WOW. WOW. WOW!
There’s just no other way to start this post than with that! It has been a summer packed full to the brim of hard things, good things, strengthened friendships, worth it moments, blackberries, heart cries, heart songs, and a growing love for the life that God has given me.
We began the summer season with the big celebration of my sister’s wedding! This technically happened in May, but I’m including it in the summer season festivities. You can read more about that wonderful day HERE. But man oh man, what a day to enjoy!
Ben and I also celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary in May. We drove down Highway 1, moseyed on the beach, ate seafood with the ocean in view, and did a lot of laughing. We also finally made it to Red Lobster (I know nothing hugely special about that), but I had never been and had wanted to do that on our honeymoon. Well, we finally got around to it TWO years later! This photo was taken on our anniversary under our wedding arbor (yes, it’s still standing in the backyard!). Can you tell how desert-sun bright it is?! I-YI-YI!
Love this man more & more each day.
Summer staff training began shortly after our trip down to Cheyenne’s wedding. Once training started, the summer was in full swing….and it did not stop till just last Saturday. There were 23 salvations at summer camp this year + many, many more life-changing decisions.
It was fun to hear all the noise that campers make. I didn’t know I loved that sound so much! You can check out the Wolf Mountain Facebook page HERE. You will see lots of summer camp pictures if you just follow that link (*wink,wink*).
Ben and I were able to work closely with the Leadership Live crew this summer. This is a program for 15-18 year olds who are wanting to learn more about God while also experiencing the work + ministry of camp.
I loved getting to know the girls, sharing with them my own heart, opening my home, and getting to laugh with them. There are already things I look forward to doing better next summer, and I anticipate the coming opportunities!
This was our first summer as Resident Staff, so we definitely fumbled around a bit, but we love camp even more now than we did before summer started. We are both hoping for many more summers at Wolf Mountain! And here we have a photo of my brother (who also spoke for Junior camp), and my husband (wearing the green nightmare). They were clowns for our Horsemanship Shodeo! Camp is FUN! You can learn more about Wolf Mountain HERE.
Along with embracing the newness of a life stage, I was also working through some difficult things. I began this summer totally engulfed in my own heart.
But as I opened up to people, and allowed the wonderful comfort of God’s truth to pour into my heart, I began to live outside of myself. I finally realized (all over again) how much I needed to ask God for help. I poured out my emotions to God + asked Him for very specific help. You know what? He answered me in the most beautiful ways! He gave me strength. He replaced the weary with joy, and the worry with rejoicing. Oh the life that was waiting for me on the other side of my own fears!
I found Psalms 31 to be such a comfort! By the time the summer was through, I got to sit down with the Leadership Live girls and share my heart and much of what I had been learning. It can feel so risky to be transparent, but how can we not when God heals, sustains, and holds up our weary hearts! How can we not?!
I was encouraged by the decisions made this summer, and I am amazed at God’s faithfulness to me. I have struggled through different kinds of hard seasons (as we ALL have!), but God continues to rescue my heart from hopelessness. He continues to show me that the best place I can ever be, the most life I can ever experience is nearness to Him.
I learned the value of investing in new friendships (even if it’s all the way in Ohio), and I learned the relief there is in opening my heart further to the friends I already have. Risky as it may feel, real transparency is worth it. My true friends don’t burn me, they simply sit with me! I had women sitting with me this summer, and it was so, so encouraging.
I ended the summer in songs, not cries. I stood on the sidelines while others did the same! God still works miracles…miracles in the heart, ashes of despair to fires of Hope, and cries of weakness to songs of His strength! This summer has been golden because of God. He is a God of abundance–abundant Strength, abundant Hope, and abundant Grace. And I am a woman who is living every day in that Abundance.