Monday, September 22, 2014

Camp Create

I have been waiting to tell you all about Camp Create.

Because the world certainly has its wonderful moments, I had the chance to serve with some of my favorite ladies. It's hard to believe I was there, in Kansas, at that house, just over a week ago.

I came home feeling every single way. I was full. Indescribably free.
I'm still holding those things to my heart. I still feel all of it.
So much happened in just 5 days, heart things and things I can reach out and grab.
It seemed like all of them were good, and it still seems that way upon further reflection.

I don't know. It feels risky to be so sure.

Why is unbridled optimism sometimes scary?
No, really, why?

It's hard to shape our time together into just-right words.
I could try, but I'm confident it still wouldn't be enough.

What I can say is that God had plans for each of us.
He used that time to unleash bold visions and chest-thumping, God-sized Dreams.

It took me a little while to sink into the knowledge that even though I was there as a helper, I was also there. I was every bit a part of the design. I was there with purpose, and not just to help with dishes and food prep.

As soon as it sank in I was even more excited. Could God possibly have something to say to me??

He did.

We shared our hearts in a way that only a big, cry-baby group of beautiful women can.
I shared a Big dream and a HUGE dream and then I did a throw-back to high school youth group and cried my eyes out while I shared an "unspoken" dream. (Those were the height of youth-group-culture drama when I was 16.)

I'm confident you'll all be pulled into each of those dreams of mine. It's just a matter of time before I'm ready to talk.

Be ye warned.

For now, I have loads of camera-grade pictures to share. I'll try to make this quick.

First, I won't lie and say it didn't feel good to do my hair and wear proper shoes on a Tuesday.
(Remember when I said I wanted to try my hand at this look? Voila. It looked more "right" once I had properly looped the scarf around.) (And my new favorite t-shirt under my jacket? Secondhand, baby.)
Scarf - fashionABLE , Boots - Country Outfitter, Jacket - Old Navy (last year), T-shirt - Goodwill, Suitcase bauble (spot it a mile away!) - Noonday

{South Bend airport is relaxing and serene.}

{O'Hare has a life-sized dinosaur skeleton and a Frontera Grill next door to a McDonald's.}

Kimberlee * Moi * Meg

These beauties picked me up from the airport and we immediately found food and swan-dived into the deep end. THEY ARE MY PEOPLE.

A few hours later, our resident Crafting Queens arrived - Stephanie Ackerman and Michelle Allen.
(And because I'm irresponsible and rude, I didn't get a proper shot with the two of them.)

But right away, I adored them.

As a display of my adoration, I conned Stephanie into driving the 15-passenger van for me the next day to pick up the rest of the campers from the airport.

I navigated from the passenger seat and snotted my face off.

Let me back up.

I fell ill the week before I left for CC, and though I was well enough to still go, I was in, the, uh... drainage phase.

I couldn't stop honking on my nose and it sounded so ridiculously disgusting but I swear to you, nothing was coming out.

(Is this awkward for you???)

So Steph says to me and the elephant in the van - so politely, I might add - "Doesn't it make you wonder where all that stuff comes from?"

And I yammered on about how really, nothing was coming out.

You know, typical getting-to-know-you conversation.

And then.

Without warning.

Stuff was ready to come out.

(Goodbye forever, kind readers.)

The problem was, WE WERE IN A VAN TOGETHER. I couldn't leave the room. I couldn't do anything at all....except "exorcise" the "demons". So to speak.

So I closed my eyes. And I blew.

Somewhere in the middle, I apologized, knowing in the depths of my soul that Dear Stephanie would have hopped out the window if she knew she'd clear the ditch.

I hated myself so bad.

When it was all over, she says to me with a certain measure of fear/disgust (I'm still not sure), "Well, that sounded...productive."

We awkwardly laughed about it together then brought it up 58 more times that week.

Friends for life.

This is where we lived:


 This is where we ate:

 {Stephanie photo-bombed my French toast pic. I felt like she owed me one...}

This is where we crafted and were led and encouraged by the fantastic Holley Gerth:

{The second day there I was the only one who stayed in my pajamas for the entire day. I should be so ashamed...and yet I'm just not. Do you ever feel like I make it hard to love me?}

"The work of your hands is just as holy as the work of your heart." - Holley Gerth, Camp Create 2014

This is some of the best of Newton, Kansas:

Kellyn, Michelle, Steph and I went thrifting one morning.
(We all went junking at The Barn, too.)

Holley did a signing at the Christian Bookstore in Newton and I LOVED this display inside the door! Some of my favorite books, including Dirty Faith...and Love Does!

And then there was the sunflower field...

 When it was time to head home, I was filled all the way up. Super excited to hug my people, but doing what I could to hold on to the ways my heart had shifted while I was away.

I'm so thankful for Camp Create and all the ways God used it to quiet my heart and tell me the truth about things. The ladies were ALL so much fun. They inspired me by their courage and I can't wait to see what happens next for them.

 *Affiliate links used.


  1. Thanks for taking us along (at least for part of the journey). I really do mean that. We love ya; PJs, snot and all.
    Think I may have made a discussing public loogie-hacking sound at Friday's wedding in which I was head picture-taker. To make matters worse the groomsmen snickered and I wondered, "did I just do that out loud?"

  2. Guess what - you hung out with one of my soul sisters - Tara. She is my cheerleader, my love, my encouragement, my smiles. I'm so glad you got to go! Hold on to that feeling. Be easy on yourself and set yourself down gently, ok?

  3. I have such chronic issues with sinuses, I totally get the awesome feeling (and embarrassment) that comes with purging the demons. And just to let you know--that you share these things about you is part of what makes me love you so very much. Your honesty, love, and self-deprecation are gems in your soul.

    Please tell more about Camp Create! What did you make? This sounds so lovely, even I, a profane agnostic, am intrigued!

    1. Your comment is cracking me up in all sorts of ways.
      So, you know, stay tuned. :)

  4. great recap!! love the Newton Cutting Edge photo ;) such an amazing time. Looking forward to a reunion someday.

  5. I've been a follower for years.

    However, I dislike the start of the sponsored posts. Trust me....Chevy would not approach us regular folk about using a vehicle for a week....Once the sponsored posts feels very Jesus'y and well...sponsored...and well...not genuine.

    Now that you've paired with Meg (who also links advertisements ad nauseum) I am over it....go back to your roots....I know you need to generate income but is so in your face that it is not tolerable for some of us....

    I know this will be deleted to keep it all happy on the blog..but I will take a honest...admit that the posts are sponsored...

    1. Hello! I'm confused. Are you complaining about the Chevy posts...or the Camp Create post?

      The Chevy posts are TOTALLY sponsored, complete with a big disclaimer up at the top. And yes, Chevy came to me because I do have an audience. If I seem Jesusy, it's only because I'm a full-on Jesus Girl. (And, btw, I LOVED that Chevy let me be Jesusy! Didn't necessarily expect that.)

      I get that not everyone loves the sponsored posts. But I think I did a total of two this year - Chevy 1 and Chevy 2. I turn many (most) down because they're not a good fit for me, but this was a no-brainer and completely delivered to our door as if by God himself. It was such a blessing to have reliable transportation to our trip to the doc.

      Did they pay me? Heck yes. By generating income through sponsored posts or affiliate links, I'm able to keep writing here and do my job to the best of my ability. Just like all your favorite shows have occasional commercials or advertisements.

      I don't mind your comment at all. (I think I have deleted 3 comments over the past 6 years of blogging.) In fact, I welcome the opportunity to chat about my sponsored posts - I'm sure others wonder, as well.

      As for this Camp Create post - not sponsored at all. I got to go and help. And I had a blast.

      Happy Monday night, Pichou!

  6. Oh, the unspokens. Yes, the height of drama indeed:) God is so good, isn't he?

  7. Oh, you lucky girl! All of that crafting, cuteness, and Holly Gerth, too? Wow!

  8. I really want to head up to the barn one day and do some serious Kansas thrifting. I need more junk.