summer camp

It’s going to be a strange summer for me, folks, and now that June is here, it is starting to hit me!

Get this: I have spent time at Pine Haven Christian Assembly every summer since 1990, but I will not be there this summer.

Yeah.  Weird.

I grew up going to PHCA , starting the summer before fourth grade.  It took me under a week to acknowledge that this sacred patch of land in northern Minnesota was my new favorite place in the world.  I attended every year, including the year after high school graduation, and I could not have loved this camp any more than I did.  When I went off to college, I gave a speech on Pine Haven in my communications class.  I even wrote a sonnet (the only sonnet I have every written) about the cabin I always stayed in.

After my freshman year of college, I returned to Pine Haven, this time as a volunteer counselor, which was even BETTER than being a camper!  I met some of my very best friends at this camp (Eir, Ashley, Whitney, Dora) and have dragged other friends (Megs, Desiree) along with me to counsel.  Years of experiences and inside jokes at that delightful campground have knit our stories together.

This weekend, two of our camp friends got married, and I attended the wedding, held in Rochester, MN.  The ceremony and reception were like a giant camp reunion, and I LOVED IT.  It was so good for my heart to be surrounded by these people I love.  What an incredible thing to share so many memories and experiences with a group of people.

B’Dewayne McGirr Experiment, the Mavericks, the Killa Killas … so many great teams, so many great leaders, so many great friends.  I have watched people meet at this camp, fall in love, get married.  I have watched best friends ally themselves, friends who would be connected for years.  We can’t escape each other.  I wouldn’t want to.

I will miss you guys this summer.  Lots.

 

 

survival

I made it through last week!  PRAISE THE LORD!!!

There are all sorts of changes going on at my workplace, but I’m through the worst of it for now (I think/hope!).  I felt as if God were taking my hand every morning and walking me through each day without letting go.  So lovely.

No one wishes for hard times to come, but I find that when they do …

* I am driven into my Bible
* I cling to God more savagely
* I am forced to reevaluate my life and choices

… and it usually ends up working out for my best.

I am so grateful for a God who stays and sustains me, for the wisdom of Scripture, family, and friends, and for incredible new opportunities!  It’s not a perfect analogy, but this week, I kept thinking of the story of Joseph– how his own brothers sold him into slavery, how he was wrongly accused of rape and sent to prison, and yet rose to power in Egypt.  I love when later he says to his brothers, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.”

Amen and amen, yes?

which view?

The last couple days have not been easy for me.  I have some big decisions ahead of me that are causing me HUGE stress, and I’d appreciate your prayers.  I am looking for wisdom– actually BEGGING God for wisdom, for direction.

When you look at this picture, what do you see?  Some people see an old woman, wrinkles around her eyes, wart on her nose, looking kind but maybe a little sad.  Some people see a young lady with a strong jawline and a necklace, looking into the distance.

I am trying to remember during this time of great upheaval in my life (I hope to share more details soon) that this scary, scary time might actually be a huge blessing, a time of positive change.  I am hoping that even though today my life looks like an old lady, soon I will look back on these days and realize they were young, vibrant, fresh, and beautiful.  It’s all perspective.

Still, I’d appreciate your prayers.  I feel heartsick and sad and lonely and distracted.  Very shaken and hurt and disappointed in myself and upset and humiliated.

Please, God, use this time to accomplish Your plans for me.