Taking a Deep Breath

In the past 6 weeks we’ve had 3 work teams and a weekend camp – during which I was the speaker, planned program, and had a cabin of girls (if you know anything about Young Life, you know that’s crazy). Don’t worry – it wasn’t just me. Since we have a staff of only 5, everyone has lots of responsibility. But, we survived and it was a great weekend.

Some highlights  –

1. My cabin of girls. I’ve been working with these girls for the past two years and have seen them grow from unquestioning 12 year olds to campamore mature, insightful 14-15 year olds. I’m thankful we developed a solid relationship while they were young because they already have a safe place to explore their questions, doubts, struggles, hopes, and dreams.

2. Speaking. I love speaking at camp – especially follow up camp. I get to go a little deeper, and introduce kids to new ideas. Since it was just an overnight camp, I only got 2 talks. In the first, I talked about the difference between our plans and dreams and the reality we live. I  shared the story of Scripture from creation, through the fall, and to the cross and resurrection. I shared how our reality is not God’s original plan, and that he’s working to reconcile all things back to himself. I love being able to share the whole story of God in one talk because it helps kids situate themselves in his story versus seeing themselves as passive observers or outsiders.

In the second talk, I focused on how we live in this story. Here I have to give credit to a book I’m reading – One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. To be honest, I haven’t gotten past the second chapter. I can’t. It’s beautiful. I need to soak it up. Voskamp succinctly and poetically describes what’s missing from most of our lives – and definitely from our kids’ lives. She points to the eucharist, the table of thanksgiving, as the key to living fully. Imbedded inside the word Eucharist are the greek words for “grace” and “joy.” To summarize what I take from Voskamp (and my talk) – our capacity for joy intricately depends on our ability to give thanks and our understanding of grace. 

I don’t see a lot of joy in kids’ lives in zone 3. Nor grace. Nor thankfulness. I wanted to plant within kids the truth that there is another way to live – it starts with accepting God’s grace, giving thanks for it, and choosing joy.

Now that our crazy season is over, I look forward to continuing conversations with kids, discovering what it likes to daily live the Eucharist…..and to finishing 1000 Gifts.


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