Sunday, August 19, 2018

Living Proof of a Loving God to a Watching World

I like my church more and more each Sunday. Seriously. The people at my church go above and beyond all the time to serve people & God. I'm inspired every Sunday. Someone will say or do something that just makes my heart smile. It doesn't have to be big, just something that touches the heart. *grin*

On the third Sunday of the month I serve by greeting people before and after the 11:15am service. I work in the hallway that goes to the kid's wing. I see A LOT of kids, and they just make me laugh all the time. Kids are precious!

Today I continued my goal of making the little people smile as they walk by. In other words, I'm trying to make everyone feel good, and begin to see themselves as He sees them. *grin* I love every moment of it. Totally. *grin*

I'd say "wow, that yellow dress is so you!". (that made a gal smile)
"Wow, you all thought blue was the color of the day when you chose your clothes today!"
"Oh wow, you can run fast, just stop at the door!" (the kid did, by the way, parents said that they've trained him!) *grin*

Over and over again, people laughed and/or smiled.

I also love where I'm located on the third Sunday because our Special Needs Teens and Adults classroom is right nearby. So, I get to say "hi" to a lot of them too. I love that because I served in the teen room before I started teaching in the younger classroom. It just makes me smile to see those young adults too. *grin*

One of our sayings at church is that we're to be "Living Proof of a Loving God to a Watching World." We're about to have our free (to the community) carnival. Pastor Phil shared today that it costs about $20,000 to put on the BIG carnival. It is one of our MANY community opportunities to share that loving God to the watching world. If you want to come, let me know. Like I said, IT'S FREE! *grin*

I pray that I show His love throughout my week, not just on Sundays.

I hope you do too.


Saturday, August 18, 2018

All The Feels

I should go ahead and start by saying that my interpretation of the phrase "all the feels" refers to feeling the feelings that go along with the experience a person is referring to. *grin* I just looked it up on the Urban Dictionary, and it's actually in reference to a song. I am going to step out of the box and use it to fit emotions with experience. If that's not agreeable to you, you can close this post. *grin* This is more for me than for you anyway. *giggle*

So, the past two weeks have made me feel all sorts of emotions. Or as kids today say, "All the Feels." *grin*

I will just dive in and we'll see where we land. *grin* I feel like this post may be kinda random and out of order. I know, that's odd. *giggle*

So, last week was filled with meetings and my first small group. I loved it. I was happy to be busy, and to finally start doing what I was hired to do. It was GREAT. I also loved rolling into work at 11 because I was off work at 7:45. *grin* I loved it! People don't know me really well yet, and don't understand how much I enjoy PEOPLE. I was pumped for the night and it was amazingly fun!

This week has had busy moments, but I was kinda antsy early in the week. There's so much to learn, but it takes experience to learn it. Working with humans requires that. *grin*

Then Wednesday hit.

Wednesday school started in my previous district. I had all sorts of emotions through me, but no tears. I'm learning that sometimes God moves us, and it just feels right. I had some sweet people message me to check on me, or compliment me, which made me smile. I have to admit though, I didn't wish I was back there. I am free of homework. That means more to me than I can express in words. I am still adjusting to free time during my nights and weekends. *grin* It's been a really cool adjustment to make. *grin*

Not being on school schedule has its ups and downs. I'm still adjusting to the 8-4:30 deal, and the commute, but I do like it. It's cool being able to use the restroom any time and take time off and not need a sub. *grin*

Thursday morning I was reading at my cubicle and my favorite HR gal brought me a "One Month" gift. I still smile thinking about that, because I had been in a small battle of my mind due to school starting. That little gesture reminded me I was where I needed to be. Also during that day, I had two phone calls and my first referral! It's so good to have it getting busier, I was borderline bored. It's an adjustment going from all day everyday with people to a cubicle. However, it's clear that now that school has started, things will get into a swing. I like that! *grin*

Friday we took a field trip to the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia. We took 7 people and we had three staffers. It was my first trip anywhere with the new company. And it was a lot of fun. I wasn't sure what to expect, but, it was really cool. I wound up paired up with a person who walks kinda like me. They reported that they had 1800 people there for the All Access (Special Needs) Day. The buddy I had just wanted to walk around, and it was tons of fun. We walked about 2.7 miles, and enjoyed the sights and sounds. I'll admit that more than once I thought about my friends at school teaching, and was happy right where I was at. *grin*

The drive to and from I sat by a young lady that God is using me to speak into her life. It was pretty cool.

I was supposed to provide respite today (Saturday) for a boy, and the parent canceled. I was kinda sad, but today has been very relaxing. I was worn out yesterday from the walking so the chill day today was cool.

I'm looking forward to this next week. Now that school is in session, things are getting more active at work. I also have my small group this coming week. I also have a women's bible study that I'll be a part of at church. We also have book club this week.

It's gonna be a fun week! Totally!

Awesome, even with all the feels throughout the week. *grin*

Monday, August 06, 2018

Adapting to Change *grin*

I'm going to just dive right in because I see sleep in my near future. *grin*

I have now been at my new job 16 days, and am SO EXCITED to finally start working with people. I've enjoyed training, as much as a person can anyway. I adore the people I am running with for this season, and it's so good! *grin* Every day someone says something encouraging, and I treat it like it's not a big deal, but it makes me smile more than they'll ever know. I know this is where He has me for this season. Truly.

I'll admit, I've had moments of wanting to be back where I was at, but I think that's normal. I've only had two new work environments (this is my third) as an adult out of college. So, change isn't my idea of fun. However, I'm adapting and taking it day by day. *grin*

It makes me think about the first couple days of work there, and what a transition it was for me. I went from a classroom to a cubicle for training. Online training. Not my idea of fun, if I'm being honest. I'm made to be around people, so I've been itching to meet everyone!

Guess what I did though? So, on day #2 I took my headphones. It's not uncommon for people to be wearing headphones in the cubicle and I figured "why not?" So, I took my earbuds. Now, don't laugh AT ME when I share this story, laugh WITH ME. *giggle*

So, I got to work, got out my phone, my headphones, and was stumped. My new phone didn't allow me to use my previous headphones. Honestly, I hadn't paid attention to the place to put the headphones, and I sat there bummed. I REALLY love music (as most of you know) and I REALLY wanted tunes while I read tons of online work. So, I sighed and pushed through without the music. That night I went to Walmart and bought some cheap over-the-ear headphones. (Earbuds hurt my ears!) As I was checking out, I realized I got the wrong ones. I thought I had blue tooth ones, and it was clear that I didn't. *sigh* I went ahead and bought them simply because I didn't want to walk back to electronics to return them. *sign* I go to Walmart once a week, so I could return them later. On the drive home, it hit me, I had been missing something I had all along!

See this little piece? There is probably some scientific name for it, but I will call it the ADAPTER that saved me! *grin* It was attached to my new earbuds case, but I didn't understand what it was for, until that moment! I can't tell you how happy I was and what I've learned since then. *grin*

See, change is tough for me. Really tough. And what I've learned so far is that change is good. Really good. Sure, I probably would have said that before I walked through this, but I wouldn't have had the experience to say it like I do now. For example:

I learned today that a co-worker has the same music taste that I do. How cool is that?

And, one day last week I fell in the parking lot. Today a co-worker shared how she loved that I got right back up and started walking. I didn't even know she saw me. How cool is that?

Today I was in a meeting where I had prepared a powerpoint, and the team thought it was GREAT! How cool is that?

I learned how to do a new task at work today, and some people I already knew came in for it! How cool is that?

Okay, I could go on and on. Seriously. Over and over again He's showing me that I'm where I need to be for this chapter. *grin*

Tomorrow I begin with my small group. I cannot even explain how pumped I am for this, and to see who I get to lead for this chapter.

So, yeah, change isn't my idea of fun. EVER. But sometimes, He leads us and shows us, it's really okay.

We just have to remember the adapter as we walk through it. *grin*

Now it's time to read & sleep! *giggle*

AWESOME...when you roll with the new and adapt to the change. *grin*

Friday, July 27, 2018

Loving the Skin You're In

I've been deep in thought this week. I've never worked in an office for forty hours per week and it leaves quite a bit of time to ponder things in the midst of preparing for everything in August. Yes, I work hard too, don't think I sit there and do nothing. *grin* My computer at work can show how hard I've been working. In the midst of it all, I've had plenty of thoughts come to me.

I work in a really big room with SEVERAL cubicles. So, basically I can hear conversations all over the office. My heart is touched over and over again with the care everyone has for one another. Kindness is shown over and over again in an 8.5 hour time frame. It reminds me of Camp all the time. I smile a lot in a workday. It's kind of unbelievable in some ways. On the other hand, it makes sense, because I have found my new home for this chapter of my life. *grin*

The company I work for hires people with disabilities. They prefer to have people on staff with first-hand experience with disabilities. We have people who are blind, deaf, hard-of-hearing, emotionally disabled, and physically challenged. The elevator verbally says, "floor 2" or "going down" or whatever it may be. It makes me smile all the time. Truly.

This afternoon one of my blind co-workers fielded all of the incoming calls, transferring calls, answering questions, and she was AMAZING at it. I hope I'm as good at it as she is, because I was blown away by her this afternoon. *grin*

Another little story about her, she has a guide dog. Yesterday I was walking, tripped over my own two feet (I know, talent!) and fell outside her office (some people have offices, and some have cubicles) and her guide dog came over to make sure I was okay. I laughed. It was only the second time I've been able to pet the dog, and I loved it. *grin* (Guide dogs, or therapy dogs can't be pet like Jay because they're always working)

So, being in my own little version of Camp for the past two weeks (Meaning love, acceptance, grace, etc) has had me pondering how we don't get to choose the skin we're in. People don't get to pick a disability, their skin color, or their family. God chooses it, and we walk forward doing the best we can.

If I'm completely honest, I like my limp. It's part of me but NOT ALL OF ME.

I think that's where people with disabilities sometimes get frustrated. It feels like able-bodied people see the limp and immediately think we(I) are not cognitively with it. I'm sure everyone with a disability has their own version of that. I heard a friend who is in a wheelchair say that people pat her head. People are often trying to be kind, they just don't quite know how to do that. *grin*

However, in the world of Barnabas, also known as my new job, disabilities are actually abilities. I know that's true for me on so many levels. Over the years I've connected with kids & adults with disabilities because of the limp. I can relate in ways some other people cannot. *grin*

So, as I've watched other people with disabilities at my new job, it has reminded me how normal a disability can be. How God made us exactly how He wants us to be. How He wants ALL OF US to LOVE THE SKIN we're in. We might not have chosen our bodies, but I truly believe He gave special circumstances to special people because He knew we would rock at it. *giggle*

If you don't love the skin you're in, work on it. Focus on your strengths, not weaknesses. Make note of what you CAN do instead of what you CANNOT do. Trust me, EVERYONE is good at something. *grin*

I have a theory. The older I get, the more I see it over and over again.

Here it is...we ALL have a limp. Or something that we THINK is bigger than we really are and we allow it to hold us back.

For example, perhaps someone is addicted to drugs. That has the potential to hinder a person's life experience. Some people don't like the skin they're in so they cut themselves. Both of those examples break my heart to think someone doesn't like themselves enough to treat their body well.

I think loving the skin we're in is a life-long process. I pray that the kids out at camp grow into it quickly. The world isn't always kind to those who appear different. I believe that's why relationships mean so much to me. Life is too short to not like the skin you're in and I try to remind people of that.

So, as I ponder more, I might share it. In the mean time, go ahead, ponder your life. Love the skin you're in. You only get one life this side of Heaven, so why not enjoy it?

IS. the skin I'm in!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

First Week At My New Job

So, many people have asked, and I kept saying I'd post the update. So, here goes:

I LOVE my new job. Granted, I'm still in the training stage, but, I really think I'm going to like it. People have asked what I'll be doing, and here it is:

1. I'll be leading one small peer group. It will essentially be a support group for young adults with disabilities. I'm pretty excited about that, if I'm being honest. *grin* I kind of have experience walking out life with a disability. *grin*

2. I'll be helping parents of students on IEPs advocate for what they need. This will look differently depending upon what the needs are, but, I am excited to still be a part of the Special Needs world. *grin*

3. I will also be teaching a Transition Class to High Schoolers. I think that's cool because I have lived that and can encourage young adults to walk out life this side of Heaven, even while having a disability.

4. I will be helping with the monthly social event for people with disabilities. I am pumped about that too!

5. If someone calls for resources, such as where local food banks are listed, I will give them addresses and phone numbers of where to go. So cool!

6. If someone calls for a Personal Care Assistant or other services, I will interview them and figure out how best to serve them. *grin*

There will be other tasks in there, but that is what I will eventually be doing. *grin*

I LOVE the girls on my team. I also love the environment I am working in. 75% of the people on staff have a disability of some sort. *grin* So, my limp is normal! *grin* On staff we have blind, deaf, and various physical disabilities as well. We even have several adults in wheelchairs. I LOVE IT! *grin*

I'll be honest, I kinda feel like I do out at camp when I first get there. I want the campers there right away, but, training must take place first. It will take me a little while to get in a groove, but I truly feel I will love it there. I'm itching to do it all today, but, I have learned patience this year. I can wait a little longer. *grin*

OH, THE BEST PART? NO HOMEWORK! And, I do have a computer at work, but we don't have laptops to bring work home. *grin*

I have to admit, I have wondered if I was depressed at the end of the school year. I came home exhausted each day just to work all evening on paperwork and get up and do it all over again. I do remember with about 35 days left, I woke up and counted the days. Then I told myself I could do anything for 35 days.

Again, you need to know, the sadness wasn't due to the kids. They were the highlight of my day everyday. The paperwork was what wore me down. I'll still have paperwork in this job. I mean, I don't know of any job with zero paperwork. However, this company that I joined believes in family first. *grin* Perhaps now I can have a social life. *grin*

So, I wanted to thank everyone for checking in on me recently. Words can't describe how blessed I felt on my first day of work Monday. I had SEVERAL people text me and wish me well. I will say it for the gazillionth time, I'm single but I'm not alone in this walk this side of Heaven. Truly.

Well, time to chill now. I mean, no homework to do this weekend. *grin* Is this how free everyone feels? I know I am loving it! *grin*


Monday, July 09, 2018

An Answered Prayer-I GOT A JOB!!!

I have been looking forward to writing this post for a week now. *grin* It just seems right that I would get my new job while serving at Camp. I mean, living out at the happiest place this side of Heaven, and finding out I got a job with the company I had prayed for, well, it makes it even sweeter. *grin* (English majors, keep your thoughts to yourself on that last sentence. I like it that way, and am keeping it. *wink*) Now I will share what happened and how excited I am to be starting my next chapter of life one week from today. *grin*

I resigned from my teaching job the Friday before Spring Break. It was a tough decision, but clearly what I was supposed to do. After working nights & weekends on paperwork, it was time for a change. I didn't realize it until then, but I was burned out. I thought I knew what burnout was, but I didn't. Let me emphasize IT WASN'T THE KIDS. I will forever love the kids God placed in my path, and they will get Christmas Cards from me until they don't want them anymore. *grin* They made getting up daily and going to work my favorite part of the job. Truly.

At the same time, God and I did a lot of talking over Spring Break. I stepped out in a way I hadn't before because I had always quit a job with another one lined up. I should also make note (more for me than for you) that I spent ALL of Spring Break on paperwork. I canceled my Barnabas trip to get paperwork done. That broke my heart, and I won't let that happen again if I have any control over it. I can't explain it totally, but I will say that I was at peace with leaving my job. I know that peace came from God, because my mind would have had a field day with the whole financial aspect of it. I will openly admit I was being intentional with my money and spending with the logic that my pay would end in July. My parents did an amazing job teaching me to save on even the most limited income. Thanks, Mom and Dad! *grin*

From that day in March until last Monday, I spent A LOT of time online job searching on my couch. The world of job searching has changed a lot since 2009, and there was a learning curve that I had to walk out in order to figure out what job I did want. I knew I wanted to continue working with people in the Special Needs Community. It's clearly what He made me to do. *grin*

I interviewed for SEVERAL jobs along the way. I purposely didn't post job interviews and results on social media. I wanted to walk out this season with style. *grin* I will openly admit, those closest to me had texts to pray, and that was all I needed to share.

In April & May I interviewed with a company here in KC that works with people with disabilities. I am purposely not sharing the name of the company because I read my manual last night, and part of working there is keeping the name private. *grin* Gotta love life in 2018, as there are all sorts of laws now regarding social media and blogs. *grin*

Anyway, I interviewed in April & May and fell in love with the company. In my first interview, I was told that this company does not allow their employees to work nights and weekends. (Unless there's an evening event, and my hours would be altered to still be 40 hours per week) That was what made me think, "God, this is what I want." Well, I didn't get the job, but there was an amazing email sent to me that said if they had openings in the future that they would contact me. While that made me smile, I knew I couldn't bank on that. So, my search continued. I spent HOURS online, and will openly admit I checked that company's website daily for openings. I applied for another job there, but wasn't contacted, which was fine. I knew I wasn't truly qualified, I just wanted my foot in the door. *grin*

Of course, God was in control and what happened next was what was supposed to happen. *grin*

I met a friend for lunch the Friday before I left for Term 5 out at Camp Barnabas, and my phone was in my purse at the time. I make a conscious decision when I'm with friends to leave the phone in the purse so I can spend ALL MY TIME with them. When I got in my car, I checked voicemail. Are you ready for this?

The HR gal from that company I REALLY want to work at, had left a message and said that they had an opening and I would be a good fit!!! I literally squealed in my car. *giggle* She said she was going to send me the job description and I could let her know. I checked email, and it wasn't there. I was so jazzed by the voicemail that I called her back anyway. *giggle* I told her I was interested, even though I hadn't read the description yet. *giggle* She asked me if I could come in the following Monday at 9am for an interview. In the back of my mind, I was like, "I'M AT CAMP." At the same time, I was fine with that. It would be worth it to drive back for the interview with this company. *giggle*

So that's what I did, I went to camp and did everything pre-camper that we do and I let everyone know I was leaving but coming back. Everyone was SO encouraging! It made the experience even sweeter. *grin*

Oh, the HR gal did send me the job description and it is RIGHT UP MY ALLEY. I would still be working with people with disabilities, just in a series of other ways rather than in a classroom day in and day out. *grin*

So I drove back Sunday Night early enough to go to bed early and not be tired for my interview. It was strange to be here without Jay, but it was such a short trip that it was okay. *grin*

I got up Monday, and went to the interview. It wasn't an interview as much as, "Here's what you would do if we hired you. Would you enjoy that?" I smiled. I totally saw why the HR gal I would be good for the job. At the conclusion of the interview I walked out, and the gal I met with said she'd meet with the HR gal and she would be in touch. I said "Okay". I didn't think to ask WHEN I would know...until I was driving back to L.S. *giggle*

So, I came home, changed, and emailed the HR gal and the gal I met with and asked. I loaded up the car and headed back to camp. I will openly admit that on each red light, I checked my email. I had been told previously that an email was bad and a phone call was good. No email from the HR gal, so I considered hope alive. *grin*

I was about 20 minutes outside of Lamar when my phone rang and it was the HR gal. She couldn't hear me well and asked me to call her when I got to my destinations. I said, "Okay". That would have been over an hour to camp. I couldn't stand it and exited at Lamar at the DQ to find out. I said a short prayer before calling, and then called.

The HR gal was so positive and offered me the job immediately. I said, "Yessssss!" Then I forced myself to calm down and talk through when to report to work and what needed to happen beforehand. I wanted to scream, but did a pretty good job of playing it cool. *grin*

I texted my family and let them know. I think my Mom was going to lose it if I went to ANOTHER interview and didn't get the job. *grin* I was so glad to finally give her the good news.

Upon arriving at camp, people were celebrating with me, and it just added to the memories for this chapter. *grin* I had hugs, pats on the back, and congratulations from everyone who knew about it all. *grin*

I'll admit, I didn't let many people know about this interview beforehand because I was gonna be bummed if I didn't get it and I did't want to have to say, "I didn't get it" again. *grin*

I was offered jobs along the way, don't get me wrong. However, they were all for SPED classroom jobs, and I needed a change. I didn't want to settle just to have a job. I wanted THE job, even when I didn't know what that would be. I learned tons through this four month process:

1. True peace is possible with God in a job search when money will possibly run out first.
2. I am loved very well. I could make a list of people who checked in on me regularly without me prompting them. I am blessed because of that.
3. I could have settled in fear and taken any of the jobs beforehand, I just knew I needed a change.
4. I don't have to share every little detail with everyone in my online world. The people that believe in God and prayed for me knew via text.
5. God is faithful, even when we don't see the end of the tunnel.

I could keep going on and on, but will stop there. If there's more for me to write, I will. In a world of Social Media, I have learned some things can be just between God and me. *grin*

I start work one week from today at 8:30. For the first time in a long time, I am excited to be back at work. I realize I just lost my Summer in taking this job, but I'm good with that. For a single gal, Summers can feel long sometimes. I'm ready to be meeting people and learning my new job.

Oh, and the bonus? I CAN WEAR JEANS DAILY OR SHORTS THAT GO PAST MY FINGERTIPS. Daily. (Occasionally I will be dressing up for events, I know, but that is from time to time.) THIS NEWS MADE ME SMILE!!!

I will also get to keep serving at Camp with a generous PTO program! *grin*

I will also get to keep attending Onething, as we take Christmas to New Years off. *giggle*

It was like God knew that I hate to dress up, love serving at Camp, and Onething in December, and went, "Here ya go." *Yess!*

I look forward to so many things, but for now I need to go. I have various appointments to make and people to get with this week before I'm a working girl again!



Saturday, July 07, 2018

Term 5, 2018, Brand New, Camp Barnabas

Camp Barnabas is my home-away-from-home. For real. *grin* This past week was TONS of fun, and I loved every minute of it. I hope to record the highlights here so I don't forget them. The only bummer to have been going to Barnabas for so long is that all the weeks kinda run together. I think that's okay though, as I can scroll back in my posts and remember the highlights. So, that's what this post is meant to do. Honestly this is for me more than you, but, if you want to read on that blesses me. Either way, it was an AMAZING week. *grin*

I arrived to camp Saturday shortly after 4pm. I did my usual thing and skipped registration and went straight down to move my stuff in and put my food in the dining hall. So, I didn't check in to registration until almost 5. The FUNNY part was that I was a week early. I was supposed to go this coming week, not last week. *giggle* I seriously thought I had registered for 5, not 6. Anyway, they needed help so they said I could stay and sleep in the room I put my stuff in. *grin* I laughed. Ah well, at least I was early and not late. While I was initially embarrassed, it was short-lived. It was clear very quickly that I was meant to be there Term 5. Totally.

I should back up a step and mention that on Friday afternoon (Day before I went to camp) I got a call from a gal who works for the company I REALLY wanted to work for. I mean, REALLY, wanted to be hired by this company. So when she said she had a job that she thought I'd be good at and Monday at 9am was my interview time, I said yes. *grin* Yes, it meant three hour drive to camp, and three hours back Sunday night to interview Monday morning, and drive back to camp on Monday afternoon, but it was worth it to me. I had prayed specifically for God to open up a job for me at the company. God answered my prayer in a BIG way!

So, once we worked out what cabin I would be serving with and where I was sleeping, I was happy. I was also super happy that this week had a low camper count and we would only have four campers in our cabin. (We usually have 9) That meant that leaving camp would be a minor inconvenience instead of a big one. *grin*

It still amazes me how God takes a group of girls who don't know each other at all, and by the end of the week truly care for each other. Truly.

The first meal and evening are awkward, but we always work through it. I was blessed to have SO MANY people glad to have me back for another week. Everyone needs a place where they're wanted around that much. *grin* About every two years the staff changes, because it's made of college kids that go on to lead amazing lives outside of camp. *grin* At the same time, I love how new kids come in and love on campers, staff, and volunteers unconditionally. It's pretty special and kinda hard to describe unless you've been there. *grin*

I didn't recognize any of the campers from Camper Card night but they had changed around the terms, so this was all new to me. *grin*

All four of our campers were jewels. We had Riley, who was non-verbal and didn't think sleep was her idea of fun. (Funny, not funny) We had Zoe who is a card-shark and loves to play games. We had another Zoey that was visually impaired, but enjoyed card games too. She wasn't blind, but her sight was limited, so we often had to tell her what card was last played. From there, she could play a mean hand of Uno. I loved every minute with that girl. Truly. Finally, we had Shaylee. She was hard to understand (verbally) but as the week went on I could understand her more and more. She had a small doll, Haylee, that she carried everywhere. It was precious. Truly.

I served during camper arrival and met A LOT of the campers at that time. I enjoyed that. Next, I went to the cabin. I met the girls and enjoyed the initial meeting with the girls. On the way to dinner, I got in my car and left for KC.

I woke up Monday, went to the interview, and came home. I prayed quickly after the interview, regarding the interview and hit the road. On the way back, I got a phone call. The gal from the company wanted me to call her back (she couldn't hear me while I was driving) when I got to my destination. I was about 1.5 hours away from camp, and I couldn't wait that long. *giggle*

I exited at Lamar and sat in the DQ parking lot and called her back. I was offered the job and tried to play it cool. She offered me the job and I said, "Yessssss!" then I was calm on the phone. Afterward, I texted those people who had been checking in on me and praying for me in the search. I proceeded to get a DQ treat and headed to camp in a VERY good mood. *grin*

It was HOT out when I got back, but that's Missouri in July. After taking my stuff to my room, I met my cabin mates at Shirt Making. I learned that Riley had been up all night and the girls were trading off who would be walking with her in the stroller. The other three girls were low-key and did great. Riley is not a fan of sleep, so all week the girls took turns staying up with her. She did sleep two nights, which was great.

All of our missionaries did their best, and I was blessed by them. Upon arriving back at camp, I was with them as much as possible, but I had to work dinner duty that night because I had traded since I wasn't there Monday morning for my breakfast shift. I felt like it was Tuesday before I truly jumped into the Cabin Mom role. *grin*

I enjoyed all of the activities, and the time in the dome just hanging out. The activities don't mean as much to me now as the relationships do. I believe that each conversation was what mattered most to me.

I remember early in the week, watching a staffer's kid being mean to his RA (kid-sitter), and I stopped to encourage both the kid and the RA. I realize that my nose went where some would say it shouldn't have, but, I encouraged that RA afterward and got to pray with her. It was precious.

Our barnstormers were memorable on all sorts of levels (all good) and I got to encourage them too. Barnstormers are 14 and 15 year olds that serve meals, clean bathrooms, and join their cabins for activities. Some weeks they're less active than others. However, ours were precious and I loved each of them.

Our missionaries (volunteers) were precious too. They worked hard, but also played hard too. We did a lot of Uno in the down times, and I wondered why I didn't take Uno out there before. *giggle* Each missionary was matched perfectly with their camper, and it was fun to watch the relationships come together.

Zoey called me "Mom" all week. I always smiled when she did that. On the last night another person turned to her and said, "You know she isn't your real Mom right?" She said she knew that, but it was fun to have a camp Mom. I smiled.

Another memory maker was the fact our toilets weren't working right in the cabin. Early in the week they stopped working and we saw people attempting to fix it from the very beginning. I didn't say anything to anyone high up because it was being fixed. Cross Carry Night one of the leaders came over to me and said he was talking to some of the cabin Moms, and asked them who the Cabin Mom was of G2 because that Cabin Mom hadn't complained to him yet. When he found out it was me, he said he should have known that. I laughed. He said, "You're appreciated more than you know." That will stick with me for years to come. God is still teaching me a lot through that one sentence and has made me ponder some things. I may or may not blog when I'm done unpacking what He has for me in this pondering. I will say that was one of the highlights of the week for me. I was blessed in that moment. *grin* Oh, and they did fix the toilets and the girls were great sports!

Adults sleep separately from the cabins, and sometimes campers and missionaries sleep in the conference rooms across from where the adults sleep. One morning at 5:45 a camper came into our room and turned on the main lights. Two of the cabin Moms got up to help, and then I got up when the mystery grew. In the end, the right people were found, but I said a prayer of thanks that the camper came in our room and not out the building. He was safe, and after that they took more measures to make sure the staffers and missionaries would know when he got up. I'm just glad everyone was safe. Truly.

Kitchen duty is always something I dread, but I try to do it with a smile. I am pretty upfront with whomever I serve with about my limited ditching experience and they give me easy jobs. While tired, it went the best time I've had in there. It's good to be stretched, and I was blessed in it.

Closing Day is always bittersweet. I am always exhausted at the end of the week and am ready to go home, but then again I know that I won't be with those precious people in that cabin again which makes me a tad sad. What I do treasure is how Closing Day is when people tell you how they feel. If only the real world could be as transparent as we are out at camp. I had one staffer tell me what an impact I've made on her life and how she will purposely route her path to me if she's walking nearby just because she knew I would encourage her. I smiled and was blessed by her. Totally.

I was able to say goodbye to someone who isn't returning to Barnabas, as God is leading her on. We had a chat I won't forget, and will miss her greatly. However, I know that God is leading her to somewhere special. I pray for her and her family daily.

I had two people walk up and say they were glad I was staying this next week. I said, "No I'm not" and both people were bummed. Really bummed. I smiled and said something like, "I'll be back next Summer, I promise!" *grin* I am loved REALLY well out there. *grin*

So, I've been home a while and Jay is wanting my attention so I will log out for now.

Thanks for reading my blog. You bless me more than you know.