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Last week I posted on Instagram about our church sending over 1,200 people to our junior high/high school youth camp in Glorietta, New Mexico.  I’ve been wearing these prayer bracelets all week and tuning in at night to the “live stream” of worship and teaching going on and it has stirred my heart.

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What you might not know about me, is I am a camp girl.  I grew up attending a christian all girls summer camp for 12 years  in the Texas Hill Country that shaped so much of who I am.  It was a place of disconnect from the world, a place of friendship, learning to be a servant, learning to be a leader, having fun and growing spiritually.  It fostered relationships I still have to this day.  Every summer (except when I studied abroad) I worked as a counselor at Camp Mystic, and my last college summer, I worked in the office as a part of something called “big 3″.  I have countless memories from my time at Mystic.

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growing up, I loved spending a week of my summer at cheer camp, sometimes basketball camp, and always youth camp.  our youth group went to a different centrifuge camp every summer – so I got to expierece camp in Glorietta, Louisana, and even Disney World!  the images are engrained in my mind. [I so wish there was Facebook back then, so I could easily find pictures...]

sophomore year in college came around and it was time to pick a major.  I loved camp y’all, and it was something I dreamed of doing full time.  so I majored in “recreation and leisure services”. Camp.  as in my friends all made fun of me saying “how was your dodgeball class?”  really, they were just jealous that I actually did “get” to play basketball, soccer and softball for one of my classes.  no but for real, quite possibly my favorite class in all of college was with my bestie Brynn taught by the late but great Burney – Camp Counseling.  Imagine 2-3 athletes from every major sport at our university and two sorority blondes.  yes.  I made a 101 in that class.  [we did do skits for grades...]

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I digress.  in order to graudate, I had to do a semester long internship.  for whatever reason [only a god thing], I chose to apply for a job at Hume Lake Christian Camps in California.  I didn’t know a soul there.  I was one of two people on the entire camp staff from the south.  my nickname might have been Dixie.  that summer was one of the best of my life.  I can still remember gathering on the steps that first day with our summer counseling staff team, knowing that we would soon become family.  I vividly recall packing my bags Sunday morning before church + lunch knowing full well during our SCS weekly meeting, I could be packing up for the week to head to one of the camps to step in as a counselor.  I remember somehow by the goodness of God one week, being chosen to go to San Diego for two weeks to help launch the first ever Hume: SD.  and then sitting in a meeting with our recreation guy, informing him gently that recreation was indeed my college major and why I was at Hume.  I quickly became his sidekick, right hand gal, and had the privilege of running recreation next to the famous Mingo for two weeks. alongside this crazy crew.

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we became family.  I have more than 100 memories with these people, and although I haven’t seen them since the summer after this epic summer, they are family.  just like my Mystic family, and just like my Op Camp family [that's for a whole other post].

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we sweated together, we prayed together, we worship together, we sat at the back of the autotorium during teaching and prayed for students together, we had crazy dance parties and had fun “testing out” all the recreation games together, we had days off going to see movies and wondering walmart together.  we served together.  there is a bond there that I can’t quite explain or put into words.

I love camp.  and as I sat up late this week looking at old pictures, and reminiscing over old memories, tears streamed down my face.  this thing, this camp thing, it has been a huge part of my life.  and now i’m in a season where it isn’t, and part a lot of me gets really sad about that.  but as this was going on in my heart one night, I heard a whimpery cry coming from the kids room, and as I walked into see my sweet Camp sitting up in his crib calling my name, I know that HE is the Camp in my life right now.  He is what God had in store for me, and this is all why his name is Camp.  I didn’t give up on my camp dreams, but I saw what kind of Camp God had in store for this season.  knowing full well, my season for the other camp could come back into my life at any point.

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I love Camp, do you?

  • Kimberly Oyler - i love camp. i was in alaska all last month to help out at my favorite camp. i miss it bad. i’m sure i’m also going to love that camp of yours in a few weeks!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn Perry Shirey - I’m loving this summer that my daughter is finally old enough to begin experiencing camp! Such a big part of my youth, too. Love the picture of your current Camp the best, though! He’s precious – and probably an even more joyful season of life for you.ReplyCancel

  • Mary - You’re awesome!!!!! Love this post.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - Camp isn’t done here the same way it is in the US. I think the longest I went away was 7 days with my church youth group. We did social action stuff during the week and then a massive outreach thing at the weekend. Chris my husband was the youth leader at our current church for a few years so loved coming up with crazy adventures, one camp included a survival thing of sorts. So no tents you had a tarp sheet for shelter, food wise you had basic rations and completed challenges for bonus bits. I didn’t go to that one but was on standby to bring young people home if they really weren’t coping.ReplyCancel

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Parker Clay Tote [made in Ethiopia]// The Root Collective flat [made in Guatemala]//Nena and Co turban//Parker Clay Purse [made in Ethiopia]

I love finding new “purchase with purpose” things for summer!  These are a few things I am loving from a few new companies I am loving!

 What are you loving? 

  • Kiersten - those flats and the colorful tote… oh my word! in love with those for sure :) ReplyCancel

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there really isn’t anything like it.  there is a special relationship between a dad and his daughter.

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 I would know, I am the oldest of 3 girls and our dad is the best.  I still remember the dates he took us on when we were little girls.  We would each get one on one time with him, and for whatever reason I always remember our “summer dates”.  We would go to the country club and I would get to pick what we did!  We would either hit golf balls or go swimming, but we always ended with a dinner date together.  As I got older, I loved going shopping with my dad.  Not only did I learn that dad would buy me more, but he was most honest about what looked good on me.  As the oldest of three girls and no brothers, I filled into the “son” role a little too.  I was the one who loved the same things my dad loved: music, cars, and sports.  He is a car guy in every sense of the word, and he would often lease cars for 1-2 years at a time.  Me + my sisters would take turns driving the 100 miles with him to Dallas to pick up his new car, and make a fun day out of it.

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Something my sisters never cared about until recently, was sports.  So I was the one who always got first priority when we had the chance to go to a fun sporting event.  As a kid, I traveled with him on the Baylor football plane to games in Boston, and Indiana.  In college, we went to Houston for the world series [which ended up being the longest world series game ever played].  Also in college I went with him + my uncle to watch the lady bears will the national championship in basketball.  That was sorta “our thing”.

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I can’t wait to watch Asher grow up and love the things her daddy loves.  It makes my heart happy to think about all the fun adventures and dates she’s going to have with him.  Their thing right now is dancing in the living room.  When daddy gets home, if mommy is cooking dinner he turns the tunes up and has a dance party!  I can’t even type it without getting teary eyed, but can’t you see them dancing together at her wedding?

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I loved my dance with my daddy at my wedding.  There were tears.  We danced to my grandmothers favorite song, and then me and my dad’s song: “brown eyed girl”.  The song “I loved her first” had just come out, and on our wedding video that song is both playing in the background of the film and in the end of my dad’s rehearsal dinner speech.  “I loved her first, you have her now”

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be still my heart.  thank you Lord for a good daddy!

happy fathers day friends, be sure to hug your daddy/grandad/hubby and tell them how special they are!

  • Mary Helen - I LUB IT!ReplyCancel

  • Laura Loewen - Wynne! For our rehearsal dinner, my Dad made a slide show of a bunch of pictures of him and I set to the song “I loved her first”. I was a WRECK. I’m talking full-on ugly cry in front of, you know, friends, family, and en entire restaurant. Daddy’s are so special!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah Johnson - My dad told lots of embarrassing stories about me in his speech at my wedding but he always tells one about me standing in the garden in floods of tears absolutely in a state. He sees that I’m upset and stops cutting the grass to see what’s the matter as he was worried I had hurt myself or something like that. He manages to calm me down enough for me to explain what the problem is, I’m upset and in a state because as he’s cutting the grass he’s cutting all the heads off the daisies too. Well I was about 4 or 5 at the time lol.

    My uncle on the other hand nearly made me cry. He’s one of the registrar people at my old church so when we needed someone we asked if he’d do the official bit. I’d held it together until I got to the front of the church and he started the bit, he introduced it talking about how proud he was to be doing the service – well that was that. I was gone lol. ReplyCancel

I feel like my life lately has been all about lists.  Not necessarily to do lists that I write down and check things off of, but just a steady flow of “things” that I do every day.  We were at dinner last week at friends house, and my phone alarm at 6pm went off.  “Ah, that’s what happened” I said to myself as I realized why my alarm didn’t go off that morning.  My friend, Will, says “what in the world do you DO at 6 am?”  Truth be told, I am a snooze-r.  It typically takes me 30 minutes to get outta bed after my alarm first goes off.  But I am actually starting to like getting up early.  No, I don’t physically like getting up, but I love the results it brings.  I love being able to get dressed, make the bed, make my pot of coffee, water the plants, turn on the lamps and pour that first cup of steaming hot coffee and sit with my bible open on the front porch.  When I do these things, my day seems to go much smoother than when I wake up to the kids banging on their cribs down the hall.

So many times though, when I wake up it’s all about what I can accomplish.  It seems to be worse when I don’t have a ton of stuff on my plate – that means I make stuff up.  I’m always try to stay “caught up” on dishes, laundry, cleaning, emails, messages…. but I realized something this week.  I will never be caught up.

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do you feel the same way?

even if I get “caught up”, there will always be more laundry to do, more dishes to clean and more emails that need responses.  so why do I try so hard to “keep up?”  I think it’s my way of avoiding the silence.

I read this enlightening post by Mike Foster on the Storyline blog recently that said this,

“Quietness and being alone with our thoughts can be scary. We need a little something extra to drown out the silence.

The noise is often just a Band-Aid to pain. The low hum helps us from facing the deeper parts of our story. The incomprehensible chatter in the background fills the lonely space.

At the core, noise is escapism, yet it keeps us from being free. 

He goes on to challenge us to stick around with the silence.  To allow ourselves to sit with the hurts, grieve what is lost and allow our thoughts to move to the deeper “unexplored” parts of our story.  I want to take that challenge.  I’ve taken it before, and it’s hard y’all.  Living in that silence, alone with your thoughts, but I miss it.  I want it.  I want to grieve my losses well, I want to explore the parts of my story that are hard to look at, I want to have time to reflect and write and journal.

That’s where I am right now.  Wanting to turn the laptop off at night, and be still and be quiet.  Wanting to leave my phone in the house when I go in the backyard to play with the kids.  Wanting to embrace the silence, and see what song of freedom God might be singing over me.

I’ll leave you with these words from Mike,

“I believe on the other side of our discomfort with silence is a symphony of new sounds waiting to be discovered. It might be where you discover a new truth of who you are and a song of freedom that you’ve been waiting to hear.”

 

  • Laura Loewen - Yes. A million times, yes. Silence can be hard, and yet so refreshing. Isn’t it somewhat ironic that we try to block out the very moments in which God will speak to us? Makes me sad, yet I know that as a culture we are so conditioned for noise. I tell you what, girl, there was a day that I left my phone inside while playing with the kids and felt so. much. freedom!! Silly (and maybe lame) as it sounds, it was like the leash was broken and I was free just to be PRESENT. Love it. Love you. Just. Yes.ReplyCancel

  • Chantel Klassen - <3 I enjoy the silence but too find that I can get lost in trying to keep myself busy. Thanks for this wonderful reminder Wynne!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie Morriss Tkach - Thank you for writing on this topic and incorporating such powerful quotes from Mike Foster. Silence is one of my biggest struggles because my mind is often times a spiritual battleground. As a result, I busy myself…My personal challenge as of late has been to listen for God’s voice amongst the busyness. Your post is such a good reminder to be still. ReplyCancel

  • Lindsy Wallace - Yes. I’m filling my silence right now with Facebook and blog reading. There’s so much going in and I’m just drowning it with filler. I want so badly to sit in the silence but something is keeping me from it. Time to figure out what that something is. Thank you for the timely post friend!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn Perry Shirey - Love this! Learning stillness and letting go of my to-do list seems to be my theme this week. ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Blair - (sorry about all the comments…I’m catching up and stalking you this morning ;))….Okay…This. This speaks to me all day, every day. My bent is to fidget. To squirm. To move…this year I’ve been very intentional about being anchored in this moment and not using distraction (social media and even books sometimes) to keep me from spending time with myself and talking to God and really listening and processing…and, girl, it is still as difficult most days. Funny…I’ve just been thinking about this a lot. It’s like standing still in a river of rushing water, isn’t it?
    But so.worth.the.effort. Thank you for using your good words for good stuff to think about.
    I say it every time because I mean it…I love you.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Pikop - I am definitely fighting silence with distraction! And I am definitely beginning to see how I really need to spend that time in silence – mourning what bugs me about me, crying stuff out, giving it to God, and not trying to stuff it down with more of the same harmful, ineffective stuff! Thanks for this confirming post!ReplyCancel

  • Brittany Mullen - Beautiful, beautiful post. :) ReplyCancel

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if you aren’t following along on instagram yet, let me fill you in.

so far on our #wac [Wynne/Asher/Camp] tour we’ve covered 5 states, 5 days on the road, close to 2,000 miles, 3 hotels and 2 days at Disney.  We’ve stopped to have lunch with my family in Dallas, checked out duck commander in Louisiana, rang the doorbell of friends we hadn’t seen in 5 years off the A1A in Florida and eaten at waffle house.  We’ve watched Frozen, and Up, and Sofia the 1st more times than I can count, and opened around 8 “surprise presents” along the way.  we’ve had dance parties, and sing a longs, and yes, we’ve snipped at each other.  I’ve brought my screw top wine bottle in every hotel we’ve stayed at for a little glass of wine in the bath each night.  We’ve stayed up way too late and ate way too much junk food.

we have made so. many. memories.

and we aren’t done yet! we are headed to North Carolina tomorrow for the wedding of my oldest friend.  We’ll get to spend time with my parents, and so many old friends in the beautiful area of Highlands.  then the actual WAC part of the road trip will begin.

I can’t wait to tell you all about the magic of Disney, but for now I’m tired and my husband and I are watching Discovery channel [a new road trip fave].

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follow along #wacotour on instagram!

  • Debbe Trippet - What a great first family vacation! Fun memories.
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  • Molly Swanson - How fun and sweet! Love seeing all of the pics along the way!ReplyCancel

  • Chantel Klassen - I love this so much! Three years ago (wow, how time flies) we drove down to the US and hit up a bunch of States in the span of just over a week, I love how the scenery can change so much in just a short distance!ReplyCancel

  • Jamie Ivey - AH LOVE THE HASHTAG!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Blair - This is so fun. I just finished reading and realize I am smiling at all of it (and maybe because I know where you are ending up!!! EEEEE!!!!!) Store up those memories. Soak those babies and your hubby in. Add MUCH grace (b/c we all know that life…she needs much. Enjoy your time…it’s a gift. I love you.ReplyCancel