"Brightly colored sunsets and starry heavens, majestic mountains and shining seas, and fragrant fields and fresh-cut flowers are not even half as beautiful as a soul who is serving Jesus out of love, through the wear and tear of an ordinary, unpoetic life." -Frederick William Faber
Thursday, August 1, 2013
That Second Half
So, as you know, I spent the first half of my summer working at camp. The second half of my summer is typically my time with my family, since I don't get oodles of that during the school year. As of July 7th, I finished camp and returned home for just that. It's always sad to leave camp, but at the same time, after seven weeks of hard work a little R&R is always welcomed! During my time at camp, I had the big 21st birthday - which I happily celebrated by getting pied in the face by a nine year old. It was truly memorable. (I say that with complete sincerity. I loved it!) Once I returned home, of course, we took to celebrating in a tasteful 21 year old fashion. If you know me, you know know I don't like to go bonkers crazy, so when I say "celebrate" I mean "celebrate in moderation." I had a wonderful evening out with my sister, Mary Catherine, and her boyfriend at a chill bar on the far side of downtown with an incredible view of the skyline. I also got to go out with my ever wonderful parents to a local restaurant to celebrate with them too!
Mary Catherine and I
Mom all dressed up to go out!
While it's been fun celebrating since I got home, leaving camp means I'm not with camp people any more. (I'm sure you're thinking, well Bonnie....obviously if you leave camp, you're not with camp people.) But it's the potency of that idea that makes it so significant. These "camp people" aren't just people I hung out with for a month and a half. They aren't just people who are now my casual acquaintances and facebook friends. These are people with whom I got a chance to live in community. We got to dig into life. We got to experience the real and present power of our heavenly Father. We got to see our Lord transform the lives of our campers, our peers, and reflect on how he was doing work in our own lives. So imagine seven weeks of gritty spiritual bonding with 70 plus wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ, and then having to leave them. Not fun. So you can guess that I've gone through some withdraw - the only remedy of which is to visit those dear friends.
The first of which is the sweet sweet Katie ("Wide Eyed"). Katie and I had the truly blessed experience of being co-counselors the first week of camp for the youngest little tykes at camp. Our campers were fresh out of 1st and 2nd grade, full of excitement, and full of energy. It was a week were Katie and I learned what it meant to rely on the Lord for wisdom and energy - because in case you didn't know, seven year olds have a little bit more energy than a couple of 20-something college kids. But oh my oh was it a fun week. Back to the point, Katie lives not too far from me and she was gracious enough to make the trip to my house so we could spend the afternoon catching up, relaxing, and sending off gifts to counselors who were still working at camp. It was just a really refreshing time with a really sweet friend.
Katie and I on the last night of camp.
Another dear friend I got to catch up with was Heidi ("Merry Catsmas" or "Cats"). This girl is someone that I got the opportunity to just grow really close to this summer. She is one of those people who just exudes Christ. She is chalk-full of wisdom, advice, and insight. Heidi and I bonded over laundry and church almost every weekend, so going from seeing her daily to, well, not daily, was a challenge.
Heidi and I at camp orientation (in May).
Heidi and I with our friend Ashley on our mud pit night at camp.
So, Heidi is such a great girl that she warranted a trip. So I took the couple hour drive down to see her at Texas A&M. She gave me a tour of her school, we fed some squirrels, put on a garage sale, and closed out the weekend with some good heart to heart time at one of her local hangouts - Mugwalls.
SO happy to see her again.
The squirrels loved her.
Sweet sweet girl.
After two full days with Heidi, I swung over to Austin to visit the one, the only, Lindsey!! You might recognize her name, she is one of the girls that I grew so close with during my semester in Italy. The last time I saw her, we were in the Philadelphia airport struggling through a teary goodbye before getting on our flights home for Christmas. So going seven months without seeing her was rough to say the least. I only spent 4 hours in Austin with her but it was positively filled with joy. We grabbed lunch at the Austin classic, the Hula Hut and talked about everything. After that long and lovely catch up session, we climbed up to Mount Bonnell, a small lookout point with a phenomenal view of Austin. Finally, we dropped by the peacock sanctuary in a park down the hill, closing out my joyful and unique time in Austin.
Lindsey and I during our time in Italy.
SO happy to see her!
We found my street!!
Linds and her hats. Love them, love her.
the view from Mount Bonnell
Now I'm home, with a little over a week until I'll leave town to eventually make my way back to school. Crazy how fast the summer goes, right? It was quick, but it was good.