On BCM.

Today was not only my last day of class as an undergraduate, but tonight was my last BCM ever.

I don’t get emotional about moving on very often, but when my friends started giving senior speeches and talking about what the last four years have really meant, I couldn’t help but tear up a little bit.

And as mad as I was about there not being a senior video, I have to admit that it might be a good thing. Don’t know if I could’ve handled that.

I chose not to give a formal senior speech for a couple of reasons, but this post will do a better job of saying what BCM has meant to me than any speech would have anyways.

BCM wasn’t the biggest part of my college experience, and it wasn’t even the most important, but I can honestly say that it had a huge impact on the last four years.

Without BCM, I probably wouldn’t have this group of beautiful friends (plus a few other lovelies not in this picture). There have been crazy times in the last few years, but somehow we managed to stick together since the freshman girls bible study that brought us all together in the first place. & I think we’ve come pretty far.

BCM 1Without BCM I probably wouldn’t have ended up with these two crazy roommates for the past couple of years either. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them, and I don’t know what I’m going to do once we move out of the lovely Harriett Plantation. But BCM brought us together, and I will always be thankful for that.

BCM 2BCM also changed my whole life plan. Whoa. If I hadn’t done Sendmenow Summer missions, I might not have ever even thought about going into occupational therapy, and now I can’t imagine going into anything else.

& speaking of Sendmenow missions, without BCM I would have never started working at Camp Hawkins or Camp Jackie, and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to fall in love with so many precious kids like these::

BCM 3..or have had the opportunity to work with so many amazing people there. Like these crazy ladies and so many more that aren’t in the picture.

BCM 3Without BCM I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go on seven different mission trips over the past four years, and I wouldn’t have gotten to spread Jesus and love on precious babies in Ecuador or Haiti.

BCM 4

And most importantly, I wouldn’t be where I am today in my relationship with Jesus. Just having a time to worship and learn with my friends every week made such a huge difference.

I would like to think that I’ve changed a lot in these past four years, and BCM has been a major part of that. Friends, a couple of awesome interns, a great campus minister, and missions opportunities have all helped me grow in more ways than I would have imagined when I signed up for an email list at summer orientation.

I feel like I need to say that, as great as it has been, it hasn’t been all rainbows & butterflies. People in BCM have hurt me and made me cry, and I’ve probably done the same to them. I’ve been offended, felt unappreciated, gotten mad at the way things happened, and even said a few a lot of things that I probably shouldn’t have. I also didn’t find my future husband, so that’s kind of disappointing. You know, whatever. But overall, I’m so, so glad that I didn’t just give up then because it has definitely been worth it.

I wouldn’t trade these past four years at Mercer for anything. I found a community that I loved here at this school, but I found my family at BCM. & while I’m ready to move on and see what’s next, I’m going to miss it so much. You don’t just find a family anywhere. I have been so blessed.

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Off Week.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have off weeks.

Weeks when I get behind on homework.  When I watch a few too many episodes of How I Met Your Mother on my laptop when I should be doing that homework that I’m behind on.  When I spend money that I don’t have to get a manicure.  When I eat way too much junk food and not enough fruits and veggies.  When I don’t spend enough time with God and fall in places that I told myself I wouldn’t fall again. When I can’t wait to escape on Friday afternoon.

It happens.

Last week was off.  Not detrimentally off: I didn’t have any big emotionally breakdowns, I didn’t cry, and I didn’t get so far behind on schoolwork that it’s a big deal.  But I just didn’t feel right.

I was more than excited to get out of town at the end of the week.

There’s something about spending the weekend with good friends and a wonderful group of special needs kids that can fix just about any bad mood.

I got to spend two days with this guy.

Love.

The weekend restored me. It was glorious.

But unfortunately the weekend had to end. & the weekend ending meant leaving my favorite place on Earth (which is always accompanied by a few tears), and coming back to the little mess I had escaped from on Friday.

Last night I told myself that today I would turn everything around and get back to where I wanted to be.

…but then I overslept my morning class.  & took a nap this afternoon instead of reading. & made a microwave sugar cookie (or maybe 2).

& I started to get mad at myself. That is until I thought about all the good things from today.

That when I overslept I got up and did work instead of going back to sleep.  That I got two excellent test grades back today. & That I have two cancelled classes this week.

& I realized that I don’t have  to get everything together at once.  Things happen.  Just because today wasn’t perfect doesn’t mean that this whole week will be another off week.

God doesn’t expect me to get everything together own my own.  In fact, He is the only one who can help me.  I can’t expect myself to have a perfect day just because that’s what I decided.

Not only that, but focusing on the off-ness keeps me from focusing on the goodness.

I’m in a bible study right now that is modeled after Jen Hatmaker’s book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against ExcessWe talked about focusing on what we’re thankful for during the process, but I didn’t seriously do it until now.

So I’m going to try to post some things I’m thankful for every week for the next little bit. I can’t promise that I will be consistent or deep or what not.  But I know it will be good.

So tomorrow will be the first “Thankful Tuesday” if you will. Let’s just see where that gets me.

Camp Week 6 & Why Pictures Don’t Matter.

Last year at camp I took a lot of pictures.  I don’t mean that I was one of the people who took 500 pictures a week, but I took plenty.

This year at camp I feel like I hardly took any.  Most of the pictures I took have already been posted on my blog (& that’s not many).

But I’m not sad or disappointed about it.  I just feel like it is what it is.

One difference is that we’re no longer allowed to post camp pictures on Facebook.  So the fun of posting pictures for everyone to see isn’t really a possibility anymore.  & I don’t think making blog posts filled with 100 pictures each would be much fun for anyone.

But still, I’ve just realized a few things.

One thing is that  already have pictures of a lot of the kids.  & even though they look bigger and older this year, I already have their face captured once.  & that means that it will never be fully forgotten.

Another thing is that pictures don’t make the memories.  Really, they don’t.  For me, I’ve decided that it’s much more important to do stuff and actually make awesome memories than it is to take pictures of other people making memories.

And lastly, I have found that there are just a ton of things that pictures can’t capture.

I had an absolutely wonderful camper for the last week of camp.  I love him to pieces.

But pictures can’t ever seem to capture what his hugs felt like.

& they can’t capture what his (slightly slobbery) kisses felt like either.

…or the countless spankings I got for that matter.  I don’t have a picture for that one though.

Pictures can’t help me to remember what it felt like to have him smear banana pudding in my hair.

& they can’t help me remember what it felt like to ride a wagon in the middle of a downpour.  Or to fall on my butt and get covered in mud..

Pictures can’t help me remember my sweet conversations with this boy.

I can’t capture getting tapped on the shoulder by this precious boy.

I can’t take a picture that shows how awesome this guy’s hand motions are.

They can’t ever show how much I love these boys.  Like this one:

& this one:

& this hilarious boy:

& this awesome kid:

& this one:

& last, but definitely not least, this one:

So while I do love these pictures & value them a lot, they are enough.  I have more memories than I ever thought I would get, and I cherish all of them.

Camp Hawkins came through with another unforgettable summer.

I love it.  I love my kids. I love my friends. I love how it has changed me.

Favorite place ever? Pretty much.

Already counting down until next time? Of course.

Camp Catch-Up (Weeks 4 & 5).

Camp is already over, & I haven’t even blogged about weeks 4 and 5 of camp.

…So much for keeping on top of my blogging.

But I’m doing it now which is definitely better than never.

However, because these weeks were a while ago (especially in camp time), I don’t have a lot of commentary.  & even though I slept 14 hours last night after I got home from camp, I’m still a bit emotionally exhausted.  Leaving camp is never fun. Ever.

I just want to share a few pictures of my lovelies from these two weeks.  Two girls who were so different, but both provided pretty fabulous weeks.

One camper loved everything about camp: my beautiful sunshine.

& another who didn’t act like she liked anything about camp (although I think some of that was an act): my drama queen.

We posed with oranges to reenact photos from camp many years ago.

We celebrated Jesus in bible study.

We rode wagons.

& this sweet girl practiced safety first.

I got to make funny faces with Lady Gaga’s biggest fan.

& with this funny guy:

I got to hang out with this sweet guy:

& this cool kid:

I did a lot of clapping for this precious boy:

& I got to spend time with one of my precious campers from last summer.

I got to hang out with this cowboy:

& this sweet girl:

This crazy wiggles girl:

& this cool girl:

Weeks 4 & 5 were definitely both quality in their own unique ways.

Beautiful girls and fabulous memories.

While one week was full of smiles, singing, and basketball, the other was filled with conversations about boys, scowls, and make-up.

One was easy and the other was a bit more testing on my patience.

But I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

Camp delivered two more fabulous weeks. In two summers of camp, I’ve have 8 wonderful girls as campers.  Oh how I love them.