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My favorite camp moment

Every evening after session the kids have small groups with their leaders. I’m not that leader (rather a nurse leader as if that makes sense) so I always headed back to my room. This year Pastor Tom decided the adults should do small group as well. So we discussed our POD (picture of the day) and what we liked best. We also prayed over every kid that came down. Yes I prayed out loud. For those that don’t follow me on Facebook this is just another thing totally out of characteristic for me.

Last night was what was the best part of camp. For me it was the session in the morning. Three kids in their super early twenties shared their stories. One was a Big Stuf intern from our church, and intern from somewhere else and one of the obterns (Oak Bridge intern) that came with us to camp. Her story is similar to mine. Although she knows God and people love her, she has never felt it. I had just reposted my very first camp note last week and that was me. It was at Big Stuf that I finally felt love. Of course then they had to play How He Loves and I’m just crying like a baby, singing and begging God to let her feel his love right now. (Yes, I’m a multitasker). I don’t want her to have to wait forty one years to feel it. It’s so awesome.
Of course I wrote her a little note and shared this. She found me this morning and hugged me and I hugged back. When you share your story with others you soon realize people are just as screwed up as you. People can spend a lot of energy creating the persona they have it all together but it becomes exhausting. More camp talk later.
Mole Moral ~ Everybody doesn’t need to know everything but somebody needs to know everything.
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Big Stuf and Firefighter Dave

If you know me well, you know I do not handle last minute changes or surprises. I have always been a I must know the rules and the schedule kind of gal. So if it gets changed up, it makes me crazy. So I was at Big Stuf Olympics and someone told me an EMT was coming down as well. A little later he introduced himself. He was super nice and I liked him instantly. Due to a scheduling conflict I had to leave Olympics early and didn’t talk to him for very long. By the time I arrived to my car I had forgotten his name. In my defense, I try not to remember anyones name to prevent HIPPA violations. That way I can’t talk about them if I don’t their name. Luckily a couple days later he sent me a facebook message so I confessed I had forgotten his name and why. He was cool with it.

If my family likes you, you end up with a nickname. Some of our kids friends nicknames are Toenail, McWeinee, Trollinator, Meecham Ritchelle, Amber Bamber, and a few others I cannot think of at the moment. My nickname is Big Red and we use to call Brian dad fag but that is no longer socially acceptable so most days I just call him Mole. One of my first interactions with Dave was he told me he brought down an AED (you know the shock machine for CPR) just in case. I was like finally someone more paranoid than I am. I knew I was normal. Hahaha. I had his number in my phone but hadn’t put his name with it. So when he texted me the next day I was like who is this. And since he is a firefighter the nickname Firefighter Dave was born.

It has been awesome having him around considering this years camp stuff hasn’t been the usual jellyfish stings, Band-Aid’s, or sore throats. It’s been stuff like feet rashes, bite from an unknown bug, fire ant sting. So I call him for a consult quite frequently. I have already informed him that I decided he is coming next year as well. His assessments are very hands on whereas I am more of a doorway assessment type person. I can pretty much look at a kid, diagnose them and come up with treatment with barely touching them. He comes along and he does a true assessment and draws the same conclusion. This only hammers home that I really am the queen of “doorway assessments”. This nickname comes from work where everyone swears I stand in the patients doorway yell to ask them how they are doing and come out with them fully assessed. This is a bit of an exaggeration of course but life is fun with Big Red around! Bahahahaha.

 

Mole Moral ~ My dog has at least eight nicknames which tells you who I really love the best!

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Happy Thirtieth Birthday Big Stuf!

This years theme is Original which doesn’t mean being the first of something. It means being different and better. This describes this camp perfectly. And for those interested in the history I found these gems out in the main hallway.

 

Mole Moral ~ Lanny Donoho was the founder of this camp which makes him a huge original! I am so glad he followed his heart and has touched so many people with his originality.

 

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Beauty Beyond Bones

This is the name of a blog who has been following me for quite some time. At first I thought maybe it had been a year but then I get to thinking back and it seemed like she found me right after Big Stuf the summer of 2016. I remembered this because her blog is about recovery from anorexia and there was a girl at camp that summer that was struggling with it. I actually had preconceived notions about her dad (nothing related to the eating disorder) and he came to camp to keep an eye on her. I spent some time with him and God was like bam you idiot stop looking at people through your eyes only. I meant to start reading her blog back then but I never got around to it.

One of the reasons is I’m lazy about reading. I use to love to read but now given the choice I will waste time playing stupid games on my phone. The other reason is my sister has battled an eating disorder off and on since she was 18 years old. It is always very easy to tell how she is doing based on where her weight is at. So maybe a week or so ago I decided now was the time and started at the beginning. I think she has been writing for 2 1/2 years so I am no where close to being caught up. I haven’t even finished the first year. All of the posts are so good that I have been taking my time reading them and reflecting on them.

I think by about the fifth or sixth blog a light bulb went on in my head and I understood why my counselor told me that I could easily slip into an eating disorder. (That conversation with her also showed up on time hop a month or so ago). I remember telling her at the time I enjoyed food too much. I also remembered that was back when I was running a lot. Ok I know I just trained and ran a fifty but I did this much slower and walked a lot of the training. Back then I could run a half marathon with no walking. And i was super focused on nutrition and what I was eating. The last year I have managed to eat all junk and highly processed food and if I hadn’t been training I would have easily been right back to my starting weight (170) for the fourth time in my life. However food and nutrition is my next blog post. I don’t even know this girls name but so much of what she has written I have totally related to. I remember studying eating disorders in nursing school and telling Brian I had all the signs and he told me that was the stupidest thing he had ever heard. Back then I thought wow maybe I am stupid but I learned a long time ago when he cannot handle something he says stupid things.

So yes this girl went to inpatient for recovery but she said her recovery did not start there but actually with Jesus and when she realized he died on the cross for HER. She relates a lot of her life to bible stories which I love because it’s like reading the bible. I told you I just don’t read like I use to. It’s also like being in church while laying on my couch. She is not preachy or over bearing or obnoxious, she is just awesome. So today at church my favorite young adult sang my favorite song. I heard it first when she sang it and she sings it better than Steffany Gretzinger. While we were singing it I thought of Beauty and I hope she has heard it. Here are the words and as you read it, imagine Jesus saying it to YOU only.

Come out of hiding
You’re safe here with Me
There’s no need to cover
What I already see

You’ve got your reasons
But I hold your peace
You’ve been on lockdown
And I hold the key

‘Cause I loved you before you knew it was love
And I saw it all, still I chose the cross
And you were the one that I was thinking of
When I rose from the grave

Now rid of the shackles, My victory’s yours
I tore the veil for you to come close
There’s no reason to stand at a distance anymore
You’re not far from home

I’ll be your lighthouse
When you’re lost at sea
And I will illuminate everything

No need to be frightened
By intimacy
No, just throw off your fear
And come running to Me

‘Cause I loved you before you knew it was love
And I saw it all, still I chose the cross
And you were the one that I was thinking of
When I rose from the grave
Now rid of the shackles, My victory’s yours
I tore the veil for you to come close
There’s no reason to stand at a distance anymore
You’re not far from home
Keep on coming

And oh as you run
What hindered love
Will only become
Part of the story
Baby, you’re almost home now
Please don’t quit now
You’re almost home to Me

She has over 5000 followers as of February 2016 so this post certainly isn’t about blog promotion because she doesn’t necessarily need that. But if you want to read something that is God focused and really good then click here.

 

Mole Moral~ Sometimes putting off till tomorrow what you can read today, leads to a really nice surprise.

 
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Session one Jesus is our filter

Stuart Hall was not a speaker this year at camp and my first thought “oh no camp won’t be right.” Yes, I know that I am never going to learn God knows better than me. The first three sessions were given by Gerald Fadayomi who is with Brown church a division of North Point. He was awesome. After session last night Josh said something to the effect that he has been coming to camp for many years and he was the best speaker. After this out of my mouth flies “I agree” like really loud. This had to be God yelling through me because I am not a loud person in a crowd of people I do not know.
This years theme is Filters and the first night was called the US filter. Everyone has a filter for their life and it’s how they see the world. Gerald gave some examples.
1. The fun filter~This person is all about fun, where the party is, or the class clown.
2. The fashion filter~ This person is all about fashion and sees the world through style. They judge people on what they are wearing. This is certainly not me as I pretty much wear Big Stuf t-shirts year round. And we won’t even talk about my lack of shoe wear.
3. The achievement filter~ This person is all about making straight A’s and maintaining the 4.3 GPA and climbing the corporate ladder of success.
4. The guy humor filter~ The guy that always waits till the perfect time to make stupid guy jokes.
5. The relationship filter~ The person who sees every one of the opposite sex as relationship worthy or not.
For most of my life my filter was trust no one and don’t let anyone get too close because I never knew when they might jump ship. This stemmed from my parents getting divorced. I did not even realize I viewed life this way until I met an awesome counselor nine years ago and attended Big Stuf camp. After I changed my filter, my life became a whole lot richer. One of the main points was how you see, is how you be. That really hit home for me.
Do not copy the behaviors and customs of this world but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. This would be my interpretation of some verses in Romans that I forgot to write down. God wants to have input in the way you see so Gerald suggested to change your behavior, you have to change your vision. I’ve been working on stopping cursing. Some days are better than others but I started by subing in dirt bag. I decided when I see curse words different, I will be different and no longer be a sailor mouth.

Mole moral ~ Dear God, Help me to set my filters aside so you can transform my mind. Love, CR

 

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How He Loves

How He Loves is by far the very best and most important song ever written. There is incredible meaning and a story that goes along with it that I will get to a little later in this post.

Most people do not know that I have had a headache for over a month straight. It all started at work during a meeting. I did write about my visit to the ER eight days later.(CR visits the ER) I remained headache free until the day after I finished the steroids and then it came right back. It finally got to the point that by five or six in the evening I could no longer function at work and the supervisor would have to watch my patients while I slept before I could even drive home. The last day I worked I realize now that I could barely function and people would talk to me but I could hardly register what they were saying. On a Saturday I started having numbness and tingling in my arm and face so I had my sister drop me off at the ER. This time they did not give me compazine because of the twitching and what they gave me did not touch my headache. They decided to admit me to do a MRI/MRV to check to make sure I did not have blood clots in my sinuses. All of that came back normal. I was in the hospital for six days and even had a lumbar puncture. Every single test was negative. Nothing they gave me got rid of the headache and I slept a lot more than I realized. So they sent me home on a Friday and said your headache will go away eventually. That weekend was horrible. I started throwing up on top of being in the worst pain of my life. I asked God several times to just take me to Heaven to be with my grandparents, but apparently Jesus isn’t ready for CR because I am still here. Finally on Tuesday the nausea left, the pain cut in half and I could sit up without feeling like my head was going to explode. For ten days I could really only tolerate laying on my right or left side I couldn’t even lay on my back without feeling like my head was going to explode. It was just awful.

Tonight I went to the Edge (our youth service) and its the first time I have been out of the house in over two weeks. I mean I have left to take short walks around the neighborhood but I have not been anywhere else besides the hospital. Tonight the band played How He Loves. It’s been a long time since I have sung that song at church. The first time I heard it was 2008 at Big Stuf camp. That was the first year I went to camp and it was a game changer for my life. During the camp for the first time I ever I could feel that God loved me. Prior to that I never felt anyone really loved me. I knew in my head people loved me but I couldn’t feel it.  This kind of talk did not go over well with my husband who told me basically that was the stupidest thing he had ever heard and I was wrong. I was already in counseling and that was the final straw, I started looking at apartments because I was finished with him. (A friend of mine told me about the movie Fireproof and we did The Love Dare and all things changed.) However for the next two years or so every single time I heard that song, I would end up crying by the time it was over. Well tonight that song started and the tears started full force. God was with me during one of the most difficult times in my life back then and I knew he was here with me right now. It was like he was saying hey CR I’m still here and you will get through this as well. I thought I could explain this experience in words but it’s just not working out.

My headache has greatly decreased which is how I am even able to write this blog. Usually when I try concentrating it starts ramping up but so far so good. I have an appointment with a headache neurologist on Thursday. They are calling this an irregular migraine. I am not really buying this as I have never had a migraine in my life. These headaches usually start in the teen years. Brian has had migraines since he was a kid and he said he has never seen anything like the way I have been. They wanted me to take a bunch of drugs to prevent the next one. I could not stand the drugged up way I felt so I stopped taking all of them. Plus why am I trying to prevent something that won’t even go away. We shall have a nice discussion at this appointment. I want the cause of the headache discovered and resolved, not sit around in a semi comatose state for the rest of my life.

How He Loves

He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions
Eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me

And oh, how He loves us, oh
Oh, how He loves us, how He loves us all

He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions
Eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me

Oh, how He loves, yeah, He loves us
Oh, how He loves us, oh, how He loves us
Oh, how He loves

And we are His portion and He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking

And heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way

Oh, how He loves us, oh
Oh, how He loves us, how He loves all
How He loves

Yeah, He loves us, oh, how He loves us
Oh, how He loves us, oh how He loves
Oh, I love

Yeah, He loves us, yeah, He loves us
How He loves us, oh, how He loves us all

 

Mole Moral ~ My final diagnosis will be NURSE CURSE!

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You reap what you sow

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:

  1. What wrong seed are you planting.
  2. What different seed do you need to start planting.
  3. 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.