Monday, August 8, 2011

I'm back and I have so much to share!

Thank you to all who prayed for me while I was away at camp. My week was extra-ordinary in so many ways. God took me to the limit of my trust in Him.  He proved His hand of protection in an unbelievable way.  God also showed me how serious He is about telling His stories of grace.  All that in one week.

My family and I also enjoyed a fun camping experience at Gull lake for a week.  If you haven't seen all the goofy fun we got into as we searched for Big Foot, then be sure to check this link out.  All in all my July was fuller than I wanted, more challenging than I expected and definitely more exciting than I could have imagined.

For starters I want to tell you about my speaking time.  Most of you may know that in our family I am NOT the regular speaker. My husband is a pastor of a rural church that currently serves about 120 people.  He speaks every weekend.  Then he also speaks at summer camps and special events - whenever he is invited to.  I shy away from those things.  I prefer to be silently in the background.  However, three years ago I was asked by a camp north of Lloydminister to speak at their little kids camp.  It was such a stretch for me but I did it!  I was amazed at the Spirit's filling and the incredible closeness I felt to God that week.  I came home telling everyone that it was amazing ... but

I will not do it again.

Shortly after that experience God started to work in my heart.  He showed me a potential path I could follow of speaking engagements all around.  Of course, I shied away.  I am a chicken. I like to see God doing amazing things in people's lives all around me - but for some reason I do not like Him tinkling away in mine. This is all about the same time that the stories began to arrive and flow with unceasing rhythm.  As I studied authors I found that a lot of them do speaking as well.  In fact, it is a bit of a requirement nowadays by publishers.  Gone are the days of the elusive and reclusive author hiding away in his summer cottage plunking out novels of incredible design.

So, as you can see the puzzle pieces come together God had a plan for me and there was not much in it that I was excited about. A dear friend of mine asked me to become a speaker for her organization.  When I hesitated she told me of a course her group offers where they teach you how to be a speaker and prepare your testimony.  So I agreed to do the course while suspending my decision about the speaking.

The one day seminar taught me how to prepare my testimony for public speaking.  It was informative and interesting but I was still unsure of what to do.  To be honest I did not like the way this particular organization worked.  I wasn't sure I wanted to be a part of them.  So I hit my knees.  I needed to know if it was the organization I feared or the speaking.

God and I made an arrangement  of sorts.  (I'm not sure whose idea it was - probably mine).  I would not speak for this group, however I would not decline other offers to speak.  If someone were to ask ... I would say yes.  The behind the scenes agreement was that God would have to do all the work He needed inside of me to make this possible and productive.  He agreed.

Hence, we arrive at the timeline of 2011.  The same camp I spoke for a couple years ago calls me and they are in need of a speaker for their intermediate camp - older kids :[]

After telling the camp I would think and pray about it, I hung up the phone immediately caught in my own or"deal".  I knew very well there was no thinking or praying to be done.  I had to speak.  So instead of petitioning heaven for an answer I begged for intervention.  Divine intervention.  Then I called the camp back and said yes.

This particular camp likes to purchase a curriculum to use.  They used a video curriculum the first year I was there.  All I had to do was take the theme for the day and the bible verse for the day and the two or three minute explanation the curriculum gave and then make it work for a 30 minute chapel talk twice a day.  It was actually fun and thrilling to put it together.  Delivering it was terrifying but the kids loved it.  Little kids are so forgiving and accepting.

This time I had a new set of curriculum and it was not as easy as the first go round.  I could not make sense of it.  It seemed the harder I tried to wrap my head around the information the camp sent the more confused I became.  I began to pray that God would remove the fog, which I though was Satan's way of throwing me off course.  Only the fog grew and deepened as each day past.  Finally the last day for me to send my questions and my list of required items to the director came and I had nothing of substance done.  So I told her I would be fine and will see her at camp in a week's time.

The next week was VBS at our church which I was heavily involved in.  As I headed into the week I thanked the Lord that it was only mornings and I would have every afternoon to devote to my speaking prep.  My husband told me to just focus on one camp day each day and by the end of the week I would be done.  It sounded easy.

Looking back now I see God's hand in it, but at the time I was growing very worried.  Each day had its own struggles or unavoidable tasks to it that I never did sit and work on the camp stuff.  Not to mention the VBS was so consuming that my body and my mind were beginning an uprising within me.  So here I was Friday morning, leaving for camp on Saturday trying to put together an entire week of speeches.

However there was the oddest sense of peace within me.  No matter how irrational it was I felt a prevailing sense of 'everything's gonna be ok' filtering through me.  So I decided to do as much research as I could on the bible stories the kids would hear and trust the Lord to provide the rest.

The camp's location is quite remote and a solid seven hour drive from my home, so my biggest concern was what to bring along.  If I get a great revelation about the talks along the way or during my time there, it was not possible to get supplies or props I may need.  So I packed a few things I thought might help.  I bought some paper, markers and craft items so I could make something if need be. Then began the trek north.

It would be boring to explain each step that God took me through over the next days, but suffice it to say that Philippians 4:19 is true.
And my God shall supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

My God supplied my every need at camp and more.  (See tomorrow's post for that story).  I assume that He wanted me to lean on Him entirely.  To throw all my worries and concerns onto the One who listens and hears our cries.  To allow His Spirit to fill my mind and my mouth with His great purposes.

Now it wasn't easy.  It was a tremendous marathon of belief. Every chapel time (we had two a day) God would give me His word just in time.  I didn't get the whole week's worth on the first day.  It was like Manna from heaven.  When I needed it, it came. Never more than I needed but always enough.  God is good.

Let me encourage you to trust in His great supply.  I know it is hard.  Waiting on anything is hard.  But you are not waiting on anything ... you are lying in rest at the foot of Jesus - the creator and designer of all things.  He controls the tick-tock of each and every one of your days and He knows what you need, how much you need and when is the best time to give it to you.

Years ago I had a life verse and I forgot about it.  I'm not sure how or why but it faded from the forefront of my mind.  It comes back to me at the most perfect moment.  Proverbs 3:5,6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
   and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
   and he will make your paths straight.

May the God of all things become your all in all as you trust in Him to provide.  May He shower you with His richest of blessings in His time, so that not only will your needs be met, but your faith shall increase exponentially.

Blessings all!

1 comment:

  1. We really need to go for tea!! So glad to hear that camp went well. I have to admit I was feeling pretty guilty for letting you do so much for VBS when I knew you needed to be preparing for that. It's so nice to know God had a plan beyond that...yet I know it was still stressful for you! Can't wait to hear more stories!