Camp... 15 years ago, the words: hot, little sleep, nonstop energy, life-changing decisions, and camp food would have come to mind. Now, for me, it means lack of routine, lack of sleep, single parenting, extra sugar, and TV...
Every summer, my youth-pastor husband takes our students to a missions camp for a week. This has been life changing for many of our students and leaders. But it breaks my heart to hear of another youth pastor, his wife, and unborn child as well as another leader who died in a bus accident returning home from a church camp. They were only a mile from their home church. Our church vans were returning home that same day. Why? My intentions in writing seem trivial now. My husband is home, alive and well. Yet, I want to complain about hearing my title "mommy" one too many times over the past week.
There are so many things in life that I will never understand. Why a young couple on fire for the Lord must be taken away from their two year old son? Why teenagers must see a scene that will haunt them forever? Why a young father must endure cancer in excruciating pain, unable to hold his baby girl because of the radiation within his body? Why a young woman must lose baby after baby with no medical explanations?
Yet, I know... God is good. He loves us with an everlasting love and gives us His Word, the lens through which we view every aspect of life. If we look at the world, at circumstances, at tragedy in any other way, but through His lens, then our vision will be blurred and nothing will seem clear.
To be honest with you, this past week wasn't nearly as difficult as I had anticipated in being alone with the girls. Much of that is thanks to my sweet husband, who as usual, wrote notes and left little gifts (which he allowed the girls to pick out themselves this year). He left me my two favorites: Starbucks and dark chocolate. But what seemed to help the most was getting away. He booked a cabin for the girls and I (and one of my sisters & nephew) to stay at for a few days. The anticipation for surprising our girls helped me so much! I was also blessed to visit with my youngest sister and mom earlier in the week and get some extra time with my niece, Ava.
With the craziness of packing for these few days, I forgot my phone charger though. This seemed like a big deal considering my car charger only worked when the car was running. What I thought was going to be a stressful situation turned out to be a blessing in disguise. After making sure my phone was fully charged on the drive up to Virginia, I was forced to not use it as I normally did. No Facebook, no Instagram, etc. What this allowed me to do was REALLY get away.
I was able to capture the seriousness of my girls playing games, the thrill of a new playground, and a walk to visit the horses.
The joy in their faces as they splashed in the fountains and jumped again and again into the pool.
To see my sweet nephew, Ezra, as he literally loved a moth to its death (unknown to him).
The imaginations of my girls as they built a fort outside of our cabin and tried so hard to make fire.
The adventure of putt-putt with three girls (Ha!) being cut short by a three year old in need of the potty.
I am blessed! This week, as hard as it seemed at times, was a great week! Did I miss my hubbie? Oh my, yes! But I feel content knowing he was able to do the work God has for him, while I was home (and in Virginia) doing the work God has called for me to do. One of the reasons that I love taking pictures with my big camera and not just my phone is because it forces me to slow down, to look for the details, to click again and again and again. But I must also be looking through another lens...
For "without God's Word as a lens, the world warps. Who deserves any grace? When I realize that it is not God who is in my debt but I who am in His great debt, then doesn't all become gift?" - Ann Voskamp