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. ūüėČ

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 to¬†remind someone¬†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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Camp Craziness

Photograph by Tessa Powell

Photograph by Tessa Powell (Counselors at Upon the Rock Christian Camp, overseeing archery with 8 year olds)

Oh. My. Goodness. Camp was crazy. There were barely 2 minutes to close my eyes and rest, before I needed to jump out of bed and motivate some campers.

My prayer was that God would be glorified through the amazing people that served as staff for Upon the Rock Christian Camp.

God answered¬†a hearty “yes” to that prayer! I had the privilege of being on a 3 woman counseling team that worked well together. We watched over and guided 6 little girls for 5 days.

We did archery, funyaks, Bible time, and campfire (to name a few). We were never on time to anything, but managed to get to Bible time every night (Must have been God’s will!). I was always protecting, loving, praying for and playing with these dear girls.

I was bone-tired, 3 days in.

It was a humbling experience for a girl that loves God, children, the outdoors, and the life-changing nature of Christian camp.

But this was part of God’s plan. I had tried to do it all, but He wanted me to be emptied of myself; my expectations, my plans, my energy.

That is when He filled me. Once I was empty, He filled me with His love, grace, and joy so that I could pour into the lives of the campers. Not on my own strength, but His.

It was the most challenging week of my life, but also very rewarding. One of my campers was asked “What was your favorite part about camp?”. She replied “I learned what it means to quench the Spirit’s fire.” My jaw dropped. Her answer wasn’t art, campfire, or getting her hair braided. Jesus had touched her heart; and that, my friends, is what makes all the effort and tears worth it.