Tag Archives: blessings

“your beard connects all the way to your hair!”

life is in full swing here at ball state (it has been for the past month, actually), and it’s been way too long since i’ve posted. is it weird that one of the main reasons i’ve waited so long was because i got a new camera and just hadn’t taken a whole lot of pictures yet? it’s hard to get out of the camp mindset. i never had to warn anyone that i loved taking pictures of life… it was kind of just a natural thing there.

in actuality, the main reason i haven’t been on is that this year has been a big adjustment. there are lots of new things this year, awesome things, but things that take some getting used to. but they’re all awesome. seriously.

i live in a house this year with five of the coolest guys i know—dan, austin, sam, drew, and tom. they love Jesus, they love fellowship, and they take responsibility and accountability and the pursuit of God seriously. it’s the best.

we celebrated tom’s birthday recently with applebee’s, cake, and monty python. last sunday we had our first official monthly house meal. austin, sam, and i grilled up some steaks and made some mashed potatoes and corn. it was delicious, and we got to take some time to just talk about life and encourage each other.

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last saturday drew organized a time of prayer in the morning. we got together, praised God for all He had provided, and prayed for each other and our ministries. these are the kinds of things that constantly remind me how blessed i am to live with these guys.


even though i’m not at camp, God’s provided tons of opportunity for me to hang out with and minister to kids. i’m leading my church’s middle school boys’ bible study with matt, who i know but have never spent a whole lot of time with before, and i can already tell that it’s going to be awesome. we’re studying the book of jonah, and the guys are all really invested in legitimately growing in their relationships with Jesus, which is just super encouraging. plus, leading with matt is a total blessing—his honesty and insight are both encouraging and humbling. i’m so excited for what the year holds!

i’m also involved in two other ministries: kids hope and college mentors. both are things i’ve done before, and God’s given me the time to invest in both. through kids hope, i meet with a second-grader named isaiah. he’s the best… talkative, hilarious, and really sweet. last friday we spent his lunchtime taking funny pictures and talking about books we both like to read. he asked if next week i could try to get some pop rocks, which he’s never tried before.

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we haven’t had our first activity day for college mentors yet, but our buddy family rocks and i got to meet henry (not my buddy but one of the guys in our family for the year) on tuesday, so i’m super excited. my guy’s name is malakai, and he wants to be either a police officer or a target worker. so he’s obviously the best, even if i haven’t met him yet.



other things are awesome. like action group and learning to make food instead of buying it at woodworth and seeing camp people everywhere! we made hobo dinners and i can always count on running into a fellow camp crazy, usually while we’re wearing our respective unit shirts. not mad about it.


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life is good, God is great, and there’s a lot more ahead this year. i’m excited to share it with you!

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thoughts on camp.

camp is a beautiful place. as i sit in my new room in my new house distinctly not surrounded by ten crazy loud, insanely hilarious, wonderfully inquisitive nine-year-olds, i am reminded of just how special it is.


camp is the place where people can come from all across the country (and all across the world) and still find things in common. camp is a place where you learn something new about someone every day. it’s a place where kids discover that different is okay, that it’s actually a good thing. camp is the kind of place that provides a chance to take a peek into different cultures and languages and realize that every child on earth is a child of God.

camp_2013miami2camp is a place where you meet new best friends every week. it’s a place where you find people who will laugh and cry and shout and dance and play games and be weird with you. it’s the kind of place where everyone exchanges addresses (or minecraft user names) on saturday so they can be sure to stay in touch until next summer.

camp_2013miami3camp is a safe place. it’s a place where people can be real and honest and a little weird (well… a lot weird sometimes). it’s a place where silly songs and outrageous costumes and funny voices are commonplace. it’s a place where you can stand on your chair and sing taylor swift songs at the top of your voice, and instead of looking at you like you’re crazy, everyone just stands up on their chairs and sings with you.

camp_2013miami4camp is where you can try new things and not worry about failing. at camp, there’s freedom to fail. there’s freedom to mess up. because it’s never been about doing things perfectly. it’s about trying and asking for help and growing and trying again. it’s about overcoming fears and anxieties and realizing that all of that stuff can be given up to God. cause He’s big enough for that.

camp_2013miami5camp is the place that helps put everyone’s best foot forward. camp is a place of encouragement, of love, and of words that build people up. camp is the kind of place that makes kids feel special just for being them. where kids are told that the ordinary things about them are actually really cool. in fact, it’s where they’re told that the really weird things about them are actually the cool things.

camp_2013miami6camp is a place where boys learn to be gentlemen. where they get excited about straightening shoes and clotheslines for other people. where boys run like mad to get to a door so they can hold it open for others. it’s a place where kids will gladly rise up to the expectations you set for them. it’s a place where putting others before yourself is the standard. it’s a place where guys can be gentlemen and ninjas at the same time.

camp_2013miami7camp is a place for mud hikes and baked oatmeal. it’s a place for slides that make you go faster depending on how loud you scream. it’s a place for fresh water whales and piranhacondas, for giant indian statues filled with maple syrup and mysterious squeegees living deep in the forest. it’s a place for stories of ghost cabin and trader jim and his friendship with the old wolf pack. it’s a place where the everyday becomes fantastical.

camp_2013miami8camp is a place where the stars shine bright and the leaves are green. it’s a place where boys (and girls) marvel at fuzzy caterpillars and giant spiders and creepy crawlies and blind beetles flying around in the field (wait, scratch that last one. everyone runs screaming from those). camp is a place where kids look up at the night sky and freak out because they’ve never seen so many stars before. where they get a small bit of understanding at the vastness of the glory of God.

camp_2013miami9camp is the place where God is put first. it’s a place where it’s cool to sing songs to Him and talk to Him and talk about Him. it’s a place where some kids talk about Jesus for the first time, ever. it’s a place for picture bibles and parables and skits and verses. it’s a place where we feel His presence everywhere we go. it’s a place where God works in the hearts of His youngest children.

camp will always be more than a job. it’s a chance to be used by the Creator to love and teach and support kids. to laugh with them and play with them and lead them. to point them back to Jesus, and talk about how big of a deal He is. to talk about the crazy insane love with which He loves us, and why that matters.

God is at camp. and camp is a beautiful place because God is a wonderful God.

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things to praise God for.

so i lost my camera, which means as of now, i’m waiting to post until i find it. at first i was really bummed, because i’ve really tried to post regularly. but i’ve actually wanted to post something like this for a long time, and this is the perfect time. for all of you reading, i would love for you to join me in thanking and praising God for the following things:

  • God is moving in the lives of these kids. i have seen my own campers’ fascination with God’s word, heard and discussed with them their honest questions about His nature, and watched as they have grown in love and compassion for each other and their peers. i’ve heard from other counselors about how the same kinds of things are happening in their own cabins, and how God is moving in distinct but similar ways across camp.
  • counselors are being rock stars. in the past few weeks i’ve seen:
    1. a counselor give her sweatshirt to one of my campers who was cold in the 90 degree weather (he ended up buying a sweatshirt that was four times too big for him because he liked the way hers fit him).
    2. a counselor jump into the pool (completely dressed) to make his camper feel more comfortable in the water during his swim check.
    3. two counselors have spent their time off to research new ideas for their clinics, and spent their own money to buy things to make it more special.
    4. countless counselors playing checkers with their campers throughout all of trading post.
    5. counselors rocking chapels. God’s totally been blessing their efforts, too. i’ve heard more amazing wrap ups this summer than any other summer i’ve been here. people here care about kids knowing Jesus and learning about God.
    6. more moments than i could ever possible count of counselors making any camper they run across feel extra special just for being them.
  • God has been blessing the heck out of my summer. i’ve had amazing guys every single week, and this week is no different (i can’t wait to introduce you all to them). i have an amazing partner, who loves Jesus and is always focused on our kids. i have a coord partner who remembers all the stuff i don’t and tries to cheer me up with those repulsive dove chocolate quotes (“give yourself permission.” what?). i have friends that i can trust and share life with and grow with and praise God with.
  • God is sovereign, God is good, and God is loving. all the time.


for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, this one final reason to praise God for this week:



reason 5924304 i love that i get to work at camp.

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week two: “we need to find him something new to lick.”

this is the first night off i’ve had in almost a week, and it has been wonderful. there is so much to update, and i don’t know if i have time for it all before i have to be back, but i’ll do my best.

kellie and i like to share our highs of the day with each other. since there was so much that went so awesomely, i think i’ll stick to that formula.

week two highs:

1.) peteca clinic. these kids are amazing people. i’ve already written about them, but the final days of the week saw us encouraging the heck out of each other, traveling to a new volleyball court, and having adam come and watch one of our games (they desperately wanted to be in closing campfire somehow). it’s always tough to say goodbye to campers who are so obviously amazing people, but at the same time it’s exciting to watch them go back to the outside world and imagine how they’re going to change it for the better.

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2.) capture the flag. john, one of the blazer counselors, came up with a brilliant new way of playing capture the flag that involves four teams and twelve flags. also it’s like the funnest thing ever to play. i guarded the jail, and in order to be free, i required two eight counts of choreographed dance. needless to say, i had the best position in the whole game.

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there were many fierce people playing. many.

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3.) seeing old campers that i absolutely love.


4.) hip hop clinic with fizz. not only is fizz an awesome person to work with, but the kids themselves rocked it this past week. we performed at closing campfire and they totally deserved it. it was such a blast.



5.) going on a creek adventure with chickasaw! we basically just went down to ghost creek and found cool bugs and rocks and stuff. and yeah, i get paid for this job somehow.


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6.) seeing random favorite people.



7.) coord time. i love all of these people so much, and this picture should be enough reason:


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things that make me happy.

getting letters from kellie about how the brave unit is going to be awesome this summer. getting letters from campers talking about how excited they are for camp. getting letters from my fellow river village staffers about how we’re all going to rock the riv.


paper chain countdowns to camp.

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encouraging and hilarious lists from my twin sister.

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encouraging emails in the morning from my mom.

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the (few and far between) times when the suite is all together at once.


coming up with ideas for camp in a google doc, and being really excited about it.

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this… comic… that was in new life’s newsletter a few weeks back:


getting unexpected phone calls from this guy:


life is wonderful and things are good. the Lord blesses me and my cup overflows.

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