I have been virtually absent from blog world for the last couple weeks. Although it's been good to take a break from reflective narcissism and just enjoy summer for a bit I must say I miss keeping up with my blog friends.
We spent all last week at Arlington Beach Camp and Conference Center enjoying "Family Camp".
A week of camping, playing, community, teaching, and worship all wrapped into one amazingly refreshing week.
The first few days were HOT! Ridiculously humid and 40 degrees Celsius (over 100 degrees Farenheit). It was crazy hot.
Keeping kids hydrated and cool was a full time job. After a long long winter I really don't mind a few days of a heat wave.
This was the second year that we had the privalege of bringing my American sister in law and her son with us to camp.
It's a full house this summer but we're having lots of fun.
Auntie is starting to get used to Roman's customary enthusiastic greeting.
Although it's been just too hot for much snuggle time.
I celebrated my 34th birthday while we were at camp. My mom (the little head on the far right) surprised me with a black forest cake) which my sisters and I thoroughly enjoyed.
Aren't we a photogenic bunch of ladies?
Once again my children gifted me with treasures purchased from the camp garage sale.
Score! It's about time I got a burl clock with a fabulously shellacked surface. I'm still searching for the perfect place to hang it.
I also received the book "Heaven is for real" by Todd Burpo which has been on my wish list. I could have read it in one sitting if my little people would have left me alone long enough. It was fascinating. I wasn't sure what to expect but ...wow. As a mother with two children who live in Heaven, the book had me in tears on quite a few occasions. I felt like the veil separating my world from theirs was pulled back for just a glimpse. Amazing.
This is my littlest sister and her littlest baby.
They are both so cute.
This is my biggest child having a water fight with hoards of well armed little people.
A highlight of camp other than the playtime, cake and fabulous presents was the morning seminars.
This week I attended a class called "A survival guide for Christian relationships".
It was SO good and so applicable to so many areas of our life. I mentioned many moons ago that we have found ourselves weathering some pretty nasty stuff in the last few years. I think at some point we all encounter hurt, attack, betrayal, deception, and conflict in relationships. Those closest to us have the most potential to wound us. Satan loves nothing more than to destroy families, marriages, churches and friendships so how do we navigate conflict in a Christ like way and turn carnage into something constructive? How can we avoid bitterness and offense? Why is forgiveness important and what does it look like? Authentic community vs. pseudo community. What are boundaries and why are they important in healthy relationships? Basically, how do we respond in a godly mature way as a part of a church family (or family in general) when all hell breaks loose?
I really want to share a bunch of what I learned this week but I need to find the time to do it. I have pages full of notes and bullet point lists that for my own review I want to go through and study again. Stay tuned for relationship survival tips.
Even when our life isn't surrounded by dysfunction and chaos there is no relationship that can't be improved or person alive that doesn't have something they need to honestly confront and lovingly forgive.
The fruits of living in honesty, grace, and forgiveness are sweet. Sometimes it's hard work though!
This week we're still in recovery mode. Sleep deprivation, mountains of laundry, overgrown yard, and a garden full of produce is the after effect of a week away. It was worth it though.