Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Don't Really Remember...

It's been a great summer so far.  Have I mentioned that the end is coming way too quickly?

And, in the busy-ness of this life, have I also mentioned lately how much I love my kids?  I loved being able to capture this moment the other day.  I was in my role as photographer.  He was in his role as Grounds Crew - manning the inflatables.  She was in her role as camper - having fun.

We've come a long way in our "camp journey" these past seven years.  God has opened doors, and windows, and secret hatches all along the way -- many of our growth-opportunities and friendships because of camp.  Life is good.

I don't really remember what it felt like to sip lemonade all summer.  Now, I stop at McDonalds to grab a Sweet Tea on the run.

I don't really remember what it felt like to sit out and get a little sun.  Now, my "tan lines" are earned by standing outdoors snapping pictures, or by standing at the side of a small lake and keeping an eagle-eye on campers.

I don't really remember what it felt like to garden.... Um, well - that's a story for another day.

It's been a great summer so far.
Have I mentioned that the end is coming way too quickly?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Time Flies...

Wow - time really DOES fly when you're having fun.  Of course, by now I have realized that time flies even if you're NOT having fun -- but that's a story for another day.

This is week six of my nine-week summer day camp job, and you know what?  I am dreading week nine.  Dreading it, I tell you.  I love this job, and truly hate to see it end each year.

My title this year is Media Manager.  Essentially, this means I manage the Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as a camp blog.  I also take pictures of camp activities all day so that I can post them up-to-the-minute on Facebook as well as displaying them on the blog, and in a daily newsletter.

However, I am also blessed enough to:
  • interact with parents on a daily basis, and learn more about their families
  • mingle with some of the most awesome jr. high, sr. high, and college-aged staff that you could imagine. (I've known some of them since they were in diapers!)
  • work (it's way too much fun to call it "work!") with some of the most lovely ladies who have become forever friends in a "friend who would move a body" kind of way.  Really, take a minute and click on that link -- then come back here.  I'll wait.....  [Everybody needs those kind of friends, right?]
  • encourage kids who are just having a rough day
  • high-five some awesome kids as they run past me down the hall
  • eat snacks with little girls while they tell me all of the favorite parts of their day
  • listen while children tell me that they "just became a Christian today!"
  • be invited to eat at a lunch table filled with 5th/6th grade girls
  • have excited children run up to me and beg to have their picture taken
  • show "tough love" to campers I have known since they were itsy-bitsy -- because I know them well enough to expect as much of them as their parents do
  • work for the cause of Christ to minister to families and children in a lovely setting with some of my nearest and dearest friends
  • have a husband who encourages me to take this job each summer, and is sacrificial in his attitude about what gets done at home all summer.  He helps out with so much, encourages the kids to do their part, and doesn't make a big deal about the things that get overlooked for a few months.
I mean,
is it any wonder that
I don't want it to end?

I hope that you're having a wonderful summer too!
What great things have you done?
What has been your biggest accomplishment?
Perhaps today,
it was to sit on the deck with a sweet tea.
Whatever you're up to,
I hope it IS sweet!
Happy, happy summer!
May the rest of it creep slowly by.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

7/14/11 Daybook #4

~ For Today ~

Outside my window...
the moon is rising and I'm watching bunnies and fireflies out in the yard.

I am thinking...
how much I love my summer job,
and just as when I was a kid
I don't want summer to end.

I am thankful for...
my faith.
Even on the worst of days,
it's what I come back to.

From the kitchen...
The refrigerator is humming beside me
(can't wait until that new refrigerator arrives!),
and I am eating a chocolate pudding cup
that hasn't made it into the kid's lunchboxes yet.
A pan is waiting for chicken
-- early prep for tomorrow's dinner.

I am creating...
a mess with this pudding cup that won't stand upright.

I am wearing...

I am going...
to bed soon (right).

I am reading...
nothing right now -- too busy!

On my mind...
a friend headed to a drs. appointment tomorrow with her sister.
a friend asking God to take her dying mother-in-law Home.
a busy weekend coming up.

Around the house...
there is laundry to be done,
and that chicken (for tomorrow)
still hasn't cooked itself! 

One of my favorite things...
the silence of the house after the kids have gone to bed.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
daycamp-taking son to Biblestudy-shopping -sleep
wedding-birthday party-sleep
church-birthday party
start the week over again.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Achieving" Bokeh

Subtitled "A Happy Accident!"

{In photography, bokeh* is the blur,
or the aesthetic quality of the blur,
in out-of-focus areas of an image,
or the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light.}

So, I was out snapping pictures of flowers in our garden, and came back inside to find this on my camera:

Imagine my surprise when I found that I, the rookie photographer who doesn't know anything at all about the "ins and outs" of photography took this photo which is seemingly full of bokeh with a simple (we're talking really simple) no-frills point and shoot digital camera!  I was filled with SURPRISE, I tell you!  However, in an effort to be an honest blogger, I would have to say that rather than "achieving bokeh," I believe that I was victim to "a happy accident!"

And, by the way, I'm not too proud to say, "I'LL TAKE IT!" (Big smile!)

*Bokeh definition found at Wikipedia.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunday Sermon Notes

Our former pastor was in town on Sunday, and filled the pulpit.  My hubby and I made a hasty exit from our usual "current worship" to go to the "traditional" service.  It was wonderful to hear him preach.  His passion for God is inspiring.

This day, he talked about 4 "S's" that we should have... that we should bring to others... for the cause of Christ.

  • STORY.  Everyone has a story - as some famous talk-show host once said.  Do you know yours?  Sometimes I think I don't know mine yet.  The point being that we should have a story that we are willing to share with others that points them in the direction of Christ.
  • SCRIPTURE.  Do you have a favorite scripture?  Something that is super meaningful to you?  It may even go along with your story.  I never seem to be able to zero in on just one scripture -- or maybe it's just the stress of having to pick one.  Lately though, I am especially loving Philippians 4:13 -  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!"  A friend recently reminded me that the original text's meaning is endure (not "do" as we typically think) which really changes the spin on this verse for me.  "Endure" seems to indicate that there WILL be hardships, and there WILL be disappointments, but that I will be able to ENDURE them because of Christ's strength in me.  This is the reality of life.  I know that being a Christian does not mean that I will be without trials.  This verse is a great comfort to me when I feel alone in unhappy circumstances.
  • SONG.  I cannot possibly put into words the importance of music in my life.  I hang onto favorite scriptural lyrics, and they move me.  The song that has most deeply affected my life is "It Is Well With My Soul."  I first heard (or should I say "felt") this hymn at the memorial service for my aunt, when I was just a junior in high school.  If I heard the words, or sang the song before that, it was meaningless.  Today, it is so filled with meaning for me, that it is impossible for me to get through it without tears.  
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

  • SCENE.  Is there a scene that plays through your head of someone's commitment to the cause of Christ?  For our dear pastor, it was the scene of his adult daughter, on her death bed after battling cancer, and raising her hands to say, "I love Jesus!"  That plays over and over in his mind as a picture of faithfulness to our dear Savior.  It has made a lasting impression on him, to say the very least.
I share these ideas with you not because I have all the answers.  In fact, I already admitted that I may not even know my own "story" yet.  But I hope, in sharing this, that I have inspired you to think about these topics in the same way that our pastor inspired me.

I Peter 3:15
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone
who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
But do this with gentleness and respect..."

(As a side-note, the song "It Is Well With My Soul" has a story behind it.  You can read it HERE.)

In addition, we have recently begun to sing THIS VERSION in our "current" worship -- and I LOVE it!
It is well, it is well,
Through the storm I am held.
It is well, it is well with my soul!

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Another Ministry Trip ~ Another Opportunity!

    This week, I'm requesting prayer for a ministry team in Philadelphia.  Our son is part of a church high school team that has gone there to minister in the city through an organization called CSM.  The team and their leaders left on Sunday morning.  On Monday, they toured the city, and saw fireworks.  Today, their ministry begins.  Please pray for team unity.  The leaders have said over and over again how impressed they are with this team.  Pray that God uses them effectively while they are there -- and of course for safety.  We are especially excited to hear how God has used them.

    You can read more about CSM's (Center for Student Missions) ministry in Philadelphia HERE.  Their mission is "to provide an effective urban ministry experience that transforms lives, influences churches and communities, and honors Christ."

    The objective of this trip is to expose the heart of God to students in relationship to the world in areas of justice, mercy, service, and evangelism.  The city-based trip will largely center on "relational" projects -- stretching students to interact with a wide variety of people.

    Our son has also traveled to Toronto with CSM, and thoroughly enjoyed the work there.  I'm praying that he will be blessed beyond measure this week.  Thanks for your prayers!

    Monday, July 4, 2011

    Household Helpfulness ~ Thank You!

    The other day, I posted THIS, and asked for suggestions from working moms on how they keep their household running smoothly.  You see, every summer for the past seven years, I have had a summer job for nine weeks.  Because it isn't a year-long routine, I find it hard to "get in the groove" for nine weeks, and accomplish all of the things that NEED to be accomplished in our home -- like serve a family meal each evening after being gone all day.  Therefore, I was looking for suggestions, offering to give a plug to your blog if I picked your suggestion as one of the top five.  Well, I only had TWO takers!

    Cha Cha said:
    "I have a master list of things that need to be done and when we have a moment I go to it and pick the next most important thing. This helps because I forget in the chaos and then nothing gets done until it is piled over our heads and everyone is hungry and nobody is Happy."

    Cha Cha has become a sweet blogging friend.  Her blog is "Sit Relax and Read".  She is (in her own words) "a wife to a wonderful and patient man who puts up with and works hard on my crazy ideas. I am a (homeschooling) momma to two beautiful girls who could not be more different from each other. I am a daughter, sister, friend, and Aunt Cha Cha to adorable neices and nephews. I love being all of these people, but mostly I love being a redeemed child of God and the peace and joy it gives me. This blog is my attempt to not forget what we have accomplished, where we have gone, and how we have grown." -- and a beautiful blog it is! Cha Cha shares her decorating and craft projects, her sentimental side, and her wish list of ten tasks to be accomplished in ten days.  She has a great little ETSY SHOP too!

    Jill said:
    "Make your Crock Pot your friend....which is the corrolary to 'make your calendar your friend.' :D

    Now, that comment might not make much sense to you, but it makes perfect sense to ME, since Jill is my sister!  We have a long-standing joke in our family about making your calendar your friend, AND I know that my sister is much more "in touch" with her crock-pot than I am with mine!  I tend to use mine for winter soups and stews.  Jill, on the other hand is a busy mom of three stair-step kids -- and has learned to use her crock-pot more effectively!  Jill's blog is "Keeping on the Narrow Way."  She is (in her own words) "wife to Mike, and SAHM to three special children that God blessed us with through adoption from India. Each day I strive to obey God by loving my husband and children and keeping our home. But life is....well, life is life. Some days are harder than others. Maybe by reading about my life you will be encouraged that we're not all alone in this job called "Motherhood". I really enjoy (read: am addicted to) digital scrapbooking. It's one way I like to share about what's happening in our family's life."  Jill's blog is a beautiful look at her family (my adorable niece and nephews), and a showcase of her digital scrapbooking skills.  Check it out!

    **Thanks, ladies for your helpful tips!
    My apologies for the delay in getting this post up.**

    Fireworks through 3-D glasses!
    I hope everyone has a great 4th of July.
    Celebrate our freedom as Americans,
    and don't forget to give thanks for
    those who have fought for that freedom!

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