
Finally, after taking this course, my sister was no longer afraid. When I asked her why she wasn’t even more concerned because the program talked about even more disasters than she knew were out there, she explained ” I have been afraid every time I had a dream or thought about a natural disaster because I did not know what I could do to save my family, or how bad the disaster really could be. Finally I know what to expect and how to prepare. Yes there are more disasters than I realized, but I also have more tools to deal with them. In short, I do not fear because I am prepared” I have thought about that response so many times.
In the scriptures we read over and over about people who are not spiritually prepared and therefore their “hearts shall fail them”. I loved the message of hope Elder Nelson gives when he relates a story in his own life when he thought he was going to die. He was in an airplane and one of the engines exploded causing the plane to spiral down to the earth. Everyone on the plane thought they were going to die-including him. A lady across the aisle became absolutely hysterical and Elder Nelson relates how bad he felt for her. He himself was sure he was going to die but he was “Calm, utterly calm.” because he “knew [he] was about to meet [his] Maker, and [he] was prepared”. His thoughts about that experience was “If you got a faith, you can handle difficulties, knowing with an eternal perspective, all will be well”. He then continues this gentle counsel ” to the individual who is weak in the heart. .. be patient with yourself. . .don’t demand things that are unreasonable, but demand of yourself, improvement. As you let the Lord help you through that-he will make the difference.”
I have watched this mormon message many times, and I constantly struck with the message of peace and kindness it brings. In my life I have come across a few people who have left the church because they have felt that the pressure of being perfect was too hard on them. They often talk about what a relief it was to finally be surrounded by people who cared little about what standards they were upholding, or judged them. ( Invariably as the days turn to years, I have heard stories-from the same lips, that speak of the darkness, the loneliness, and fear that followed them as they left their ‘faith’. I personally have not heard one of my friends or acquaintances who have left the faith and have had no regrets.) I am sadden to think that my friends have somehow missed the soothing message of the Gospel. Yes, as Christians, we are expected to be constantly striving to be like the Savior-who is perfect, but we are also counselled to “not run faster than we have strength’ and to not judge others because they “sin differently then [us]”.I hope those around me remember this when they taste my imperfect camp meals. Thank goodness I have started preparing for this camp early so that my family doesn’t have to fear my cooking, instead they will be well prepared for the meals they will be eating (which probably fills them with dread right now-but not fear).