Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A lesson about the Big Whale

Last week I was struggling with why I was here at camp. I had a rough day on Thursday and I didnt know if I would be able to make it. But God of course always comes through. As I was having quiet time with God last week he brought to mind the story of Jonah and the big whale. I didnt realize how much that story could actually relate to me. In the bible Jonah doesnt want to follow Gods calling and instead tried running away from God. Jonah learned fast that we can never run away from God. He was swallowed by a big whale until God doesnt he was ready to listen to him. God really showed me that I could be like Jonah if I dont follow Gods calling in my life. God has called me here this summer. Yeah, it is tough and very difficult at times, but also it is very rewarding and a joy to serve these kids. God did not say that life would be easy. Sometimes it is hard following Gods calling thats when we need to cling to him. God showed me that if I ran away from this calling then I would be like Jonah and disobeying God. I shared this with my friend Jack at camp since we have both been struggling with this. The next day he told me he was doing his quiet time and when he openned his bible the first thing that he turned to was the story of Jonah. AMAZING!! God does still speak to us and shows us how real he is. I needed this assurance to know that I was hearing Gods voice.

I had a wonderful weekend with my family in Chicago. It was great to relax, go to the taste, eat at the cheesecake factory and go shopping. It was something I needed just to refresh for the next week. I am so thankful that God gave me that rest. I love my family so much. Even though it was a fast trip it was a true blessing.

This week has been great. I have one girl that is going to be a struggle this week but I know I can make it through with Gods strength. He is trying to teach me patience this week and that is something I am going to learn. I know God has placed all 7 of my girls in my cabin for a reason and I am thankful for that. I know God will be with me every step of the way as I care and love on these children of God.

Thanks again for all of the prayers. They mean a lot. Miss you all so much!! Thanks for all the letters of encouragement they really do help and brighten my day :) Thanks again for the continued support. You guys are helping me make it through. You are all a blessing to me!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Not about me....

God has been teaching me a lot being at Riverwoods. One thing I have been learning is that it's not all about me. It is so crazy how we can get all wrapped up in ourselves and forget that God did not call us to be selfish, but to love and care for others above ourselves. Being at camp at totally taught me this lesson. I am so busy working and dealing with the kids that I don't even have time to think about myself.
God has showed me that he has called me here to serve and that I need to take care of the children before myself. It has been a great lesson for me to learn. I love these kids so much. When times are tough here God sends me a little child to brighten up my day. I am so exhausted at the end of eachday but when I hit my head on the pillow I know that I did God's work today and that is an amazing feeling. God is so good. I am so glad he has brought me here. Yes, it is tough, But i know God has me here for a reason.
I am learning so much about my relationship with Christ while being here. Also I have learned so much about serving since being here. Thanks again for the prayers. They help so much. I feel them everyday.
I am so thankful for each one of you.

I'll leave you with a quote and a story of the day  :)

Quote: A girl told me today, "I know where chocolate milk comes from, it comes from milk." (As in the chocolate comes straight from a brown cow) hehehe..she was dead serious when she told me this. She said she has known this secret forever lol

Story: One of the girls came out of the bathroom holding toilet paper. I asked her why she had the toilet paper and she said that she was gonna make a flower out of it. (I was a little creeped out, never a dull moment around here)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hawaiian Girl's Night!!

Today I was in charge of throwing girl's night. It was so much fun.
We had a fire going, tiki torches, freeze pops, coloring, limbo, hula contest, and hawaiian names.
Also we decorated with leis, had grass skirts, and hawaiian music playing.
It was such a blast. All the girls had so much fun.
I was very excited that it went so well.
I love being a floater. What a fun and busy day it has been.
Tomorrow is pool day. That will be a blast. Just praying it doesn't rain!!


This week I have the opportunity to be a floater. This means that I do not have a set group of campers this week. Instead I will be floating around and doing whatever needs to be done. I have been super busy but I am loving it. I help the counselors in anyway that they need it. Also I take counselors kids when they have their hour break a day. So it has been really fun. Getting to know a lot of the girl campers.
It is a really nice change of pace. I love being able to serve the staff in anyway that they need it. I am really having a blast this week and I am thanking God for this nice change for the week.
This morning I helped out with Nature then I had to help out with canoeing. I am so exhausted. It was hard trying to teach the kids how to canoe when I was out in the water. The current was also being a pain so I def. got my workout for the day!
All is well though. I have to help out with more activites this afternoon then time to set up for girls night. I am so excited. It is going to be a Hawaiian theme so it will be super fun!! :)

Also today has been a good day because it's our 7 Month. I got to call him for 5 min. this afternoon so that was great being able to hear his voice. Adam has been such a blessing in my life. God has used him to help me heal and grow from my past. I am so thankful for him and for how God has worked in my life these past 7 Months. God works in amazing ways. Sometimes we worry about our futures but God has a perfect plan and he continues to remind me that. I am so thankful for Adam, I couldn't make it through this summer without his support. He has been behind me every step of the way. I know it is hard for him since I am the one that has been called to this but Adam has put his trust and faith in God to take care of me this summer and that is such a blessing. He is such an amazing christian guy. I am truly thankful. God is so good. Thanks for always being there for me baby!! Love you and Miss you!!

Thanks everyone for the continued prayers. They mean a lot.
Miss you all.

Monday, June 21, 2010

God Moments

Today I got a chance to reflect on some God moments from last week. I thought I would share some with all of you.

~ One of my little girls last week was having some issues and I wasn't sure if I was getting through to her and one of the last days she wanted to pray before bed. Her prayer was so touching. I def. felt God in that moment. It was also very encouraging.
~ On Friday we handed out Bibles to the kids. I couldn't believe how happy these kids were to receive a bible. You would have thought we handed them a million dollars, the way their faces lite up and the way they were gripping those bibles. I just thought how sometimes we take our bibles for granted. It was very eye opening for me and touching.
~ God really just taught me a good lesson today as well. I have thought I hard this is and how easy it would be to just go back to my life in Michigan for the rest of the summer but God brought the story of Jonah and the big whale to my mind. I never thought how I could relate to that story this summer. God has called me to this, even though it is tough at times, God has a reason for me being here. I can't just run away from what God has called me to even if it means it would make it easier for me. I was very thankful for that realization. Yeah this summer will not be easy but I need to trust God and know that he has me here for a reason.

God has showed me so much about myself and about him since being here.
It has been so amazing! I am so thankful for this opportunity. God has big plans for these kids this summer and I am going to continue to put my faith and trust in him
Love you all.
Thanks for the prayers. They mean a lot. I can def. feel them.
God is so good! :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

It is so hard growing up because you start missing the little things like father's day. You don't realize how special and important that day is until you are separated from your dad on that day!! I miss him so much being at camp this summer. I wish I could be there to celebrate this special day. My dad is such an amazing person.
He has always sacrificed for his kids. He never missed the important things in life and he was always in the audience or sitting in the bleachers. He taught me to work hard and never give up. He is one of the hardest working person I have ever known. He loves unconditionally, which is such an inspiration to me.
I love you dad! Thanks for always being there for me. Dad, you and mom have taught me so much. I am so lucky! :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Week #1 Girls!!

Here is my group from week one!! they were so great. I will miss them like crazy...The other leader in this picture was a floater this week so she took our kids when we got our breaks. Such a blessing!!


Last night it was the older girls turn to camp out on top of the hill. It was a very interesting experience. It was fun at the beginning because we had a camp fire and ate smores and sang songs. The kids really enjoyed that. Then we put the campers into their tents. Of course camp out can't go that smoothly. About 20 min. after they were in their tents someone from across the river decided to do fireworks..the campers freaked out thinking it was gun shots..so all of the campers came screaming and yelling. I knew it would not be a peaceful night. The campers had a rough time falling asleep after that.
At 4 am a big storm came in so we had to get all of our campers and walk them down the hill and back to the cabin. Finally we were able to sleep in our warm and cozy beds.
Camping out was def. an adventure last night!! What an experience. I couldn't believe how brave I was.
It is amazing how you change when you have campers looking up to you.
Another thing God has been teaching me.
Today (Friday) has been filled with many different fun activites. We are having a carnival and a talent show later tonight. The campers are super excited!! :)
I can't believe that the campers will be leaving tomorrow. It has been a fun, exhausting, amazing learning experience.
All I can say. God is so good all the time!!

Love you all and miss you all like crazy!!

Thanks again for the prayers and support...keep them coming. They mean a lot.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


This week has been flying by. I can't believe it is already Thursday. So crazy! I am so grateful for the girls I have this week. God has def. blessed me this week. He is so good. My girls and I are having a fun time but are exhausted by the end of each day. We are always busy which is so good.
We have been keeping busy doing different activities like canoeing, art, worship, drama, nature, and different adventures. Wednesday afternoon was filled with going to the pool and taking a nap after being in the hot sun all day.
At night the girls and I are having great talks about God and how is always here for us. Such a great reminder for me. I have been dealing with some girls being homesick this week. That is so hard. It makes me miss my family and friends more too. I miss you all tons but these girls keep a smile on my face. PRAISE GOD!! :)
I feel like a mom all the time, makes me laugh! I didn't realize how tiring it is. I give it to all you moms out there.
Thanks mom for sacrificing for me everyday. It is hard work!!
I am very lucky though..i Love my unit Leader Krystin. She is so awesome. Seriously if I didn't have her support it would be so diffcult. She is so awesome. I am thanking God for her everyday.
I will be sad to see this group of girls leave on Saturday. It will be great to have a break this weekend but I will def. miss my girls!!
Last night we talked about prayer and one of my girls prayed for me. It was such a sweet moment. God knew I needed that to strengthen me and fill me up for the rest of the week. It is so cool to see how God works.

I am amazed how God sends little reminders throughout the day!! He knows what we need. I am learning so much through this experience, even though it is really hard so days, God always provides what I need. I love him so much!

I hope you all are having a great week. Keep focusing on God and find little moments in your day life that show you that God is watching over you and providing for you!!

Love you all!!

Thanks again for the prayers..I def. feel them :)

Monday, June 14, 2010


Today the first group of campers came. It was so exciting. Let me just say God is so amazing.
I was having a rough morning knowing I would have to turn my cell phone in for the week and
not being able to talk to any of my friends or family. Also I was super nervous because I wasn't
sure what to expect and I wasn't feeling ready. But I called out to God because I know he is
my ultimate comforter and strength. :) And he answered my prayers...man he is so awesome!!

We left camp at 12 to go pick up the campers. We had a couple of issues so we didnt get back to camp
until 4:30 (30 min. late). We had a fun time of singing and just having fun in the Pavilion when we all got there.
Then the girls went to dinner. After that we had a meeting with all the campers and then helped moved them
in. The girls loved my room which was so great. I had to run around camp helping sick kids from 7 to 9 so that was super crazy but my girls were very good and flexible. At 9 I came running back to the room to start the bed time routine. My girls were so tired that at 9:30 they were practically begging to go to bed... I love it!! :)

God is so good!! The group of girls I have are so amazing. I have 5 girls and they are 10 or 11.
I love them to pieces already. God totally sent me a great group of girls for my first week. A total answer
to prayer. Just another reminder that he is always watching over us.

I am so excited for tomorrow. We have a big day of Adventure, Nature, Sports, and praise and worship.
I'll keep you all posted as much as I can...things get crazy around here...but I want all of you to know
I am doing great and God is so good.

Thanks for the prayers. They mean so much!! love you all tons!! :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wrapping it up!!

Today we continued with our training. It was a little stressful since it felt like crunch time and we were getting so much thrown at us today. But tonight I have had a lot of time to plan and prepare for next week which has been very calming. I am getting anxious for next week as I am ready to meet my first week of campers but also nervous as this is my first time. God has given me a peace though which has been so incredible. He constantly reminds me that he is here with me and I am not alone. I love that :) He is also sustaining me as the days get longer I still seem to have enough energy to make it through. God is so amazing. Sometimes it is hard to remember that when there is so much going on but I have felt his presence all week and that has been a major comfort for me.

Tomorrow we have our mock day. I am really excited to meet some of the kids and have a fun day of hanging out and doing different activites. It will be a nice change of pace.

Thanks again for all of your continued support. It helps to know that you guys are praying for me. God has been surrounding me with his unfailing love and his presence has been incredible. I know some of the weeks ahead will be extremely hard but I am so grateful for a God who is always constant and will never leave me through it all.

I love you all!! I am so excited to meet my campers next week.

Please pray for my campers next week. Pray that there hearts are softened to hear the word of God.
Also pray that I will be able to glow with God's amazing love for these kids.
Pray that I am not nervous but have a joy that overflows which can only come from God.

The prayers are amazing and I really do feel them.

Thanks for being apart of this journey with me!! :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

CAT Experience

Well, I survived CAT!! As many of you know all the summer staff at Riverwoods had to participate in CAT (community awarness training) from Friday until Monday at noon. It was a great experience for me. It really taught me a lot. We split the group into two. So we had about 25 people in each group. Then the groups went to the community that they would be staying in. We stayed in the basement of a church that was 5 blocks from our community that we would be working with. We had $94 for food, soap, toilet paper, and toothpaste for the whole group. This was very challenging and eye opening as well. We could only bring 2 pairs of short and 2 t-shirts. Along with one pair of socks, a tooth brush, and one pair of shoes. For sleeping we were allowed to bring one blanket and a sheet. All of these items had to fit in a pillow case.

Friday - We arrived in our communities in the afternoon. Then we had to make the menu for the whole weekend so that we could send some people the the store. With 25 people this was very difficult. After that we had a chance to plan some more actitivites for the weekend that we would have our communities participate in. We ate our first meal that night and then had time to debrief as a group. All of us were very frustrated and our group didnt get along so I was super worried how the rest of the weekend would go.

Saturday - We woke up early to rain. We had to wait all morning until about 11 to go out to the communities. We were inviting kids to our Fun Day in The Park. :) It was a lot of fun meeting some of the kids and their families. After we had lunch we went to the park to play games with all of the kids. They were so adorable. Also we had to do a service project with them so we picked up trash. We played it as a games so the kids would be engaged in it. That night was rough for me. I was feeling very alone away from family and friends and not having my cell phone to connect with them. God really taught me a lot about how I don't make enough time to be silent with him. I felt God in new ways that night, such an incredible feeling.

Sunday - Thank God for an encouraging day. I needed it after Friday and Saturday. God is so good. We planned skits for sunday school and sang songs with the kids. They were so much fun. We had an amazing service at church as well. It was great to all worship together. After church we made lunch for the kids. Then we had to do another service project with them so we had them write letters to the nearest nursing home. The kids did a great job writing cards and drawing pictures. On the way home we stopped by the nursing home so that the kids could drop all the letters off. They really enjoyed this and I know the residence will enjoy recieving the letters as well. After we dropped the kids off we went back to have our lunch. After lunch we went back to the community to hang out with the kids for the remainder of the night. It was a lot of fun forming relationships with them. I can't wait until these kids come to camp in the middle of July.

Monday - We had to do our last service project so we cleanned the whole church we were staying in. After that we had to wait until the Riverwoods buses arrived so that we could head back to Riverwoods. We arrived back around noon. It was a great feeling to be finished and to experience what we did.

God taught me so much through this experience. It is amazing when you are stripped of everything how God can really speak to you. It taught me to have quiet time with God. He wants an intimate relationship with us and so we need to make sure that we make time for him because he is always waiting for us! Also it taught me how to rely on God. God is always there and never leaves us. I really felt God's love and support everyday that I was at CAT. His presence was so amazing and it was a great reminder of how he will never leave us.

Training continues the rest of this week and then next week we start the first week of camp with the kids. I am so excited to see how God will continue to work in me this summer and I can't wait to share God's love with these amazing kids.

Thanks for all the prayers they mean a lot.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

This Weekend

Things have been going a lot better today. :) I am finally feeling more comfortable here which has helped a lot. It just takes time. I really like the people I will be working with for the next few months so that is a plus. This morning we had the morning off. This was a great break from camp. I was able to go out to breakfast with my bunk-mates and then we were able to get some things from the store. (Diet coke was also a necessity we got ;) )This afternoon we worked on a lot of service projects around Riverwoods. I had to clean out an old cabin so that it can be used as a nurses station this summer. It was a lot of fun and it looks so much better now! After that we had dinner. Then we had a meeting about CAT which will take place from tomorrow morning through Monday morning.

Community Awareness Training is a chance for the staff to experience living in one of the communities we will be serving this summer.  We only get to bring a certain amount of clothing items, which all have to fit in our pillow cases. We will be living in either a government apartment or a church. (depending on what community we stay in) The staff will be divided in half so at least 20 or 25 people will be in each group. I think this will be a great experience for all of us. First it will help us bond as a group and also it will give us a chance to experience what it is like to live in one of these communities. I just ask for prayer as some of us are a little nervous about what to expect. Also pray for protection and that we are open to what God has to teach us through CAT.

Thanks again for all of your continued support and prayers. It means a lot. I miss you all tons.

Love you guys :)

P.S. I just wanted to say thanks to Lexi for the idea to start a blog. What a great idea!! I love keeping everyone connected about what going on here!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Training is in Progress

Well training has officially started. We had a very busy day on Monday just getting to know everyone and their names. There are around 50 people total that help run the summer camp. So their are a lot of us and a lot of names to remember. (This is a problem since learning peoples names are hard for me). We also met in our small groups and just really worked on getting to know everyone. Yesterday was a hard day of transition for me. It finally sank in that I will be here for 10 weeks. (A long time) But I can do it. Also I have been missing a lot of people so that has been hard. But I know God has me here for a reason and I keep trusting in that.

Today, We got a chance to go to some of the communities that we will be serving this summer. It saddens me to see how some people live. It was neat to experience that and to see where the kids come from. This afternoon was filled with a lot more information and time devoted to prayer. We are just praying for these kids a lot and ourselves.

Please just pray for my strength as the days are long and hot. Also please continue to pray for the staff and that we continue to get along and work together when times are tough. Prayer for the kids would be great also that they would be open to what we say and that they don't give us to much attitude ;). Also pray for homesickness as I am dealing with that a lot more than I thought I would.

Thanks a lot. The prayers mean a ton!! Miss you all tons. God is great and doing a good work here. I am so lucky to be apart of it :)