It’s been a long 3-4 weeks since I’ve logged into my blog and the break has been good for my soul! A while back Jonathan came home from work and said that Camp Greystone, an all-girls Christian camp in Tuxedo, NC, had called asking if he would want to serve as the June term camp pastor this summer. He barely had the words out of his mouth and I said, “YES!”
3 weeks in the mountains of North Carolina, no cooking or cleaning and non-stop entertainment for my girls….um let me think about it….
YES, YES and YES!
So we packed up the fam, I deleted all of the social media apps from my phone and didn’t open my computer for 3 solid weeks. Not gonna lie, I looked at facebook a couple of times, but all in all the break from instagram, pinterest and twitter did this momma good.
Camp Greystone was a blessing to our family in a lot of different ways. We watched our sweet Caroline grow in confidence – she was on the floor crying the first day of activities not wanting to try tennis, dance and archery but by the end of the 3 weeks she skipped off to each class by herself. She wandered off to assembly every morning and found friends to sit with and insisted on going down a ginormous blow up slide (so, so atypical for my timid 4 year old). Margaret also insisted on doing every thing that the big girls did – what she lacks in physical ability, she makes up for in determination. And that determination gave me a run for my money as I chased her all over camp for 3 solid weeks.
In a nut shell, these were my happy things from camp…I could have included many more but this will give you a taste:)
1. Early mornings – I am not a morning person. Really, I am not a morning person. Jonathan can certainly attest to this. But I have felt a nudging over the last 6 months to have time to myself before the girls wake up…it just goes better for everyone when I have time to ease into the day as opposed to stumbling into the day from a dead sleep…going 0 to 60 had not been working for me so it was time for a change.
Jonathan and I made it a point to get up around 6:30am to read, drink coffee (yep, you read that correctly…go to #2 to find out more) and exercise. It was probably the most consistent I have done any of these things in a very long while and it was good, very good.
2. SO Delicious French Vanilla Coconut Milk Creamer – um hello yumminess! I hate coffee, I’ve written about my dislike for the drink lots, but with 1/2 c coffee, 1/4 c milk and 3 Tbs of this stuff, I have made a concoction that I LOVE and that I get to hold in a coffee mug every morning and sip…it makes my heart happy. Go get you some!
3. Chacos – My Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority sisters would be rolling in their Jack Rogers if they knew I spent 3 weeks in these babies. But oh how comfy they are….love these things. I had a pair way back when I worked at a summer camp and I’m pretty sure my mom chucked them in a salvation army purge. To my delight, my sweet husband gifted a pair to me for mother’s day and they were a camp must. Go with the toe strap!
4. Flatrock Village Bakery’s Chocolate Chip Scones – this was a major find during our time at camp. This little bakery had the most delectable pastries. Heaven in my mouth. If you are ever in Flatrock, NC you must go visit:)
5. This view…so beautiful! Before breakfast and dinner we sat on the porch of the dining hall and this is what we gazed out in to.
6. Family Time – perhaps the greatest gift that camp gave us was time together – a lot of time together. After a hectic year, a break from our every day life was wonderful and I have come back to Lexington with a renewed love and appreciation for home and our life here:)
7. The Ragamuffin Gospel – Have y’all read this? After reading a series of blog posts by Marian Vischer about Jesus becoming more real to her, I picked up Brennan Manning’s book and started reading while we were at camp.
I have walked with the Lord since I was 12 years old but for quite some time have felt a numbness, a cognitive understanding of what Jesus has done but a lack of belief in my heart of the realness of his love for me. That numbness has swept through all areas of life and left me paralyzed – seeking the approval of others, accepting a misperception of myself, unable to repent of my own sin and quite hopeless for change. This topic could really be a post in and of itself!
Perhaps more than anything I have read (second to the Bible of course), The Ragamuffin Gospel painted such a beautiful and tangible picture of God’s love for us in Jesus. It made me able to imagine the face of Jesus right in front of me, gazing at me as a beloved child. It’s a vision that I need more of in my daily life with Him. To really see the face of Jesus, to feel his fatherly love has awakened my worn down heart.
An excerpt from The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning where he talks about those who have walked with the Lord a good long time but are in the midst of really believing his love for them for the first time:
“Second journeys usually end quietly with a new wisdom and a coming to a true sense of self that releases great power. The wisdom is that of an adult who has regained equilibrium, stabilized, and found fresh purpose and new dreams. It is a wisdom that gives some things up, lets some things die, and accepts human limitations. It is a wisdom that realizes: I cannot expect anyone to understand me fully. It is wisdom that admits the inevitability of old age and death. It is a wisdom that has faced the pain caused by parents, spouse, family, friends, colleagues, business associates, and has truly forgiven them and acknowledged with unexpected compassion that these people are neither angels nor devils, but only human.
The second call invites us to a serious reflection on the nature and quality of our faith in the gospel of grace, our hope in the new and not yet, and our love for God and people. The second call is a summons to a deeper, more mature commitment of faith where the naiveté, first fervor, and untested idealism of the morning and the first commitment have been seasoned with pain, rejection, failure, loneliness, and self-knowledge.
The call asks, do you really accept the message that God is head over heels in love with you? I believe that this question is at the core of our ability to mature and grow spiritually. If in our hearts we really don’t believe that God loves us as we are, if we are still tainted by the lie that we can do something to make God love us more, we are rejecting the message of the cross.”
As for the blog…with most things in life, you need a breather every once and a while and if you really love it and it is life-giving to you, you will return refreshed and ready to dive in again. I spent the break dreaming of yummy food and I am excited to be back in my kitchen experimenting:)