Monday, January 24, 2011

My People

Remember that scene in that movie, or maybe that TV episode where some poor couple is stressing about getting their unborn child on the waiting list to the best preschool in the area in hopes that by the time the child needs to attend the preschool there will be a spot for them?

It's funny...because it's not you.

We're kinda' living that right now.

No...I'm not pregnant, but we are trying to register Bubba for church camp this summer.

You have all read the story about how Honey and I met. Camp Blue Haven is a pretty special place to us. Not only did we meet while working there, but both of us spent years attending, working, and growing in that place and with those people.

We aren't really the "deep south" here in Texas, we're mostly still the "wild west". And we don't use the term "my people" when referring to family and getting back to our roots and going home. We just say we're "going home" to visit "family".

But when I think of Blue Haven, I long to be with those friends, I long to be in that place. I long for the sweet fellowship, I long to relive the precious memories. Remembering makes me want to reconnect with the individuals who had such a profound influence on my spiritual journey as a child and young adult, they are the village that it took to raise me. These are my people.

Saturday night there was a banquet, with some food, and some auction items, but people were there. It was so fun meeting their kids, rejoicing over new babies, remembering those that are in heaven waiting for us, making new connections with already loved faces...realizing that it really is a small world. And no matter what you may have heard, Facebook just isn't the same as seeing someone with your own eyes and hugging them with your real life arms.

As we were visiting, a common theme began to surface. Most of the people our age were trying to get their kids in as campers for the first time. And it is so stinkin' hard. Camp is already full, and if you are a new camper the best you can hope for is that someone chooses not to return and that you are given their spot. My stomach already hurts thinking about trying to get 2 girls in at the same time when the twins are old enough.

As I was listened to everyone's story about registering their new camper, I came to a profound realization. This is so much bigger than Camp Blue Haven.

Sure, for most of us at the banquet and countless others, CBH is just about perfect. We just don't talk out loud about choosing another camp over CBH.

BUT...if my child doesn't get in, I'm going to send him somewhere else to camp. Because I would rather risk him falling in love with a camp that isn't CBH than not send him to camp at all. Because the years I spent at CBH didn't teach me to love CBH, they taught me to love Jesus. I didn't learn to follow CBH, I learned to follow Jesus. It's so much bigger than Camp Blue Haven.

I came to depend on the special community of believers at Camp Blue Haven. But CBH isn't the only place you can find a community of believers. These are MY people, I want to help Bubba find his people.

CBH showed me the importance of intentionally spending time away from normal life rooting and establishing myself in God's love. It was important to my spiritual journey, and it's important that I provide that same opportunity for my kids.

Even if my child doesn't get in to CBH this year, Blue Haven will still have touched his life. Because CBH taught his parents that Bible camp is important. Having people to guide, and encourage, and walk beside you as you grow in Jesus is essential.

Blue Haven is wonderful, life changing, even Kingdom changing. But Blue Haven is about something so much bigger than itself. It's about growing kids in the image of whatever way possible.


Su said...

Wow, Jenni, I didn't realise it was so complicated to get to CBH! I'm sure it's a fabulous place, though, given the number of people I love who love it there.

"My" people are at Spring Mill Bible Camp in Indiana, and even though we aren't nearly to the point of it being reality, I've spent many hours of my life considering the logistics to getting any future little Chads or Sus to SMBC every summer. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this problem!

I hope it works out for Bubba & the princesses to all go to CBH, though. That's such a cool thing for your family to all share.

Misty said...

I have never heard of anything like this, when it comes to a church camp! This is CRAZY!