Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Rocky Mountain High

Greetings from Young Life's Crooked Creek Ranch in Fraser, Colorado. My tribe is here for the week as my husband serves as Camp Doctor. It has already been an incredible first few days as we've enjoyed this gorgeous part of God's creation, rich fellowship, high adventure, sweet family time and seeing awesome ministry taking place with high school kids.

Internet connection/bandwidth is very spotty...which is a sort of blessing in and of itself. So while I have lots of photos so far, it seems I cannot upload most of them until we return.

A few highlights in the meantime:
1- I started reading the book Wild Things (about raising boys) on the way here...and it is no understatement to say it is one of the most 'on target' parenting reads I have experienced. Maybe it is especially so because of its timeliness, but it has spurred rich conversation with my husband and deep prayer from this Mama about giving my sons what they need. What better way to put it to the test than in a camp full of teenagers in the great outdoors!

2- Being here has seen my ministry worlds collide in an amazing way. In addition to my husband's Camp Doc duties, our town's Young Life kids are here...as are the students from my hometown of Columbus, GA. The head of the camp, who now resides in Orlando was once my Young Life Area Director...and there have been other special connections (including a camper whose Dad & I graduated from high school together!) It has made my heart especially tender towards the care and concern I see being poured into making this an incredible week for high school students.

3- Watching my children lap up the adventure here from humorous skits, to whiffle ball and ropes courses has also renewed my passion for the importance of a 'village' influencing our children as they grow. My kiddos cannot get enough of these high school and college students. 

We have had a few amazing experiences where these supposedly self absorbed teenagers have truly stepped up in special ways. This morning R was thrilled to be asked to throw out the ceremonial first pitch (and ultimately batting) in the Illinois/Texas Whiffle ball showdown. When P got stuck and terrified on the ropes course two dozen teenagers chanted his name in support. And this evening as 15-20 campers were playing a rousing game of Octaball, they set up a wall of defense for my boys and carried the winners on their shoulders to celebrate nine year old victory. They didn't have to do this, but it meant the world to my boys. And to think, we came here to minister to them. :-)

As my kiddos are spreading their wings, they want rich relationships with people other than their parents. Yet, they are so impressionable. I am reminded of how vital it is that we are intentional about the voices that have access to our people.

4- Spending this much time in close quarters with my family, free from distraction, has brought a few issues to light. Yesterday I really blew it with one child in particular--which led to a 2am prayer/wrestling match in my heart and soul. I woke up this morning strangely at peace about it all, not because the issue was resolved, but because I knew I had really handed it over to the Lord...for now.

I feel like I write about this all the time, but it is because it is such a struggle for me in this phase of life. I must remember that God is at work and abide in Him in order to sense His nudge as to when/how I am to join Him in His work. It is a constant struggle to not allow my fear and pride to cause me to reverse our roles--pleading with Him to join me in MY work/plan.

Time to run...but much more later. The night is young here on Mountain Time and there is still much adventure to be had!


LeighAnn said...

Jennifer, I always feel hopeful when I read your posts....hopeful for the children who are our next generation...hopeful that there are more Christian mothers like you and my daughter. God bless your sweet family during this special, spirit filled week in Colorado.

Jennifer said...

LOVE Young Life! Thank you to you and your family for serving YL in such a rich, meaningful way. I blew it big time with my daughter this morning and I have tried to hand it to God too. I feel so guilty - motherhood is tough!!!