that is the unofficial title of this session of camp, because we have three one-week camps, one two-week camp, a mini camp for six-year-olds, and the fourth of july, a ridiculous programming day going on all together. plus the kids are older and bring their teenage dramas in a magnitude that we haven't had so far. it's a lot! but we're settling into a routine with dylan, and all in all, camp life is getting more manageable and even fun.

dylan's little top teeth are coming in, too:) she's getting so big. she's getting better at sitting up, and today when i got her up from her nap, i got her to stand holding the sides of her crib. she doesn't crawl, but still manages to cover a lot of ground pivoting and rolling. dylan also loves blowing raspberries. she is such a cheerful little girl. today was rainy, so i had her in this cute little pink cherry hoodie. so cute:)

our computer came back, but we still aren't online. hopefully soon...


one week down

session one is about to close, and all in all, it was a good week. we're starting to get the hang of camp life with baby, the staff did a good job, and there were no big dramas with kids, (except the "stick game" that dented a nurse's car--but that was on the boys' side of camp and was thus not my issue to handle!)

bible studies went well with all four of my groups. we're studying spiritual disciplines, and this week we looked into silence and solitude. we read something from henri nouwen where he argues that community is ultimately built and nurtured in solitude, and it was a topic that encouraged a lot of discussion. my hope is that emphasizing the practice of solitude in the beginning of the summer will prevent staff burnout later on.

dylan is getting more and more vocal. she babbles some, but she really likes to yell and squeal in delight. her two little bottom teeth are visible when she grins the open mouth smile that takes over most of her face. she's becoming grumpier at home and a little impatient, but she loves camp and is always perfectly behaved there. she's a sweetie:)

well, i have a campfire to head to. our computer comes back from "the shop" tomorrow and i ought to be able to write more regularly again.


on bodies, beauty, and backstroke

{image source}
In middle school, I swam on a summer swim team. I would occasionally win heats against other third tier swimmers, and by the end of my second summer I improved my time enough to become a second tier backstroker, but the Olympics were not in my future.

I was also an unremarkable left fielder and occasional third basewoman for the Cardinals in seventh and eighth grades. Sliding practice, making up cheers, and riding in the back of my dad’s truck after games were what I liked most about softball. I wasn’t an athlete but enjoyed being part of a team.

By ninth grade, the sun had set on team sports for me.  We moved and I didn't make the school team--even though it was only the junior high one.  The next fall I went out for high school volleyball, which was even more misguided: I quickly learned that varsity volleyball was nothing like the backyard variety when they handed me a pair of knee pads and instructed me to dive.

Perhaps things would have been different if I were an athlete, but I’ve never really felt at home in my body. I suppose I’ve lived more in my head, considering myself an idea person--a writer, a thinker, a problem-solver. I nurtured my creativity and intellectual curiosity but didn’t quite understand how to inhabit my body, which I saw it as something a little foreign, awkward, and in need of work.

As women, we are conditioned to be unsatisfied with bodies that will never meet impossible beauty ideals. This doesn‘t stop us from trying, and we spend billions on the next miracle product that is sure to give us whiter teeth, flatter abs, shinier hair, skinnier thighs, clearer, younger skin, etc, etc, etc. We want our bodies to be simultaneously skinny, curvy, and sculpted, but really, who can possibly look like all that? We live self-consciously as if under a constant critical gaze, but I think more often than not, no one demands the kind of physical perfection we are so disappointed not to find in the mirror.

Through the experiences of childbirth and breastfeeding, I'm learning what it means to inhabit my body in a way that is healthy. My body is strong. It’s miraculous what my body can do and what it has done. My body is not merely ornamental: it nurtures and sustains LIFE--the life of a beautiful little person who I hope will grow to be a confident woman who is comfortable in her own skin, too.

My body is not an object to be viewed, judged, or improved. Instead, I am the subject and actor: with my body I love my husband, feed my baby, nurture, comfort, hold, cuddle, serve, dance, play, laugh, hike, move, and celebrate. Recognizing that who I am is physical as well as spiritual and intellectual, I’m starting to embody my full identity as a woman created in the image of our awesome God:
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:14).
I still have moments when insecurity wins out, but I’m becoming less judgmental and more appreciative of my body as the intricate, powerful instrument it is. I almost said “more forgiving,” but that’s the kind of self-talk I’m working to combat: my perceived flaws are not sins to atone for. My body’s value far exceeds mere appearance, my worth comes from God, and I’m naming the arbitrary beauty ideals for the oppressive, false idols that they are. 

I will not worship at their alter today, for LORD, you alone are worthy, and it is in you alone that I find my value and purpose.



orientation (or o-week) is in full swing. almost the whole staff is here (about 100) and there is one more week until kids come. we've been sweating and playing and learning and getting to know one another, and the staff is coming together remarkably well. dylan is settling into a napping routine, and i am so far managing to juggle work and baby with minimal drama. i'm managing to stick with cloth diapering even up "on the hill," and that has been working out too. dylan is eating lots of veggies and fruits and she likes the attention from the staff and their families. she sometimes gets overwhelmed with the noise in the dining hall, but otherwise, she's taking it all in stride.

there are 27 women that i sort of get to "big sister," and what's cool is that a few of them were my campers back when they were twelve and i was in college. it's cool to get to know them again as women and see how faithful God has been in their lives.

there has been no internet at our house, so i've stolen a few moments in jim's office, but now i ought to go find him and help get little dylan to bed.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...