We headed back up to Bear Paw this past Friday during the record setting temperatures. I'm so thankful we have air conditioning in the van. I'm also thankful that my mom bought the kids a portable dvd player a couple of years ago. It takes us about 4 movies to make it up there if we watch nearly back to back. Of course we also have books to read and snacks to tide us over, but it's helpful to have a few favorite movies along for the all day long trip. Mia was in charge of making sure everyone could see, she just didn't want to hear this part of the movie... too scary.
We went up there because it was a clean up weekend at the camp and 50 some volunteers from the camp's largest group, a group that runs a diabetes camp for kids, came to do all kinds of projects. We wanted to meet the volunteers and learn more about this group as well as get our hands dirty working on the camp. I have to admit that, after such a long drive, arriving at the untouched camp was a little disappointing. All I could see was work that needed to be done and repairs that needed attention and all I could think about was how little time we'll have to do it. But, we all rolled up our sleeves and got to work right after breakfast on Saturday morning. Andrew helped repair some sheet rock, build a shed, and put together a basketball hoop. Actually a group of teenagers were supposed to put the hoop together but after working on it until about 2pm they called in the big guns and Andrew and another guy wrapped it up in just a few minutes. I raked, then I raked, then I raked some more. By the end of the day I could barely hold Sierra's hand as we walked up to dinner because my hands were so sore. We were raking up pine needles, twigs, branches and pine cones over probably 6 acres of the camp. The kids picked up pine cones by the boat load, too, and got to witness first hand how old ashes can reignite and start a big bonfire! Getting all that debris off the ground and then mowing the grass really made a huge difference in the look of camp so, when it was all over, I was tired but inspired.
At the end the owners, having noticed that I was pregnant, approached us with some worst case scenarios and really painted a very negative picture of running a camp. They wanted to make sure we knew what we were getting into and were being realistic given the amount of work involved and the number of kids we will have. I don't think a person can ever really know what they are getting into, unless they've already gotten into it. It was good to go up for the weekend and do some of the work and see other things that needed to get done. It's good to review the finances and be realistic about what we'll be able to go in and do immediately. It's also important to remember that on both those points we won't be able to go this alone.
I had a vision as we were driving up to the camp. I was half in and half out of sleep and in my dream state could see myself lying on the floor, consumed with all that needed to be done yet completely unable to move to do it. Honestly this is how I feel when I'm experiencing bouts of depression so it wasn't unfamiliar territory. Then in my vision, I realized that God had approached me and I was embarrassed by my state but unable to change anything, except to look up at him and cry, "It's too much for me, I can't do it." Then he reached out his hand and kindly said, "Get up" and amazingly I was able to get up. It was like I was the cripple who Jesus healed. I guess I realized that it's ok when I can't do it, but he will provide a way and the power I need to do it all: raise four kids, move away from the familiar, take care of a home and a camp, meet new friends and stay connected with the old ones, and take care of myself physically and emotionally. So I'm proceeding under his power right now, and trusting him to not give us more than we can handle. I know that he desires to bless our family and use us so he wouldn't allow us to enter into something that would hinder that. If we are still able to buy the camp, it is his will, if not, it is his will. I can stand on that.
Here's the verses that were in my Proverbs31 devotional today:
Psalm 62:6 “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” (KJV)
Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (NIV)
Psalm 145:15-16, “The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” (NIV)
Psalm 130:5, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.” (NIV)