Perhaps with an apology as this is one of the corniest things I've ever written--even though I speak in truth and from the heart!
I certainly had my own expectations of what camp would be like this year and the Lord continually surprised me--and it all begins with up.
For starters, I was pretty "Knocked Up" this summer, going into camp around 31 weeks along. I realize that "knocked up" can be slang for unintended pregnancy with a boyfriend, etc (and given my Iphone's auto-correct tendencies, you've all been wondering about Ryan-lol). However, bear with me. Pregnancy and camp is quite challenging and interesting--from hormones to aches and the limitations, to the fun of having 75 staff following your progress and even placing bets on the arrival date. : )
That alone was interesting, but out of the blue and in the middle of camp, we found ourselves: "Throwing Up", "Laid Up", "Drugged Up", and "Cooped Up" thanks to everything from stomach bugs, pink eye, fever viruses and a back that went out. It has been wild. I cannot begin to describe how crazy life has been with camp+sickness and injury. What would normally be a mildly inconvenient time of quarantine and recovery is multiplied when the whole family would much rather be at camp with the staff and campers.
At this point there were times when I bordered on being rather "Fed Up" as I struggled with contentment in times of Providentially ordained interference with my plans and sin struggles. God didn't just send frustrating circumstances, he also kept me struggling with sin this summer. Caedmon's Call had some lyrics about, "I had to laugh, because the same old struggles that plagued me then are plaguing me still." Yes and no. I discovered this summer there were victories over old sins and a multitude of new struggles and battles to be fought--all beginning in my own heart and stemming from my own sinful nature. While they were only amplified by crazy pregnancy hormones, the showers of grace God also gave give me such encouragement that He has not failed me and is continuing to do the good work he promised to do!
The Lord gave such contentment with each obstacle--even in moments of tears and "how can we deal with this now!?", contentment would gently wash over me. Psalm 121, which I've been meditating on in preparation for the baby's birth has also been useful in daily life this summer:
lift up my eyes to the hills.
My help comes from the Lord,
The sun shall not strike you by day,
We've also been "Lifted Up" this summer--time and time again. The delight of having a prayer partner who I can call or text at any time of need has been sweet (Thank you, friend!). God has blessed me with a sister in Christ who knows very particularly the challenges and joys of camp life and is willing to listen and pray for me. Not only that, the body of Christ in general has lifted up prayer after prayer for us and also practically served us again and again. The camp staff have been the hands and feet of Jesus to us as they've spoken kind words, loved on our kids, chased our wayward toddler, returned our wayward toddler and chased him again. We've been encouraged and built up by the very people we are called to serve. It's humbling and so encouraging!
So this summer we've been knocked up, throwing up, laid up, drugged up, cooped up, borderline fed up, but always lifted up and by the grace of God never did we ever give up.
And fortunately we weren't held up either.