Sunday, July 27, 2008

Further Up, Further In!

"Go Farther!" Miles yelled.
"Okey," I replied.

Soon after the yogurt spill on my boarding pass, sorting out weight issues on the curb of an airport, convincing Solveigh one last time to keep her princess shoes on, and having my best friends in the world rush the line of Burger King to get me (my first) Big Mac to eat on the plane, I handed my boarding pass to some person and walked out of sight as they waved.

Crying in a line to get on a plane is not cool. I couldn't stop though and everytime I took a bit of that hamburger I cried some more. Then I fell asleep and didn't move until I landed in Baltimore and was rushed into the hugs of my parents, who love me and missed me and who I'm having trouble explaining exactly what the summer was. Because these four weeks were my summer. And now the pain of leaving is waning and overwhelmed by the happiness and the laughter of looking at pictures and telling stories and yelling "Peaces and Fives!" in the library. It is lonely to yell "Peaces and Fives" and be left hanging.

But so all things must come to an end. And my time with Worldview Academy in the summer of 08 is ended.

But in a way, stories just keep going, don't they?

I'll be constructing thoughts and stories and pictures on these four weeks in more detail in the days to come. Be praying for me as I learn from not being in the thick of things and...

... BE PRAYING FOR HANNAH AND THE TEAM IN PERU!

In His Great Love,
Dana

Saturday, July 19, 2008

So I'll Stand

Another week is over and it was... it just was. I found it to be the most demanding of the weeks I've had and I leave it again with the thoughts that flit in and out "Could I have done a better job?" The answer is always, "yes". It is true that I am learning more each day about myself, about the people around me, about how to handle tough situations and gage exactly what needs to be done every situation. But as Cara so wisely pointed out: it isn't even about me learning that I'm here. I'm here because I have to serve and if I'm missing that and "learning a lot" then there isn't a point. I could be here and "not learn anything" and still be used by God. It isn't about me, even in that sense.

I would like to share some pictures from the week and from yesterday as part of the team walked around downtown Seattle.



These are my girls at small group time on Tuesday playing SNIP SNAP SNORT SNOREM.



This was something we found in a back stairwell of Pike's Place. We can't decide if Megan is shocked because the door opens or because they bothered to tell us that it does.



A fancy picture of my in the reflection of the first Starbucks ever.



The Baldwin family. Miriam may remember how big a fan I was of their kids at camp in 03. I'm still a big fan and was thrilled that we got a chance to go to Coldstone Creamery togther!

There are other moments of course that I will continue to share or at least share in person when I come home. So many stories to tell and so many people to introduce you to!

With Love, Dana

Saturday, July 12, 2008

(Pause)

The word that makes this title is what my mind feels like right now. I am in my room at a Hampton outside of Portland with Megan and Bailee. It was a while before anyone said anything when Megan pointed out how quiet it was. How long had it been since that perfect stillness of rest without responsibility? It is a gift.

This week went fast, far faster than the one before. I was racing at all times and had a lot to try to accomplish. In the end, was it a running hampster wheel? No. God doesn't give us meaningless work, but it feels like a week where I had little idea of where my girls were at or how they were doing. Perhaps that is simply my own personality that demands verbal communication and private confidence to somehow create "depth" in a relationship. And that wasn't what I was called to do either. Am I out there with these girls to get a feeling of depth and purpose? God keeps bringing me back to 1 Corinthians 13. I know. The "Love" chapter. But it was on my mind the days before camp started and Brandon spoke about it last week in our church time. Love is not an emotion but a will to an action. Feelings lie like it's there job. There are some crazy specific things we need to do to love people, to serve them, and I am seeing very clearly how these things play out in the details: in how I respond to them accidentally being up late or locking us out or forgetting their bag or allowing them freedom or or or...

Parenting must be a crazy hard job.

I am also learning some things about family, community, and hospitality. Tonight, our team went to Janice Medina's apartment in Portland (she was a staffer last year) and had the amazing meal she prepared for us. Mexican food, the real thing, lots of it, everywhere, the best thing I have ever eaten in my whole life. None of us could stop and we opened up under its influence, telling stories, being crazy, singing, appreciating being alive. The later also involved several people falling asleep on the couch whenever they could. Then we celebrated birthdays and told more stories and remembered. I was so grateful for that food. It was an incredible act of love for her to make it for us and to have such an amazing break from dorm food. I wasn't even in Arizona for their poisonous stuff called "food" to have an accurate comparison, and I know that heaven will taste a bit like Janise Medina's cooking. But the same hospitality applies when getting cookies in the mail. We open our packages and pass around the several day old and crumbly cookies and be reassured that someone is thinking of us and loves us and that in itself makes them far more "divine" as someone put it, than any other cookie could be.

Tonight, I was also reminded how I am not alone in my work here at camp this summer. This is a part of me that wants to imagine that I am making a name for myself in the annals of Worldview Academy history but hearing the stories of Janise, Cookie, and Holly tonight reminded me that that could not be farther from the truth. When I do anything right, I am walking in the level paths of the hundreds of staffers that have gone before me, living out of their love and their failures even as I think I am figuring it all out myself for the first time. We think our skits our funny? Where would we be without their plans and time and even their own investment in our lives? There are FIVE guy staffers this year who were under Jacob Douvier at some point as campers. FIVE. And I am being reminded more and more of my own leaders as I consciously and uncousciously imitate them. The crazy walking, the hand game, the letters to themselves, their bearing as a leader, the way they tell stories, the way they pray for students. It wasn't until Wednesday that I was able to put into words, for the first time, why it was that Lauren had been a significant leader to me. Being on this end changes everything. And I stand before a great cloud of witnesses, humbled and in awe, knowing there is grace for the weary and encouragement on every side.

I long for prayers and I long for news. Please email me or write!

Student Name
Worldview Academy
C/O Conference Services
Seattle Pacific University
3307 Third Ave. W. Suite 312
Seattle, WA 98119-1957

Requests:
-Continued energy for me. God has been so good in giving me energy that is not my own. Praise for that!
-My girls, that they would continue to grow in crazy amazing ways.
-That I would "see the unseen" in my interactions with them and be able to respond with wisdom
-The staff. This is really more of a thanks than anything else. Pray that God would bless them in His abundance!
-The faculty. They are tired but don't let on. Some have little kids and that adds to their fatigue.
-Wisdom. I need it more everyday.

I will be at this address for the next two weeks and then I will be home.

PS. It is awesome having friends who love books and aren't like you at all. We went to Powells in Portland today. I bought fairy tales. Other selections from our ravid team included: The Silmarrillion, Frank Perreti novels, The Washington Secret War, The Ordinary Princess, philosophy titles I can't remember, math books I can't remember, history, the emergent church, and on and on and on. Oh, and the nalgene with philosophy charts. We were all a little paper and ink happy today.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Morning by Morning

Hello from a Hampton Inn almost on the border of Oregon and California! We drove for four hours today from my first camp at Menlo College in Atherton, California. Next week I'll be at Linfield College

My Name
Worldview Academy
C/O Linfield College-Conference Planning
900 SE Baker St.
McMinnville, OR 97128

Email me at narnia50@gmail.com (will read on weekends) or at studentmailwest@worldview.org with my name in the subject title. Also see worldview.org for pictures of camp!



(Me and one of my girls, Natalie, posted on the worldview.org website. Picture taken by Ben Winslow)

This is all very "end of post" material but my brain is a little fuzzy so let me back up and tell you about this week. It was an incredible honor and blessing to be back with some of the greatest people I have ever met! I arrived at campus after my flight to the hugs of these dear friends, rushing me around so I could be ready for the start of camp. And let me tell you, there is nothing that is like the start of a Worldview Academy leadership camp. There was jumping up and down, hand shaking, name learning, silliness and craziness to welcome the students. The week flew by as I got to know and love six girls ages 12-14. They were quiet but I soon found that they were each making strong decisions for Christ that I respected a great deal. As my first week, it was thankfully, a relatively smooth one by the grace of God. My daily failures, indiscretions, forgetfulness, were all covered by God's grace. I was so psyched to see them become excited about the work of God in their lives! Please continue to pray for them as they go home to all its troubles and hardships, that God's faithfulness would be evident in those times.

As for me, I would love to have prayer for continued energy. I know that the strength that I had this week was not even close to being my own. Praise God! I also need prayer that my wisdom would deepen so that I would always be able to perceive what servanthood needs to look like in every situation. I also need prayer that my creativity for fun games and excitement would continue to broaden. Lord willing, I will take a page or two from my mother's book. ;-)

I also want to know how everyone else is doing! Please keep me posted on your lives!