For This is Holy Ground!

One of my favorite pictures from camp

It has been 18 years since I drove onto the gravel road that led me straight to the place where I would spend my summer as a camp counselor. That gravel road led me to Camp of the Cross Ministries where I would spend the next approximately seven summers. Little did I know the impact of that special place in my life.

18 years ago, I started that summer as a shy introverted 18 year old (yes indeed there was a time in my life when I was shy). That summer changed me and made me grow in so many ways. That next summer, the camp director and the program director were doing mid-summer evaluations. As I sat on the couch listening intently to them, I learned how much the Holy Spirit’s hand was there guiding me to Camp of the Cross. The camp director reminded me how awful my interview was. I remember it so clearly. I answered his questions but I don’t think I looked up from the table even once. Yet he took a chance on me. He told me, “I hired you thinking I would take you as long as you would make it. But now I cannot get rid of you.” In those words, the power of the Spirit had changed me.

Camp is the first place that I openly shared about my mom’s struggle with a mental illness. Tears streaming down my face, I poured out my heart and years worth of keeping our story bottled inside. It was an amazing healing moment. And then several years after that first summer, I watched my mom experience life at camp and got to share this special holy place with her.

Sharing Camp with my Momma

Camp is where I heard the call into ministry. Camp is the place that made me into the woman of faith that I am today. Camp is the place I met and made some of my bestest of friends. Camp is hallowed holy ground because of the many ways it blessed me and holds a special place in my life. “Behold I am standing on holy ground.”

I spent so many times at “three crosses” lifting my prayers to God. I found myself many nights, under the prairie night sky, releasing my heart onto paper through poetry. And other times, I found myself counting the stars above my head; reminded of the power of God and God’s love for all people.

Three Crosses Campfire Site–During the Day and at Night
One of my favorite places in the entire world!

Today, camp is breaking ground for a new fellowship hall. This is something that has been needed for so long and I am so glad to hear these prayers answered. I wish that I could be there today for that special groundbreaking. But unfortunately I am not able to be there, but I am definitely there in spirit. This hallowed holy place will always be place for me where I can feel the transcendant power of God.

Even know when I get on that gravel road leading to camp, I get so giddy! It is like coming home for me…because camp is indeed one of the dear homes in my life. At camp, I look around and see God’s hand working all over that place. I also feel the Holy Spirit moving about. I look around and smile.

“For this ground you are standing on is holy ground!”

Good and Gracious God, there are so many places in our lives where we experience your awesome creation and feel your Spirit moving about. Today I pray for Camp of the Cross Ministries and the ways that that place has formed me as a woman of faith and as a leader in the church as well as for all who have been formed in their faith there. Also please bless all gathered at camp today as they break ground for the new fellowship center. Surround this place in your loving tender arms and care for this holy ground which we care so deeply for. In your name we pray. Amen!

Standing on Holy Ground

“There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’ And Moses said, ‘Here I am.” ‘Do not come any closer,’ God said. ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’ Then he said, ‘I am the God of your Father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.” –Exodus 3:2-6

How often do we look for that sign of a burning bush within our own lives? I know there have been many times in my own life when I have wished that God’s voice would come to me in a burning bush. But as I have looked for that burning bush, to no avail, that burning bush has been no where to be found!

Maybe I have been looking in all the wrong places. Perhaps God is putting burning bushes in our path, just not like we would expect those burning bushes to come into our lives. The truth is, I believe, that we are experiencing our own burning bushes throughout our lives. We experience those especially when we see someones heart or someone shares their faith with us. I am reminded of a quote that I read today on a friend’s FB page. The quote reads:

“We stand before a burning bush whenever other human beings share with us something of their relationship with God or something of the moments of their hearts. In such moments may we always realize that we stand on holy ground.”–Margaret Silf

These words speak so much to me. As I have sat in my friend’s house, sharing a meal with her and her daughter, I have found myself on holy ground. As I have sat in yet another friend’s house and heard her heart, I have once again found myself on holy ground. As I have watched my Confirmation students create cards for someone other than themselves, I have found myself on holy ground. As I have shared in numerous families joys and sorrows, I have found myself yet again standing upon holy ground. As I have read new blogs, accepted new Facebook friend requests, and voxed with new #write31 day friends, I have realized that I am standing upon holy ground yet again. When another friend bravely shares her heart through her music, I find myself surely standing on holy ground.

There is something incredibly holy about standing on holy ground with others who understand me and my heart. God truly wants us to share ourselves with each other. God wants us to show who God created us to be with each other. God wants us to be authentic and even gentle with ourselves. That isn’t easy because God is so much gentler with us than we are with ourselves. And because of that God places incredible people into our lives so that we can stand on holy ground together.

I am thankful for the ways that I have experienced and will continue to experience holy ground in my life. And I am thankful for all of you who have shared yourself with me and have allowed me to stand on holy ground with YOU! May we all continue to share our stories with each other and may our eyes be opened to those times of holy ground in our own lives.

 

It Is Well With My Soul!

It’s been such a great weekend! I drove to a friends Thurs night and then we headed out on Fri! On our way to my friends nieces house, we made a pitstop at one of my fave “holy ground” places-WTS! It felt so good to walk around that place again…if only for a little while!

Sat we went to our seminary friends wedding! It was a beautiful worship service followed by wonderful fellowship with more of my WTS peeps! The night was spent reminiscing, dancing, catching up, etc! I can’t even begin to tell you how blessed I am to have these wonderful people in my life! And to think, we never would have met if we didn’t go to seminary! I love that our lives and paths crossed!

Today was a lot of driving but it was so worth it! I’m tired physically but mentally and emotionally my heart is full! I love that these friends love ME for ME!! That is a wonderful gift!! Love you all!

It has been sooooo good for my soul to spend time with dear friends! Tonight I can say, “It is well with my soul!”