This was actually the theme of session three at camp this summer. My favorite speaker Stuart Hall spoke about it. He started off by showing the clip from the new star wars movie where the girl was fighting Hans Solo’s kid. I was so glad bus leader Dan conned us into watching it on the way down. He said everyone has a dark side and you must deal with that before you can live the prime life. The theme of camp this year was how to live a Prime life. Anyhow today matters, right now matters and your next decision matters. All affects what happens in the future. Galatians 6:7 God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Mocking was defined by Stuart as the definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. What you sow today, you reap tomorrow. So he left the kids with these questions:
- What wrong seed are you planting.
- What different seed do you need to start planting.
- Who’s going to help you plant?
Because I do not have the gift of writing a sermon (I am sure there is a name for this but I probably couldn’t spell it anyway), it often takes me quite a while to try to relate what I have heard to my own life but over the past weekend when my mother in law asked me who says I had to run twenty-four miles on Saturday this all fell into place.
First of all, no one says I have to. I have a training schedule that recommends sticking to it and not blowing off runs, especially the long weekend ones. It is totally up to me whether or not I do it. However, I have done two races that I wasn’t properly trained for. The first was a half marathon the weekend after my running friends John & Jennifer got married. I barely followed the training schedule and my longest run was six miles. This was probably six years ago and I can still see the exact spot around mile 9 where they were with a sign to cheer me on. I seriously thought about quitting and riding on home with them. I finished but my back was killing me and my legs hurt the next day. This April I wanted to do a full as my comeback after foot surgery times two. I had a race all picked out and it ended up conflicting with Emily’s white coat ceremony so I decided to a different one four weeks earlier. So about mile 22 my right thigh started burning and by the end I was looking at people wondering if I could offer someone, anyone to drive me to my car. Both were horrible races in that I did not enjoy them and probably prayed for death during this time.
So I have a choice, do all the runs in the schedule and be able to finish the thirty-one mile race enjoying it along the way or skip half of it and pray for death. I already signed up and paid for the race, so not doing it is not an option. So if you see me walking/running all over Arnold and South County this fall you will know I am planning to reap a good race by sowing all the runs.
Mole moral~ Even us old folks can learn something every year at camp.
The first four hours of the bus ride were awful to the point I was thinking that maybe I was too old to be on the bus. The driver we had drives like I do. She was swerving back and forth and jamming on the brakes and running off the side of the road over the tracks that make the noise. Trying to sleep was a nightmare and whichever side I was laying on my hip would go numb. I seriously considered giving up on the seat and laying on the floor but by this time my spot had been overtaken by a teenager so I struggled on. Dan (my favorite kid, who really isn’t a kid anymore) was my bus leader again this year. He is hilarious and always has me cracking up. He makes the time go by a lot faster. He also didn’t make us play the get to know your bus neighbor game which always gives me horrible anxiety. The outside seats rotate around the bus and you have to talk to each other. I seriously am shy when it comes to talking to new people so this is a way out of my comfort zone experience. However had it not been for this game I would not have met my two favorite Dan’s. My very first year I met Dan P who told me I didn’t look over 22. What a charmer! I still keep up with him through Facebook. I met Dan the bus leader four years ago when I put my favorite restaurant was Steak n shake, and his was subway. He said something like we skinny people need to stick together. I said time out I am not naturally skinny. That was at the prime of my running when I was super thin. Anyway calling me 22 and skinny makes me love you forever! So Dan persuaded us all to watch Star Wars 7 since he had never seen it. The movie played with sound until it started and then it went silent. So he restarted it and the same thing so he started it with subtitles. He then started reading us the words over the microphone and acting out the sounds. It was awesome and hilarious. He is such a good kid. The sound finally started working and I can say I watched the entire thing waiting for them to find Luke. Can I just say all those people look so old and yet I am still in sixth grade when the original movie came out. It’s funny how everyone ages and gets older except for me.
This year the theme for Big Stuf is Prime and I forgot my ink pen to take notes so I had to take pictures of what was written on the screen so I could write this note. On a side note, I forgot all kinds of stuff this trip. I forgot my headphones, a sports bra, I lost my phone on the bus and I also lost my charger. I almost lost my fitbit charger as well. Next year I am going to rethink what bags I bring so that I am not dropping stuff and losing it. Stuart Hall spoke for the first session and he was awesome as always. The kids can relate to him and tune in nicely. I am sure a few weren’t listening but I would bet at least eight percent of the room was tuned in. The bible verse tonight was actually Herc’s life verse John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. He focused on the last part that Jesus wants us to live our life to the full. He put this really cool diagram up about strength and weakness and how people think strength is what you need and those people are usually so obnoxious no one likes them. But he talked about people who withdraw and that was me a good part of my life. I really wish I would have had a pen to take notes because it made perfect sense then and now I cannot even think of a way to explain it. Here are some key talking points.
God had a purpose for your life before anyone else had an opinion. I wonder if his purpose matched how I turned out. I mean was his purpose for me to be a nurse and on the women’s health floor. Most days I feel that is right where I am supposed to be.
Your best life is found only by placing it in the best hands. That would be Jesus’s hands and not the worlds. That’s easy to spout off but not always so easy to try to live out. The world offers fun and excitement that usually turns into a nightmare. Jesus offers a harder way but a life with fewer regrets.
Lastly, ten years from now make sure you can say that you chose your life, you didn’t settle for it. I really feel I chose most of my life. I chose to go to nursing school, I chose to get married, I chose to have kids, I chose to work at Mercy, I chose to take the kids to Kid Stuf and become involved with Oak Bridge, I chose to be the camp nurse. I could probably go on and on. Maybe I need to think of some stuff that happened that I didn’t choose. I am sure I blocked all of that but I bet my mom can come up with a ton of stuff!
Session one has come to a close and I am totally excited for tomorrow to see what it brings.
Mole Moral ~ I am saying this for the hundredth time, it’s the best week of the year and I wish every single teenager in America coud experience this camp just one time in their life!
I think it was Dr. Phil that I heard the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. This past weeks long run was 16 miles and it rained almost every single day. So this left me with three choices run in the rain (no way, it would mess up my iPhone), use the treadmill (I’d rather rip out my fingernails) or go to the Arnold Recreation Center and use the indoor track. I had recently discovered the indoor track being free to walk and run on. So I picked the lesser of the three evils. So how many laps did I run? Somewhere around 192. Now that is insanity. I had a few people asked me how I managed. Well for one I listened to my Jesus running music. I really connect with God that way but I have to be careful not to be singing out loud. And even worse is if a Kid Stuf song I have to be super careful not to be doing the arm motions. I mean I borderline on a lunatic spending over 3 hours walking/running 192 laps as it is. Just let me sing out loud and do crazy arm motions and the white coats would be immediately sent for.
As different music plays, I am reminded of different things. Lets see Broadcast came on which was the opening song to the very first Big Stuf camp I ever attended. How He Loves also from that first camp in which for the first time I could feel people loved me. That’s a hard one to explain and belongs in a different blog. A lot of my music comes straight from camp. There are songs that make me think of Brent a kid from church that sings in the youth band. Sometimes I heard him sing it before the original artist and well he is just better. My only non Christian song is What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction. The Oak Bridge interns did a flash mob to that song. Sometimes when I listen to it, it’s as if God as singing it to me. It works pretty well for that. Maybe Uncle Larry is right, any secular song can be switched to Christian just by changing the words. Oh how that makes my cousin Eddie crazy when he says that.
This weeks long run is 18 miles and no rain in the forecast so back to my normal running route. And yes I have signed up for a full marathon!
Mole Moral~I can usually find a work around any problem and the track was just such a thing! Yep I’m insane!
This may be the first time I have actually written about every session. I usually have great intentions to do so but get home and back in the real world and out of sight out of mind. Sad but true. The last session was about being made new through what Jesus did on the cross. All of our sins are forgiven: past, present, and future. Things in the universe break down naturally over time. Just look around, except at me. God doesn’t want to improve who we are but implement a permanent new through Jesus. So because of Jesus you stay new no matter what you do.
This all lead up to what I call the “altar call”. Except at camp, people don’t come down to the front but just stand if they have decided they want to follow Jesus. After that the camp breaks into their small groups and the small group leaders talk to the kids and pray with them that they believe in Jesus and accept him into their heart. This is such a much better way than when I was a kid. Every week the church I went to had an altar call. The congregation would sing Just As I Am which the pastor would say things like “If Jesus is calling you to come down front and you don’t come and you die this week you will go to HELL.” Do you know how scary that was for a kid. I wasn’t sure if Jesus was calling me or not. (I was around the age of 10). What if he was and I didn’t go down and I died? Would I burn in Hell forever? It was scary to get out of your seat and walk down to the front but I finally did it but I have no recollection of my age or the date or even the time of the year. I do remember going to a small room and a lady praying with me. I think somewhere around 30 kids from our church stood up. Earlier in the day 14 of our kids were baptized in the ocean. They were kids who had already accepted Jesus and now were publicly identifying with him. In a couple of weeks we are having a baptism service at church and the kids that were baptized will tell their story and then the church will show the video of their baptism. Baptism services are the best.
This was the first year I had a Fitbit tracker at camp. I set a record for total steps for the week. I was 10 weeks post surgery and for the first time in two years had two feet that weren’t on fire! I could have done without knowing how little sleep I got. I am an 8-9 hour a day person so an average of 5 did not cut it. Although I did nap and sleep on the bus, most of them did not register as sleep because my heart rate was not low enough to be considering sleeping. My heart rate is around 42-44 when I sleep. The sign of a finely tuned athlete! Hahahaha. This totally explains why it took me three days to recover! I was talking about some of the nurse stuff that happened at camp. I was busier than I realized but I enjoy every moment. I must give a huge shout out to my roommate Lynn who is so helpful. Especially when a kid would wake me up out of a nap and I wasn’t fully awake. She would make suggestions. She was talking about not coming next year because all of her kids are grown but I being selfish said who am I going to room with and who is going to keep me on track. She did get to observe me in full on nurse mode. When the girl was dehydrated and started puking and was not responding to my satisfaction, my spidey senses went in full gear and I started bossing people around to get done what I needed to get done! That usually means I am panicking but not showing it! The kids asked me why I didn’t just start an IV and run fluids in. Well folks, that would be practicing medicine without a licence. The state board of nursing puts a paper out every 3 months and it always lists what nurses get in trouble for. One time a nurse started and IV on another nurse and gave her a bag of fluids. I can’t remember if she was hung over or pregnant but the nurse that did that got her license on probation. So there will be no IV starts at Big Stuf camp!
Mole Moral~ It is only 362 more days until Oak Bridge leaves for Big Stuf! I will be honored to go as the nurse again next year! It’s the best busiest, exhausting week of the year! I wouldn’t have it any other way. There is nothing more awesome than watching kids understand there is a God who loves them!
This was the last morning session and it was a good thing. Getting up at seven in the morning was killing this evening shift girl. Especially being up until midnight or a little later.
The foundation of every virtue is courage which is seriously missing in our culture. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for what is right, or the little guy, or anything out of the norm. How much easier is it to get with the flow and follow the leader than stand out. I guess this goes right along with being real. Often the right thing and the hard thing are the exact same thing. And if we are real honest, the easy thing is so much easier but often leads to not so great results.
Stuart said the way to obtain courage is to love someone deeply and to know you are loved deeply (by God). So the most powerful version of you, is you fully convinced of God’s love. That feeling loved by God has been huge for me! I have taken more risks and had more courage ever since I first experienced it seven years ago. So I am loved and I am braved sometimes. He finished by listing three incredible gifts.
1. We have existence.
2. We have opportunity
3. We are loved.
Mole moral~ I really have no idea about the three gifts so next year I better take better notes. Until then, may more courage and love surround us all.
Stuart started out session five with this statement “Social media, where fools go to feel important.” I found that so interesting and he wasn’t really ripping on social media necessarily. However, how many people define their self-worth by how many likes or comments they get? Although I may not define my self-worth, I am always interested in how many people see my stuff. This blog is a perfect example. It will tell me how many views I have had. Sometimes I remind myself that even if only one person looked at it, it might be just the person that needed to read my crazy stuff that day! The biggest issue with social media is that it allows you to filter your image by showing the best and hiding the rest. Everyone has that one person that they know that spends all of their time doing just that. They project the perfect image and yet most people can see right through it. I will be first to admit that when I am having chaos in my life (and I have had a lot recently) I become quiet. I don’t feel social media is the place to air all of that but I also have no problem putting up the silly side of myself. And as for pictures of me, I have no clue how to Photoshop or edit so what you see is the real (scary) deal!
It is almost impossible to be real if you are living with secrets. Everyone needs to have one person they can tell everything and anything to. I am fortunate to have a person like that in my life. It is also impossible to be real if you feel like you need to be fake to be loved. Say what? If you can’t be who you are but who others think you are supposed to be then it’s difficult to love yourself. It’s also real difficult to like yourself when you don’t think God loves you.
That statement really hit home and caused a flashback to my very first camp, eight camps ago. I never really thought a camp would be better than my first one, but this one blew it out of the water. Anyway, seven years ago for the first time ever I felt that God loved me. It’s hard to explain and most people think I’m crazy but up until that point, I knew in my head people loved me but I couldn’t feel it. Oh it is almost heaven like to be able to feel it. So when Stuart said that I got the goose bumps!
Then he went back to the secrets and he stated people who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. Confessing your sin (secrets) might cost something but concealing it might cost everything. He also reminded us failure is an event, not a character trait!
Mole moral~This session validated me and the fact that I really try to be real all the time. Sometimes my lack of filter can get me in trouble but I’m pretty much my real self all of the time. Watch out world!
Now that the distractions of surgery and the ER have passed and I am back home, I plan to finish up the sessions over the next few days. Session four was Wednesday morning and Stuart Hall was back. He and Jared Herd are tied for my all time favorite speakers. Jared has had a child or two now so I am not sure camp will see him again. However Stuart is older and his kids are almost grown.
Are you known for what you are against or what you are for? Most people are known for what they are against, drinking, drugs, abortion, democrats (just kidding) but not what they are for. Jesus was known for his love and that he came to teach love. This was new to the people of this time because of the religious craziness that was going on back then. They had over 600 crazy laws they attempted to follow to make them worthy in God’s eyes. Jesus came and said love one another as I have loved you. He did not say your ability to change people’s behavior will prove to the world that you are my disciples or that your ability to follow a ton of rules will prove to the world that you are mine. He said your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. Then he started talking about circumcision in a room full of teenagers. That was quite comical but his point was that Jesus made circumcision irrelevant because it was just another one of many rules that was now obsolete. Just like sacrificing a perfect animal for forgiveness of sin. The religious fruitcakes of the time asked what the most important commandment was and the answer was simple, love the lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself.
He concluded with love is the most powerful force in the universe and the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. You have to be FOR someone to convince someone. (My notes are lacking here because I cannot remember what the point of that was.) So who will you be FOR? What will you be FOR? Will you be known for what you are against or what you are FOR?
Mole moral~I want to be known FOR helping others, being kind and showing love