Saturday, May 23, 2015

Work Week 2015

{forever captivated by God's creation. One of the views at Frontier Ranch}

I think my eyes were opened to a lot of things while serving at Frontier Ranch this week. I've laughed more, felt more frustrations, but also felt more peace than I have in a while.

This week has taught me to love. To accept others as who they are and the person that God created them perfectly to be. To be honest, loving people who are different than me can sometimes be a struggle because I don't always understand people.

But this week, more than ever, I found myself smiling and trying my hardest to see the best side of each person that makes God smile. I think about my quirks -- the way I twirl my hair all the time without even knowing, my quiet nature -- and I know God loves all those things about me. I found the importance of just loving the ones God puts in front of me this week. I don't always have to understand people. That is often times where my downfall was. I just have to love them for who they are.

This week has taught me to persevere. Working, serving, and even just living is often times hard. Especially doing the Lord's work -- it is never going to be "easy". But having a cheerful heart as often as possible, and not being negative and just pushing yourself through the difficult times, while relying on God, is the best way to make light of a difficult situation.

I talked about my mountain hiking experience -- it took a lot to push myself through that situation. But looking back, I never once was negative about the hike. I look back and am happy with how I handled the situation because I was relying on God to strengthen me to help me to reach the top. And how thankful I am for how that situation turned out because it turned out far better than I could have imagined.

At Frontier, I was assigned to the decks crew. This meant we were responsible for staining every deck at camp. It was definitely not an easy task. There were 40+ decks at camp, many of them very large, too. While it was often easy to get down about the work we had to do, to feel exhausted after walking 10-15 miles per day (which is crazy!!!!) I tried my best to not let the daunting task get to me and instead focus on why I was doing the work. I signed up to serve God this week, and He calls us to do His work without complaining (see Philippians 2:14).

Now I definitely complained, and got frustrated. But I know now the importance of taking a break, sitting alone, and spending time with God. Each time I asked God to get me through the situation and focused on Him for strength and perseverance, I made it through.

This week also taught me how small I am, but apart from that, God loves me so much and I matter so much. Being surrounded my mountains and the beauty of the world that God created made me feel so small. I loved it though, because even though there were so many beautiful things around me, I was reminded that God sees me as wondrous as the mountains around me. He loves me, knows me, and sees me as beautiful as the mountains He carved with His own hands. How cool is that?!

This week also taught me that I am so in love with the mission of Young Life. We spent a lot of time praying over the summer staff, work crew, and campers that would grace the camp this summer. I loved thinking that some kid would walk along the deck that I stained and I loved thinking of all the work that people were doing all over camp with kids in mind.

My life was forever changed from my time at camp and I prayed that the same would happen for even just one kid. I prayed that a kid would give his or her life to Christ here at Frontier. Young Life is doing amazing things through the camp experience, and I am so thankful to be a part of this wonderful ministry.

While the week taught me so many more things, the last thing I will share is that the week showed me the splendor of grace. I am in no way deserving of the love that Christ pours out for me. I make endless mistakes, fall short of deserving, and turn away from God. Yet each time I come running back to Him, His arms are wide open for me. I can't even put into words how humbling God's grace and love is and just how miraculous it is.

I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity to serve this past week and to spend a week in God's beautiful creation. My eyes are forever opened wide when I spend time serving and experiencing Young Life's mission.


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