Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm really a Junior?

Wow, I can't believe how quickly the time has gone. Am I really halfway through my college career already? Crazy! I have been looking back on the last 2 years and realizing just how much I've grown and changed throughout, and how awesome God has continued to be. Even through all of my struggles and my immaturity He continued to remain faithful, and I am so grateful to Him for that. I really feel like I'm a completely different person than I started out to be when I was a freshman, and I'm thrilled to be able to grow more. Of course that will only come with trials and things of that nature, but I'm definitely willing to go through them in order to grow closer to Christ and allow Him to shape me and mold me. He is so good to me, and I'm really excited to see what He has in store for me this year.

And I'm not going to lie, it's still difficult to think about everything that happened this summer and I still miss my ex at times, but God is helping me to work through it. And honestly... I know that I've mentioned this in one of the last blogs, but going through everything that I did this summer I'm now much more sobered to the idea of a relationship. Yes, it would be GREAT to be in a relationship and be able to have that connection with someone, but I only want it to happen if I think that it could really work out and not just be a little fling or a pointless relationship. I only want to be in a relationship with a guy if I could really see a future with him. I also want to know him better so I can get a better grasp on his character and who he is in Christ.

God is good, and I'm excited to continue blogging throughout the year as He teaches me so much more about Himself and who He wants me to be.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Summer 2009 Part 2

So, now I can talk about the rest of everything that happened this summer. For the most part everything was absolutely AMAZING. For weeks 1 and 2 I was at Tepee Camp (4-6th graders), week 3 I was at Aspen View (7-8th graders), week 4 I was back at Tepee Camp, week 5 I was randomly placed at Arts and Crafts, weeks 6 and 7 I was at Tepee, week 8 I was at Aspen View, and week 9 I was back at Tepee Camp. Hope that wasn't too long or confusing for you. ;) So I spent a total of 6 weeks at Tepee Camp and 2 weeks at Aspen view, with a random week of Arts and Crafts in there. :)

Let me tell you... Tepee Camp was absolutely AMAZING. Actually this whole summer was one of the best experiences of my life, but Tepee Camp especially was so cool. And yes, it's true to its name. I lived in a tepee whenever I was there. :) I was in a tepee called Kiowa for 3 weeks (my favorite), Cheyenne for 1 week, Sioux for 1 week, and the very last week I was in one called Mohican.

Now, there's a funny story about Mohican. So basically Tepee Camp is set up to where there's 8 girls' tepees and 8 boys' tepees and they're all supposed to be kinda together. Well... Mohican isn't that way. It's the furthest tepee, and they only used it twice the whole summer. It's so far away from everything that you can't hear things when they're being called, like where the kids are supposed to go next. It was kinda frustrating, but it was definitely an adventure! I actually really liked Mohican after a while. It grew on me. :)

Okay. Continuing on. So here's another reason Tepee Camp is absolutely amazing: we cook all of our breakfasts and a couple lunches over a campfire. Yes. I learned how to cook from a fire pit this summer and it was OFF THE HOOK. I cooked pancakes, breakfast burritos, tepee toast, french toast, hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. It was SO awesome. I smelled like smoke every day, but that was totally fine with me. :) Basically when you're at Tepee Camp you just become okay with being dirty all the time and always having your clothes, hair, and everything else smell like smoke. I'm telling you, I've been gone from camp for about 3 days now and my hair still smells like smoke. It's pretty fantastic, actually. :)

But anyway, all the activities that Tepee Camp does are pretty awesome as well. We played a game called Capture the Little White Blinky Thing, then we also played Counselor Hunt and Capture the Flag. Those games were fun.

Basically... Tepee Camp was the best part of my summer. The kids at that age are absolutely awesome, too. They can get all the concepts and they ask a lot of really good questions. They're also just so much fun to be around, too! I love joking around with them, teasing them, playing with them, and also being serious with them as well. I miss all my campers, and I hope that I can go back to camp again next summer and see them again. :)

Now on to Aspen View. I have to say that at some level being there was awkward for me because that's where the ex-boyfriend worked all summer, but I dealt with it and didn't let it affect how I did things. So anyway.

Aspen View is really cool, and I was actually really nervous to be there at first. Honestly, the idea of working with Jr. High girls scared the crud out of me. I was REALLY scared of them. But both weeks that I worked there God blessed me with AMAZING girls, and I was so thrilled to have worked there. I actually somewhat wish that I could've spent half the summer there and half the summer at Tepee. Oh well. :)

And I have to say, the games at Aspen View kick BUTT. So we played the most amazing game ever twice during the week called David and Goliath. Basically... you get to hit kids with frisbees and it's totally okay. :) We also played Capture the Flag, Dodgeball, Mission Impossible, and AIR BAND!!!! There will definitely be pictures up soon of Air Band. It's just a night where the kids and counselors get to dress up like rock stars, and the Unit Director (Chad) has each cabin compete over who can play the best air band. It's pretty rockin' awesome. My good friend Rachel and I had an amazing time with it.

Speaking of Rachel... I was SO glad that I got to work with her when I did. She and I worked together in the same cabin week 3 and then week 8 as well because we requested it. :) It was SO much fun to work with her! She and I got along really well, and she was definitely right there for me when I needed her. Unfortunately she got to deal with my cruddy break-up junk, but she stood by my side the whole time and stood up for me whenever she needed to. And I get to hang out with her tomorrow before I go back to Chicago! Yay... :)

Anyway, that's just a small taste of everything that happened this summer. I'm going to be bringing the dvds with me to Chicago, so if anyone is interested in actually SEEING everything that I described, let me know and I'll show them to you. :)

God did an amazing work at camp this summer. A total of 314 kids throughout the entire summer came to know Christ as their Savior, and 20 of those were my campers. I am just so excited to see how much God can work in spite of me and my faults, and how He really moved in the hearts of the campers. God is so good, and I definitely hope and pray that he calls me back to camp again next year.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

My Summer 2009 Part 1

Oh man, where do I begin with the things that I have learned this summer? I can't believe how many things have happened. One of the good things is that I know this is exactly where God wanted me. I can't imagine having spent my summer any other way, which is a huge blessing. But even though this has been the best summer of my life, it has still been extremely difficult and trying.

First off, I had my first boyfriend this summer, and had my first heartbreak as well. I really didn't think that heartbreak would happen to me. I know that sounds crazy, but for the longest time I really believed that God would keep me from any relationship that wasn't THE relationship, so that I would be spared that kind of pain. However, in His wisdom and plan, He chose to allow that to happen to me. And I'm not going to lie; especially since I really believed that God had promised me that I wouldn't go through heartbreak, it was terrible as soon as this guy told me that it was over between us. I couldn't understand why God would break His promise, and why He would allow that to happen.

However, let me go through a little bit of background in order to clarify why it was so difficult for me to trust God after we broke up. All my life, whenever I was interested in a guy, God would put some kind of barrier up. Either the guy didn't like me back, or I found out something about the guy that I really didn't appreciate, or God would just seem to put up a wall between the relationship, even if both of us were interested in each other. The reason I thought that this was happening is because when I was 14 or 15 I prayed and asked God to allow my first relationship to be my only relationship, and that the man that I had that relationship with would become my husband. So because of this, I really believed that God had promised me that He would grant that request.

So continuing on with the story, I really thought that God had broken His promise to me and I couldn't for the life of me understand why. It took me a good couple of weeks to actually come to the point where I realized that God doesn't go back on His promises, and He also doesn't always say yes to our requests. There are many times when we think we know what's best and so we expect God to say yes to us when really He has something different planned and says no to what we ask of Him. This was so incredibly difficult for me. I didn't want to admit at all that God could possibly say no to what I asked of Him.

One thing that was so difficult was that when I was younger I saw other people getting into relationships, and then getting their hearts broken and I just did not want that. I saw what it did to people, and it scared me. I couldn't imagine going through that kind of pain. However, at the same time I also wanted a relationship so badly that I tried so many times to get into one. God said no every single time, so with this relationship I thought that it was the right one because God actually allowed it to happen. Obviously though, I was wrong.

I was also talking to Mom a few weeks ago about the whole relationship and breakup, and she mentioned how maybe God allowed me to go through this so I can even more effectively reach out to women in the future who have been hurt by men and hurt by past relationships. If I had never experienced heartbreak before, I wouldn't be able to connect with them nearly as much because even though I'd be able to sympathize with their pain, I wouldn't be able to understand it.

I now also just feel so stupid for allowing myself to get into that serious of a relationship so quickly. I had known him only a week before we decided to be together, and I stupidly thought that it was going to last. I have a difficult time not beating myself up about it because I had actually been smart over the last couple of years, and then I had told myself that this summer I wasn't going to get involved with any guys and I was just going to stay completely away from them. I was so tired of the drama and I was also talking with another guy about the possibility of a relationship, and then the first guy that caught my eye at camp I got involved with. Really? I mean, seriously. I just feel so ridiculous for allowing that to happen. I was definitely so set against allowing a relationship to happen, and then I just buckled when a cute guy came in and started flirting with me.

This is another lesson learned, though: Even though a guy may seem to have everything that I want and need doesn't mean he really does. Until the spiritual maturity is there, nothing else matters. This guy seriously has just about everything that I could want and need in a guy as far as physical, athletic, musical, and common interests go. But the thing is that the maturity really wasn't there at all, and unfortunately I didn't see that until it was too late. Now I know that God has someone out there for me that fits my list, and most importantly has the maturity to go along with it.

I have also been really sobered to the idea of a relationship since everything happened with him. I used to just want a relationship because I wanted to know what it was like to have someone care about you just like you care about them and I had felt left out from all of my friends. But now that I have actually experienced a relationship and the terrible pain of having my heart broken, I am definitely content to just wait until God is ready to bring the right man along. I do not want to go through this situation again, and I am definitely going to take my time with the next relationship. I've learned my lesson with being patient, and just how important it is. Rushing into things with this guy was definitely not a good idea in the slightest.

God has definitely taught me so much throughout this summer, and I just hope that I can remember it all after I leave camp and I start getting back to reality and I start being interested in other guys.
I'll be updating more later about what else happened this summer, but that's all I can muster right now. Love you all, and I'm excited to get back to school in a week. :)