Not at all to anyone’s surprise, I’m terribly terrible at doing this blog thing right. I never believed I’d be one to post every day, heck, I even thought going for once a week would be a big stretch for me, I suppose my goal was to post just a couple times a month……
……..HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Here we are, 3 months later, and ironically—in the middle of the busiest summer of my life, where time for self is few and far between—I’ve reached a point where not only am I finding the time to post, but I’ve also got a story…and by story, I actually just mean an update about my possibly interesting life.
If you read my first post, or just know me at all, you remember that I’m in Branson, Missouri this summer working at K-Kauai Family Kamp, which is a part of Kanakuk. My journey to this place was interesting, to say the least, but it was most certainly well worth it.
Tomorrow will be a month that I have been at this place, and I cannot honestly think of a chapter in my story that is close to comparable to what this time has held. To say it’s been incredible is putting it minimally, and to even try and explain how it’s been can barely do it justice. So I’m not even going to try. But I do want to share with y’all some of my favorite moments so far.
I was honestly pretty worried about being so far from home for so long, but this adjustment couldn’t have been any easier. I live in a dorm style room with 6 of the coolest girls I’ve ever met. They’re such an encouragement every day and God is moving in all of our lives. Everyone on staff at Kauai has such a neat personality. We all get along great and our journey through this summer together is remarkable.
I love my job as an office girl. Being in this spot means I literally know EVERYONE at our kamp. I interact with so many people every day, parents and precious kiddos, on golf cart rides, during meal times, at the pool and during any free moments of my days.
The families are each so precious! Its bittersweet to have so many new faces coming and going every 7 days. But each group of kampers is so unique and fun and the sadness quickly fades as new relationships are formed and invested in. The stories of these families are unbelievable. We’ve had single moms and dads with multiple kids, families on the brink of their breaking points, families being restored from loss in the past and families that are full of joy and continuing to grow.
These folks come from all over the place and make so many sacrifices to have us invest in them during their vacations and the trust they give to us is so honoring! All bias aside, and once again to nobody’s surprise, my favorite families are ALWAYS the ones from Texas. They make me feel the most at home, it’s neat to see how similar we are.
Term one was the most difficult for me. I didn’t really get to spend much time with families outside of meals, and it was a lot harder for me to connect with them. I lost no heart, and had no fear that it would get better as terms progressed, and I was indeed correct!
Term two I met some very precious people. On opening night I got to bring in a family who arrived late and I was very intimidated by them at first. But these people became some of my favorites very quickly and they turned out to be so personable and outgoing. I never had to remind them my name or where I was from, and in the time we spent together, moments were never dull.
I also got to spend time with a precious, Alabama mom, raising two crazy and sweet children, one 5 and one 3, who has overcome the tragic loss of a husband not once, but twice. She was so strong, y’all! Had a heart of gold, and a genuine desire to know and seek us just as much as we were seeking her. She never tried to look like she was even close to having it all together, but her strength shone so much in every moment, and she was incredibly encouraging to many.
Now we’re in the middle of term three, and I’ve gotten to interact with more kids and families this week than ever. I have a precious 4 and a half-year-old named Maya, and she was adopted from Thailand 3 years ago. We clicked instantly, and she sought me first. It blew me out of the water, but as our bond has strengthened we’ve both been happy.
I’ve also spent a lot of time with the Berry family. Anita was our mom-helper for week one, and Jeffrey is our Kamp doctor this week. They have 4 kids who are so alike and different and its been a true joy to become a part of their family this week. Each of the three girls and I have spent moments together, and I’ve already been invited to “grown-up sit” them in Edmond, Ok. whenever I’d like. They’ve tried to pull me on every excursion with them, and if I were able to leave the island during those times I would have gladly joined their fun. They’re definitely a group I’ll be in touch with for the future.
But my favorite moment of the summer has been being asked to stay as a “lifer” even though it’s my first year on staff. Not only is this a huge honor, but a blessing to get to work with kids second term and to continue to build the relationships I have established.
I’m sitting at Panera Bread, which has become my favorite local spot with free wi-fi, and although they closed 30 minutes ago, these guys still haven’t tried to kick me out. However I’m beginning to feel the need to go to sleep, EARLY, for once, and so I’ll stop taking advantage of them and get on out.
But please continue to lift up my time in this season. I could not ask God to be growing me more or to bless me more richly than He already is. It’s definitely a fruitful season. I can’t wait to work alongside college friends second term, and to enjoy time off together. But most of all I can’t wait for the moments I know are to come.
It will be well worth waiting to see my family in August, when we meet for vacation in Panama City, Florida. I am so glad for their sacrifice of their time with me this summer so that I can be a part of God’s plan for me at Kauai! It reminds me every moment how much they truly love me!
I love y’all so much, and continue to lift y’all up, as I know you are for me!
Don’t forget to write, I’d love to know where you’re at!
in grace's amazing hands,
833 Lake Shore Drive
Branson, Mo. 65616