hello friends.

a whirlwind of two weeks has passed since i last let the public see a speck of what goes on in my heart and mind. and i tell you what, whirlwind is probably the best word to describe those fourteen days. there have been ups and downs. new relationships have been solidified. Christ has been glorified. and lessons are being learned.

i’ll start with the new fun things i’ve tried at woodlands: longboarding. yes, longboarding. i want to be able to do it by the end of summer. (for those of you who do not know…. longboarding is simply skateboarding…. on a longer board). slack line. which is basically tight rope walking. it’s one of those impossible things to do that seems effortlessly tangible…. yet it’s still impossible to do. i’ve taken about 4 steps on my own; i’m pretty proud of that. rock climbing. 90 feet up, a rock face, a harness, some shoes, and a beautiful belayer named shelby. i surprised myself by actually getting to the top. here’s to defying our fears! trapeze. simple enough to understand…. i’ve tried it before, but i could never do it. this time i did it! i was so proud of myself. hobo dinners. ground beef, veggies, seasonings. wrap it all up in foil and throw it in a campfire. voila! it is simply delicious.

the things i’ve learned at woodlands: God is so good. God is so good. he always gives us what we need. (even if that means a good butt whoopin’). we are called to live a life of love. this means seeing the best in others always. and always means always. that means seeing the best even when someone might be annoying or could have previously wronged us. it’s a lot easier said than done, but it’s certainly something that i am working on.

the past couple of weeks, i know that God is really breaking me. he’s revealing to me more and more the parts of who i am that i have not wanted to give over to him. as many of you might (or might not) know, i can easily be consumed with appearance. i don’t want this to be confused as judgements toward others’ appearances. i am talking about vanity. my own vanity. the Lord wants us to sacrifice every aspect of our beings to him. (after all, our beings are his). here at camp, a normal outfit is a t-shirt, basketball shorts, and chacos. a lot of readers out there would read that and say: “hey, that’s comfy + awesome; who wouldn’t want to wear that?!” but those of you who really know me know that those are clothes you would never see me wearing… sans the chacos. yet here at camp that is my uniform, and i’ve become pretty okay with it. clothes sacrificed. check. next thing on the list to go… makeup. getting up in the wee hours of the morning just calls for a lack of makeup. i’ve gotten pretty used to not wearing so much of it; not that i wore a ton to begin with, but ya know. here’s the kicker. i received the wrong box of contacts from my optometrist. that being said, i was forced to wear my glasses. at this point, i feel lowest of low. uglier than ugly. flat out avoidable to any eyes that came my way. my confidence was not high at any means at this point. and that’s when it hit me. i have been caught up in my own vanity for far, far too long. i had been placing more time looking into my reflection than into the words of God. but God is so good. he taught me that it doesn’t matter my appearance, what matters is the heart. acceptance from people doesn’t need to come from appearance either. the woodlands family here accepts people with or without glasses, makeup, or a fashionable wardrobe. that’s a physical reminder to me. but moreso, God wanted me to sacrifice my all to him, and that was a big piece that i was still hanging on to. throughout this whole time i’ve been learning so much about humility. pride that i did not know existed does exist within me. and that is not something that i am proud to say. but it is certainly something that i am willing to battle.

as far as the kitchen goes: it has its ups and downs. there are many, many fun times in there. lots of singing goes on, and that is something i absolutely love. i received a minor injury about a week and a half ago. i accidentally laid my arm on top of the griddle while sautéing some pineapples for hawaiian hamburgers. the results: quite a little burn. it definitely hurt, but it doesn’t at all nowadays. every week and a half in the kitchen i have delivery duties. this means, be in the kitchen at 5 a.m. and distribute heavy boxes of food to the proper locations in the kitchen. i tell you what, it is hard work!

one special thing that happened this past week: i was able to lead a little girl to Christ. what a nervous moment and a joyous moment all in one. it was all such an ironic night. i did not want to be there for starters; i was a sweaty mess and tired as all get out. yet i was there. and i was astounded that the Lord would want to use me that night! i was so excited to be involved in his mission with mackenzie’s salvation. i had never seen that little girl look so joyful. it was such a blessing to be a part of.

 

God is full at work here at woodlands! please continue to keep all of summer staff in your prayers. wisdom, leadership, and strength to push through tiredness would be excellent topics of prayer towards each of us here at camp.

 

and here’s a little shout out for my mom: HAPPY BIRTHDAY DIANE GIBSON! i love you so much! wish i could celebrate with you.

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