Time is a Fickle Thing

I was just reading through my old posts, one in particular kind of caught me off guard. Changes. In that post I wrote about wondering where the time went, how I was going to be EIGHTEEN soon and probably moving out. Now I’m sitting here, almost 21, living in a different province, going “What happened!?” all over again.

Thinking back on the past few years is not an easy thing for me to do. The past few years have been really rough, sometimes I forget just how rough. When I do take a deep breath and take a peek at what my life used to be, and who I used to be, it physically hurts. I can feel tears welling up in my eyes and I’m not sure why I get so emotional, why my heart aches so badly. It could very well be that I still remember exactly how I felt then, and how sometimes it still haunts me, sometimes I can see the haze of it in the background of my life. Maybe on some level I’m afraid it’s going to come back.

Where I am now is a good place. Sometimes I get caught up in the details and the lack of plans that I have for my life at this point, but who I am now is a better version of me than I thought I’d ever be. Maybe that scares me? Maybe it excites me. I haven’t figured it out. I’ve changed jobs, changed provinces, changed churches, and lifestyle, and some opinions, I’m more confident, less flighty. I’m living in a situation I never thought I’d have the chance to be a part of. I’m a full-time aunt and a little sister, and everything I’ve known for the past almost ten years was ripped away because of one decision. But I can see so many little details, so many little pieces, that God so carefully put together for this. The bigger picture hasn’t started to reveal itself yet, but I am daily in awe of how the hell this ever could have happened to me.

Over the summer I was making plans to move in with my sister in BC, very long story short, it happened. With lots of prayer, searching, intentional conversations, and everything just falling into place piece by piece, I packed up my little red Kia and drove 12 hours to my live with my sister and her family, who, besides short visits and seeing as a young child. I really didn’t know.

It was really hard at first, like ridiculously hard, and maybe I’ll write about some of that at some point, but after 7 months I’m feeling pretty settled. I have a pretty good idea of where I stand and I have some plans and ideas for what I want to do in the fairly near future. Moving here was by far the biggest and scariest decision I have ever made for myself, but it as also by far the best one. I get to be an Auntie to some pretty amazing kids, they have completely stolen my heart and believe me, I’m never getting it back. I have also had the opportunity to start a relationship with my sister. Quick recap here, we are half sisters on my dads side and she is just over 10 years older than me, we used to see each other when I was really young and lived in BC, but since moving to Edmonton when I was 8 we have had very little contact with each other. So driving to another province to move in with her was a pretty big leap. But if I hadn’t followed God’s promptings, and had never made the decision to move out here, and if she hadn’t been willing to take me in the way she has, I don’t know if we ever would have had another opportunity like this. And thinking about that now breaks my heart.

I guess what I’m trying to say is yes, time is always there, always moving, but time brings so many new and good things. I used to be afraid of the future, afraid of who I would be and where I would be. Would I still be single at 25? Married? What kind of job would I have? Would I be happy? Successful? Would I ever learn to work around my mental illness? I still don’t know the answer to those questions and to so many more, but I’ve realized (in my heart, my head always knew) that I don’t need to know all the answers. My job is to do the best with what I have at any given moment. Time brings with it all of Gods plans for our lives when they are ready to be implemented. I think that is exhilarating.

 

 

Side-note: I did not realize how much I missed blogging. Like, “phew” that felt so good. I totally thought that I would blank and that my writing style would have died because I haven’t done anything with it but, uh, it’s still there. Little rusty, but still there.

 

One of the Millions

This is just something I wrote about my experiences with being bullied.

Days at the playground seem far away

Now were the people who just drive past

Remembering the days

When we could run and play

When we didn’t have to worry

Or at least we can’t remember worrying

Well, some of us can’t

But some of us can

I would never go back

To the days where I was tormented

I didn’t know why

I thought there was something wrong with me because everyone I met decided I was wrong

A little off kilter

A little too weird

Or maybe it was a lot too weird

A lot too different

But thinking it was only a little is easier to manage

I was the teacher’s pet

Because the other kids didn’t want to play with me

Those were the times when I would have friends one day

And enemies the next

And then after a while I just didn’t have friends at all

The elementary school days of being Weirdo

Four-eyes

I was diseased with the dreaded cooties

No one would touch me

And if someone did the “germs” were quickly passed along the room with disgust

Fast forward to Jr. and Sr. High and it’s all the same

But the names get harsher

People get meaner

And they say high school is the best years of your life

I really hope not

Because high school was full of dirty looks and whispers

Rumors and names that I don’t even want to repeat

Things were put in my locker to scare me

Or to hurt me

Or so I would just be entertainment for them

All because of what?

Because I didn’t have designer clothes

Or wear make-up?

I didn’t always do my hair

And yeah maybe I talked about cats a little too much

Maybe I had a weird obsession with animals

But maybe that’s because they never judged me

They never ran away because someone said I was uncool

My whole life they were the only thing that constantly loved me

And I know that’s weird

But it doesn’t mean that I’m worthless

You still picked me last

You still drove by and called me names

Some I’d never heard before

You whispered

I know they were about me

Because I would walk down the halls and you’d turn away and get quieter

I saw you looking

I heard my name

After a while nobody would talk to me

Unless it was to ask me on a date

A fake one

Every time I said no there was a chorus of taunting because you got turned down by me

Because I was the lowest of standards

And if I had’ve said yes the laughter would’ve been directed at me

Because I was stupid enough to think someone actually wanted me

All those times

You’d turn away and pretend I wasn’t there

You would ignore the words I said

Because of what?

Because I was a mess?

Due to things that I couldn’t control

As much as I tried I couldn’t fix anything

I couldn’t make you like me

You told me to kill myself

You told me the world was better off without me

And I believed you for a while

Sometimes I still believe you now

Even though all I hear are the echoes of the things you used to say

Sometimes I still believe them

I left that place out of fear for myself

Fear for my sanity

Fear for my life

I know I wouldn’t have ever been hurt

Not physically at least

But the scars that are inside take longer to heal than the ones that are on your skin

Those books of mine that you wrote on are gone now

No one is sticking notes to my back

I’m not afraid that while I’m not paying attention that someone is going to cut off my ponytail

But I’m still afraid of people

I’m afraid that they’re going to turn their backs on me

That one day I’ll be the outcast again

The one that no one notices

The invisible girl in the corner

The one with a voice that’s only a whisper

Because she doesn’t want to say the wrong thing

The one who can’t smile

Because all the pieces inside are so broken that even the outside doesn’t work anymore

You don’t know what it’s like

You don’t know what I’ve been through

You don’t know me

So don’t judge what you see on the outside

I would never hurt you

So why do you feel the need to hurt me?

They say kids can be mean

Kids can be cruel

Why don’t we do something about it?

What we’re doing isn’t working

The message isn’t getting through

Kids are growing up the same way I did

Feeling like they’re wrong

Just because they aren’t the same

Just because they’ve been through stuff

They all fight

Some of them give up

Some of them believe the words that say

“You’re not worth anything”

“We’re better off without you”

The problem is

They aren’t around to see how much those people were wrong

And the ones of us who keep going are haunted by the words

We’re haunted by the thought that we’ll never be good enough

No one can ever love us

Because we’re defective

We’re wrong

But we’re not wrong

They were.

Moti-what?

If I could write out the music that I hear in my head then this post would have an awesome beat, seeing as I have a Ke$ha song stuck in my head… what? Who listens to Ke$ha? Not me…

I don’t know where I’m going right now, I’m going towards insomnia at this point seeing as I have no desire whatsoever to go and attempt to sleep. I’d rather stay up doing nothing. Well I’m thinking, I guess that counts as something….

The past couple days haven’t been the best, I think my brain forgot how to produce happy, so I’m just kind of a mix of annoyance and anger and a little bit of sadness. It’s like my thoughts and emotions have been all tangled up inside me and I can’t control them, and as much as I try to be positive and go to God I end up at the point where I’m just thinking, “Whatever.” I could, but whatever. For emotional aspects that is, because physically I’m actually going through with things, I went for a run last night, 20 minutes which is like a miracle for me, then today I went on an impromptu walk with my puppy even though I would’ve rather napped. Guess I need to apply that motivation inside.

I feel trapped inside myself, and trapped physically too, because there’s only so many places to go around here, and really there’s no one to see. I know I’m not alone, and I know that people care, I just don’t feel like I should bother. But then there’s the other part of me that is super motivational and makes me want to do everything and be awesome like I want to. I know it comes down to me wanting to change, but there are only so many things I can change. I can make myself do the things I need to do, like school work and house work, and taking the dogs for walks, but there are also aspects I can only try to change, like the way I think and my mood, and those are not things that I can switch over, especially if I’m taking a turn for the worse. I’m not sure at this point if it’s just one of those days, or one of those weeks, or if it’s only going to get worse from here, but whichever way it goes prayer is welcome.

Like I said before, I don’t know where I’m going with this, but I know I’ll get through it, whatever “it” is. There’s always a reason.

Always a reason for sneezin’.

Anywho, I’m done for now. Adios.

I Don’t Want to be a Ghost

I’ve been drifting lately, I just came back and started looking at my old posts and I noticed that things have changed a lot in the past year, part of it being me drifting away from the way I used to think and from God. I saw beauty in such simple things and now I have to focus and try to find the beauty, I have to try and find the words, I can’t just sit down and write something people would want to read. I have old things saved on my computer, poems and songs, some stories, but not much that’s recent, and nothing that’s recent and phenomenal. I don’t like that thought.

A lot of new things are going on, and I honestly feel like I’m a completely different person, in a good way. But I haven’t been trying, I haven’t been praying, I haven’t been spending the time I need to with God. I’ve been letting stupid things get in the way, money, technology, entertainment, and even people, take up the space that God should be in. That’s why I’ve felt so “blah” lately. I only just realized this, I’ve been back and forth, “I need to do more, I need to make an effort, I need to step out of my comfort zone”, and also “it’s alright, I trust God, so I’ll be fine”.

That’s all I’ll ever be though, is fine. I’ll never be as truly happy or joyful as I have been in the past, nothing will have as much meaning. I’ll just be fine. Like a ghost drifting around not making any difference. I don’t wanna be a ghost.

I don’t wanna be a ghost,

No, no, no, no

I don’t wanna be a ghost

No, no, no, no

I’m pretty sure my life is toast

If I act like I’m a ghost

Oh no, Oh no!

Little “I Just Wanna be a Sheep” parody there.

I’m not going to achieve anything that I dream of if I don’t ask for God to help me and show me the way, or make that kind of connection where I can cast all my worries upon Him and receive His peace and guidance.  I don’t want to drift, I don’t want to not feel any emotions. Break my heart for what breaks yours, give me joy, give me hurt, make my heart ache for those who don’t know you, and make it my duty to change that.

Big God, Big Dreams, was our theme last year at Kids Camp, and I haven’t been dreaming very big lately. There are a lot of areas that need work right now and there are a lot of things that I need to fix in my heart. I’m not going to be that person who trusts God, and loves God but never acts on anything. I want to grow and change and learn even more than what I’ve learned over the past year, I want to be the woman that God has called me to be, no matter how much bending and pushing that requires. I’m feeling brave putting that up, leave the invitation to be bent and pushed for Gods glory, and you will be bent and pushed. Not gently either. But I don’t wanna be a ghost.

So I’m not going to be a ghost anymore.

No, no, no, no.

To This Day

To This Day

When I was a kid
I used to think that pork chops and karate chops
were the same thing
I thought they were both pork chops
and because my grandmother thought it was cute
and because they were my favourite
she let me keep doing it

not really a big deal

one day
before I realized fat kids are not designed to climb trees
I fell out of a tree
and bruised the right side of my body

I didn’t want to tell my grandmother about it
because I was afraid I’d get in trouble
for playing somewhere that I shouldn’t have been

a few days later the gym teacher noticed the bruise
and I got sent to the principal’s office
from there I was sent to another small room
with a really nice lady
who asked me all kinds of questions
about my life at home

I saw no reason to lie
as far as I was concerned
life was pretty good
I told her “whenever I’m sad
my grandmother gives me karate chops”

this led to a full scale investigation
and I was removed from the house for three days
until they finally decided to ask how I got the bruises

news of this silly little story quickly spread through the school
and I earned my first nickname

pork chop

to this day
I hate pork chops

I’m not the only kid
who grew up this way
surrounded by people who used to say
that rhyme about sticks and stones
as if broken bones
hurt more than the names we got called
and we got called them all
so we grew up believing no one
would ever fall in love with us
that we’d be lonely forever
that we’d never meet someone
to make us feel like the sun
was something they built for us
in their tool shed
so broken heart strings bled the blues
as we tried to empty ourselves
so we would feel nothing
don’t tell me that hurts less than a broken bone
that an ingrown life
is something surgeons can cut away
that there’s no way for it to metastasize

it does

she was eight years old
our first day of grade three
when she got called ugly
we both got moved to the back of the class
so we would stop get bombarded by spit balls
but the school halls were a battleground
where we found ourselves outnumbered day after wretched day
we used to stay inside for recess
because outside was worse
outside we’d have to rehearse running away
or learn to stay still like statues giving no clues that we were there
in grade five they taped a sign to her desk
that read beware of dog

to this day
despite a loving husband
she doesn’t think she’s beautiful
because of a birthmark
that takes up a little less than half of her face
kids used to say she looks like a wrong answer
that someone tried to erase
but couldn’t quite get the job done
and they’ll never understand
that she’s raising two kids
whose definition of beauty
begins with the word mom
because they see her heart
before they see her skin
that she’s only ever always been amazing

he
was a broken branch
grafted onto a different family tree
adopted
but not because his parents opted for a different destiny
he was three when he became a mixed drink
of one part left alone
and two parts tragedy
started therapy in 8th grade
had a personality made up of tests and pills
lived like the uphills were mountains
and the downhills were cliffs
four fifths suicidal
a tidal wave of anti depressants
and an adolescence of being called popper
one part because of the pills
and ninety nine parts because of the cruelty
he tried to kill himself in grade ten
when a kid who still had his mom and dad
had the audacity to tell him “get over it” as if depression
is something that can be remedied
by any of the contents found in a first aid kit

to this day
he is a stick on TNT lit from both ends
could describe to you in detail the way the sky bends
in the moments before it’s about to fall
and despite an army of friends
who all call him an inspiration
he remains a conversation piece between people
who can’t understand
sometimes becoming drug free
has less to do with addiction
and more to do with sanity

we weren’t the only kids who grew up this way
to this day
kids are still being called names
the classics were
hey stupid
hey spaz
seems like each school has an arsenal of names
getting updated every year
and if a kid breaks in a school
and no one around chooses to hear
do they make a sound?
are they just the background noise
of a soundtrack stuck on repeat
when people say things like
kids can be cruel?
every school was a big top circus tent
and the pecking order went
from acrobats to lion tamers
from clowns to carnies
all of these were miles ahead of who we were
we were freaks
lobster claw boys and bearded ladies
oddities
juggling depression and loneliness playing solitaire spin the bottle
trying to kiss the wounded parts of ourselves and heal
but at night
while the others slept
we kept walking the tightrope
it was practice
and yeah
some of us fell

but I want to tell them
that all of this shit
is just debris
leftover when we finally decide to smash all the things we thought
we used to be
and if you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself
get a better mirror
look a little closer
stare a little longer
because there’s something inside you
that made you keep trying
despite everyone who told you to quit
you built a cast around your broken heart
and signed it yourself
you signed it
“they were wrong”
because maybe you didn’t belong to a group or a click
maybe they decided to pick you last for basketball or everything
maybe you used to bring bruises and broken teeth
to show and tell but never told
because how can you hold your ground
if everyone around you wants to bury you beneath it
you have to believe that they were wrong

they have to be wrong

why else would we still be here?
we grew up learning to cheer on the underdog
because we see ourselves in them
we stem from a root planted in the belief
that we are not what we were called we are not abandoned cars stalled out and sitting empty on a highway
and if in some way we are
don’t worry
we only got out to walk and get gas
we are graduating members from the class of
fuck off we made it
not the faded echoes of voices crying out
names will never hurt me

of course
they did

but our lives will only ever always
continue to be
a balancing act
that has less to do with pain
and more to do with beauty.

-Shane Koyczan

Changes

Things are changing, not only am I realizing this for myself but also the people around me. I have friends who are getting married soon, a friend that’s having a baby, and a friend graduating University. And me? Im graduating High School, and it looks like I’m going to be moving out… I feel like it’s going too fast. I mean, I’m almost 18… really, how did that happen!?

Time when you’re little is just time, and there’s just so much of it and you just want to get through it and get to that place in the future that you’ve always wanted to be. Truth is, it’s scary. Not only am I moving on and taking another step in my life, a lot of the people around me are too. Our lives are about to change and we really don’t know what’s in store for our futures.

Connections are being made, families are growing, were growing as people, and it seems like most of us are going to be thrown into something very new to us very soon. Maybe you are too. Maybe you’re also hitting one of those milestones, or watching the peopl around you hit them, and it makes you think, “Woah, time really does move quickly.” I know that’s how I feel right now, knowing that things are changing for me and my friends. People are going to leave or move on, new people are going to come, not a lot is going to be the same, the dynamics are going to change. It seems like it’s all happening at once.

The next step is scary.

Graduating is scary.

Moving out is scary.

But as scared as I may be, I know i’m going to make it. I know I’m going to be okay.

It’s time, it comes faster than you might realize. Don’t waste it.

Me and my bird Missy, I was 4 or 5.

A Little Strange and A Lot Blessed

I am blessed.

Funny it would occur to me while I’m standing in the bathroom with my hair flipped over combing the last section with my lice comb for the third time.

Yup, lice comb.

I have/had lice, I don’t know if I got it all yet or not.

Anyway, my point is that I live in a country where not having lice is not a luxury, unlike in other countries where it’s normal, and if you don’t have them you’re lucky. I’m sure by now you’re scratching your head but really, how much do we take for granted every day? Way more than we’d like to admit.

If you know me, or have seen me, you will know that my hair is almost at my hips… lice was definately not something I want to deal with. Luckily, I think I started killing them before I even knew I had them. When we were in BC my head starting getting itchier, and itchier, and itchier, I thought it was an allergic reaction to my moms shampoo and conditioner (I left mine in a friends car and hadn’t been able to get it back) so I ditched the soap. By the second last day of our trip my hair felt disgusting, so, as I was standing in the kitchen of our bed and breakfast complaining to my mom about how I needed to wash my hair but couldn’t, I saw the dog shampoo on the microwave. Yup, you read that right, dog shampoo. Green apple actually! I grabbed it, and tried to look up the ingredients because they weren’t on the bottle, couldn’t find them, gave up, and decided to take the chance because most dog shampoos are made with all natural ingredients, and at this point I was willing to take the risk of an itchier head over leaving it the way it was.

So I used it, and my head felt better (and my hair was pettably soft, haha), so I kept using it until I got home, where I went back to my Plan B hair washing solution which is baking soda and apple cider vinegar. (I think we’ve gotten past realizing I’m strange) Anywho, I used that up until Sunday, when I read my facebook message about lice at camp, (Me? Lice? Nooo way!) I got my head checked anyway and sat there while my aunt searched through my hair and found nothing, and more nothing, and more nothing, and then… just as she was about to let me go and give me a clean bill of… hair? She found a nit, and then another, and another, and another (total of 6), so I twisted my hair up, and when I got home I looked up ways to get rid of them. And while searching I started to realize why there have not been any adults showing up (still haven’t found any) is because I used dog shampoo first, dog shampoo has tea tree oil in it, tea tree oil kills lice! Yes! And what else kills lice? Vinegar. What had I been washing my hair in? Vinegar. Double yes!

So chances are I killed all the adults (or the vast majority of them) before I even knew about it.

Strange girl:1 Lice:0

Getting to the blessed part here.

Looking back from Sunday (the day I found out) until today, here’s my list of reasons I’m blessed, just from the past three days.

  • I have a community of amazing people that I am an active part of. I love my church and all the people that go there and that I have gotten to know in the 8 years I’ve been attending.
  • I have amazing friends, and I mean that. Ah-maz-ing, no excuses. Even though the people I hugged could have been infected, they still love me… I think. (Just kidding.)
  • I have a mother, and a brother who love me, and who I love. Bugs and all.
  • We have a house, it’s heated, has running water, food, the works.
  • We have a car. After we drove to church on Sunday, we drove to my Aunts house and had a barbeque.
  • I have a family that does not only consist of the people I live with. I have aunts, uncles, cousins, neice, nephews, you get the point. I see them often, talk to them, and even ask them to check my hair for lice (my aunt is amazing at finding them) and they oblige without being grossed out or complaining.
  • I have a phone that I can use however I want. At that point on Sunday afternoon it was for texting everyone who I’ve recently seen who could have been exposed to my itchy vampire-bugs so that they had some warning.
  • There are stores and resources nearby. Sunday afternoon on the way home we stopped and picked up a nit comb. Yayy! (I actually really like them, lice or not.)
  • I have internet. Yay for the internet! I googled ways to get rid of it and apperantly, you can soak the crap out of your hair with conditioner and it makes them go *Wheeeee!* off your hair and down the drain, along with rinsing your hair in a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water, and using water as hot as you can stand it, and then nit combing… for hours, gahhh!
  • And to go along with the last one, I have conditioner (which smells like coconut, and apperantly they don’t like the smell of coconut…?), hot water, vinegar, and clean water. Bonus. No more store trips.
  • I have stuff that comes in handy but I really have no need for. Hair drier, straightening iron, big clips, all the better for burning the little buggies off of my head. Muahahaha! They are also wonderful for the times I do use them and make my hair look pretty.
  • I have a gigantic room. And it’s mine! Okay, so maybe not huge, but when you have to clean up a whole summers worth of mess of the floor, vacuum, and wash (or at least run through the drier) your bedding, it can be a pain. Although its clean now and I’ve wanted it to be for a while now, I just had no motivation. Back to my point, I don’t live in a house that in it’s entirety is smaller than my bedroom.
  • I have a washer! And a drier! Well, I have access to them. I don’t have to go wash my clothes and bedding in a river.
  • I have a vacuum, yay for vacuums!
  • And most of all, I have a God who loves me and has a plan for me, and reminds me of how blessed I am just as I’m about to finish my second 2 hour (mostly) chemical free lice treatment, and after I’ve spent about half an hour combing my hair, over, and over again. Normally, and in sections, and sideways, and upside down…

Hey! At least I don’t have to shave my head! 😀

So these, are some of the reasons I’m strange, and a few of the reasons I’m blessed.

Wasting Time

My favourite pass-time is wasting time.

Reading,

Sleeping,

Talking,

Jumping,

Twirling,

Exploring,

Watching,

Listening,

Writing,

Being.

But time you enjoyed wasting is not wasted… is it?

Take That.

I feel like I’m being critisized all the time, inside my head. Every thought I have, every word I say, every thing I do.

That was stupid, why’d you do that.

Just don’t talk, you might actually have friends that way.

You know that little comment you made? Well, they’re going to be thinking about that for weeks, they’ll hate you for it.

They just pity you, they don’t actually want you around.

You’re not good enough for that.

You’re not worth enough to be here.

You’re not valued.

Today has been one of those days, and it’s only 2pm. I was sitting at my desk and I picked up a pen, not really thinking about what I was doing, I wrote “Loved”, then the thought hit me to stop being so arrogant. Then without thinking I wrote “Valuable”, and again I got the same thing, next word, same thing, every word I wrote I was being told to stop being so arrogant and full of myself. So I’d write another, and I wouldn’t know what it was until it was written, I wasn’t choosing what I wrote, but with every word the voice would be quieter, less powerful, then it was gone.

Take that.

Kids and Camp

I’m so excited to be councelling for Kids Camp at Moose Lake again this year! I offered last year because there weren’t enough councellors for the second camp, but I wasn’t convinced I was cut out for it, or that I’d be any good at it. Talking to kids has never been one of my strong points, and neither has playing with them. I thought I might like it, and I thought that if I was supposed to I’d work really hard to push all my walls down so that I could really connect and form relationships with the girls that were in my cabin.

One night when I was praying I told God, (Yes, told Him, hehe) that if I was supposed to councel, to be asked or given the opportunity to volunteer. The next day I found myself blurting out to one of the directors of the camp that I would councel if they needed someone, and the day after that it was kind of “official” that I would be one of the councellors. I was excited and shocked and scared, all at the same time. I kept thinking about what I had gotten myself into, and how I couldn’t back out now because that would dissapoint the directors, one of which is also a friend of mine. Plus, I kind of wanted to give it a shot, it was also around the time I decided to push myself to do new things that were out of my comfort zone.

When the first day came I was still leery of the thought that I was head councellor of 8 girls from the ages of 8 – 11, I had a C.I.T. (councellor in training) too, which made me even more uncomfortable. Even though we had hung out during family camp, so we knew each other fairly well and got along really well. As more and more of the girls came I welcomed them as best as I could make myself, all the while still wondering how I was going to manage being a decent councellor, never mind even a good one, if I was too scared to talk to the kids. Most of the girls that were in my cabin were pretty open, sweet, and funny, so it wasn’t too hard to try to connect with them. I still didn’t have a clue what I was doing, how to talk to them, or what I would say if there was some sort of conflict.

Then one girl came, she was a day late, and she was very… stubborn, I guess would be the best word for her. She was loud, didn’t like rules, and just seemed to have an overall distaste of being at camp. She didn’t want to talk to the other girls, and when she did she was rude, and challenged me and my C.I.T. if we said something to her about the way she was talking or acting. As much as we wanted to kind of leave her to do her own thing, we worked hard to include her and make her smile. There were a few times I had to convince her that we (as in the whole cabin) wanted her to join us, and that we liked having her around, and that we liked seeing her smile. Most of the time it felt like I was talking to a four foot brick wall.

She wasn’t the only girl that was a little bit harder to connect with in my cabin, one of the other girls was younger and from what she told me when I had the chance to talk to her alone, she had a pretty challenging home life. She always tried to hang back and not be included because she didn’t feel like anyone else wanted her around, and she always wanted things her way, and convincing her of anything otherwise was difficult. She was the biggest sweetheart though, and as much as she may have annoyed some of the people that were at camp, I loved having her around.

I relied on God all week, and He came through. I had the craziest dance parties, wonderful talks with the cabin as a group and with the individual girls. By the third day I was being completely crazy with them, letting them be hyper and yell and scream and have dance parties, but also making sure they were at meals on time, clean, and went to bed when they were supposed to. I can’t say that was all me though, as much as I was told by staff, and my friend who was directing the camp, that I somehow got the most challenging cabin. The girls almost always followed my instructions, and when I talked to them they would actually listen to me, I always had their full attention. My C.I.T. was also wonderful, and at least as crazy as I was.

Any time I didn’t know what to say I would send up a silent “Give me the words to say” prayer for whatever situation it was, and every time I’d find myself saying things in a way I didn’t know I could, and whatever girl I was talking to would understand. One night at camp, like we always do, I remember it from when I was in Kids Camp. All of the councellors would be called up at chapel, they’d sit on the stage or the front pews and then any camper who wanted prayer could go up to whichever councellor, pastor, or staff member they wanted. That part terrified me at first, I didn’t think I could possibly pray over someone, I get all nervous and dont know what to say or how to say it. By the time we were all called up, I had calmed myself down, telling myself all week that it was going to happen at least once, and I didn’t have to worry because if one of my girls, or any other girl that was at camp that week wanted me to pray for them, I would be speaking God’s words to them, not mine. And God’s words wouldn’t get tangled up and confused and my train of thought wouldn’t be lost.

That night I got the chance to pray for one of the girls in my cabin, the one who had a harder life at home and was a little more needy and clingy than the other girls. She came up and sat next to me, and I put my arms around her and wasn’t even slightly worried. I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I know it was about her being special and loved, and while I was praying I could feel her crying against me. After I finished she looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said “Don’t worry, I’m crying because I’m happy.” Then she hugged me and went to sit with the rest of the cabin. That was the most special thing that happened to me being a councellor, God rewarded me for letting Him be the center of everything I did and said with those girls, by giving me the chance to pray with her.

By the end of the week all the girls were getting along and laughing and smiling, even the one who despised being at camp on the first couple of days was smiling and laughing and joking. I think she was probably the funniest girl in the cabin, she just wasn’t comfortable with us, and didn’t come out of her shell until we convinced her that she was a meaningful part of our cabin. The last night of camp I cried because I didn’t want them to go home, they caught me too! So I had to tearfully explain, trying to keep my voice even that I was going to miss them, a lot. There were lots of hugs and tears that night, even the odd kiss on the cheek. Then I let them stay up late to watch a movie, first I showed them one that I made as a surprise. I took all of the pictures and videos that I had taken from the week and put them together in a video for them to watch, they all loved it, they laughed and talked about what was going on in the pictures, squealed about silly pictures of them showing up on my computer screen, and then thanked me for making it for them. Then we watched Another Cinderella Story and stayed up until 1:30, it was a great last night.

I still find myself being pretty awkward around kids, which is silly, but since last summer and having the opportunity to councel I’m slowing getting better and being more comfortable around them. I also know without a doubt that I want to councel for both kids camps this year, for the same reasons I so enjoyed being a councellor last year, and I plan on running my cabin the same way too. God moves in such big ways with the kids, and I also know now that the same things happen in the councellors hearts. I can’t wait to see what this year will bring!

I could probably write 10 pages about that week. The wonderful kids, the staff that was so loving and supportive, things we did, conversations I had… the list goes on, I love love loved it, and I am so glad that I listened when God whispered “Do it.” And I am so blessed to have this opportunity again this year, and not only for one week, but for two!