I saw this sign last year in Fremont. We wondered where and what “Camp Henry” is. Here in our home, my boys love to camp out in the living room. Our “Summer Camp” is now closed for the season.
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing,” Philippians 2:14
I am a complainer, not usually a whiner, I weaned myself of that years ago. But grumbling and disputing, as the Bible calls it, is still something I do; even though I insist my children do not behave that way.
School preparations have been difficult for us all. It is still August and there are so many last fun distractions. The messy desk, I left in May, is calling my name; and the disorder is spreading like a disease throughout my corner of the basement. I have complained about it since before Memorial Day; planned to tackle it since June; completely put it out of my mind for all of July; grumbled and procrastinated over the disaster for most of August. Summer is my break from homeschooling, as well as the kids’ break, but learning still goes on. I desire to always be a learner, ready to grow and change as the Lord leads.
Part of school prep has been speech therapy for Henry. He is behind in only one area: his ‘R’ sounds. I have worked with him here at home, only sporadically. Since he is beginning 3rd grade, I asked his dad if we could go to the speech therapist at the *gasp* public school. That got Dad on board in a hurry.
Todd always provides a fresh perspective when I am stuck not knowing how to progress. In the midst of “R” practice, yesterday, we were discussing the aurora borealis. It is something most of us have never seen. Saying, “Aurora Borealis” is great ‘R’ sound practice. The name, “Rory” is an even better name to practice saying. That is the crazy way things get done around here.
Another big part of our “Camp Henry” is our family’s involvement in the ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship. Sunday evening was testimony night out at Wolf Lake. Olivia, Anna, and Andrew had the privilege of training for and then teaching 5 Day Clubs. All three of them worked hard. I have to admit there was the occasional whining and complaining about their work. Last night, though, it was all smiles and laughter,and some joy-filled tears; as my kids, and many others, shared their summer ministry experiences with our church family.
I truly want to serve the Lord with gladness. I expect my children to do that, and am quick to let them know when they are not. Reading beyond Philippians 2:14, I found that I need to be more like them, and less like myself. They depended on the Word of God, prayer, and rest for strength throughout the summer. I wasted energy fretting about what I thought I “should” have been doing. I know now that I was doing what God had for me to do. I prayed, chauffeured, sat through clubs, and watched as the seeds of the Gospel were planted. Many of the kids that attended the clubs are new members of God’s family.
I know everything necessary will get done. God has always given me the strength to do what He has called me to do. School will start on time in 8 days, with a hefty dose of Grace.
As summer is coming to an end I am now looking back at what was accomplished; rather than what was not. My children were changed by their experience with teaching. I am asking God to change my heart to be more like them and shine as a light for Jesus Christ here at home, and in my world. There is joy to behold yet; we may even see that elusive aurora borealis.
The verses following Philippians 2:14 are my prayer today.
“that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life…” Philippians 2:15-16a