If you worry about things you cannot control then worry actually controls you. This word worry always remind me of my Grandma Carty. She was forty-five when my father was born and was convinced she would not live to see him graduate from high school. The first thing she told my mom when she met her was that she didn’t have long to live. I remember going to see her on the weekends and she was always worried she was going to die. Not only did she live to see her son graduate high school, she lived to see me graduate nursing school and my sister high school. I thought she lived to ninety-three but when I was looking at her death announcement a couple of weeks ago I believe she was ninety-one. So she lived over half her life worried that she was going to die soon.

Today’s talk was mostly about anxiety and depression which is a huge issue these days with a lot of people. The lockdown was not kind as we were created for community and not isolation. It is impossible to fake anxiety depression or worry but it’s easy to fake being ok. My own father faked being ok to me but it was easier for him because the last time I saw him was Christmas 2019. The real fear of covid for Brenda was a great excuse.

Currently one in six teenagers have considered suicide. This is a mental health issue not a sin. Self harm has also risen whether it be cutting, eating disorders, drug addiction etc. Anxiety is like rocking in a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but gets you nowhere. Stuart offered four things to help with anxiety.

1. Get control over the things you can control such as integrity, love and humility.

2. Get clear on whose opinion of you actually matters and no not all one thousand Instagram followers opinions matter. He suggested taking a small piece of paper such as a post it note and writing the names of these people on it. He called it the square squad and to let them know they are on you square squad and to help you.

3. Get honest about the things that really matter. Does it really matter if not everyone likes you?

4. Get help for the things you can’t control. He was referring to professionals such as counselors. I’m not sure why this country has such a stigma about asking for help. It’s almost as if you admit that you are weak and broken you are viewed as a loser and yet it takes a pretty strong person to admit they need help and go down the road to find themselves. Almost everyone is afraid they will find an ugly person when generally the beautifulness finally emerges through the process. It’s been a long time since I graduated counseling but it was by far the best thing I ever did. I almost left my husband during this time and if not for the love dare I’m not sure we’d be together. I daily blogged that on Facebook and the posts are on this blog if anyone wants to read.

This was my favorite service so far even though it started out a bit shaky. We were singing and I had my left foot resting on the chair. When I went to put it down, I got it all tangled up, lost my balance and almost fell. This would have been fine if I wasn’t sitting by Tom, Kathy and Herc. Tom leaned over and said I about gave him a heart attack. I said it’s ok this is kind of normal for me. This camp has been very low key for the nurse duties which has given me the quiet time I needed more than I realized.

Mole Moral ~ Emily’s life verse. 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.



Adversity-difficulties, misfortune.

I had to look the word up so I knew exactly what it means. Look I hated English growing up, I thought it was stupid and a waste of time. I kind of still do. Please give me math any day, any time.

Stuart Hall had the audience totally engaged. At some points it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. I consider this really amazing considering I’m talking about teenagers. However the repeat campers love Stuart and for kid reason. He’s real and authentic.

It seems as if the goal of life is to avoid pain at whatever the cost. Parents try to spare their children the experience of pain but this is impossible. Jesus did not say follow me and you will live pain free. No he said in this world you will have trouble (aka pain) but take heart for I have overcome the world. Perhaps if he said suck it up buttercup no one would have taken him seriously. Most certainly that expression would be crazy sounding over two thousand years ago.

My notes are terrible even though the talk was good. Today marks three weeks since my father died. Talk about pain, that’s a huge pain that could easily leave a big gaping hole in my heart. However I know my father believed Jesus was who he said he was and rose from the dead so my father is in heaven. I also know his earthly crippled polio body has been replaced with heaven perfection however that may look. So although I’m sad because there are no more Saturday nine am chats I do have some sense of peace.

Mole Moral ~ Adversity is a part of life and since neither avoiding or fixing it work, embrace it with the help of Jesus.


Big Stuf Prime Session 1

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!


We Are Camp Nine “For”

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