stories about camp

jericho and ai.

read the black for the main points.
read the blue for further elaboration on them.
read the red for sidenotes that aren’t absolutely necessary.
so you can read just the black, or the black and the blue, or all of it, but not just the blue or just the red.

today was the most amazing chapel message i’ve heard as long as i’ve been at ciu. by amazing, i mean spoken-straight-from-God-to-me. i’ve had a good few of those, but usually those make me kinda mad since they usually are the convicting kind that mean God wants me to start doing something that i kinda don’t want to. but this was just the comforting, check-this-out-i’m-bigger-than-you-but-i-love-you-anyways-isn’t-that-awesome kind.
dr murray was of course the one speaking; he’s my fourth favorite of everybody(after jeremy kingsley, bill jones, and adrien despres).
he talked about jericho and ai, and what we should learn from each.
and he described my past two summers at camp.
jericho is all about joy and victory. everything goes right, you and Jesus are on top of the world together, and you can’t wait for the next chance to do something like it again.
that was 2010. i’ve already written plenty about it, so here i’ll just remind you that it was unbelievable. “joy” is always among the first words that come to my mind when i think about that summer, but it was full of victories on victories too, whether camper-wise, friendship-wise, or personal me-and-God-wise.
i left that summer so incredibly excited for the next one.
but i did NOT take away the lesson that we’re supposed to learn from jericho experiences.


or to put it in more specific terms: no amount of victory in your past assures me of victory in my present.

that was the first great mistake of 2011. it hadn’t even begun yet and i was already totally assuming “okay, i’ve got this, last summer rocked, i’m great at what i do, this won’t be difficult at all” and other such big-headed thinking. and i completely expected it to go down just as well, if not better, than 2010. i was constantly comparing the two in my head.
2011 was an ai experience. ai is all about “sadness and defeat.” there are no two better words for this summer. “sadness” especially for orientation and week 1, (week 2 was actually a randomly thrown in jericho) “defeat” especially for week 3(i have nightmares about that week. i never ever want to think about that week), but the whole summer was full of good amounts of both.
what are we supposed to take from ai?

narrow it down: no amount of defeat in my past need rob me of victory in my present.

and that is the more important lesson of the two, for me at least. i don’t struggle so much with getting prideful about my past victories as i do letting past defeats ruin all my other attempts at anything.
on a less important-to-life note, i do this in soccer too: the first shot that comes at me determines how the entire game goes(or even just a practice). if i block it, i have a great game. if i miss it, i lose all confidence i may have had and let in every single shot after.
after week 3 was when i shut down for the whole summer. all my mistakes from that week just haunted me every single day: i’m a bad cabin leader. i don’t know how to love my girls or get them to listen to me anymore. maybe i’m not supposed to be here. and i can’t sing.(this horrible child told me she hates it when i sing to them at night, and when she said that, four others agreed and said they just hadn’t wanted to say anything)
but while that was definitely the worst week of my career, there wasn’t a reason in the world for it to affect the rest of the summer. just because i had one bad week doesn’t mean the rest couldn’t be great. but i kept letting it ruin me. i had plenty of “good” weeks but i couldn’t appreciate them because i was too busy worrying about whether i was a failure or not.
plus i didn’t want to tell anybody how bad i was struggling because i was afraid to get everyone freaking out. all summer long i had heard nothing but “linda’s been here longer than anyone else” “linda knows everything” etc etc. instead of giving me a big head, like this could very easily do, it terrified me. especially when people kept saying those things after i was having such a hard time, i didn’t know how to ask anyone to pray for me. so that just added to all the other stress in my life.
i’ve said so many times that i wasted my summer. but i didn’t realize just how much until today. now i’m that much more excited to go back. i know how to deal, and i know how to tell people when i can’t deal. and mostly, because(yes, i do realize i’m a broken record) God wants me there. he made me for that place. that unexplainable, borderline-obsessive love i have for it couldn’t come from anywhere but God himself.
in the end, i always choose camp. i may pitch a fit about it sometimes, or say crazy things like referring to future staff as “them” instead of “we”, but God always knocks sense into my head somehow; sometimes he has to make me super sick and show me how wrong it feels to not be at camp, or sometimes hope has to yell at me, or sometimes one of my campers has to write me an amazing note. but somehow or another, i remember where my home is.

just a thought.

i listen.

when jamie says crazy things and alex doesn’t get it, i’m always able to translate.
today alex pointed this out to me and i say “i lived with her for a year!! that kind of forces you to figure people out.” but jamie reminded me that i can do it for alex too when jamie doesn’t hear her, and then we realized, i do that for everybody.
how? i thought for a while, and i guess it’s because i listen.
i don’t like it when people mention that i don’t talk. for a lot of reasons.
1-it reminds me how few people here know me; anyone who knows me knows that i talk.
2-i realize that i don’t talk enough and i hate that, and when other people point it out it’s just reminding me of it. i don’t LIKE to not understand something about me, and i don’t understand my having no voice.(although i blame the whole issue on csu’s screwing me up; there are some things ciu just isn’t amazing enough to fix)
3-i DO talk. if i know that people want to listen, then i will talk forever.
but mostly, 4-because i feel like no one notices that, even if i never talk, at least i always listen.
i LOVE to listen. i really really like to talk, but listening is just so much better. i already know myself, so when i’m the one doing the talking, i’m not learning anything. when i listen, i get to learn about someone else.
i like to understand people. i’m good at understanding people. if you don’t listen, that doesn’t happen. i’m way more concerned with understanding everybody around me than making them understand me.(even though i guess i do complain about people not understanding me…i should stop doing that.)
i’d much rather have a friend who never talked than a friend who never listened.
people love to be listened to.
the more i listen, the less chance there is of my mouth getting me in trouble.
and, i really do talk. i like to. i want to. but even in high school, and at camp, where you’d never lose me because all you had to do was follow my voice, i still like listening better.

just a thought.

stories about memories


i’m watching high school musical 2. (YES, i’m doing my youth min homework at the same time, calm down) as if that isn’t funny enough, it’s on VHS, recorded off of tv when it premiered, so it has all the old commercials and everything too. it’s kinda sad that i was 16 and was so excited allllll summer long for this stupid movie to come on…but it makes me laugh more than anything.
i don’t think i realized, at the time, how simple my life was. my biggest worries were whether i’d have a ride to the next ben lippen game, what movie to sit matthew in front of when i was forced to babysit, what was happening on chuck, and the fact that no one would teach me to drive.
that sounds pretty awesome to me now. but at the time, i’m pretty sure all i did was complain about wanting to be out of the house.
now, i like simple. and if my 20 year old self(side note: i’m 20. just reminding myself. it’s just the weirdest phrase) had come to my 16 year old self and told her what her life would be like when it was not simple anymore, i think 16 year old linda would have liked simple too.
life is backwards. but i’m a fan.

stories about camp

christmas and camp.

today i just got randomly excited about both these favorite things of mine.
both reasons why semester endings don’t make me sad at all.
i miss camp. so much. i just want to be back right now. i miss my girls. i miss singing them to sleep at night. i miss loving on them every day and crying when they leave me. i miss worship. i miss chicken fingers. i miss jenna. i miss chi chi. i miss sam. i miss kathleen. i miss ashley. i miss chana. i miss hope. i miss getting notes. i miss hugs. i miss singing the lazy song, or banana pancakes, or cyclone ;]
i miss all the little things. (i never thought that they’d mean everything to me…no. i’m gonna be original this time.)
but it’s okay. we’ll be back in about 244 days, give or take a few. for now, i’m gonna try to focus on the school that i spent my summer missing.
i’ve decided i need to get better at being happy with where i am. i miss too many things. it’s like wherever i am, i miss someplace else. once i get to the someplace else, i find something new to miss. but i don’t like that. it kinda sucks.
i wonder how you do that? it probably requires a lot of being normal…which i’m not good at. ah well.
and there are 90 days until christmas. i guess that’s too early to start shopping. but i WANT to. =]


to whom it may concern.

why are you so far from me?
in my arms is where you ought to be.
how long will you make me wait?
i don’t know how much more i can take.

i miss you,
but i haven’t met you;
oh but i want to,
how i do.

slowly counting down the days,
til i finally know your name.

dear whoever you might be,
i’m still waiting patiently.
everything about this song is beautiful. i really love the title.

stories about nothing and everything

progress of redemption, home, fall, he is we, and work, work, work.

1. i know i can’t stand dr layman, and i never do my work for it, and i complain about it ALL the time, but i really do love this class. like, LOVE it like i do hermeneutics and Bible for teachers.
i was never a fan of the old testament until last fall. now progress just adds on to it, because it shows how everything fits into each other and how everything in the new testament happened because of things that happened in the old.
2. if i could drive, i would totally live at home. i mean, i’m 15 minutes away; i could be at school all day if i wanted to, or just leave after classes, i could see my family every day without missing anything fun at school, and without room and board i would pretty almost be going here for free.
3. i can not WAIT for fall break. any way i slice it(chilling at school with the few people cool enough to not go places, and work a whole lot, and get ahead on homework, OR road tripping to virginia to see my grandma and some real old friends i hadn’t seen since 2nd grade), it’ll be so good. i mostly just need a couple days without school. i haven’t hardly breathed all semester.
4. i LOVE he is we. it’s my new cady groves. go listen. it’s good stuff.
5. annnnnd…i don’t wanna go to work…my friday shift is the most boring hour of my life. i just have to keep thinking, italy, italy, italy. each friday brings me $7.25 closer to the $2,000ish i need.

stories about school

"i’m so ADD right now."

no. you aren’t. you have no idea what you mean when you say that.

if you have ever been so buried in work that you didn’t do because you have no concept of the difference in “now” and “not now”, and you are trying, actually TRYING with every bit of your brain but you can NOT focus for nothing, and you’re so distracted that all you want to do is cry,
or if you can never sleep because you can’t shut your mind up or lay still for more than ten seconds, or you keep thinking of a hundred things you didn’t do that you could do right now,
then maybe, just maybe, you really are ADD.

but most of you are not. you just say you are because you feel like you need some excuse for the fact that you’re tired, or in a lazy mood. that’s understandable, but for you, you actually CAN make yourself work if you try hard enough or find the right motivation. i can’t. and there lies the difference.

all this to say: stop using that stupid phrase. find some other way to express the fact that you’re unmotivated or slightly distracted.

it’s not cool or funny. it sucks. yes, sometimes(actually most of the time) i personally like it, but i wouldn’t wish it on anyone. and right now it’s making me hate my life, and lose sleep.

stories about memories

and sometimes it’s time to let go.

it’s not your fault, but i just can’t be here, now that my heart is gone.
i say a lot of the time that i miss youth group. but when i try to fix that by going back to visit, it only shows me more that i really miss something that isn’t there anymore.
there won’t be any more farm retreats, or sleepovers at beth’s, or hours in the youth office with the girls having real, honest, deep talks(with no fear of anyone snitching), or games of 123 american eagle where getting hurt is just part of the fun and the girls get to play by the same rules as the guys.
just like camp, things eventually change. but unlike camp, i’ve learned that i can’t just roll with this one. not for lack of trying. i gave it a year. but it hurts more than it’s worth, and it won’t do any good for anyone if i stay.

i want this back:

they were my family. those were the best years of my life. that was what paul meant when he talks about believers loving and serving each other and learning together.
but that’s over. and it’s okay. i just can’t be part of the pieces that are left of it.
i want to thank you for being so good to me; i just wanted you to know.

stories about nothing and everything

seasons coming and going.

so. my favorite season?
i LOVE fall. it has my favorite colors and weather, and thanksgiving, and the beach trip, and crunchy leaves to step on or jump in, and pumpkin bread, and homemade soup, and north vs south.
i like winter, even though i hate how cold it is. but it has christmas. and christmas cookies, christmas trees, christmas movies, and christmas presents(to give; i never really care what i get). and more homemade soup. and boots and cute sweaters. and four weeks of no school. and more football. and the oscars. and slurpees.
i kinda like spring. the weather drives me nuts because it takes so long to get consistently warm, and there’s pollen evvvvvvvverywhere(i’m not even allergic to it and i still complain about it). but there’s spring break, and ridge haven, and easter, and the end of school, and it means that camp is coming! (that last one is really the only thing i LOVE. the others i love without capital letters)
and summer? i shouldn’t have to tell you about that one. i mean, it starts with a couple weeks of no school, and then for the rest of the time i’m at CAMP, and when i’m not there i’m probably having fun adventures at some staffer’s house, or going places with leighanne, or just getting to really sleep. plus, it’s hot all the time, i’m tan and my highlights come back out, i have my birthday(which i hate but it’s worth mentioning), and i have so much more uninterrupted, unrushed Jesus time than when i have school and everything else in the world to distract me.
so really, i actually just can’t decide between summer and fall, if i really had to answer the question. basically all that up there just shows that i have no season i totally hate.
i’m thankful that God gives us just enough time with each season to get sick of it, so that we’re happy when the next one comes, even if you hate cold weather as much as i do.

stories about nothing and everything

the weather was fine and the ocean was great…

1. i just love the ocean. i’d rather have that than a pool any day. i mean, it’s BIG and it MOVES and it has sand under it instead of a hard concrete floor. it’s my God place. i could just stand and look at it all day.
2. i can run two whole miles. i never knew that; i always give up after one, if even that much. but i don’t think about it on the beach. i feel like i talked about this a post or two ago…
3. i can’t really remember how much i wrote in high school. i know i at least wasn’t good at it yet. once i went to csu and lost my voice, the only way i knew how to get my thoughts out was through my fingertips. all my best stuff was written from the deep dark scary pit of crap that is women’s south room 325.
4. last night, i was laying in my bed one foot away from the ceiling, and as i always do when i can’t sleep, i started thinking, and i randomly wondered, how will people remember me when i graduate? the scary and kinda sad thing was that, after i thought and thought, the only honest answer i could think of was: they won’t. if life goes on the same as it has, everyone(except for kyle and jamie and alex) will know only that quiet, slightly awkward girl that they had a class or two with. now that is of course not ME, but it will be what they remember. (ergo, they won’t actually remember me. see a few posts ago where i talk about who people really are)
that bothers me a little bit. but what scares the crap out of me is that i don’t know what to do about it.
5. i need a whole new post for this thought. but it’s a real good one. so wait for it. =]
6. i’ve decided that i have no favorite season.
i’ll write a whole post on this one too.
7. i wanna go to texas just for their weather: super hot all the time, in all seasons, but with 0 humidity. that sounds perfect.