Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why Load 'em Up and Drag Me 500 Miles Away?

I want it to be made known that I do not care for "Camp" in the 
youth camp junior camp teen camp family camp kind of way.

Never have.
Doubt I ever will.

Never wanted to be a camp counselor.
Never wanted to even GO to camp, despite the fact that my whole set of peers was thrilled to go.
The jump-in-the-lake, make-another-pen holder for mom, wear damp clothes thing. Ick.
Never loved the whole share-a-bathroom, share-a-cabin, share-team-enthusiasm thing.

At all.

Did I go to camp as a kid? 
Did I live to tell about it?
Did I hate it while I was there?
Did I want to go the next year?

It was a weird little set up, I guess. I enjoyed myself every year, but I never liked it.

So, when you tell me the E.x.t.e.n.d.e.d Family is getting together at camp...
I have a few things to wrap my brain around.

I loved the whole thing.
Well, not the 9 hour drive with the kids in the big van.
But, I did love the camp thing.

Someone else did the cooking
(and it was not typical camp food. It was good stuff.)
There were great activities for the kids to be involved in.
The arts and crafts room held cool things like leather working, 
jewelry making and ping pong ball guns.
The fall colors were a feast for this Florida girl's eyes.
The time at The Ladies Meeting was sweet and genuine.
The hike was strenuous  enough to make me talk is gasps, but not be achy the next day.

And the Crown Jewel:

We were celebrating Mom and Dad Dersch's 50th Wedding Anniversary. 
They had no idea what they were starting 50 years ago...Goodness! 

A pastor/military chaplain, three doctors, a speech therapist, an artist or two, mothers, fathers, engineers, musicians, writers, counselors, gardeners,  and a host of unknown surprises as the grandkids (and soon-to-arrive great-grand) continue to grow...

The 9 hours in the van is certainly a deterrent from us hanging out with that side of the family as often as we'd like. But, both Mark and I agree (as do our 8 kids) that the bonds forged with cousins is worth the hassle of getting to the cousins. The time spent with an aunt or an uncle who is interested in what you're doing and where you're headed is invaluable. The same story (in a new version, possibly) from a grandparent creates connections that don't form so readily over the phone or email.

Yup. Camp has redeemed itself.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Embrace It

Do you happen to have 

one of those things

 hanging out behind you, or maybe hanging over your head, 
or dragging on your shoulder...or your heart? 

I certainly can sympathize with you. 
(and you thought I was heartless, didn't you?)

I have had my fair share of Those Things suck the vitality right out of my day/week.
But not this time.

I had a task ahead of me that I was not ready to accomplish. 
I had no energy to accomplish it the way it deserved to be accomplished.
I plain old Didn't Want To. 
But, I had to.

I made a choice, that by God's grace, I would 
 the less-than-desirable task and do it with the knowledge that He had set It before me.

He had Grace to spare for the occasion.
He had plans and purposes in it.
He would be sufficient, especially if I wasn't.

I had to "put down" the angst that wanted to rear it's head, 
and just trust He was running the details of this particular show.
I prayed myself through the "Are you kidding me?" moments and simply asked that His grace touch those around me in gentle ways, not the backhand-to-the-jaw way I wanted to touch them at times. 
I reminded myself that I didn't need to live in turmoil of the soul since He did that already.

I would be fine--possibly, even more than fine--when it was all said and done.

Well, it's all said and done, and I am, and He was. 
I am fine.
He was sufficient.
He was gracious.
He worked things out in surprising ways.

I hope I remember this the next time I have an opportunity guised as an annoyance. 
Or as trouble. 
Or as more than I can handle. 
(Wait...that's like, everyday!)

It was nice to choose to put on my big girl panties first, and not find them soiled by my attitude.
I've decided to Embrace It, whatever It may be, as long as I know It is His plan for me.

Which It always is.
Remind me of that if you see me baulking at those Big Girl Panties, 'kay?
You just love photos, so I added these from our recent trip to the Wilds in NC.

Yes, the doctor is painting a pink and purple sword with his sister. 

Mark's folks with two of their favorite 21 grandkids.

The Love of my Life