Saturday, June 19, 2010

how can we keep from singing?

Here are a few scribbles from my journal that I've been keeping this summer. Enjoy. :)

June 18, 2010: Lake Yale Conference Center: Leesburg, Forida

Camp- week one. Finished. Done. Sigh.
I feel like a real staffer now. I guess it took training week, a long drive to Florida, and five of the most stressful, exciting, joyous, indescribable, and happy days for it to finally click. Thirteen children became Christians this week. Seven dedicated their lives to God again. Three answered a call to missions. This week was life changing for me indeed. I can't imagine the person I will be in seven weeks from now. I can tell good things are yet to come and even now, as a CentriKid staffer (finally), God is still not finished molding, shaping, and healing my heart. Every bit of the sweating, heavy lifting, cuts, bruises, nausea, lack of sleep, lack of food, late nights, and early mornings was done so that this week, we welcomed thirteen more brothers and sisters into our family. We are adopted. We are being changed. We are unique.

How great the love the Father has shown us that He would call us His own!


June 22, 2010: Eckerd College: St. Petersburg, Florida

1 John 3:13: Don't be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you....
The past two days have been a little rough here at Eckerd. We have had a lot of challenges and hurdles and glitches set before us, and satan is really trying to throw us off. But in all these challenges, the One who called us is faithful. He will not put anything before us that He knows that we cannot handle. CK5 must be incredibly strong in the eyes of the Lord. And here's the thing: we cannot fail. Where there is love, there is God. And even though we've all been tired, frustrated, upset, and stressed, my heart is full of love.

I love my team members more than they know. Each one of them has been such a huge blessing to my life; in fact, I can't imagine my life without them now.

I love these kids that come to camp. I love their enthusiasm, their spirit, their passion, and their innocence.

Love + sharing the Gospel = the reason I do camp.

This week started out like this :
a chemistry lab for a bible study room
rainy opening celebration
sick staffers
confusing campus
etc. etc.

However, in the midst of the storm (quite literally), I saw one of the most beautiful rainbows in the sky that I have ever seen in my life.

I'm going to paraphrase something that Jordyn, our production leader, told us during a time of prayer before worship.

Neither locked doors,
nor sick staffers,
nor police training,
nor "light ice",
nor crazy locations,
nor no sound tech,
nor locked doors......
can keep God from moving this week.

Our God will not be moved...our God will never be shaken!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"did you turn on the light switch?"

Sometimes I feel like some of the things that happen in my life are impossible to express through words. This is my attempt to try.

An entire day of camp has come and gone, and I stand amazed at what God has done in a mere 24 hours.

We began with registration. I am the camp photographer, which means I get to take pictures of the church groups as they arrive and order prints for them to have. While in the company of one of my amazing team mates Jeremy, we roasted in the sun and the sand for 3 hours without sitting down. During this time of what you may think is torture, I got to know Jeremy better and hear his amazing testimony. I can honestly say that he is a genuine, kind, funny, all around good person. His spiritual maturity astounds me, and his way with kids is incredible. Even in the heat and sweat and sun, I enjoyed every minute of it and I am glad that the Lord let our paths cross.

After an opening celebration with music and songs and a totally awesome staff dance (which, by the way, I I did fall while running up the stage), we were dismissed to our bible studies.

I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting with a bible study group of my own for the first time, but I assure you, this was not what I had in mind.

I'm going to be completely honest here, my first bible study was terrible. The kids looked at me like I was crazy and had pure, putrid apathy for the games, illustrations and bible lesson that I attempted to teach to the kids. There was no excitement on their part, no fun, and no attempt to try. I left my room feeling hopeless, discouraged, shocked, and like I had lost control. While on the verge of tears from the frustration of the bible study, we had our first party. I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders because I was not expecting my bible study to be apathetic. Hyper, sure. Talkative, of course. Immature, that's a given. But apathetic? I was floored. I am a very passionate person, and I have poured out my heart getting ready to work at camp this summer- I have literally been waiting for this summer for ten years. I guess I just wasn't prepared to have a group of kids who aren't excited and don't want to be.

In hindsight, I can say this night of registration is one what I will never forget.


When we finished and had staff meeting, I had a sunburn, a headache, and a brick on my chest. I was not the only one to have a negative first impression of bible study. I was clearly upset, and my some of my amazing team members took time out of their night to pray with me and encourage me. Josh, Rich, and I prayed together, and our camp pastor Chris played with me as well. It was one of those moments where I felt God wrapping me in His arms.

The first day of camp went better than I expected it to go, especially with my pretenses from the previous night. Campers learned how they are adopted into the family of God during bible study and had some scalding-hot fun on the rec. field. My kids began to open up to me a little bit more and more. The apathy was dissolving around them. That same day, one of my fellow staffers JB wrote me a very sweet and encouraging note. I was, and still am, surrounded by God's love expressed through people who care about me.

The second day of camp went even better. The party games, I Can't Wait skits, rec. time, and everything else went well and I have to say, I had a blast. I have the best job in the world.

I've had the honor of getting to know Kimberly, our video producer, a lot better over the past few weeks and I can honestly say, she is a friend that I will have forever. Making videos every single night after a long day of camp is demanding,and Kimberly does a great job. With her company along with Bethany, Meagan, or Jordyn, you are in for a hilarious time.

Every single person on my team holds a special spot inside my heart. I again can't express enough how well our team fits together. I love them dearly, and the thought of leaving them when the summer is over makes me very sad indeed.

But perhaps the best part of my week so far was when Josh and I talked to a little boy as he became a Christian. This was the first time that I have ever really done something like this, and it blew me away. Josh was so knowledgeable and approachable with this little boy, and I was trying to take it all in. Literally right after that, a little girl from my bible study became a Christian. Is God good or what?!

So now, after registration, two full days of camp, a little sunburn, lots of laughs, and a great deal of drowsiness, I will say goodnight. Ignore the typos, I'm very sleepy. Love you all.


Friday, June 11, 2010

"he could be having a picnic..."

I feel like I have been sucked into a time warp of laughter, love, fellowship, hard work, late nights, early mornings, long drives, and fun. In other words, I'm in camp world now. And I love it. It is so nice to be away from the "real world".

This post begins my journey of serving with CentriKid Camps this summer. My team is CentriKid 5, and I'm not quite sure how I could love them any more than I do now. God really had His hand in this team; everyone is easy-going, down to earth, and on fire for the Lord. Not to mention they make me laugh at least 100 times an hour. Every single person on this team has a spot inside my heart now.

We had training week in Jackson, MS at Millsaps College. With two other CentriKid teams, we worked hard to learn exactly how to make camp happen.

But right now I am writing this from Lake Yale Conference Center in Leesburg, Florida, in the good company of two of my wonderful team mates. Camp begins on Monday morning. We arrived around 2:30 am on Friday morning and went straight to work after a few hours of much needed sleep. Although there is much left to do, we worked hard today by unloading our two Ryder trucks and setting up the auditorium and doing inventory.

When I sit back and look at the past five days, it is hard for me to believe that not even a week has passed. I feel like I have known my team my whole life. I am truly in a place in my life that I have never been before. I know that after this summer, my life will never be the same.

I would like to share a moment that really fed my soul this week. During our staff worship at training week, we sang "In Christ Alone". There were 80ish college-aged CentriKid staffers singing passionately to God; I was floored by the beauty of that moment.

I am blessed beyond what I deserve. I also have a load of clothes in the dryer, so I must bid farewell for now. Goodnight world :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010


For almost twenty years, I have called the small town outside of Memphis, Tennessee in Fayette County my home: Somerville. Home sweet Somerville. Everytime I see the green welcome sign as I drive home from college, I always breathe a sigh of relief.

Home means sleeping in my room, my gracious mother washing my clothes, coffee and conversations, long walks with my dad, and plenty of welcome home kisses from my sweet little dog.

Home means going to the church where I grew up on Sunday mornings.

Home means, if we can come back on the same weekend, seeing my sister and catching up on our college stories.

Home means my dad's grilled hamburgers and my mom's potato salad.

Home means smelling sweet honeysuckle and the wild roses that grow on the sides of my road.

Somerville fits the mold of a small southern town where "everybody knows everybody". There is a quaint square, a cross on the watertower, unique and delicious restaurants, and a theater that holds many memories for me.

Home is one of the foundations of my life. It is a part of me. The school I went to, the people I know, the experiences that I've had...they all took place in Somerville. Home.

But now it is time for me to take those steps away from home. With three more years of college left, I am realizing that I am growing up. The life I knew in Somerville is not the same one I live now. I am forever thankful for the opportunity to grow up somewhere like this, and for the wonderful family that I have been blessed with. I am thankful for the painful losses, the broken friendships, and the tears that were shed--everything that has happened to me has helped me grow and learn to truly live. Without the bad things, what would the good things mean?

I will miss home this summer. But I always take comfort in the fact that home is home. :)