Summer Camp (from the homefront)


Every year, student pastors plan the one event that will change the course of the summer. From all over the country, teens await that one week (or weekend) that’s supposed to super-charge their lives and put them back on track.

In years past, I had gone with the youth group. I have watched teens first-hand as they listen, process, and ask the questions that can affect them for the rest of their lives.

But not this time. This time, I had stayed at home with my two girls. My two rambunctious, outrageous girls. And any youth minister’s wife can tell you that the week at camp is always an adventure.

It started with drama. (Doesn’t it always?) Drama in the youth group. Who knew? 😉 I’d already had a call from Drew asking for prayer and for support. So of course I was praying.

Can I just stop right here and say that I don’t remember much else for the first part of that week? It went pretty smoothly for us.

It wasn’t until Thursday that I really noticed a problem.

The girls were a bit on edge. I was cleaning the cancer center for Drew. I was leaving them with my brother-in-law and his family every night, and I’m sure that it messed with Abby’s natural affection for schedules. By Thursday, I was a mess. So when I needed a break from the girls, I took it.

I stepped outside. And then I heard a click.

To my horror, I realized that my oldest had dead bolted the door. Shut. My panic level skyrocketed when I also realized that I didn’t have my shoes on, my phone, or my keys.

I tried opening the windows in our house that actually open. (Out of 5, 3 will. Yay.)

I imagined running over to my neighbor’s house and asking for help, but then I realized I was in my pajamas. So naturally, I did the only thing possible. I started kicking down the door.

And it worked.

My kicking caused the dead bolt (which was hardly latched anyway) to go back into the door. And I was able to walk back inside my house. And see my children.

If that had been the end of it, that trip would have been memorable. But no.

The next day, I was busy trying to get myself and the girls ready. We had a wedding that we had to drive to right after Drew got back from camp. I went to the bathroom, and in the five minutes I was gone, Abby had opened the door to the garage. And Lily had found rat poison. And was eating it.

Five minutes, guys. FIVE MINUTES.

I called Drew, who suggested calling his mom, who suggested calling the CDC. Duh.

Somehow, I managed to get across that she hadn’t eaten 5-6 handfuls of it. Thank goodness. An emergency room visit did NOT need to be on my list of things to do that day. The kind lady told me that she would be fine but to look for excessive bleeding (how much is excessive??), bleeding from the ears, and bleeding around the teeth.

Lily vomited while I was talking to the super nice lady, who then told me that she probably had gotten it out of her system. Whew!

The girls got a bath while I tried to calm down.

And then I heard something shatter. Which of course was the glass cup I had left on the tub’s edge.

I called Drew yet again, but it was out of sheer frustration and the craziness of the day.

Somehow, we were ready and dressed by the time Drew got back. Somehow, we went to the wedding and were actually there early. And somehow, I gathered my wits about me long enough to be pleasant and have a good time.

Why do I mention this week? Because it was that wedding ceremony that prompted me to write down the times God had been faithful to us up to that point. And that week, in its crazy entirety, was definitely worth writing down.

(For the record? There was a lot of good that happened that week for our youth group and for Drew. So of course the week looked awful from my vantage point.)

This post is part of a 31 Days series on Raising My Ebenezer, part of my story and my own testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness. As the song Come Thou Fount says, “Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by Thine help I’m come.” For the month of October, I’ll be writing our story, outlining the Ebenezers in recognition of His mighty hand on our lives. His doings and His workings because of and sometimes in spite of our best efforts. My hope is that you’ll see a lot of Him and little to none of me. Because in the end, it is by His help that we have come this far.



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