Oh, goodness. Overnight One begins and the second hardest Monday of the year commences! What is the first hardest? Staff training, of course!

At this time of year all sorts of forces: camp, busyness, heat, satan's attacks and MY SIN all collide into this swarming whirlwind of potential calamity. Take note that I capitalized MY SIN, because the first responsibility, the first instigator of the trouble is really me.

This is my 21st summer of camping, I served eight summers on staff here, eleven total of staffing and this is is my 3rd as a straight-up camp wife and Mommy. The Caedmon's Call lyric from "Thankful" rings true, still!

I ran across an old box of letters
While I was bagging up some clothes for Goodwill
You Know I had to laugh that the same old struggles
That plagued me then are plaguing me still
I know the road is long from the ground to glory
But a boy can hope he's getting some place

The same old struggles, indeed! One would think that after all this time, I'd have gotten somewhere in this. Deep internal sins like pride, selfishness, resentment, jealousy, comparison and even envy pop up. Maybe the circumstances change slightly, but the roots don't. In my heart of hearts, I want the glory and the focus and my comfort and it's all ME, ME, ME. Having an attitude of humility like Jesus, living for God's glory, being a helper for my husband (instead of expecting him to accommodate me) and focusing on my three sweet campers, can easily fly out the window.

It was also easy to lose perspective. Ultimately, this was one or two weeks of challenges out of a whole year of blessings. Once camp gets going and we are in a routine, it is WONDERFUL. Tuan's job and the amazing privilege of living here and sharing in the camp experience are something I thank God for almost every day. I am amazed that we get to serve God and his kingdom in this way.

Last summer was especially hard and I failed to fight the good fight early on. As the year went by, I kept on thinking about my sins during this time and how ashamed I was at the attitudes, words and actions that came out of my heart.

I wanted this year to be different.

My sweet Bible study small group was enlisted for prayer back in February and I have been praying and thinking and talking with Tuan about my struggles. He didn't need to change or accommodate me, but having my sweet husband know and understand more ahead of time was important. A dear "Older Sister" was praying. I also planned for strategic baby-sitting, so it would be possible to participate in some of the fun things and good speakers happening.

The week leading up to staff training was lots of fun as it always is. We have a small group of early staff and take turns feeding them and getting to know them, but the entire time I could see the storm on the horizon. It was coming! (or, as Homily said with a shudder in The Borrowers: "Winter!")

By the grace of God this was a much, much better "No. 1 Monday". It was a day of struggles for sure, and it seemed that the harder I fought to not wallow in sin, the more temptations flew at me. I am thankful that in God's grace, I was more able put Tuan's needs and interests above my own, focus on the kids and at the end of the day we were able to have some unexpected fun with the staff.

In college, I had this quote from Jonathan Edwards on my dorm room wall:

"Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be."

I had become comfortable with my sins and forgotten how vile they really are, I had forgotten to look to Jesus (It was MY sin that put him there) and be motivated by his amazing love to fight the good fight.

Today (No. 2 Monday), is only beginning. I'm sure it will be full of challenges and lovely temptations to wallow. By His grace, I will fight. Today, like every day, I covet your prayers!


Joey and Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful post Paula! Thank you for sharing & presenting the TRUTH! We will be praying!!

LJ Life and Literature said...

oh paula, i know exactly how to pray for you!! i hope that you find the rhythm of summer camp quickly, and that your heart will find a peace and rest that guides you through the summer!