My First Sukkot

This month I got the pleasure of celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) for the first time.  My church observed it by all going camping together for the 8 day feast (with a set up and tear down/clean up day on each end making it 10 days total).

I confess I was pretty freaked out about going on many levels (I hadn’t camped in 23 years!), but at the same time I knew He was calling me to step out and do it – so I trusted Him and stepped in faith.

Challenges

To start with, we were not able financially to swing paying for the trip nor did we have money to get camping equipment. So from the outset it wasn’t looking hopeful, but when the Lord leads He provides!  First He made a way for the cost of the camping to be covered and then some friends from Destiny agreed to loan us a TON of their camping gear – everything from a 12-person cabin tent (which TRUST ME was a God-send when you’re in it for 10 days), sleeping bag, cot, retractable skewers for cooking hot dogs and marshmallows, rain gear, a small stove, etc, etc, etc (Thank you Tuckers!).

Even after those pieces were in place I was still freaking out a bit, but the Lord gave me Amy Riley to calm me down and give me more insight so I’d know what I was getting into. Then my Mom got me the few items of clothing I needed and we did a BBQ at the campsite so we could get a lay of the land. I was as ready as I could ever be!

Experiencing Sukkot

Allen and I were the first to arrive (other than the Staleys who’d arrived the day before).  My precious husband had managed to pack things I’d mentioned a month earlier I wanted to bring! He took care of EVERYTHING, single-handedly put up the tent in the drizzling weather, brought everything inside (which was a LOT of stuff, I almost didn’t fit in the car he’d packed it so tight), and made it into our new home.

It was REALLY clear Allen wanted to do everything to help me be comfortable and have a good experience (he’d even hinted at the fact he was hoping I’d turn into a camper… I didn’t hold out much hope for him, but all his efforts definitely helped!)

Days were filled with midrash (bible study), classes (everything from fire classes to one on flags), loads of awesome fellowship, lots of fires (and even fireworks – gotta love a pastor who is a pyrotechnic), stories and games, community dinners, amazing worship, and more.

And as the days went by, I adjusted to my new home including toddlers screaming in the mornings while I was trying to sleep, walking what felt like a gagillon miles to the bathroom, weather that got down to the low 40s, rain that came on over half our days culminating in sleet on out final full day.  And at the end of the last day I discovered something very surprising… I didn’t want to go home.

A Few Major Take-Aways

Simplicity: At the end of our time I realized I really didn’t mind a simpler life and in fact, I enjoyed the respite from pressures that inevitably come at home. I would have loved to stay longer.

Community: I loved the fellowship of all being together. Yes there were days I wanted to punch people (and days they undoubtedly wanted to punch me) and yes we all had “marital moments” in front of each other, but what happened was beautiful – we ministered to and encouraged one another.  Truly, we are mishpacha (Hebrew for family).

Coming Home

Given the amount of time I spend at my home (house) both because I work from home and because we’ve lived here nearly a decade, I really didn’t think adjusting back to being here would be a big deal. But when I got home it hurt that I couldn’t walk 10 feet to the Totra’s tent, rather a 50 min drive to see them. And instead of every day it’s once a week. I feel the loss of the community.

I also look at all the things around me and what had seemed like comforts now looks a bit more like an anchor. We’re all in this system, this way of living… and there’s part of me that just wants to go back to my tent (which had wi-fi mind you, I’m not TOTALLY crazy – LOL).

So I was greatly blessed by my first Sukkot and am eagerly awaiting next year, and yes we’re discussed camping options for before then too 😉

Go see my pictures from Sukkot!

13 thoughts on “My First Sukkot

  1. i’m really chewing on your story. i’ve been threatening to go be amish in the woods somewhere, the way the world appears to be going headlong towards the rapture…

    1.) my husband is fairly anti-church. meaning that he loathes religion to such a degree, it takes a proper parental shaming to get him to go. fellowship, he’s cool with. it often involves food ;o) he just doesn’t trust people and there are good (fleshly) reasons for that. but he’s the first to take the shirt off his back and make things right if something goes wrong (like, for instance, an autistic child in his late teens stood on a urinal last night at the place we were fellowshipping… the anchors couldn’t hold 209 lbs and water went EVERYwhere…………………..)

    what i do know is that he -believes- that Yeshua is the only way. what he is in process of learning is how to trust our sovereign daddy.

    the story you just described, the sukkot (which i’d never heard of before) convinces me that wer are messianic jews (or hebraic christians) in waiting. Kirk would LOVE that. perhaps our husbands could meet, pitch a tent, fish and kick it together one day. does your husband like Sprint car racing? *laughs*.

    2.) many moons ago when we were at the God Mall (the outreach we used to attend), we had often talked about living IN the mall as a community – in ‘what if’ scenarios. they were conversations similar to what you wrote about…

    my heart is raptured, confident and filled with His joy that if and when this happens, if we need to all live together in the same space, we -can-. as it stands, when we get together around 7pm, we don’t leave until anywhere between midnight and 2am. people think i’m completely insane… but there’s a rhyme and reason for it that i believe the Lord has woven our hearts together. we love each other like family, warts and all.

    a friend and former co-armourbearer had described us all as the story from the gate of Zebulun. have you ever heard of that?

    🙂

    i am SO encouraged by this……….

  2. I loved your blog, Meghan! You were a natural and I would have never guessed you had all those fears. I was a bit doubtful, too, with my bad back and feet, but Yah saw us through. I was amazed just like you after not camping for 15 years and just like you, I want to go back so much. I loved the simplicity of it! I loved being with everyone! I loved the way Yah brought us closer together and I can’t wait until we do this again!

  3. 🙂 I’m so glad it was such an awesome experience, Meghan! When you were telling me beforehand how doubtful you were about it, I was afraid you were gonna leave us in the middle of the week! I’m so glad you stuck it out (unlike us with our unlucky tent experience on day 8) and were so blessed by it!!! ?

  4. Hi, precious M. I loved reading what you wrote about Sukkot. I feel as if you’ve just made a major break for greater freedom to be who He made you to be. I look forward to viewing more of the photos when I have time. I specially love the one ones of children that I saw.
    Big hugs,
    Mom

  5. Oh Meghan what a great story. Isn’t He awesome? How He teaches us and loves us and points out things as we go.

    I too love the community feel of camping with the members of my congregation. Mishpacah is so important!

    Blessings to you!

  6. Wonderful! I can just imagine your little home away from home that Allen created for you. He’s the best, I know you think so, too!

  7. I’m glad that it went better than you thought, and I completely agree that the simpler, communal life is the way to go 🙂 As much as we all enjoyed being with each other, it will be that much better when we’re in a close, intimate relationship with our Messiah when He tabernacles with us again. May that day come soon!

  8. What an awesome story thanks for sharing GOD the provider in all things and the experiences that you had and what you learned. Thanks for sharing!
    hugs
    Shellie

  9. Simplicity at times feels good. I know that in the messianic era we will celebrate sukkot and the feasts, but I wonder something. I asked a Rabbi about the messianic era, eternity and about our creative insticnts in the future. She said we will still have our gifts but what we do now, we won’t be doing then. What did she mean? Does this mean I will lose what I love to do or that we will not be doing things for the need of survival or evangelism? What did she mean?

  10. @Tabitha – Not having been there, I don’t know what she meant. But I know this – His plans are GOOD plans. Trust that what is coming will be fulfilling and good. He loves you 🙂

  11. How incredible. I’m at a loss of words for how incredible this sounds. I don’t think there’s anything like that around here. Maybe, and I just don’t know about it.

    Janelle

  12. Hebrews 11: 8-16 comes to mind :). I believe you lived those verses on your first Sukkot. (PS: And there are still verses you’ll get to live: verse 11… Wink, wink! 🙂 )

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