Wednesday, July 24, 2013

the dream.

do you ever dream about your work?
when I was a waiter, I used to have this reoccurring dream, that I would get to work and walk into a huge hall of hungry people, seated at tables, and waiting for me to serve them. it was overwhelming.

now, I have this reoccurring dream that I'm talking to a huge group of kids, and they are bored out of their minds, and I can totally tell. the room is distracting, the sound board is making weird sounds, people are walking in and out of the room, and its hot and stuffy. the kids can't wait to get out. but I'm not finished with my talk- and the talk isn't particularly good. and I know it. I'm disorganized, I can't find the words to say, and I just want to get out of the situation, but I can't until the last point is made. the dream seems to last forever.

I have told the students about the dream. Sometimes, when I'm talking and they are being distracted and chatty, I just stop and say, "this is it. this is the dream. I'm living it. right. now." just saying it out loud seems to break the tension inside of me and helps me to get back on track. it helps them to recognize how distracted they are too. sometimes when I'm listening to a speaker, I can almost see them notice that they are losing the crowd, and they do all sorts of things to get them back: they talk faster- they talk louder- they move around more- and in my mind I think to myself- "its the dream- they are in the middle of it right now." and I usually pray for them and encourage them on the way out.

they say that if you can speak to middle schoolers, you can speak to anyone. I've been doing it for 12 years now, and I still have a lot of room for improvement! and somehow I think that no matter how long I speak to students, the dream will stay with me.

do me a favor: the next time you are listening to someone speak publicly, make eye contact with them, nod as though you are listening, smile, laugh at their jokes, and thank them for speaking to you when they are done. my guess is that they just did something that was very scary and intimidating for them- and hopefully, you can spare them from dreaming the dream on that night.

God is love.

Monday, July 8, 2013

hume stories, 2013

last week was my 13th summer at hume lake. what a great time it was. there are so many stories that I could share, but here are a few that affected me directly:

:: this year was very rewarding for me personally. in the summer of 2005, I took a bunch of kids to camp- this year, 3 of those kids served with me as counselors. they all did fabulous, and I'm so proud of the Godly people they have become. here are some pictures of them back in 2005:

the girl on the right is all grown up and was a star counselor- she fearless did the belly flop for her team.

the boy on the bottom left in the hat wears a beard and saw his cabin through some tough times. back in 2005 is when I first started calling him fearless.

the boy with the water cup me away with his tender leadership. I watched him pray with a group of boys last week, and it reminded me of how I was able to pray with a group of boys that included him back in 2005. watching him lead those boys to Christ made me a blubbery mess.

:: speaking of kids coming to Christ, there is a student that I like to call silly-lilly. every time I see her, I shout out her nick-name, and without fail, she giggles quietly with a big smile. on Thursday night, she was praying to receive Christ with big tears rolling down her cheeks. she caught my eye and I smiled at her. she hid her face because she didn't want me to see her tears. but then she gave me that big, silly, tear-stained smile again. and then I got all teary too.
:: speaking of tears! there were lots of them last week. and more than a few belonged to me. on the 4th of july, I went over to the infirmary, but there was a sign on the door that said, "INFIRMARY CLOSED FOR PARADE." I looked around and saw that a little crowd had gathered- then I heard a fire truck- and I looked and saw all of the hume lake fire trucks, ambulances, go karts, golf-carts, pick ups, and motorocycles coming up the street. they had their sirens and horns blazing. they were all decorated in red white and blue streamers. they were filled with little kids screaming "happy 4th of july!" and waving and tossing candy.

it was so cute and nostalgic, and special- and in that moment, I thought "jane would love this." and then I thought "oh I should be with jane today!" and "oh- I miss Deanna and jane!" and in the midst of all of that cute celebration, and flying candy, I cried my eyes out.
:: I had to take a boy with a dislocated arm to the hospital for the first time. the hospital was in NO HURRY to get me back to camp. I pulled an all-nighter waiting for them to figure out what they wanted to do. when I got back to camp, it wasn't long before I discovered that my spirit had been broken. I got pessimistic, depressed and I just wanted to leave.  but some ice cream, good conversation, and the sound of my young friends laughing fixed that up right away.
:: I FIXED THE BUS! when the bus came to pick us up, I went to load it, but the bus driver stopped me and told me that the other bus was nearby, but it was broken. a water hose had burst. no one knew what to do. the camp workers didn't really want to help us either. we tried duct tape, clamps, everything we could think of. we didn't want to call for another bus. finally I went into the mechanic building and looked around for the hose. several workers essentially told me to go away, but I kept at it- until I found the head mechanic! I told him what was wrong and he generously gave me the exact hose that I was looking for. I ran back to the bus drivers waving in the air. I said, "WILL THIS WORK?!" they said ,"ITS PERFECT! YOU FOUND IT!" I felt like MacGyver or something. I felt awesome.
:: the students and leaders were so classy all week. of course they took home the championship t-shirt. they always do. many, many of them did serious business with God, and in the end, it was one of the best trips to camp ever.
God is love.