The Beauty of the Past

I just spent an amazing weekend helping my Upon the Rock Camp family put on a fundraising banquet. I have been a part of this camp since I was a camper. This is my 16th summer knowing and loving this family and the camp they have been building.

It reminded me how much I miss them, and wish that camp wasn’t such a long drive away.

You know what touched me the most about my visit? The fact that the girls, 15 and 14, remembered a lot of fun things we had done together, at camp and when I lived with them as a camp intern, really made my heart happy.

We reminisced about crazy camp stories, campers that tested our patience, and how we all felt like family.

They even named an action after me… called the sassy Ariel; using your index finger to show just how opinionated or serious you are about the matter at hand, and is also a friendly warning not to mess with the person speaking. šŸ˜‰

We laughed and laughed, but eventually it was time for me to go. As I drove away early Sunday morning, I had tears in my eyes. I miss them, and wish the visit had been longer.

Even the sunrise seemed to bid me farewell:

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I want to ask you toĀ remind someoneĀ about a great memory you have of them. It can be from years ago, or more recently. The fact that you remembered them will touch their heart in ways you can’t imagine. Go brighten someone’s day by showing you value and enjoy them!

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The Sun Makes All the Difference

Spring is struggling to overtake the cold of winter in Colorado. I went on a prayer walk this morning, and it was a chilly 48 degrees. Not too bad for a girl that likes the cold.

But factor in the wind and clouds, and it makes for an unpleasant walk.10425173_10202929640681786_4259218163954076281_n

Until the sun came out.

Have you often stopped to appreciate how the sun makes all the difference? I turned around, and let the sun warm my face despite the cold breeze.

It was powerful, bright, and cheered me up.

Then I realized that even more important than the sun, is the Son that makes all the difference.

The life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ changes the way I live my daily life. Because of His gift of grace and eternal life, I am a new creation.

2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:Ā The old has gone, the new is here!”

Do you believe the sun is still shining on the bad days? Are you letting the Son shine in and through you? What would your life look like if you were seeking to please Him above all else?

Cristi, a good friend of mine, helped me put it in perspective a few years ago. We were discussing how things had gotten stressful, and how we couldn’t see the end of it all. It happened to be an overcast day. By the end of our conversation, we came to this mutual conclusion: Even though you can’t see the sun, you know it’s still there. It’s that way with God too; He is always at work in our lives, bringing about His good plan in our lives… even on the hard days. Hold on, sunny days are coming!

At work, when I’m with friends, and when I am writing, my desire is to share God’s love and encourage others. You may feel like the world around you is crashing down, and that the sun may never shine again. If you gain anything from these words today, I hope it is this:

When Christ is in you, the sun is always shining. There is always hope… Because the Son makes all the difference.

In Christ,

Ariel

Snow Day!

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Snow Days are Special

When you grew up like I did, snow days were pretty much non-existent. So when you finally have one, it is so special!

Why, you may ask? Because I was homeschooled… and I loved it! My mom is a great teacher.

Living in Colorado, we’ve had tons of snow. But since our school work literally surrounded us, we got to keep studying when there was a fresh coat of snow in the backyard. After studying, we could go outside to play.

The Day Finally Came

There was 3 feet of snow, and no one was going anywhere. I was still a kid, about 12 years old… and the snow was magical. My mom declared a snow day (aka no studying), andĀ dad even stayed home from work!

We dug out igloos, built snowmen, and had a snowball fight in our big backyard. Back then, I didn’t really like snowball fights, because my brothers were really rough. Nowadays, if you challenged me to a snow fight, I would be up for it! The day wasn’t complete without snow slushies-using only the purest white snow, of course.

As we 4 kids came back in, we all began to thaw as mom made us hot cocoa. Everyone had flushed faces, cold hands, and warm smiles.

This week of November has been decidedly arctic. With temperatures dipping into the negatives, the snow seems warm compared to the air. I’m a little jealous of my Arizona friends right now!

The roads were so icy, and it was -1 outside. I called my awesome boss, and he let me stay home! So I spent the day figuring out a quilt design, doing laundry, watching ridiculous wedding shows with my mom, and making grilled cheese and tomato soup. There was no snowman building, because when it’s this cold, staying inside is waaayy more fun. I had a wonderful day!

What’s Your Favorite Snow Day Memory?

I’d love to hearĀ about your favorite snow day memory in the comments below! Stay warm, drink some cocoa, and share some stories with friends and family this weekend. šŸ™‚