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Hospitality

I just recently moved. It was the first time I’ve ever moved really. And, in case you didn’t know: moving is hard work. And I just had ONE person to move! (And I only moved up the road a ways. 🙂

Before now, I’ve been living in an apartment at the camp. And by apartment I mean a bedroom, bathroom, and small refrigerator. Not the most glorious place I’ve lived but hey, it was free! Anyway, I moved up the road to an actual HOUSE! Like, one with bedrooms, bathrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen, ect. You know, a HOUSE! I’m sharing this HOUSE with two other gals who also work at camp. It’s a huge place with way more space than we need!

As you can imagine, I was pretty excited to be moving! And my greatest excitement came from the fact that I can now invite people to my HOUSE! I’ve really missed that. Growing up, we had people over to our house almost every week. Sometimes it was planned and sometimes it was for some spontaneous waffles. I’m so excited to do that at my HOUSE.

I’ve done quite a bit of research on hospitality. Some of the Bible verses on the topic include:

1 Peter 4:9  “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

Romans 12:13 “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”

Luke 14:12-14  “He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid.  But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,  and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

And there are a lot more. Hospitality is such a good outreach to others. I think sometimes it is an overlooked command in Scripture. You don’t need to have a perfect HOUSE to have others over (that will never happen anyway!) You just need to have a hospitable attitude. What does that look like? Oh, probably something like this:

Luke 10:25-37  “And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”  And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.  So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.  And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in hospitality

 

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Out of Sorts

Let me preface this story by saying: I’m an early bird. I usually wake up around 5-5:30 each morning and get a good start on the day. That being said, I am NOT a night person. To wake up that early, I normally head to bed around 9:30-10:30. Somehow, that schedule didn’t happen this week. I ended up going to bed late every night. Really late. Like midnight late. I just had stuff to do each night like volleyball, learning to process a deer, movie time with a visiting friend, and game night at a friend’s house. Usually I leave things early so I can go to bed but for some reason I thought I could do it all this week. So did I adjust my wake up time? Nope, I still was up at 5:30 every morning. May I just say that is a bad idea?!

Yesterday afternoon, I felt all ‘out of sorts’ to use an old phrase. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me but EVERYTHING seemed to annoy me! It was pretty terrible. I remained calm on the outside but the inside was full of turmoil. I began to print programs for our annual Country Christmas event that night. It was at this point that a coworker, whom we shall call Paige, stepped in.

She came over to my desk where I was piling the printed programs and asked, “Why are the programs being piled face down?”

And that’s when it happened. This came out of my mouth. “DOES IT MATTER?! THAT’S JUST THE WAY I’M PILING THEM! I’M NOT LEAVING THEM THERE!  Now, I wasn’t really yelling at her, in fact, it came out in a shrill silly kind of voice that made her laugh.

But I knew what I was thinking inside. That is such a dumb question! Why is she bothering me? Can’t she see they are just there temporarily???

So Paige left and went back to her office. That’s when my conscience came in. That was super mean of you Kimmy. What’s wrong with you anyway? Why are you so on edge today? You know that was wrong and you need to apologize.

Later Paige walked up to ask me something and I said, “Hey I’m sorry I snapped at you earlier.”

She just stared at me, “You snapped at me? When?”

I was amazed. “When you asked about the programs!”

She laughed. “Oh, that was a snap? Are you sure? I didn’t think it was a snap but if that’s what is was to you, it’s okay. That was a really dumb question to ask.”

I laughed too, made some coffee and the world got better for the rest of the day. (And I went to bed around 10:30 last night. 🙂

I’ve often thought about whether sin in your heart needs to be confessed out loud. I know we need to confess to the Lord but if I was thinking badly about Joe, do I need to confess that to him or just deal with my heart and move on? I still don’t know. But this time was different because I actually did something. I rarely ever feel angry and when I am, it almost never shows because it’s just for a few seconds. I guess even when I actually act in my anger, people still don’t know. 🙂

Anyway, the moral of the story is: make sure you get plenty of sleep.

 

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2014 in secretary

 

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Summer Debrief: Part 1

I’ve rewritten this post three times now because there is so much to tell and I can’t figure out how I want to tell it. I’m almost tempted to just make a list on here about the summer but I know that’s cheesy. You should see how my journal looks when I don’t write for a while. 🙂

This week marks the final full week of summer camp. I can’t believe how fast it’s gone; seems like just yesterday that all the staff were arriving, new and nervous, and now they are thriving here at camp. This summer was so different from last year in a good, stretching way. The staff were different, my role/perspective was different, and many changes took place as the summer wore on.

I think the Lord really taught me contentment this summer. Now, I would have said I was a content person before- I’m usually pretty happy wherever I’m placed. But, it seems like this summer I had to lay down every desire I had and things just didn’t go the way I planned. I never did get to be a counselor because I was needed in the office. And it was OK. I recognized that the Lord had placed me in that spot for a reason and my job was to serve joyfully there. There were so many new things to learn in the office because I wasn’t in there for camp last year. My days were very busy and on some days, I wouldn’t leave the office until 7:30 or 8:00.

My new motto has become: Does it really matter? I ask myself that all the time. In the whole scheme of eternity, is this going to matter? Is it going to matter if I miss this event, if I don’t get to eat dinner until 8 or 9 tonight, if this has to wait until tomorrow. Now, not to say I just threw everything to the wind and don’t care what happens or if I’m doing my job to the best of my ability. I’m just trying to throw in some eternal perspective. Some things just aren’t worth getting upset over because they don’t matter that much.

And other things do. Souls matter. Christ’s glory matters. Did I impact others for the gospel? Did I shine Christ in a dark world? Was I glorifying God in everything? Those things matter.

And those are the things I want my life to be focused on.

 

(Stay tuned for part 2!)

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2014 in camp

 

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Excited for Summer

At first, I was bummed. Then, I was tearful. Now, I am excited.

You see, becoming the office manager of the Farm has one very big disadvantage. It means I can’t be a counselor this summer. Counseling is really where my heart is but I don’t think it’s probable that I will get to play that role this summer. Maybe for a week or two. I would feel very grateful if I could get even that in. So, at first, I was bummed that I would be a counselor.

Then the summer staff started to arrive on Sunday. It was great getting to see all the old faces and meet the new ones. They kind of hung out in the office for a while as it is air-conditioned. That’s when it hit me: I really do have a job to do in the office and I’m not going to get to spend as much time with these staff. And I longed to be on summer staff…and I cried a little.

Over the past two days, I have been in the office most of the time and the summer staff have been training around the farm. After dinner, I have been able to spend a lot more time with them. And now, I am excited. You see, last year when I was a counselor, I didn’t get to spend much time focusing on the staff because I was focused (rightly) on my cabin and campers. With the flexibility I have now of NOT being on summer staff, I am able to know the staff on a deeper level. I am able to pray more specifically for them and be an encouragement to them. I am able to hop in and help in their cabins when they need an extra hand at night or to print something off during the day for them. As a full-time staffer, I am able to be one of their advisers (mentors) and lead one of the Bible Study groups next week for training. And I’m excited to be playing that role. It’s new and different for me but it fits and it stretches me. One of the goals for me this summer is to work on being more encouraging to others. This role will fit perfectly into that goal.

So yes, I am still disappointed that I can’t be a counselor all summer. No, I am not complaining about it. Yes, I am wholeheartedly working in the office still. And yes, I have totally embraced this new opportunity in my life.

(Same as last summer, I may not be on here a whole lot, but I will still try to at least check for comments around once a week. But don’t expect too many posts. 🙂 )

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2014 in camp

 

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Encouragement

The other day, we got an interesting and rather long phone call in the office.  The other secretary took it but we all heard it since it was so quiet. It was quite obvious form the conversation that it was a displeased camper Mom and that it had something to do with Catholicism.  When she got off the phone, we all just looked at her expectantly.

First off, the lady was not mad at all. She just wanted to know it this was a “safe” camp for Catholics to attend. Do we intentionally try to undermine Catholic beliefs?  Her daughters have been campers for years but something had happened this past summer. Her daughter came home full of doubts as to some of the Catholic rituals. Also, she had been telling her friends in her Catholic school that evolution was not correct and was promoting Creationism.  She also said that when her daughter was at camp they discussed the pope and her daughter wasn’t convinced she really agreed with the idea of a pope anymore.  The mother was concerned; her daughter’s faith was being torn down.

Now, this mom didn’t want anything said to the counselor because she really liked her and didn’t really think she was intentionally doing this.

What she didn’t know was that I work in the office……and I was her daughter’s counselor.

I remember that week so clearly. It was the only week I had older girls (age 11-12) and I had at least 3 who were Catholic. So of course it was a topic of conversation during Bible Study. Not because I brought it up, but THEY did!  (As a side note:  I don’t remember talking about the pope at all that week. But she certainly could have formed her own opinions!)  We did talk about who we should pray to and such things as that. I mean, when we started to study the Bible, these girls had questions. “If the Bible says that, then why do we do this?”  I always stressed that YES you can be a Catholic and be saved!  Of course you can!  Also, God is the only one who can see a person’s heart and I can’t tell anybody if they’re saved or not.

That’s what I stressed to all my Catholic campers.  Apparently, this Mom thought that we were anti-Catholic here when we aren’t really.  However, what she meant for a slight reprimand, got me so excited!

I got to see some more fruits from camp.  How this girl was challenged by Scripture and how it applies to her life!  It’s encouraging to me and…

I’m going to pray for this young lady.

 

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2013 in camp

 

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Shifting Ideas

It’s amazing to me how God molds us.  How we think we’ve got our lives planned out the way we want them and then he gives us something totally different.  It’s hard to grasp, to conform ourselves to God’s way and the opportunities He has set before us rather than our own plans.

Now, if you’ve read this post, you know about my love and passion for home.  I thought I had it all figured out. I wanted to stay home and be a blessing to those around me.  If God chose for me to marry someday, fine.  And if he had other plans, fine.  I had learned that contentment is found in the Lord and not in circumstances. I was enjoying my time serving my family and church family.  I was home, where I loved to be and with the people I loved, serving the God I love.

Then came summer and my service changed forms. I was five hours away from home, working 6 days a week.  I had amazing opportunities to share Christ’s love with those I had never met and to grow in my faith as well.  At times, I was very homesick and there were times when I learned about things that I didn’t want to know, but the rewards far out-wayed the costs.

Before camp was even over, I was asked to consider becoming the camp secretary. Wait God, that wasn’t the plan. How can I leave home and my family?  I talked to my parents and they were all for it.  A new, great opportunity to grow in Christ’s love and to serve him in a different environment than ever before.  I was still torn.  I remember calling home one day and I talked to Bethany.  She said, “Mommy told Becca and me that you might be staying at camp and you will NEVER come home again.”  I remember talking to Mom (who quickly set Bethany to rights about the whole thing) crying and telling her that I didn’t want to become one of those big sisters whose younger siblings barely know. I wanted them to know me, not know about me.  To be close and for us to be able to know what the other is thinking and feeling.   My mom is so comforting.  She told me of the great ways she was planning for us to stay in touch and it was because they loved me so much that they didn’t want me to leave.

God slowly helped me grasp the idea.  In the process, He has caused me to rethink the idea of a stay-at-home daughter.  I reread that post I wrote before and found this line:

A stay-at-home daughter is one who has chosen to stay under her Dad’s and Mom’s protection…

I thought about that and realized something: it’s still true.  You can live five hours from your parents and still be under their protection and authority.  You can be a stay-at-home daughter and not live with your parents.

Like so many other things, it’s a heart issue.

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2013 in staying home

 

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Growth at Camp

I’m back!  It is so nice to be home again! I had an AMAZING summer!  I’ve been greatly blessed and grown by God this summer and I don’t even know where to start.  Sooooo….where should I start?

Camp is a unique environment.  It’s a place where you are on duty 24 hours a day/almost 7days a week.  The campers get to see you all the time.  They will without fail pick up on your attitudes and actions.  We have this saying at camp:  what you do in moderation, campers will do in excess.   How true that is!  So here is what I learned at camp:

1.  Every moment is an opportunity to learn.  During staff training, we learned to bring teachable moments into the daily routine.  It’s so true- many things around us point us to God and display his glory!  My campers would often say, “You bring everything we talk about back to the Bible!”

 

2. Saving is God’s job, not ours.  Our job is to be obedient and share the gospel and leave the rest up to God.  No matter what you say, if the Holy Spirit is not working in a person’s life, then they will reject the gospel. The opposite is also true- if the Holy Spirit is working in a person’s heart, then that person will believe in spite of what you say! 

 

3. It’s okay to be wet.  Rain does not stop camp activity and you get used to living like a duck- it was a wet summer!  There was one time it rained all week and I was taking the younger boys cabin to their next activity.  We were all soaking wet so we went puddle stomping!  We (yes, me too)  had so much fun!

 

4. I can’t be the shy person.  I’ve always been one of those people who wait for others to introduce themselves and initiate things. However, at camp it’s very important to step out and be that person.  You have to introduce yourself to so many people and be outgoing with everyone.

 

5. I learned to be spontaneous.  I’m one of those people who stick to the schedule above all else.  I learned that it’s okay to deviate from that schedule sometimes and do something crazy fun!

Above all else, I learned to have such a heart for kids.  To be excited to share the gospel with them and to pray fervently for their salvation.

 

I learned to see God’s grace better and to share that grace with others.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2013 in camp

 

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