Sunday, July 20, 2008

Blackbird singing in the dead of night..

It has been a busy/lazy/tiring July for me, which explains the lack of posts.
Camp has been camp - I have been having a strangely good time with it, despite the hot hot heat and lack of voice. It's definitely a great change of heart that the Lord gave me, in regards to the kids and my co-workers (whom I've grown to love working with, after a shaky start). Everything is just so much more positive - and I have so much more energy and excitement to go and play with the kids. They are really what keep me coming back and sane. There are three in particular that just make my days so much better than they would be. Really awesome thing to be blessed with - actually loving the job you do and the people and kids you work with. It has really cemented that I've chosen the right path for my life.
I just can't believe that the last week is THIS week - I am really going to miss it, I think. It has been the best year, camper wise. My kids make me so happy and bring so many smiles and laughs to my face. It has definitely been hard, with many challenges, trying to really bring a light to camp and be the "different" - but I think God has given me many lessons and experiences to reflect on - patience, love, humility, etc etc. Some very hard truths to deal with, at least for me.
And I had SO much fun!

As much as I miss Maryland, there are a couple of people in Atlanta who I feel so connected and close to. I always say it is my last summer in Atlanta, but by the end of it, I guess I always rethink my statement.

Listening to: Blackbird, The Beatles

Sunday, July 6, 2008

There's nothing better than knowing that we are redeemed.

I really really needed that 3 day weekend - camp really tires me out. It also went by way too fast. Some highlights:
After work Thursday, Ryan and I were supposed to do cardio-kickboxing and zumba classes, but we ended up being way too lazy. We proceeded home, which took an hour and a half! What? Without traffic, it is a 30 minute drive. But the roads were vicious, and it took an hour more than it usually does. I've re-realized my angry tendencies when driving, especially in traffic, that day (which I don't like at all).
So Friday, the 4th, my mom, brother and I went out, to browse cars, and ended up buying one. I have never bought a car before, but those salesmen are pretty convincing. He gave us a sweet deal, though, and because it was the 4th, there were extra discounts taken. So there is my baby, it is dark blue, with a lovely Maryland window decal on it!
I got to hear from Aida today! It made me miss her a lot. It was great to hear what she is learning in the city through the program. I am really excited about what God is teaching/showing her through her experience and through Bible study. It makes me really excited for the end of summer and the start of the school year, when I will be able to see my college friends again. But I need not let my summer pass me by and I also need not let that be what motivates me through each summer day - I really need to be there for the people in my life here and the camp kids.
I like the church I attend here in Kennesaw more and more each week that I go. What a blessing it is to find one minutes from my new house. The pastor really goes in depth with the scripture and shows us just how applicable it is in our lives now - he is awesome and reminds me somewhat of Lon. We are going through a series on joy over the summer using the book of Philippians. Going through it has made me re-discover how awesome the messages in Philippians are. Topics have ranged from characteristics of people who increase joy in our lives, how to remain a difference maker (and not complacent in our faith), ways to diffuse conflict, and today, how to maintain joy. One way to maintain joy is to keep walking by Grace and resist legalism. He showed how Paul was once legalistic in the scripture. He then used Gal. 5:1, speaking about the freedom in Christ. He touched on 3 areas that keep us from being free, burdens if you will: past sins, current sins, and spiritual "obligations" (obligation in the way we view it/our motive). He talked about how a lot of people view their sins (past and current) way too "big" to be able to be forgiven of, things we won't "let" God forive us for, things we consider his grace not great enough to conquer. He gave this awesome verse in Psalms, touching on the multitude of Christ's forgiveness - as far as the east is to the west. After becoming a Christian, I definitely struggled a lot with who I was before I found Christ. While knowing that He has forgiven me, I guess I didn't realize the depth of it, and it was really keeping me from getting closer to the One who loves me so much. When I hear messages like that, it really touches me because it hits so close to home. The rest of it really motivated me to try to walk by Grace, to remind myself how great God's grace is everyday, and to focus on showing people the Love I have been given.
Which is really hard in Atlanta, I've realized. Especially in camp. When my patience is so incredibly tried. But it's something I have prayed about a lot and I have definitely seen Jesus working in me.

Listening to: Devotion, Hillsong United