Tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. I'll hop on a bus and head for Camp Barnabas. You may have heard of it, since Extreme Makeover helped them out a few years back. It's a camp for kids with special needs, and it is one of the most amazing places in the world. Smiles, songs, laughter, chants, and cheers are constant, and you can't help but feel the joy. I'll be going as a "CIA" (Christian In Action), which means that I'm going to be one-on-one with a camper all week. I've been praying for a challenge, and I simply can't wait to see what the Lord is going to do in my life, and who He is going to give me.
I'll be back next tuesday! I'd really appreciate your prayers for patience and strength this week!
Recently I have been thinking about the life I live. We live
in a world that wants us to fit in. To go with the flow, and to look like
everyone else. But is that what we were made for? Were we created so that we
could just fade into the woodwork? No. Our purpose as followers of Christ is to
stand out. We need to shine our lights to the world, to show them that we have
something different, and we’re not afraid to live crazy for Jesus. And part of
that is just by working hard, doing “our thing,” whatever that may be, and
doing it well, all to the glory of God.
time I think about this, the fire inside me that tells me to leave my mark on
the world burns fiercer. I want to leave my mark on the world in ways that will
inspire, bless, encourage, and challenge others. I want to do something big to
change the world someday, but big must start somewhere. So I will strive to
change the world a little bit everyday, whether through my photography, words
of encouragement, time spent with the lonely, a smile here, a bear hug there,
or a love letter to a stranger.
want my passion for the gospel to burn so deeply that I will never be afraid to
speak Christ’s name, and I will have not a care in the world what others will
think of me. In everything I do, I want to do no less than my very best, as for
the Lord. I want to develop and use the gifts I have been given to bless
others. And I long to love others so well that when I am gone from this world,
they would remember the mark I left on the world, but more than that, that they
would say “I saw Christ in her.” All in all, I suppose you could say I just
want to live an extraordinary life, living fully and loving freely everyday,
all for the glory of God and the advancement of the gospel.
This title, embracing the everyday beauty, was inspired by a post written by my lovely friend. And as I'm sitting here, reflecting on my week, I realize how much joy I have found in the past days.
My days seemed to be filled with things to do.From babysitting, going to the gym, taking pictures and making pies, there's joy in the midst of all of it. Not to mention snapping pictures with my new Tamron zoom lens [such a blessing], dancing in the rain, hanging with new friends, having lunch with old friends, starting a sweater, playing with kittens and photographing children. Needless to say, I am never bored. ever.
But perhaps the most exciting event of the week was a Facebook message (from the above mentioned lovely friend) which evolved into feverish messaging and questions, which eventually evolved into a plane ticket from Kansas to Minnesota to second shoot my first wedding. Yup. I'm a little ecstatic. I mean seriously, traveling alone, meeting my pen pal, and second shooting my first wedding all wrapped up together? It's almost too good to be true.
Other than that greatness, today and yesterday have been full of my brother and Simon recording music. For a musical. That they wrote. Seriously, they're amazing. The music is epic and I can't wait to see it. I'll show it to y'all, too. (It will be on youtube after they perform it in August.) It's just been so fun to have them around and making noise... especially since my brother leaves for college on August 18. Moving on. I must stay in denial.
Lastly, the Lord has been working in my life in amazing ways. I am learning to wait for Him, because He is sovereign, His timing is always perfect, and He's the wisest. Of anyone. Ever. I've also been encouraged by one of my amazing summer youth leaders to be praying more, talking to God all through my day, in all of my decisions. And through talking to Him more, asking Him to reign in my life and be in control, I have seen Him answer my prayers. In big and small ways. So yes, He is awesome. In the legitimate meaning of the word.
As I skip down the back porch steps of my grandparents' house, I spit a cherry pit into the yard as the taste of summer continues to dance on my tongue. I skip past our wintering dogs, each tied to a tree. Past the big, red barn, smelling of horses, hay and memories, and past the shining chestnut manes of Boots and Buddy, who are grazing in the pasture.
Libby and I begin to wade through the sea of weeds and tall grass, dappled with patches of Queen Anne's Lace. She grips the handlebars of my Grandpa's old bike, walking along side it. Then we reach a road with one house on either side. Down the road more will be built as the land next to my Grandparents' house transitions from the country property it always was to a neighborhood at the far edge of town. It's saddening to see the change, but we're determined to enjoy the vacant drive and open surrounding land while it lasts.
After snapping something like fifty-seven photos of Queen Anne's Lace, I tromp out of the weeds and mount the old Schwinn. Next, as if in an old movie, Libby mounts the rack on the bad, which, under normal circumstances, would have carried a lunchbox or school books. She clutches the seat and tries her best to stay on the wobbling vehicle. As I push off, we glide down the drive and the wind breathes down my back, cooling the sweat on my neck and setting loose my reddish-brown curls.
I feel free. My hear fills with joy and I capture the moment in my head. To enjoy God's beautiful creation with people I love-- in golden sunlight and fresh air-- yes, it is going on my list of 1,000 gifts.
When Libby left, I waded deeper and deeper into the sea of Queen Anne's Lace, picking it, photographing it, and dreaming of tucking it in my hair on my wedding day-- if, indeed I have one. I drink in the golden light and get lost in the dainty white blooms until I hear someone calling my name. Apparently it is apple pie time. So I turn and sprint back to the house. all I can think is "Isn't God wonderful?" Yes, I do believe He is.
It's July third. How did that happen? I don't know, but I do know that I've been enjoying summertime at its best.
Summertime means hosting a camp for little girls, traveling to see friends in Minnesota, and having late-night pack runs in spandex.
It means taking weekends to spend with family friends to just do fun stuff.
It means dressing up in heels together to go to the grocery. [ my first time to wear stilettos out of the house. :) Don't worry, they were short. ]
It means that afternoons are spent listening to The Help and making applesauce.
It's filled with gym time, friend time, reading time, and quiet time.
It means I have time to hang out with my favorite kids, playing legos and making sparkly paper crowns.
It means picnics and picture taking and walking in the heat, which is never below 102 degrees.
It means that I can sit and write out my thoughts, sort them out, and pray about the things that trouble and confuse me.
It also means that my creativity runs rampant and I brainstorm 17 million projects [a skirt, a sweater, a quilt, etc.]
It leaves time for playing piano to my heart's content.
... And whenever this lazy girl gets around to it, it means blogging. ;)
preparing for camp k-p (our family friend weekend camp)
scenes from camp K-P...
Rosie got a Rebel!!
And one final thing... did you notice the new header?? Gahh it finally got done!!!! My ahhhmazingg brother, Cameron helped (I say helped, but he really did 95% of the work) me get this put together! Thoughts? I just love it. A lot.