Saturday, October 27, 2012


As a kid, I attended Camp Garaywa as a "Girls in Action" camper. In my college years, I spent a summer there as a camper. And then as a mom, I sent my own daughters there.

But despite the nearly forty years that have passed since I first went to Garaywa, some things have not changed.

...or my camper days.
The Cabins still look like I remember them from the 70's.

Some things never change at Camp Garaywa.
And this sweet lady's portrait still gazes serenely over the dining hall.

But some things have definitely changed not just from my childhood days as a camper but also my summer as a counselor in the late 80's.

And some things do!
WiFi is now available.  WiFi hadn't even been invented yet back during my earlier Garayway days.

Dining hall and dining ladies.
The dining hall has been remodeled, expanded, and now offers more options such as a salad bar and all-you-can-drink soda machines.

Just like Garaywa has changed some but also stayed the same, so have I.  I'm still going there, but as said earlier, now it is usually in the role of mom-to-campers as I pick my girls up on the last day of camp, watch their closing program, and meet their counselors and friends.

And this weekend, I filled a new Garaywa role, that of the speaker and guest missionary.  My sweet friend Donna, a fellow MUW alum, asked me to be the speaker for her church's ladies retreat. 

Retreat love :)

It was a bit surreal to be walking the same cracked sidewalks, eating in the same cafeteria, and strolling under the same Spanish moss decked trees that filled my days in the past but now in this new position.

Some timings haven't changed since my counselor days.

But something else hasn't changed even if I'm older, wiser, and not crying my eyes out due to homesickness. God hasn't changed.

He is still the same God that saw that pudgy, freckly, sick-at-her-stomach little girl that I was and loved me unconditionally. He saw all flaws and chose me anyway, desired to have me as His girl and use me for His Kingdom.

And now He sees this wrinkled, freckly, addicted-to-chocolate, middle-aged mama that I am and loves me unconditionally. He sees all my flaws and choses me anyway, desires to have me as His bride and use me for His Kingdom.

That's what He did this weekend. I didn't do it perfectly. I often lost my train of thought or stumbled for the right way to phrase something. My notes were messy and I possibly talked way too long and too much, but He knew that in advance and still planned for me to be the speaker anyway.

He's amazing that way.

He is good and all-knowing and never, ever messes up. He never stumbles for the right words or gets stressed out. He is totally capable of doing all that needs to be done on His own with nothing from us, but that's not how He works.

He chooses us, and all our imperfections, and let's us join with Him in the glorious plans He has to draw people to Him and give them the same new life that He has blessed us with.

That's one thing that never changes and for that, I am very, very grateful.

How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.

Ephesians 1:3-12

No comments: