my attempt at blending the arts I cherish

the tales of the growing trees: part 22

the feeling of consistently being blown away is not new, but will never grow old. i stand in awe of our Saviour and his ways.

pre-teen overnight camp, week one. our very first 24-7 camp.

tuesday// the children have been here for two nights and one full day so far. and already i am amazed at what i’ve been exposed to. my green group, let by karibou, used the question box as a way to jump start devotions tonight… and let me tell you, those girls asked amazingly tough questions. when we were discussing God’s ability to be the Alpha and Omega and how He ‘began’, M. quipped, “so, God’s kinda of like the ‘once upon a time’ and the ‘the end’ of a story, right?” incredible. when someone asked whether one should love their parents or God more, M. also stated with maturity, “having God and no parents is better than having parents and no God.” this girl’s going to make a difference with her words throughout her lifetime…

wednesday morning// i am sitting beneath the creekside pavillon waiting for the littlest ones to come to crafts. it’s been gray for days and either spitting, raining, or pouring since they arrived.

there’s something similar to silence, but probably closer to peace that’s hanging thick like fog right now. the creek trickle is singing louder than normal (the dry-bone sort of normal). the birds are happy and making it known. every once and a while screams erupt from the big field some hundred feet away… i am sleepy. but i am at peace. i feel close to the Lord. i adore watching Him here in this place.

hours later//emily, my sweet craft helper, and i were napping on a little break, when all of sudden there was a great CLAP. the storm-heavy skies began dumping its brew on camp. i don’t think i’ve ever see so much water at camp before. it fell in torrential sheets. some minutes later, emily and i stood watching the storm from the protection of the bunkhouse…when all at once em remembered the kid’s freshly decorated treasure chests were sitting unprotected down by the pavillon. we bolted out the door into what felt like a waterfall. i was grinning.

an hour later//i attempted to lead an art track time this week where the kids made collages and paintings on canvases. on this particular day our class of 10 was crammed into creekside with the huge cooking class. let’s just say my patience was tried as i ran back and forth trying to help all of them… while dodging the cooking students. nevertheless, their art was beginning to turn out rather lovely…

thursday//real tired, real grumpy. getting over myself and working reallllllyyy hard on loving others instead of being concerned with how exhausted and gross i feel. everything felt like a challenge. tried keeping my mouth shut about a load of things, but that didn’t always work.

the girls ask harder questions every night: doesn’t God always protect us and keep us safe? is it alright to be sad, angry, or hurt? why does God let bad things happen? what’s the Fall? animals don’t have souls, what!?! why didn’t Adam stop Eve from eating the fruit? can a Jew be a Christian? are there going to be seven years of Tribulation? where are our souls before we’re born? i wish i could remember them all… again M. quietly speaks up. “i’ve realized something this week. i used to think Heaven was just a place we go when we die, and i never wanted to go there because i was afraid of dying. but now…i understand that it’s a beautiful place and i want to be there some day.” i begin to cry. i’m speechless. 

we walk out to the big field in the dark, holding hands, to take the girls star-tripping one last time. J. half-whispers a veiled prayer request: her daddy went to heaven in january of this year. i smother her in a hug and whisper back that i’ll pray for her and her sweet family. 

friday morning//last day. i’m sad my babies are leaving, but exhausted out of my mind. i get stuck working the camp store as my girls begin to leave. my heart is being pulled from duty to hugs & goodbyes. i blow them kisses and hug a couple through the tiny service window. 

oh, to live this life! the blessings are bright, beautiful, and soaked in love. it’s been a week since all this took place and i’m still reflecting over its hard spots, smiles, breakdowns, hugs, cold mornings, lessons learned, quite moments. thanks to my Refuge and Messiah, for gifting me with this summer and the minute-to-minute opportunities to be His hands.


One comment on “the tales of the growing trees: part 22

  1. audreyjackson
    June 30, 2011

    Ahnna, I am so glad you are getting to experience all of these beautiful thoughts and feelings. That thick feeling that hangs over camp? It is most definitely the Holy Spirit. I pray you continue to experience His revelation and love through the eyes, mouths, and hands of the little ones 🙂

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