July 23, 2006


Sunday night. Jack and Sophie are starting ACU's Kid Quest Day Camp tomorrow morning, bright and early. They will be at camp from 8:30-4:30 each day this week. They are very excited, and I know they will have a wonderful time.

My oldest son Derek went to his first sleepover camp last week. It also was at ACU, his was called Learning to Lead. He had a great time, stayed up late, was in charge of brushing his own teeth, taking showers, cleaning up...all without mom giving directions for such tasks to be completed. When I asked him if he showered every day, he laughed and said, no. Several days went by before he and his roomate thought that showers were in order. I do believe he stayed clean for the most part, if you can count swimming each day in the pool, after all there is chlorine bleach in the water. That is what I am telling myself anyway.
When I arrived to pick him up, he and his roomy showed me how they could move the mattresses from one bunk to another, making a bridge, then from the second bunk to the table top. They were able to walk across the entire dorm room without ever putting foot on ground. I would say that they were a part of controlled mayhem last week. I wondered after all the shinanagans I heard about and witnessed if there was any redeeming qualities that he took away from this week at camp. When Rob asked him about the camp name, Learning to Lead, what did he learn to lead. Derek's reply was, I don't know. I was happy that Derek was able to spread his wings, he got out of the nest, blessed with independance, and counted it a wonderful week, he is only 9 years old after all, what did I expect?
Did I mention that I sent self-addressed, stamped envelopes, one for home and one for grandma's house, and after 6 days away from home, both envelopes and stationary were in the very place he put them for safe keeping before he left. He didn't call home once, I understand that calling home is not encouraged by the camp, but it is allowed, I will tell you that I encouraged it. I asked him to please call me, let me know how he was doing, just to say a quick hello,... no phone calls. So I am in a Derek withdrawal state when I pick him up. I just want to squeeze his cheeks and hug him and jump for joy that my sweet boy has come back home after a long week away.
Back to the redeeming qualities he took away from camp.
Today at church Derek was sitting next to me. When the singing started, Derek sang. This is huge. I elbowed Rob and nodded in Derek's direction, and said, he's singing. Rob smiled. The next song, more singing, this continues, stand for the next song, he stands, the preacher tells us to get out our Bibles and turn to Romans 8 where we are studying, Derek does it!
One week ago, Derek had to be lovingly nudged to stand during the standing songs, I have encouraged him to sing before with no return on my appeal. The only time he has pulled his Bible out in church was to play tic tac toe on the blank pages in the back.
During every song we sang today, I couldn't keep the tears from streaming out of my eyes. When Derek asked me if I was o.k. I told him that hearing his voice sing to the Lord, made me so happy, I was crying tears of joy. Then as we were sitting there, he stretched his arm around me and comforted me.
This day was very special to me, witnessing Derek worship blessed me immensely.
Redeeming qualities at church camp, definately.
Cost for Church Camp - $$$$
Mom's emotional Derek withdrawals - $ Overabundance
The seeds that were planted and gained maturity - Priceless
Thank you Lord for my sweet hearted Derek. Thank you for his energy and tireless motivation. May You take those and draw Him closer to you every day. May he bless others and be blessed.
In Jesus Name, Amen


jessica said...

It is really neat when you see your kids worship on their own. Go Derek!

Megan didn't call me when she went to GA camp for 4 days... I tried to be strong but it kind of hurt!

Anne Jones said...

Wow! Sounds like a powerful week...and you will probably catch glimpses of all of those little seeds that were planted for months to come! I missed church yesterday..Levi is sick..so I can't wait to worship with you all again soon!

Denise W. said...

Oh, those first year campers...... They (especially boys)NEVER bathe! They tell themselves that swimming every day gets them clean. It's pretty big when they brush their teeth!

Katherine@Raising Five said...

I totally agree with Denise - my son came back from camp and he hadn't showered (ie, used soap) or brushed his teeth. He went straight to the bath when he got home! Gross!

Thanks for visiting my blog - I hope the P2P will be as much of a blessing to your family as it has been to ours.

I'm glad I get to read about your story here in the blog world -

With many prayers for Jack and for your whole family,