Archive for July, 2011

March 25, 2006

// July 12th, 2011 // No Comments » // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

Having Nett and Chris living here has added a new dimension to our home. They’re an essential part of the family. Nett is no longer our daughter-in-law but our daughter, and full-fledged sister to our other children. Chris is an important part of my day as I help Nett care for him. And taking him to school each morning means I have no reason to stay closed up in my home all day.

This morning I stepped into their room to wake Chris for school. He and his mom were out late last night at Family Group and after nine hours of sleep he still wasn’t ready to greet his day. As I whispered his name he slowly turned onto his back, tucking his hands under his arms, just like his dad used to. It made me catch my breath. I watched him for a minute, savoring the moment.

As a rule, I try not to actively look for similarities between Steve and his sons but sometimes they leap out at me, shining like a moving picture of young Steve for a fraction of a second, and then disappear. I’m not alone. Other family members mentioned things, too. Nicholas’s laugh. Chris’s walk. We don’t say much to the boys, don’t want them to become self-conscious and avoid certain mannerisms, or go to the other extreme and strive to emulate their dad. We want them to develop their own style and mannerisms, each becoming his own, unique person.

That said, I am grateful to have Steve’s sons here as small reminders of my son.

SEP SoCal 2011

// July 12th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Uncategorized

Dave and I decided this was the year to give back to the Spiritual Enrichment Program that has nurtured our children and grandchildren since the 1990s. Honestly….the idea of spending a week with energetic children that are pumped up and full of the Holy Spirit was daunting to say the least. But when we were offered the opportunity to serve as “Dorm Parents” we knew the time was right to dive in.
This year’s camp theme was Rooted {in Christ} an though the kids range in age from 8 to 18……WOW! THEY GET IT! Each chapel, debriefing session, and dorm meeting touches on the fact that our lives ~spiritual and physical~are like the life of a tree. We both start as a small seed. We need air, food, and water to nourish us. Each of these elements has a spiritual counterpart. We need the air of God’s breath calling to and speaking to us, the food found in our (ideally) daily reading of God’s word, and the water of the Holy Spirit flowing through us, washing us clean and spreading out to touch those we meet. As I listen to the kids talk about the message after chapel I am astounded by their level of understanding and how they either have or plan to implement these ideas in their communities when they return home. They want to share the messages, to {re}present Christ and the hope and perfect peace that can be found in Him.
Another thing I am impressed with is the rule system here. Mark and Anne, the SEP SoCal directors, manage to have fair rules regarding dress and safety without being legalistic. They teach and lovingly enforce modesty for both genders. While at camp some of the boys have thanked Pastor Mark for the dress code, telling him it gives them a greater opportunity to really see the girl for who she is, learn about her personality, and hear what she’s saying, without the distraction of her cleavage vying for his attention. And the girls have said that it’s nice to have the guys look them in the eyes during a conversation instead of them staring at her chest.
SEP also breaks the stereotype non-believers have about being a Christian kid. These kids have FUN! Archery, Bunko, challenge course, drumming, insects and snakes, drama, dance class…..and so much more. There are a few highlights that surpass even these activities. The Senior Camper Dance on Wednesday night {Get Jiggy Wid It} filled, like any teen gathering, with loud music, laughter, and energetic (though decidedly NOT dirty) dancing. These folks know how to enjoy themselves without hangovers or regrets.
There’s so much more going on here…the tireless effort of the volunteers, the counselors who use their vacation time and pay their own way to camp to share God’s love, the band that plays sometimes three times a day to lead the kids in musical worship….
God is good…..All the time!

                                               T, Kyle, and Papa Dave waiting for check in

                                                All checked in. Kyle’s a happy camper….

                                                                            ….so is T.

                                                           Chris and Josh ready for chapel.

                   One of my jobs was hanging with Jax while Amy taught a photography class.


                                                                  T at dance class.

                                                             Free style time at the dance…

                                                                  The SEP Shuffle.

                                                          Counselor (& Great Friend!)Kat

 A suprise revealed while we were there! Grandbaby 13 is on {her} way!

                       Dorm Parent/Dining Hall Monitor Dave ready for battle ~paintball!~ with the kids.

                                                                     That was fun!

              Final Chapel. A bittersweet morning. After a taste of heaven they are ready for home to
                                                    share what they’ve learned…..\

                                                       Home again…..nursing a migraine.
                                           I’m already looking forward to SEP SoCal 2012!