Camp & Transformation by Humiliation

We are coming off a camp in Idaho, heading to Sisters, OR for two days {anniversary celebration}, and then off to the next camp on the great Oregon Coast. A little beauty called Winema {where our story began}. Let me tell you: it feels like a 5-ton semi truck hit me, followed by a freight train. Coffee doesn't even help. I have that thing where your eyes are burning when they're open and they're screaming at you while they're closed. My back is all sorts of achy and I'll just stop there. I have some beautiful war wounds from paint balling. Basically, I LOVE CAMP. Camp is great; it's saturated with friendships and great conversations. It's filled with carbs and sugar and way too much caffeine. And Jesus? He is everywhere and it is obvious that He loves you. Camp is the beginning to many students and adults decision to follow Jesus. Camp is simply wonderful. It's like a Petri dish of growth. The amount of grace and stories and brokenness we shared is just...I can't put it to words. So many stories. I love sharing words with others.

I learn so much from middle school students. They amaze me and I'm honored to spend time with any of them.

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20140807-122122-44482795.jpg Loren & I are both so honored that we were a part of TMC's camp. The leaders over the ministry are what you call, TOP NOTCH. They are so sweet to our soul and they have blessed us personally in many much ways.

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20140807-123646-45406585.jpg Guys- I did not want the water balloons popped on me. I bribed kids to transfer mine to Kevin. It only worked 2/6 balloons. I was just an unhappy camper soaking wet.

20140807-123645-45405383.jpg Let me explain: they sold balloons, in 3 sizes, as a means to raise money for an orphanage in Haiti. They raised over $700! What this really meant was: OVER 300 WATER BALLOONS NEEDING TO BE POPPED. Lord help us.

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20140807-123644-45404220.jpg I read somewhere that humiliation transforms us. {Pretty sure that is from Jen Hatmaker's Interrupted}.

I am learning how deeply gracious people are with me. As I've said recently, I'm in this terribly great time of being humbled and reminded of how un-incredible I am. I don't mean that I should be prideful in the fact of being obsessed with myself in a poor manner -- but just being reminded how much I need not think of myself at all. I don't walk around life hanging my head low complaining about myself. I simply attempt to not think too highly and not too poorly of myself; simply not at all.

I'm simply in such an awkward larva stage with presenting spoken word -- awkward like I'm hoping to someday look back and think, "Those poor listeners. Bless their souls and redeem those times, Jesus." Because I'll grow and be better and less awkward and shaky. Less larva. Right? Someone tell me I will! The team here at Ten Mile was deeply gracious with my below subpar abilities. There was no kicking me out or throwing tomatoes - probably because they love Jesus.

20140807-124230-45750502.jpg 2 girls that I shared a cabin corner with were baptized, so that's always a good day!

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[Insert anything you enjoy but just aren't amazing at, and maybe you can relate?] Here's what's frustrating: when I practice by myself, my emotions are high and it is exciting and real - I can spout out the spoken word poem without my notes and all...hand me a mic in front of a group of 300 eye balls and it's like I've melted into myself, swallowed whole - my nerves jump up and down, heart with a million stallions stampeding across it. I learned that if I pace back and forth, that helps. I am certain it was Jesus who gave me a deep well and a passion within myself to write and share and speak...but I haven't practiced enough. I am just a larva. A little baby. Real awkward. But in order to pass the awkward and grow through the larva..well I have to go THROUGH it to the other side (Lord please let there be another side).

Humiliation is transforming me.

Life is showing me that I am just a little larva crawling out of the cocoon. And boy am I crossing my fingers and confidently hoping I'll grow and get better. Please let me sprout wings, Jesus! I am no where near great, but I have this deep ache to grow and flourish in these areas. I love almost every moment of my hobbies and pursuits, I'm inspired and motivated to continue learning. But in these awkward, humiliating stages...frequently I dance around the idea of quitting life and moving to Canada and working as a Barista somewhere {I drag my husband along in these day dream ideas}.

Being a beginner at all things that you enjoy is downright humbling; it's humiliating. But in order to pursue those things, we must walk through the awkward.

It hurts and it's difficult and painful for all involved. Think about the literal aches in physical growing -- you get growing pains. It changes me as I strive to get better and lean harder into God with every opportunity given. It transforms me as I am forced to depend on Him, forced to remind myself of His grace, forced to walk in the identity and definition and value as His beloved. Becoming the beloved is painful but oh so beautiful.

Humiliation transforms us. If I were never humbled, I would be an old ugly soul thinking I knew everything. Looking down on others. Being embarrassed ensures I'll not soon forget my mistakes and I'll work and pray to be better. Because no one likes to feel like a fool -- however, it is so freeing to know my identity isn't in that. It is so lovely to know it relies in a God much bigger.Humiliation makes me fall to my knees and beg God to remind me of my value in Him.Not in my performance {prraaaaiiise The Lord}. Humiliation of self reminds me to encourage others in their races, their desires & dreams. Even especially if it's no where near perfect.

I have been created with deep wells of passion and stirring - you can call me dramatic.

You were created with dreams and desires and gifts..how are you using them? Are you running with them? How badly I want to cheer you on. Are you practicing them? It's awkward in the larva stage, isn't it? You know what. You were made to give your gift. Though it may be humiliating and uncomfortable, you were made to give the gift that was given to you. And I want to root you on. I want to spur you on to using your gift and flourishing and knowing that it's okay to mess up and look like a downright fool. It's worth it afterwards -- it's worth the risk. At the end of your life, will you want to remember that you tried the things you loved or that you never risked a moment?

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P.S. I cannot say enough: the humans at Ten Mile Christian are amazing and a gift and basically, they are gifts to this world!

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Spoken Word: Jesus's Ministry

Ten Mile Christian Middle School CampLuke 19:10 "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." Luke 15 parables Day 3 - the Ministry and Death of Jesus

These are just the words I spoke last night - it was my favorite night. All about Jesus coming for those we don't expect. He came for the least, the imperfect, the forgotten. He came for those we call outcasts, we deem unworthy, and throw out of our presence because "they are too dirty." Jesus seeks out the dirty and broken and bedraggled. He embraces them. He came for them Think about this question: who in your life is the least? Who do you count unworthy? Who are you throwing stones at? Those, my friends, are the least and the last.

This is geared towards middle school students. Easily my favorite one of the week - and I guess it was theirs too, because many students told me so! Enjoy these words; I wrote this by the power of prayer.

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I see you- always standing against the wall, crossing your fingers, hoping no one will call your name. Wishing to blend in instead of be picked on. To them you are nothing at all: you are so small. You have found calm in withdrawing. You keep to yourself and never would tell a single soul of your living nightmare; others would only laugh reminding you that they really just don't care. The words of your peers sear straight into your heart, steering deeper than anyone knew possible. Their sneers make it clear that their goal is to see you bleed tears. For you are nothing at all: you are so terribly small. The joke of the season seems to be that you have no reason to exist. Theirs scoffs jolt you; another sliding remark you must shake off.

But I see you.

Your parents aren't much better. They have pounded it into your head you'll never amount to anything, not ever. Their neglect screams louder than any forced words, skirting around this reality deepens your hurt, there are scars on your heart, deeply burned. Freedom of any sort lacks. On your back you pack a load of self-hatred, you are shackled in gloom so dark no flower of freedom would dare to bloom. You feel like withering.

Your soul aches, everyone's remarks are tweezers slowly picking at your heart tearing you apart. There will soon truly be nothing. If only you could runaway.. restart.

Your entire being turns to vapor.

You're lost and your lonely, in need of a Savior. Someone to choose you, call you their Beloved. You crave to be sought after and wanted, to no longer be thrust aside, crushed on all sides, hushed especially when you cry.

Oh my soul. You don't go without being seen.

You will be blown away. I have some News for you: from the cross, you are offered amazing grace. The King of Kings has been disgraced, broken and poured out for you. He erases the value they gave, replacing it with His life when He rose from the grave. No longer do you have to be enslaved, on His heart your name is engraved. He came for the last, the least, the forgotten- embracing all who join Him at the bottom. The bedraggled & abused the broken and used: He came for all of you. Claiming you as His own, you no longer need to carry shame. Shame is undone, let your heart burn aflame because this dark world He overcame.

He has chosen to flood you with Love by the shedding of His blood. His blood covers you child, breathe Life through your lungs.

And know: that nothing but by His pure devotion: you are chosen.

the life and death of jesus