Monday, March 29, 2010

Some Exciting(Yet Unofficial) News!

Today I got some very exciting news from a staff member at camp......

As you know, I applied to be a counselor back in January. They told me that it would be the end of April until I knew if I was hired or not. Today I had sent an email asking for my service hours from the past three camps I had done. When she emailed me back with the hours she also told me to not bother filling out a volunteer application for the summer(then with a smiley face). So, basically she was telling that I was hired, but that it wasn't official yet!!!
I am so happy and excited!!! I know for sure now that this is God wants me to do!!!!!

I am still so completely amazed every day that God would want ME and want to use ME!
Why? Why oh Lord? I am just a teenage girl....why would you want me?

Song for the day:  How He Loves-David Crowder Band

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Making of a Beautiful Day

Today I went grocery shopping with my mom. Kind of an escape for the two of us to get away and talk. Odd that a busy grocery store is a great place to hang with your mom! haha

Anyways, as we were scanning the juice aisle I saw a mother with her teenage son. As I watched the two of them I noticed that he was a special needs teen. I cannot begin to guess what exactly it was, but I recognized some things from kids at camp.
I heard this young man talking to his mom and her responding and both of them smiling and laughing. I couldn't help but smile! A lump welled up in my throat and my heart sang!!
Watching them made my day bright and made me praise God for His beautiful creation!!!

Later I saw another boy and from what I could tell it seemed like he was autistic. He looked like he was having a blast! This child made me smile from ear to ear again!

Most of you know what it feels like to have your heart ache, but mine aches with so much love when I see a child! Any child, whether typical or special needs.

Well, there you have it, God's way of making my day beautiful!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Taking out the "DIS"

The other day I came across this quote by Robert M. Hensel:
"I choose not to place "DIS", in my ability."
and I aslo read this one by Marlee Matlin:
"It was ability that mattered, not disability, which is a word I'm not crazy about using."
After reading these it got me to thinking about all of the kids I have come to know and love at camp. Sure, when they first come we look at their charts and find out what their disability is, but as we get to know them we learn that they are so much more than what most would think.

I remember one girl I had, she was in a wheelchair, but boy was she smart!!! She made up all of these stories and she even writes books! Crazy right? NO! I think that God has compensated that for her. I see it in every a place where something does not function properly another part of the body is unbelieveably GREAT!!! This makes me think of another boy...I'm not sure what he had, but this kid could draw!!! I looked at his paper one time and there before my eyes was a cartoon character that looked exactly like the was amazing.

God is so awesome and everytime I look at a child at camp I can see His majesty and His wonderful love. To these children whom the world looks on as disabled, God looks at them as ABLED!!!

I have never felt pity for any of the kids, but instead I treat them like any other child. The thing is...they are just like any other child! Smart, beautiful, loving, and strong.

I can't tell you how much my heart aches with love when I see a child at camp. Each time I try to see them through God's eyes, see them as His precious children.

From now on, I am taking the "DIS" out of disability. Join me!

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Intro to Chapter Two

So, on my last post I said that I couldn't wait to read the second chapter that God is writing. Well, as I started thinking about that I realized that He has already written the introductory paragraph. : )
Here it is:

I am a junior so it is time to start considering the future and getting ready for college. Well, I wanted to study English Composition, but last week that all changed. Let me tell you about it:

A couple of weekends ago I went to a Set-Apart Girl Conference with Eric and Leslie Ludy. The conference was SO moving and it completely changed my life for the better. I have been getting closer and closer to God and I know that He and He alone should be my focus in life.

Well, the couple was talking about letting God direct your path and being Christ's hands and feet and doing His service. Well the Sunday after the conferenc I spent a long time in Bible Study and prayer asking God to show me what He wanted me to do with my life.

So, I waited. Sunday and Monday of that week I kept having Special Needs children come up. In a book I was reading, in a missions email, in a church bulletin, thinking about camp, and more.

I kept waiting. Then guess what?! Tuesday morning that week I awoke to the thought of 47:10 somewhere in the Bible. GOD SPOKE TO ME(I only wish he had told me the book...haha)!!! So I go digging into my Bible and there are only 3 books that have a 47:10. Genesis, Isaiah, and Ezekiel. I kept reading and reading these three verses and I couldn't figure it out. Then, I think it was Wednesday after I had this verse pop into my head I re-read Ezekiel 47:10 and this is what it says: "Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds - like the fish of the Great Sea." Ok, when you first read that it just seems like some description of a place in the Old Testament world. But, when I read it Wednesday night it hit me that THIS IS IT!!!

"Fishermen", Jesus told his disciples to be fishers of men. "The fish will be of many kinds", not all the same!! Special Needs!!! It just jumped at me!!! God showed me exactly what He wanted me to do with my life!!!!!! Excuse the excitement, I've just never had God actually SHOW and TELL me something. It is quite exciting!!! : )

So, now I am trying to find what I can study in college and where that college is that will help me to work with special needs kids. I think I want to get a degree in Child and Family Sciences. This will give me a broad range of work I can do with children...special needs or not. I have, so far, found two-three schools here in my state that offer that major. One is a great Christian college, but I have to work really hard to get a scholarship. I know that God will show me which school He wants for me.

I still want to write, but I know now that that is MY plan, not God's. I'm sure I will still write in my spare time...haha...if I have any!

It is a long and grueling process, this college thing, but now that I know I am doing what God wants then it will all work out!

The only thing I am dealing with is Trust. Trusting in Him to guide my path and not having doubts about whether or not I AM doing what He wants is hard. And it is only the devil tempting me and wanting to destroy me and not wanting me to further God's Kingdom.

God has begun this new I just have to live His life He has for me and see how it closes. Waiting in Him is all I can do. I'm not worried....I'm excited!!!!

~His Hands

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Beginning of the Blog Saga

Well here it first blog post. It is just a little exciting! I'm really happy to get to share my journey on this path God has chosen for me with all of you. For this glorious beginning I want to tell you about how my journey began.

God blessed me with a wonderful ministry this past year! I have been a volunteer at a beautiful little camp specifically for special needs children since June 2009. The camp has changed my life in so many ways! One being that I now have a desire to work with kids like the ones at camp for the rest of my life! Another is that God is showing me how wonderful these children are. They are teaching me so much.

Let me go back to the very start:
While I was with my youth group on a conference trip we went to a church the Sunday we were going to head home. During the service they had a young man speak about how a camp had changed his life. This camp was for disabled children. He met an incredible wheelchair-bound camper who showed him Christ and the two have been best friends ever since. As I watched these two and saw how incredible the camper was I was touched DEEPLY. I walked away from that weekend knowing that I wanted to do something with kids like that.
My youth pastor's wife suggested a disabilities camp that was in our home state. I got the information and quickly sent in my application for a volunteer position. Unfortunately, with so many volunteers I did not get a summer week camp. I was truly bummed, but I knew that I would be able to do the weekend camps that they offer throughout the year. I went through my summer just the same as always and then in mid-August I got a voice-message from camp. "We have had a volunteer cancelation. Can you work next week?" it said. I felt excitement, fear, and happiness fill me as I listened to it. After about....ten minutes of consideration I called them back and said "YES!" It was a week away and I was more nervous than I had ever been.
I arrived the Sunday when camp started and I could barely breathe. I was doing this...all alone....I knew NO ONE! I thought I was crazy!! With all the nerves guess what they made me do first? Be on phone duty in the camp office! Fun? NO!
Finally I was able to go to the cabin I would be staying in and meet all of the campers. Never have I fallen in love with someone so quickly as I did with those eight girls.
The week went on and after a day I was over the nerves and I was singing camp songs louder than you can imagine! That week was so much fun and I will never forget it.
Looking back, I think that God made all of that happen. He wanted me there and He made it happen!
I applied for a counselor position for this next summer, but I won't know if I got the job until April. Right now I am learning patience and learning to just rest, knowing that God will do what is His Will.
So, now I am doing weekend camps and waiting to hear about this summer.

God has written the first chapter in my life-book! I can't wait to read the second!

~His Child