Friday, August 05, 2011


I already said once this week that I'm in a weird place.  Over-tired, easily-stressed, easily-hurt, anxious.  I haven't been a ton of fun and I know it.  I'm off my game, and I don't like it.

This summer has been really different for us, for a number of reasons.  One thing has stayed the same, although even it looks different.  Tomorrow I leave for YoungLives camp.

I've been going to YoungLives camp every summer since I was 20.  That ill-fated summer, the one I was supposed to spend a month on summer staff as a horse-wrangler at Windy Gap, the dream summer mission I'd wanted since I was 12.  The summer I was supposed to come home from camp and spend another month interning at the zoo.  The summer I didn't get to do either because I terribly, horribly sick with mono.  So sick I was hospitalized twice.  So sick the doctors were certain something worse was up and sent me to an oncologist.  I summer spent watching TLC re-reruns of "How Do I Look?" and "Whose Wedding is it, Anyway?" from the couch, eating scrambled eggs with brie cheese because my mom was trying to get me to gain back some weight.

Now, every time I see Finola Hughes I crave brie.  Maybe one day I'll meet her and tell her that.

As that summer waned, I started to get better, and a series of events led me (after an all-clear from the doctor) to spend a week cuddling babies at YoungLives camp, a summer camp for teen moms and their babies, up in New York.  A piece of my heart was forever ensnared.  I've spent dozens of weeks at camps, and none can compare to how wonderful it is serving there that week.

Every summer, that year included, I've been there with my husband.  Well, first he was just my boyfriend.  Then my almost-fiance.  Then my husband.  But this year, the first in 10 years for him, he won't be going to Lake Champion.  He will be at home, working and taking care of our own baby girl.

And so, I know why I've been so off.  I'm burdened.

I'm freaking out a little (ok, a lot) about leaving my little family.  I am worried that Sweet Pea is going to be upset to not have me around, or worse, not even notice that I'm gone.  I'm worried about how she'll sleep, what she'll eat, and if everyone who will be helping to take care of her will understand her cues.  I'm worried she's going to have separation anxiety and make life hard for them.

I almost backed out.

But I realized I'm burdened about more than just my little family.  I'm burdened for these young moms.  I'm burdened for their babies.  I'm burdened that my culture tends to cast them aside.  I'm burdened that so many young women, who are told they have a "choice" when it comes to carrying a baby, don't really feel like keeping their children is truly an option because they are so afraid and unsupported.  I'm burdened for young women who don't have mentors.  I'm burdened for girls who feel lost and alone.  I'm burdened for my generation and the one after me to become generations that seek God and His goodness.  I'm burdened for change, the kind of change that only the life-changing transformation of a heart placed in Christ's hands can bring.

So I'm going.  I'm going to spend a week loving babies that aren't mine, while my own stays here and gets loved on by her Daddy and Grandmas.  I'm going to miss her so much it actually hurts me.  Yet I think I'm going to be a better mama for it, a mama who shows her daughter that a life spent serving others is a life well-lived.  We want our home to be one that is aware of the needs of others, a home that puts Christ first, a home that is always open, a home filled with hearts that answer when God says, "Go."  In a way, it's her first time serving others, too, because she has to sacrifice the comfort of her own mama for a week.

It's been a weird week, but at least I know now where my unrest was coming from.  I'm shocked by how much peace has filled in instead.  It's going to be a long, hard week, but it's going to be good, because God is good.  All the time.  He is good.


  1. she looks so grown up! love that first picture.... because babies in jeans are too cute.

  2. Praying for you, sweetie. I know God is going to use you to bless the bits out of those mamas!


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