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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. ūüôā

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. ūüôā )

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2014 in camp

 

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Devotion Lessons at 1AM

This post is going to take some backstory explaining.  Please bear with me.

I live in an apartment at the farm. ¬†It is right above the office (very convenient) and it is behind a big room that is used for barn dances and is rented out to groups as a meeting room (not so convenient). ¬†Usually it’s not a problem…sometimes there are noisy groups in there but they usually leave before I am ready to sleep.

Two days ago, in my morning devotions I read this verse that hit me hard. (Yes, this connects…wait for it.)

“Remind them¬†to be submissive to rulers and authorities,¬†to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, ¬†to speak evil of no one,¬†to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and¬†to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”

Titus 3:1-2

Hmmm….really convicting verse, huh? ¬†I pondered it for a while. ¬†Submissive, okay….be obedient, got it…..ready for every good work….hmmm. ¬† I thought about that one for a while. ¬†But the part that hit me is the very last section: ¬†‘to show perfect courtesy toward all people.’ ¬†WHAT does that mean? ¬†What is¬†perfect courtesy anyway? ¬†I’ve heard a lot about ‘common’ courtesy but what does perfect courtesy look like?

I then proceeded to show that verse to the other office ladies and we thought about it together. ¬†We put it up around the office. ¬†But I was still undecided….what is perfect courtesy? ¬†So I did what I do every time I need to clarify the meaning of something. I looked courtesy up in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.

COURTESY, n.

1. Elegance or politeness of manners; especially, politeness connected with kindness; civility; complaisance; as, the gentleman shows great courtesy to strangers; he treats his friends with great courtesy.

 

2. An act of civility or respect; an act of kindness or favor performed with politeness.

 

Wow.  I have to do THAT perfectly?  I would say that common courtesy does not have to have kindness associated with it.  I mean, you can be courteous without being kind sometimes.

Now, you may be wondering what all this has to do with my apartment being by the meeting room. ¬†I’ll tell you.

 

Yesterday, a church group came in that has that room rented.  They are all from Kenya and have never been here before. My first premonitions came when I used the restroom in the middle of the day and I could hear them very clearly from there.  My second concern came when I found out they have that room rented for three days.

After work yesterday, I went up to my room and I have to pass through that meeting room to get there. ¬†They were up there whooping and hollering, moaning and walking around in big circles in the room. ¬†And they all stared at me as I passed through….kind of awkward moment. ¬†I then proceeded to go back downstairs and ask one of my bosses if I could borrow his back stairway key for a couple days. After I explained, he quickly handed it over.

That group was in that room last night until 1AM. ¬†Singing, moaning, hollering. ¬†I lay in my bed thinking all sorts of awful thoughts about them. ¬†And then, (of course it had to happen) I remembered the verse that I’ve been thinking about for a couple days now. ¬†And it wasn’t the perfect courtesy part that hit me this time…it was the ‘toward all people’ part. I am called, I am¬†commanded by my Lord and Savior to show love and courtesy toward every one I meet. Including the hard people on the phone, the stiff workers at Walmart, and the incompetent phone service technicians. ¬†Including that church from Kenya.

Now, you may ask why I am writing this post at 7AM in the morning after such a rough night.  Well, I decided not to go to the YMCA this morning to work out because I wanted to get some more sleep. Your next question may be, AGAIN why are you writing this?

That church group is back in…7AM this morning and all I hear is music and singing that I don’t understand.

Lord, please help me today to show your love and perfect courtesy toward these people.

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2013 in witness

 

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