Forgive me the blog silence. I have been exhausted, and busy, and exhausted again.
As you know, the whole desperate times desperate measures scenerio has recently forced me out of retirement and placed me smack into the middle of camping ministry once more. For one week at least I was a camp counselor again.
I went into this with an enormous amount of prayer. And lo and behold every door closed until I was the one with the cabin of high school aged girls. When I got married almost ten years ago, I accepted the fact that I would probably never counsel again. When I had my first baby I accepted the fact that I was unable to even be the prayer counselor for the girls. And this spring I was crying with DK (you know who you are) wondering if God could find some kind of place for me to minister, despite me three rowdy sons and unfortunate lack of free time.
And then The Hunky Hubby took charge of our fierce young brood and sent me back into the glorious world of camping. I was properly terrified. And yet He walked with me, every single step. When I was at the dollar store purchasing feather boa’s for my cabin (what? you didn’t realize that feather boas are a camping requirement?) I thought that maybe I would have 5 or 6 girls, I went to buy 7 but paused. What if I had 8 girls…so I bought 9 boas. And yes I had 8 girls and the 9 boas left one for me to wear. I also bought 9 mini nail polishes. Despite my innate cheapness, God took care of these little details.
I was certain that my girls would refuse to participate in all of the glorious fun-filled ideas that God had rushed my way. But from the moment I busted out the temporary hair dye on our first day they were up for anything. Seriously, these were the awesomest girls alive. Pranking, they had it. Baking cookies at 1:00am, all over it. Midnight slip n slide, piece of cake. With the one exception of crawling through a field of stinging nettles in the dark during capture the flag (possibly not my most brilliant plan) they were ready to tackle any absurdity that I placed before them. A truly awesome collection of high-school femininity.
We voted about the different boy cabins and decided that we would loathe Eagles Loft, Adore Owls Perch, and have entirely neutral feelings about Robin’s Roost. Then we packed a pile of popcorn into the Eagle’s Loft doorway behind a taped-on garbage bag, placed a bowl of buttery popcorn before the door of our beloved Owls, and put a small container of popcorn seeds before Robin’s Roost. So fun! And for the sand castle competitions I was even able to convince them to build the Tigris River, Royal Assyrian game park, and the Ziggurat at Nineveh!
I acquired 27 new bruises. 20 on my legs, 6 on my arms, and one huge baseball sized one on my right shoulder blade. How you may ask? Night games, paintball, speedball, and the slip n slide. All bruise worthy pursuits. I rode a waterlogged log in lake Chelan for over an hour with 6 other people, falling off and screaming and pretending to row at battle speed toward imaginary enemies. I led my girls in accomplishing an incredibly stupid skit and they memorized every single memory verse for the week. They worked so hard and were so awesome! I was astounded.
They even failed to tar and feather me when I was forced to fetter their fashion choices with demands for modesty, every single day.
We had great cabin times. Yes you heard me right. Great cabin times. We got deep into God’s word and cried out before Him and had the pleasure of seeing God tear down the old and hang up the new in our lives.
Camp was my identity at one time, and I thought that it was completely lost to me. And it was. But after I prayed and cried and despaired, God plopped this glorious week smack into the middle of my lap and I am shocked and grateful. And humbled, that He would look so deeply within me and realize what I myself didn’t know I had been pining for, and then have the audacity to think that He could actually use me, an ancient Mom of 32 years. Astounding.
I love camp. The smell of a summer night descending upon the trees. The bite to the air in the early morning as one is stumbling toward staff meeting. That sweet, relaxed insanity as cabins are setting up for breakfast, listening to Newsboys blaring on the sound system, when you’ve gotten only a couple of hours of sleep and the other tables keep making you run around the cabin for not putting your napkin on your lap. Mocha sipped from an ancient pewter mug. Desperate prayers for strength because you caught yourself dead asleep during chapel and you know that you have dunk tank and memory verses to accomplish before you can collapse dead to the world. Camp is strangely relaxing for me. Much much less stressful than parenting. I love it, and yet I barely survived. I was bursting into tears at random moments all week, so exhausted. And yet He carefully placed me exactly where He wanted me, and used me, and it was completely glorious.