Back from camp and living in the daily

This past week was a great week. After spending a brief bit of time with my fam and leaving Judah with the grand’rents, Jason, Abel, and I headed out to spend eight days at Twin Rocks for the high school camp Surfside. This year’s theme was “Pursuing the Passion” and was centered around scripture in Philippians about pursuing the goal of Christ. I taught a class called “Passion in the Daily” looking at passion in our day to day lives: what is it? Why do we care? How can we discern and better pursue our passions? Jason provided Abel and I.T. support. And Abel provided many opportunities for people to go “aw” as they walked by.

In true Aj-form, I didn’t pull my class together until the day before teaching. In fact, I didn’t quite understand the schedule, even though the director emailed me the details. I taught two classes. Twice a day (class 1 twice in the morning, class 2 twice in the afternoon). For three days. The camp was fullfullfull, so the staff had been eating in the Friendship Center. Which is where I taught. So basically I was in that room from 8:45-3:15 each day – par-tay. πŸ™‚ Actually, it worked out great – we had an internet connection, so I could check Facebook and my email while I had the high schoolers in interests groups discussion creative ways to pursue a specific passion.

So yes, I pull the class together the day before, which had me wracked with guilt because in my head I heard my father telling me about why he never procrastinates and how he writes everything out and practices in over and over way ahead of time. And, of course, that’s the way it should be . . . or so my head was saying. But I finally realized, and came to some peace, about the fact that that’s not the way I work: I absorb a whole bunch of information, stew over it while engaging in daily activities such as changing diapers or trolling Freddies for marked down dog food, and at the last minute inspiration hits (or God has mercy) and I whip something out.

This time, thanks to my amazing hubby, I was able to have a presentation that incorporated things such as pictures of my passions (my fam, connecting with friends, writing on my blog, etc.), pictures of other peoples’ passions (the lego cathedral, the crazygood DDR kid, the Rachael Ray yummy noises montage). I also managed to work in videos by U2 (Numb), Dave Matthews Band (Too Much), and a clip from Talladega Nights – really.

The campers seemed to connect. Well, they had to, because I’m a good big sister and kept poking them with questions if they didn’t respond (ask my brother: I’m a poker). And they came back with some thoughtful responses (one group talked about txting as a passion and threw out the idea of “txting God” – so creative!).

I also spoke on Friday night worship about going back home and living out of passions. I didn’t really think about the content until my last Thursday class happened. Friday I pulled together thoughts two hours before dinner. Then, ten minutes before I was supposed to speak, I scrapped it all. Nobody knew except for Jason, but he’s finally getting a little used to my “trying things out verbally and then ditching it all at a moment’s notice for what I’m really supposed to do” tendency. A little. πŸ™‚

I ended up feeling called to speak about Jacob and the time that God gave him the dream of the ladder and the angels and promised him an inheritance of the land he slept on. Jacob built an altar to remember that God was in that place. But did Jacob stay there? No: for his inheritance to come, he had to continue on his journey. But the altar served as a reminder to him and to others that God was at work – speaking of hope and a future to come. Personally, I wanted to live in my “camp experiences.” I thought life should be that way always: I experienced God profoundly and figured that’s what life should be like. When I got home and got back to normal, I yearned to go back to the camp experience. But I really needed to continue on my journey, looking back to the experience as an altar to remember that God was there and spoke of a future to come, but that the future would only come from living in my day-to-day existence. I think it made sense. I hope it did.

So now we’re adjusting to life back at home, full of poopy diapers and park playdates and paying bills. Living in the daily. Not glamorous, but it’s good.

4 thoughts on “Back from camp and living in the daily

  1. Julie

    Hi! It’s your long lost friend from Idaho:) I couldn’t sleep and God put you on my mind, so I was praying for you. I had no idea what you were up to, so I Googled you and found your blog. I hope all is well and I would love to catch up with you:)

  2. Robin M.

    I have that tingly, all over feeling as I read about your vocal ministry about Jacob and the altar and continuing on your journey. I really want to share this image with some other young adult Friends I know.

    I have to speak this weekend to the Northern California Christian Friends Conference about my conversations with convergent Friends. This is mostly a group of much older Friends – I’ll probably be the youngest one there besides my kids, but the theme for the weekend is how to reach more young people. I don’t know why yet, but I think this was an important post for me to read.

    Maybe it has nothing to do with this weekend and is just about me finding passion in the daily.

  3. Molly


    I really wanted to let you know that I loved your class and felt a real connection to it. I also thouroly (spelled wrong i know what can i say i’m awful at spelling…anyways…) enjoyed your sermon! It was great meeting you and I hope to see you at another camp or retreat of some sort.
    ~Molly S.

  4. Aj Post author

    Thanks for the kind comments! I’m glad this resonated with you, Robin. And thanks so much, Molly, for the wonderful words: it was great connecting with so many amazing youth (and others) at camp – we hope to be able to make it out again!

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