Our time in Texas has been so great - so many posts to write about so many things weve experienced.  Where to even start?  How about the most recent...

This past week the girls attended their annual week of summer camp, which runs in tandem with the week I volunteer in the Camp kitchen.  Truly, this is one of my favorite weeks of the year, as it is theirs.  Camp ended this morning so we said our tearfilled goodbyes and made our way to Austin (our favorite Texas city), ate some fab mexican food at Chuys (after camp tradition) and headed to our hotel.  The girls are now crashed, expected to sleep until noon tomorrow,  and I am sitting down for the first time in 7 days.  Whew!

Volunteering in the kitchen isnt a glamorous job.  Its an industrial space that makes 3 meals a day plus a midnight snack for 200-300 kids and staff at each sitting.  We get there at 6:30 am and are finished about 7:30 pm each night.  All day standing, all day dicing, mixing, baking and joyfully watching smile ridden kids (sometimes mine) run by outside the wall of windows which stands above the sinks.  We cooks dont do dishes (thats a work crew job) and we dont eat with the kids.  Im strickly in the kitchen cooking meal after meal the whole week.  With a group of other people with a heart for ministry and a love for kids.  Its a time of remembering and being thankful for when I was a camper, then counselor, there.  Its a time of reconnecting each year with the camp counselor I still am at heart.  Its a time for dreaming and praying big for my girls while I slice tomotoes or make 300 tie-dye cupcakes (because I promised them I would) and its a time for reconnection with the staff there, some of whom I have known for over 30 years.

Since I was 9 I have dreamed of being on staff at Camp, my husband being the director and me working with camper girls weeks by week.  The Lord has yet to open that door, but I do Mercifully get this one week a year to be there, so I milk it for every drop.  Really, I cant quite find the words for how much I love Camp, what it stands for, and how it inspires me each and every time I am there.

Somewhere over the past few years my sister and husband have begun to join me at Camp.  Doug couldnt make it this year due to work but Liz was there like clockwork.  She too was a camper, then counselor, and she too shares the vision and the joy of being there on that hill country land.   We cook side by side, take walks in the evening (yes, with swollen ankles from standing all day) sharing what has happened in our life and hearts over the past 11 months and we watch my girls become, knowing exactly what it feels like to be in their shoes, running that ground.    It is our only time to see each other over the course of each year so every moment counts.    I consider it such a gift to get that one-on-one time with her.

Is it possible to find rest in a job that requires more than 12 hours a day of your time?   Yes, it is.  Each year I find that rest at Camp.  And each year while there I remember who I am.   And though I have so much more to share, Ill leave it at that for today.

And because at least one of you will notice, yes, thats my cucumber/orange/ginger water in bulk.  I made that and the strawberry/mint one all week for everyone.  A girl should always leave a "new" idea behind wherever she has gone - at least thats my motto.    The kitchen staff now all drink fruit infused water!  And they tell me its a keeper.  Makes me happy.