November 29, 2010

How He Loves Us

"If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking"

According to, 71% of the world is made up of ocean. That is a lot of water. The concept of God's grace and the imagery of an ocean is so beautiful.

When I was a little girl, my dad told me to always be careful when swimming too far out in the ocean, because tidal waves (or that is what I called them) could sweep you too far out and you wouldn't be able to swim back. The ocean is very very powerful. It can rage with anger, or be calm with peace.

If the world is made of 71% ocean, that means the ocean overtakes most of the earth. Compare that to God's grace. God's grace covers every thing we do, just like the ocean covers the earth.

There is nothing we can do to separate us from God's love and God's grace.

Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels not demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

That is beautiful. 

November 19, 2010

Take what's left of me

In Summer 2010, I experienced what could only be described as a dream come true. To be back in that place as it was then in Summer 2010 would be impossible. Why is it that in a moment you are just wanting to get through it, and after the moment is over you just want to relive it? That is how I feel about Summer 2010.

I spent Summer 2010 working at Canby Grove Conference Center in Canby, Oregon. I was living my dream as a camp counselor. I never believed in my heart of hearts that I would ever be a counselor. I never thought I was good enough. But for this summer, God hand picked me to be a counselor and to live my dream. And now that my dream has been lived and summer has gone, I feel somewhat lost. Partly due to the fact that Canby Grove has closed its doors. There were rumors of re-opening or possible buyers, but nothing has come through, and Canby Grove remains closed.

I remember when I first arrived at Canby Grove. I was a mix of nervousness, anxiety, and excitement. I had no idea how much my life was going to change and how much God was going to show up. I picked my bunk bed-this was my home for the next 2 and half months. If you know me, picking my bed was an all too difficult task. I kept changing my mind. I finally settled on the shortest bed in the bunkhouse (Gal Carral)-which I guess fits because I was also the shortest girl, or gal.

I was at camp early for Advanced Crew. And boy, did God teach me lessons that week. Oregon doesn't really turn into summer into mid June or July. This year was an especially wet year. Needless to say, camp was moist, muddy, and anything but what I had expected. Canby Grove is an outdoor camp. I am not the most outdoor girl out there, to say the least.

These girls living around me would grow to become my friends, my family even. Who knew? I miss camp. I miss this summer. I miss the community, the growth, the campers, the songs. Everything. The list of what I miss could go on and on. What I miss most? Me. God revealed me to myself this summer at camp in a way I have never experienced before. The walls I had built up began to crumble down, the hurts deep within my heart began to heal, and most of all, I began to really love myself for who God created me to be. I grew to be a leader. I had always dreamed of being a leader-but my fears and insecurities kept me from embracing that.

My heart longs to be back in this place. To feel what I felt, so smell what I smelt, and to view the views I viewed. I long to be surrounded by the Summer 2010 Stuff. These people will never know what a crucial part of my journey they have become.

One of my favorite movies ever is Titanic. In the end of the movie, Rose is talking about Jack and she says, "A woman's heart is an ocean full of secrets. But now you know there was a man named Jack Dawson, and that he saved me, in every way a person can be saved. I don't even have a picture of him...He exists now only in my memory."
This is how I feel about Canby Grove. God found me and saved me in every possible way I could be saved that summer. And sadly, it exists only in my memory.

Canby Grove Summer 2010-you changed my life. 

The Glorious Unseen-Take What's Left of Me
When my hope is gone, how can I carry on?
If my faith is strong, will you be the truth I’m hanging on?
Will you be my eyes when I cannot see?
Will you be my voice when I cannot speak?
Will you be my hands where I cannot reach?
Father, take what’s left of me.
If I fall away, will you come rescue me?
In my broken state, will you be a light to guide my way?
Will you take me back to that place again?
Where I know my savior as my friend - where you show me grace that has no end - where I come alive within your plan.
Will you take me there?
Will you be my eyes when I cannot see?
Will you be my voice when I cannot speak?
Will you be my hands where I cannot reach?
Father, take what’s left of me.