Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Same and the New

I write this morning from the front seat as Scott drives us back to camp after our day off.  I may have mentioned Scott drives home every week on his day off to mow our lawn and about five more in our neighborhood. I try not to come back with him because I’d rather have a beach day or entertain anyone who might visit. 

Yesterday though, Drew and Brittany were an hour away from our house so I tagged along. My radar can detect when any of our kids are within a few hours driving distance. If you do the math, it means  we spent eight hours in the van to see them for three. Totally worth it. What could be better than a double date with your son and daughter-in-law? Loved every minute.

I sit back and marvel at how God writes the story of our lives. When Scott and I were first married he was a youth pastor and we took our students to BBC in Clarks Summit for the Teen Leadership Conference every summer. My favorite speakers were Dwight Peterson and Peggy Walker. Drew and Brittany are at this same conference with their students and they love the same speakers. Amazing. God gives the best gifts.

This week was quite a bit different than the last. As for Scott, he was named Assistant Manager of Guest Services, which among many other things means he now has his own number on the camp radio. I’m not sure why that makes me giggle, but it does.

As for me, I am no longer the Elevator Lady. I’ve been moved to the Front Desk and am learning more of the registering process. I have received varying responses from our summer kids. Everything from “Awww, we’re going to miss you.” To “Good for you!” And “How could you leave us? You’re a traitor.” I miss them too. 

I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet one of the summer staff requirements here at Camp of the Woods is wearing black polos with the camp logo and khaki bottoms every day. Every. day. (Well, except Sunday when we can dress up if we want. Oh yes, I want.) This, of course, underscores another reason why Sunday is my favorite day of the week.

Do you like my uniform shirt model? He kind of likes the repetition because he doesn't have to worry about what to wear. Guys.

One of the perks of my new position is I can wear my own clothes every day. Every. day. (Well, except Saturday which is black polo/khakis for the Front Desk staff but I can live with that.) Can I get a shout?! I'm still doing the happy dance about it!

After eighteen days of wearing the same shirts, when I was given this news it confirmed yet again that Jesus knows me and Jesus loves me. 

This also means I get a whole new group of people to spend my days with, get to know, and learn from as they patiently teach me the ropes of the “main hub” of camp. Not to be confused with the climbing wall ropes. Still not doing that.

Other things I’m no longer doing: sitting in chapel every morning, driving golf carts around and working closely with Scott. We still eat some breakfast and dinner meals together and see each other around, but not nearly as frequently as before. This is taking some getting used to. I've gotten kind of attached to him.

You see these last three years Scott has been home a lot. Times a hundred. More than ever in our twenty five years together. He’s been in my way. Spending too much time in my office if you know what I mean. This was challenging for both of us. He didn’t really want to be home so much and I wanted my space back. I prayed about it often as I feared our relationship would strain under this added pressure. 

Some days were ugly if I’m being honest which was mostly because of my selfishness and unwillingness to be inconvenienced. One might think the best solution would be to go back to the old pattern of my being home every day alone and sending Scott out to work every morning. 

Well that was not God’s plan, at least for this summer. Instead, we are working together each and every day and sharing the same day off. The miracle? We love it. We enjoy being together. We are having so much fun. Who would have imagined? I certainly didn’t.

To my surprise and delight, now that my new responsibilities have taken me to a different location during work hours, we truly do miss one another and try to find ways to run into each other throughout the day.

This is something only God could pull off. He protected us and grew our love during the most difficult stretch of our lives when our human, sinful natures might have despaired and tempted us to turn against each other. It is a tremendous gift. I’m so thankful to Him.

What I know for sure is that we can trust God with our difficulties, friends. I can and you can. I’m learning that even though God didn’t appear to be working in ways I could see Him, He had a firm grasp on everything that concerns us. Reminds me of a song I’ve had on repeat much of this last year:

“You said, You’d never leave or forsake me. When You said, this life is going to shake me and You said, this world is going to bring trouble on my soul, this I know:

When everything falls apart, Your arms hold me together.
When everything falls apart, You’re the only hope for this heart.
When everything falls apart and my strength is gone, I’ll find You mighty and strong.
You keep holding on, You keep holding on.”*

Amen. He's always holding on to me and to you.

Life in our little cabin adds to our adventure too. It’s about the size of a hotel room but with a porch (where you can find me often). One bedroom and a bathroom. Just enough. The other night I was up late reading with my book light on to not disturb Scott’s sleep and a daddy long leg spider crawled across my book. So that was fun. Did you catch the little detail that I was in bed? Yeah. I’m not allowing myself to think any further about that.

One last highlight – because I found some quarters on the floor in the chapel, Scott let me buy popcorn at Monday’s Carnival. I like popcorn. I miss popcorn nights at home. I may or may not have told you that because all of our meals are provided this summer whenever I want to buy any food items Scott usually (except for an occasional ice cream) says, “We aren’t spending money on food.” Some things don't change. So this popcorn was kind of a big deal. The bags were small - I bought two.
Change can be good.

Until next time, enjoy your last full week of July.

*Everything Falls by Fee

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Thoughts from the Elevator Lady

This week here at camp.....I got a new name.

I answered a call to pick up a guest and transport them to their accommodation. When I arrived, I immediately recognized them, having been in a small space with them every morning this week.
They recognized me too, "Hey! We know you. You're the elevator lady."
"Yes, yes I am."
"You drive the golf carts, too?"
"Didn't know I was so talented, did you?"

We've loved another week here. The weather has been practically perfect in every way. Rained only once, at night. Sunshine every day. It did get kind of cold a couple of nights (40 something degrees) but it warmed right up by lunch. I woke up thinking about the guests and how chilly the golf cart ride might be one of those days.  I told Scott, "We need lap blankets for the carts." He looked at me like, well, you can imagine.

Instead of rotating responsibilities this week, our boss gave us permanent jobs. Mine was here. Right where I like to be.
Room for two, maybe three. Fun conversations happen in there. I love these folks.

Because one night I stayed late to finish a project and Scott helped me, we were rewarded with an afternoon off. It just happened to be a gorgeous day and I hoodwinked Scott into doing this.
And yes the boat boy loved taking our picture I'm sure.

Initially Scott didn't want to kayak because he said he'd end up doing all the paddling. You know what I say to that? Husband job.

Still, I did my share. It was windy too, which made it harder. Empty nesting isn't for wimps.

I sent these pictures to the kids so they could see how desperately we are missing them.

They smack talked in the family text.

Scott couldn't respond because he would never take his phone out on the lake.

He only agreed to let me take mine if I agreed to putting it in this.
He's an adventurer, that guy.

Another other off duty adventure.
That's right. When at camp, do arts and crafts. When I heard Camp of the Woods has a kiln and amateurs (me) could have relative success, I showed up. With my crafting buddy.

First project. Before and after. Not bad, huh?

We had fun here when Sandy's daughter Hilary came up.
Have I ever mentioned this is not my favorite game?  Why, you ask? No reason.

That's right, sometimes you have to pull out your pool playing skills.
Yeah, it wasn't pretty.

A few visitors showed up for my day off, which made an impromptu drive up to Word of Life and a boat ride to the Island to see the grandkids necessary. What a treat!
My mother, Ally and our friend Diana
Grandma and Ben (this is his "Mom, I see what you're doing and I'm not going to smile" face. Not the first time I've seen it.)

There's only one down side to having my day off on Fridays. I don't get to see my elevator people one last time and say goodbye. They are gone on Saturday morning by the time I come to work. So sad!

I saved the best part of the week for last. After chapel and a short break for cinnamon rolls and coffee, a seminar is offered. This week Lysa TerKeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministries spoke everyday. Best five hours of my week. I asked if I could monitor that room each day, which made it my job to be there. I got a yes! Even Scott came in one day which was awesome for him to hear who I've been talking about for years. I love when he enters my girl world this way.

You know how you hope that someone you look up to, who happens to be popular and famous, will be kind and genuine and real in person? I got to talk to Lysa a few times this week. Maybe you saw this pic on Facebook or Instagram.

She did not disappoint in any way. I'm so pleased to report that she's more wonderful than you would hope for. Especially the day she invited me to walk her to lunch.

You see, this embarassing thing happened. I tried to tell her some of my story but I couldn't get the words out. I'm sure she was wondering what I was waiting for. Now that I've had time to think about it, I actually blame Lysa. I wasn't star struck. It was her message that morning! It just so happened that the content leveled me about 1/3 of the way through. I was a puddle in my chair, for sure. I wondered if anyone sitting near me would call another Guest Services staff to assist the crying lady.

So you can see how it was all her fault. She was gracious while I croaked and when it was over, I walked away understood and encouraged.

This is something I know. Even when it's hard. Even when it's emotional. Even when it hurts. Even when you break down and cry a little, or a lot in public at your job, it is so important to hear God's Word taught. The tears indicate that the Holy Spirit is working in your heart. Few things I like better than that.

Here are some of my notes:
  • Sometimes God brings us to a place where none of our tricks or plans work. He wants us here.
  • If I want to be a person of faith, I need to live by faith (not require to see everything to believe).
  • Instead of looking at my situation as "Impossible", consider God saying, "I'M Possible". Isn't that good?
Regarding wisdom (these are things we must teach our kids): 
  • When life is pressing in and stressful, we have to watch who we are paying attention to. 
  • Don't pay attention to fools or foolishness. (Social media? TV? Pop culture? News programs?)
  • Wisdom makes decisions today that are still good tomorrow to receive blessing not curses. 
  • If you want to be wise, go where wise people go and do what wise people do. 

Jesus does everything by purpose, on purpose and for a purpose.
  • Consider your life a statue. Let the Master chisel you in every way so you don't get locked into hard places. He wants to produce a masterpiece in you.
  • Let Him chip away everything that doesn't look like the version of you that God wants to get you to.

Regarding olive trees and olives:
  • Olive trees in the Holy Land tolerate east winds that are harsh and brutal. They also enjoy cool, delightful west winds that refresh and restore. Both are needed for fruit bearing.
  • Olives need to be crushed in order to get their fruit - the oil. 
  • They will never be olives again, but the crushing preserves their true value.
  • And so with us. We need both the good times and the brutally hard times in order to bear the best fruit for Christ. 
  • Maybe when we are finally broken and humble we will look totally different. This is not a bad thing. Don't resist it.
There was so much more.

Late in the week, the worship team sang, "If ever I loved you, my Jesus 'tis now".
Yes, most definitely.
I hope you had a beautiful week too and discovered some new things about God that make you love Him more.

PS. Ravi Zacharias will be here tomorrow for the week. I'm already sweating about morning traffic on the grounds.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Meet My New Friends

Good morning from sunny Speculator, New York! It's a gorgeous day here in the Adirondacks. 

Today is turnover day at camp. The guests from last week head home and a few hours later a whole new batch arrive. It’s kind of exciting. We blow up balloons. It’s a busy day, full of activity and a lot of fun.

We don't have to work until 10am so we can sit in this sunny spot for awhile.

We survived another week at camp. I say survived because I’ve gone from not working outside the home for several years to working nine hours a day, six days a week. This girl gets tired at the end of the day if you know what I mean. After a long day the first week we were here one of our new young friends said, “Hey, we are playing glow-in-the-dark frisbee at 9:30. PM. You guys should come.” Isn’t he adorable though?

Scott arrived Sunday afternoon, making everything much better and more fun. I was still settling my nerves from morning golf cart duty. Because Alistair Begg was preaching, the place was packed. Imagine wall to wall people and three small golf carts trying to transport elderly and handicapped guests, me being the driver of one. Can we just pause a moment and thank God no one got hurt?

This past week, I spent the majority of mornings running the lift (elevator) for chapel. It’s built for 2-3 people, which means many trips up and down before and after the service. I enjoy it because I get to spend a few minutes with the same guests every day. Some of these darling older folks grow comfortable and get sort of sassy by mid week. I love every minute of it. AND I get a seat in chapel in case anyone needs to leave by elevator a.k.a I get to listen to the messages.  Perfect job for a sermon junkie.

I’m still mulling over the messages from these past few days. Pastor Begg preached the first six books of Daniel and always left us with an encouraging, hopeful thought in light of the current state of our American culture and what’s going on around the world specifically in regards to our temptation to fear. He would remind us daily that we do not have to fear the evil  because God is most powerful and firmly in control of all of  that and our personal lives too. 

This was one of my favorites.
“He changes times and seasons,
He sets up kings and deposes them.
He gives wisdom to the wise,
knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
He knows what lies in the darkness
and light dwells with Him.” Daniel 2:20-22

He taught us that every world leader today lives and breathes by the providential hand of God. Every breath. Every day. Even though the world seems dark, the light dwells in Him. I just love that.

He told us not to be panicky because the Apostle Paul warned us in 1 Cor. 1:18:

“The message of the cross (the Gospel) is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”

The Gospel is the power of God.

Which reminds me of my Benny’s favorite verse:

“The Lord is my light and salvation, whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

We need to be living and breathing this confidence to those around us. To be reflectors of God’s light. That’s good stuff.

Man, I love being here.

Speaking of Benny, being only 45 minutes away from him and Ally, we snuck away one night and had dinner with them. It was so much fun. I love their faces and the sound of their laughter. Ally put the cherry on top of this night by wanting us to stay until the very last minute before she had to be in her cabin, “I don’t want you to leave. I haven’t gotten my fill of you.” Can I just say five years ago I would never have dreamed that would come out of her mouth?  God is faithful to His promise that He who began a good work (in her) will complete it. Phil. 1:6
While we are on the family subject, a little update on the two who are missing from this photo. Drew started his new job as a Youth Pastor at University Heights Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana this week. He and Brittany moved into their new apartment yesterday. We are so beyond blessed.

Another bonus is getting to know our co-workers/teammates. Everyone has an important story and I’m enjoying individual time with each one and hearing them. I especially enjoyed a long stroll on the beach (tidying up) with one of our guys. He’s 21 and a hockey player. I asked him to explain to me how in every other sport, physical aggression/fighting is unsportsmanlike and rewarded with fouls, penalties and the like but in hockey it’s a free for all. He talked a good game, having even written a paper about it once, as he tried to persuade me that it’s totally acceptable and necessary. We laughed a lot but in the end he didn’t convince me.

This cutie and I were given some signs to hang up with the instruction to send pictures back to our supervisor when finished. We had a little fun with that job. She and I have alot in common, like our mutual love for winter…and whoopee pies.
I like having Fridays off. Sort of completes the week. Yesterday we didn’t stay around camp. Scott needed to go home to mow lawns in our neighborhood. I was not really ready to go home yet and face the house with no kids but since home is where Scott is, I went along for the ride Thursday night after we got off our shift. I pretended it was date night with a sleepover. 

I admit it was good to sleep in our bed, shower in our bathroom, do the laundry, paint my nails and take care of some hair color issues. You know, the important things.
I also wanted to do some baking for the kids we work with. A precedent seems to have been set from when I brought cookies back after Ally’s graduation and I promised more this trip. So while Scott was out mowing, this is what I did.

For these people. Our new friends!
Starting at top: Adam, Clint, Steve, Scott, Cailee, Paige, Nicole, Liam, Mariah and Emily

Wasn’t it so kind of God to give me a whole new group of young’ns to mother, I mean, to hang out with and love? I will heretofore refer to them as our summer kids.

PS. Can I tell you it's a little unnerving to know that we could be parents to all of them. Ah! When did we get so old?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Two Weeks In and a Fun Day Off

Two weeks in, six to go.

Orientation week. Check.
First week serving guests. Check.

I'm sitting here on our little porch enjoying the sounds of camp and the cool breeze. It's so beautiful here. I can't thank God enough for this gift. Especially now that Scott is back!  

We just got off work for the day and are waiting for dinner. I love not cooking dinner every night. The only problem is no matter how hungry we get, we have to wait until staff dinner time which is 6:30, a little later than I'm used to. No biggie. Lessons in delayed gratification, right?

Here's my little recap of the first week.

The weather:

Sunday - Rain. Cold.
Monday - Rain. Cold.
Tuesday - Rain. Chilly.
Wednesday - Rain. Chilly.
Thursday - Cloudy w/peeks of sun. Warmer.
Friday - Sunshine! Warm! Perfect.

I bought a new raincoat to wear when needed this summer. I didn't expect to wear it for four days straight. Rainboots were a great idea too, but they are cute for about half a day. Not exactly comfy for all the walking this job requires.

Driving golf carts in the rain isn't as much fun as you might think either. The "limos" have clear plastic "doors" we can put down to try and keep passengers dry. This is tricky. A lot of zipping and unzipping. I'm learning so much.

Still, it was the guests I felt most sorry for, but they were troopers, finding fun things to do. The gloomy cold evenings did have a positive side. I could go to bed as early as I wanted to and no one would know the difference. So I did. This also helped with getting used to being on my feet (and walking) everyday for most of the day. Getting older isn't for wimps!

Alas, I was giddy when 4pm Thursday rolled around.  My co-workers bid me farewell to enjoy a day off on Friday. That's right. Glance back up at the weather forecast. I felt so free! So excited! No work until Saturday at 10am! What to do. What to do.

You might imagine I had it planned out already. Of course I did. With no car available, I wouldn't be going far. I slept as long as my body would let me, cleaned up my little cabin and set out for an adventure. That might be overdramatic. Maybe activity is a better choice.

First, about a half mile walk into town for breakfast. I had been told about a fun diner and thought I'd enjoy eating some local fare on real ceramic plates, cups and silverware. Don't get me wrong, plastic and styrofoam have their charms but well, for awhile.

I fully intended to order some eggs (maybe with a little spinach) and whole wheat toast, dry. But then a sign on the way in said Cinnamon Roll French Toast. Uh oh.

The little place was packed so I ate outside at this cute picnic table with a vinyl tablecloth. I love small towns. As is my usual practice, I asked the waitress what her favorite breakfast is. You'll never guess.
And that's all I'm going to say about that. Ahem.

Next stop, this bench I had spotted on my way into town. I brought my Bible and journal, planning a good long sit to slow down and catch up. What better spot to camp out for a few hours? Which is exactly what I did. It was glorious.
When I was finished recording all my words and praying for everyone who came to mind, I thought of my two best girls. They are both starting new adventures this summer as well. As I've mentioned, Ally is at Word of Life Campground taking care of babies. Brittany is officially a youth pastor's wife as of last week. Newness.

I love new. I love fresh starts. I love making some determinations or declarations (not always resolutions) at the beginning of something new and writing them down. I had just done it myself and decided to share it, encouraging the girls to do the same. And now you.

Are you starting something new? Or maybe you're just needing a little kickstart now that we are officially half way through 2015.

I'd like to name this summer a few things:

The Summer of Soul Care*
The First Empty Nest Adventure
Discovering the Beauty of Slow 

Some things I want to do: 

Not demand an explanation for mysteries (of God and of life).
Leave some things behind, stop trying to figure them out.
Cease looking for familiar landmarks.
Let God do something totally new if He chooses.
Quiet the sound of intruding voices where the opinions of others cannot reach me.
Be calm in the sacred stillness of His presence.
Study His Word for guidance.
Focus my attention on Him with true devotion.
Have an eagerness to know only what God would determine for us.

I think it's going to be a great summer. I'll keep you posted.

*I recently read John Ortberg's book Soul Keeping - so good!

Some of the wording in this list is not my own. It's a smattering of what I've read from others recently. Unfortunately I did not keep track of which came from whom. So please forgive my lack of giving credit.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Next Thing

Day 5 of the Empty Nest. But who's counting? The kids are gone and our house is empty. What to do.

A few weeks ago, as my 24/7-time-to-wake-up-here's-your-sandwich-clean-your-room-don't-forget-your-coat parenting was imminently drawing to a close, I engaged in some heavy duty prayers. I told God how all I know is raising kids and women's ministry. 

The time at our little church where Scott serves as interim pastor is also ending, which means more change on the horizon but I refused to become panicky.

I know myself and I know that I could not handle the quietness of our house and lack of something to do, so I prayed more fervently that God would give us the next thing before those things ended.

Through a series of conversations, emails, texts and connections, God opened a door. Our first empty nest adventure is taking place here, at Camp of the Woods in Speculator, NY. We've been hired to join the summer staff for the next seven weeks. 

This is where you'll find Scott and me. In our own little cabin in the Adirondacks. It has a porch! Just big enough for two. Perfect. 

We are excited for the change of scenery and to serve the Lord by serving people. I thought I'd tell you about our first week. Orientation.

The thing we noticed right off the bat is that we are old. 

I'd say 90% of the staff is made up of college and high school aged kids. Gulp.

No wonder the man who hired us kept talking about our "maturity" and how our ministry "experience" was something they were looking for. Code words for old people.

So the first day went pretty well as we learned of our tasks. Handing out keys at the beginning of each week, blowing up balloons, greeting guests, setting up rooms for meetings, delivering people and packages on golf carts, carrying a master key for all accommodations, etc. Psh. We've got this.

Then during day two I learned some new words. Words I'd never actually heard before. Our supervisor/trainer told us we would becoming certified belayers that afternoon. Excuse me? Come again? What might a belayer do? Then he said, "Meet me at the climbing wall after lunch."

I knew this wasn't going to be good. I've attended many a retreat here through the years and hanging out at the climbing wall has never been where you'd find me.

Well, I did ask God for something to do this summer. Begged, in fact. Gulp again. When you say yes to a position called Guest Services, this is never what you imagined to be a part of your job responsibilities. 

So after lunch we went to the climbing wall. Did I mention 90% of the staff are kids? Make that 98% in this particular situation. That's right. All kids except Scott and me. The first thing they told us to do was put on a harness.

I'm sorry, but I have to stop here. You may not know this about me, but I hold to a few personal policies. One is to never wear a harness. Ever. Unless, of course, I'm dangling from an airplane about to crash into a mountain. Maybe then. 

I looked at Scott. He grinned. Yeah, real funny, buddy. I quickly sent a family text to all of my kids. "Mayday! Personal Policy Violation! They want me to put a harness on to learn how to belay. Is belay even a word?"

You can imagine all the support (and emojis) I received. No pun intended.
I put the harness on.
Do you even know what belaying is?  Here's what Merriam Webster has to say: "Definition of BELAY. 1: the securing of a person or a safety rope to an anchor point (as during mountain climbing)."

Then I watched and listened to the whole demonstration of what they would be expecting us to do. I was to use my body on the ground to anchor a person (of any size) who would climb the wall while I perform a series of rope tricks secured through carabiners and GriGris. Another made up word. Have you ever?

I began to sweat and feel a little nauseous. I mean, adventure is one thing but holding someone's life in my hands, literally? 

Then this: "Before we can certify you, we want you to get into groups and practice belaying and climbing. Belay three people and climb the wall three times."

I don't think so. That's it for me.

I had to believe at this point that a 47-year-old mother of three could opt out of this one little thing. I mean really, with this room full of certified belayers (if that really is a word), would they seriously call on me in an emergency? How about I just sign people in?

An executive decision had to be made quickly. I took the harness off and sat down to watch everyone else, willing to take whatever punishment I deserved. 

A few of the overachievers noticed and tried to motivate, "You can do it! It will be fun!"

Yeah. No.
Turns out, I got away with it. No one seemed to notice. We were to come back a few days later for the certification. I didn't go back.

Next stop, help at the TeePee. Look what we got to do here - practice making ice cream cones. This is more like it! Lucky for me working at an ice cream stand was the very first job I ever had. Scott, however, didn't have any experience to fall back on. As you can see.

But everybody loves Scott. So no biggie. And we got to eat our cones no matter how weird and warped they came out. Very cool.

Did I mention driving the golf carts...or limos as they are referred to? Now this training was fun although I admit I'm a little nervous to drive people around on these sometimes bumpy roads. Please pray I don't dump anyone off. Not that I think I'll get much driving time. Surely this is the main reason the kids work in this department.

Entering the workforce, so to speak, after all these years has rattled me a bit. My confidence is low and my insecurities high which I'm just taking day by day.

Scott had to go back home for a few days to finish up at church so I've been by myself, except for my good friend Sandy next door who is a pro at working and living here. This helps immensely.

But, the other night it was so cold I didn't know what I'd do to stay warm. So I layered up and put every blanket I brought on my bed. The next morning one of the kids said, "Don't you have heat in your cabin?"  Heat in my cabin? Why would there be heat at a summer camp? I guffawed (an old people word meaning a loud, unrestrained burst of laughter. A real word.) Kids - always looking for comforts from home.

When I went to my cabin at the end of that day, I saw this staring back at me, plain as day, mocking.

Oh. Hmmm. Well, maybe just a little.
I slept much better that night.
I'm going to be just fine until Scott returns.
As long as the kids (and Sandy) look after me.

There are so many good things about being here. I like meeting new people, listening to the speakers, helping where needed, and being another mom to these young'ns.

Oh and I may or may not have mentioned that all meals are provided. No cooking all summer!

Looking at this view every day....

and night. Beautiful.

And a daughter, very thankful to her Father who knows her well, and has granted this respite from what could have been a very different summer.

Jesus loves me, this I know.
Jesus knows me, this I love.

He is always worth trusting and following. Always.

Pray to your Father in Heaven, who hears your prayers, even the desperate, whiny ones. 

PS. Did you happen to notice that God made it so that my new adventure (the subject of my prayers) started the very same day as the empty nest began?  

Now that is beautiful.