"The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. "
Zephaniah 3:17

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Reflections of Family Camp 2009

As I have already mentioned, we had a fabulous week at Pine Cove and we definitely left that place different from when we entered it. (Remember Church camp as a high school student and the way you felt leaving the week? Pine Cove is like that, but in an adult-marriage-family sort of way:) It was filled with many great memories and precious moments for us a a couple and as a family. It is hard to be constantly served by others when you are always the one doing it. (It was wonderful though and we definitely missed it when we stepped back into the real world!) I walked away feeling refueled and refreshed as a mom, wife and pw. We loved just being another family at camp and not having to be the center of anything. We loved being able to focus just on our relationship with the Lord, each other and our kiddos for a full week. We loved no connection with "the outside world" and being able to have important and meaningful conversations without being pulled 10 million different directions at the same time. We were able to focus and create more of a vision for the future of our family and children. AND we did all that and still feel that we got a complete vacation full of fun and energy all at the same time! I think we are definitely better for going and as many people as possible should try and go and experience what a week of Pine Cove will do for your family. It will bless you beyond measure like it did us! We would like you to meet some amazing people we were with during the week:

This is Austin with MoTown. She was the awesome counselor who did our family devo (devotional) time with us each morning and she was also the camp photographer for the week. Love her!! :)

Family devo time! We love that this time has carried over to our home. Every Friday is "Family Fun Friday" b/c it's Daddy's day off, so we plan a fun activity and do a family devo in the morning going through the alphabet. For example, we started with the letter A and the verse we used was "All fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23. Then the next week was B and so on... We keep it short and simple and the kiddos love it and so do we!

Here were the fun friends who played with Audrey and Ainsley all week in Cove Kids. What a wonderful place!!

This was Austin's group for the week. Such cuties!

And here are the girls who wrangled in our boy all week. They had their work cut out for them, but they did an awesome job!

This was when we were saying our goodbyes. We loved Match Dot Com and these sweet Graves girls were some of Austin's good buds for the week.

This is Chris Willard and his wife the 'Fabulous Susan' and fam. They were the speakers for the week and we enjoyed them so much! Thank you guys for pouring into us and for encouraging us and making us laugh! Love you!

Okay, so I have to tell this story about what an incredible and unexpected gift the Lord gave us! The first night we were at Family Camp I saw this lady and you know that feeling you get when you KNOW you know someone, but just can't place them? Well, I kept looking at her and wondering how and from where do I know her face? Then after dinner we went to drop our kiddos off and I got a chance to see her name tag. It said Julie Ustruck - and it hit me! Julie and her husband Chris were our across-the-street neighbors way back about 5 years ago in Katy, TX. Why is that significant you might ask? Well, when we lived in Katy, Julie and Chris were NOT Christians and now we were at a Christian camp together! Both Andrew and I remember a specific time when we were house-sitting for this family while they were out of town and it was through that weekend that the Lord burdened us to pray for them. We knew that they were searching and we prayed for them often. So, you can imagine how incredible it was to see them and to hear their story/journey to the Lord! I felt so honored to spend time with them through the week and I truly feel it was such a gift from God that He would bless us by getting to see 2 peoples lives dramatically changed and to know that we possibly had a tiny part in it. Isn't our Lord so amazing in that way?! We love you, Ustruck Family!

This is the Graves family and they were a couple/ pastor and wife that we enjoyed spending time with during the week. It was awesome having conversations and for Cindy to just "get" what I was talking about with both of us being in ministry beside our husbands. Praise God for like-minded people! Another side note is that Steve was actually on staff at First Baptist Woodway (where we used to serve and where I grew up) right before we got there! Such a small world! Again, this couple was another one placed so strategically by the Lord to give us a dose of what we needed during this amazing week of nourishment. Graves family - love you and are praying for you! Hopefully we will go to Family Camp again next summer with you guys!

This is the Jennings family and we connected with them during the week as well. They moved to Waco the same time that we left Waco and moved to Anna. It is always fun to find out that they are friends with people we were friends with in Waco. :) What an awesome family! We want to be with you guys next year too! Love you and praise God for your sweet family!

Thanks for letting me talk so much about this one week of our lives. I guess when something impacts you so much it is worth letting people know that it was worth every dollar and minute we spent! See you next year, Pine Cove!!