A Sweetness So Bitter.

Bittersweet. A contradiction within one simple word and yet it makes SO much sense. For me personally, I love this word. It is suitably descriptive of how I feel about so many things. If you don’t know me, I am quite possibly the world’s most sentimental person so you could see how I would be particularly endeared to the word ‘bittersweet.’ It’s a perfect word to give insight into how I feel as chapters of life close and if you DO know me, you know that I LOVE to explain how I feel about things J So, here goes with a bittersweet ending to a chapter in this book called life.

A little over six years ago I went to a Kanakuk Movie Tour night at the University of Oklahoma after being prompted by my twin sister. I had no idea what to expect, I just knew that if we were going to interview for a summer job then I had better dress accordingly. Yep, embarrassing mistake number #1 that indicted me as THAT girl. You know, the kind that is trying too hard and overdressed in an awkward situation. If you don’t know anything about Kanakuk Kamps, they are a Christian SPORTS camp. Emphasis on the sports if you catch my drift. Needless to say my khaki pants and blazer weren’t quite a fit. Nonetheless, I watched the video, heard from some amazingly passionate people and fell in love with the ministry. I did my interview, was kindly forgiven for my attire, and six months later I walked into the gates of K1.

Little did I know how much that one, fairly thoughtless night in the Athletic Dorms at OU would change my life in such significant ways. As much as I loved that first summer as a counselor in Cabin 7, if you had told me it was just the first of 6, I would have thought you were crazy. But Proverbs 19:21 wins out again. (See yesterdays blog post with The Next J. Lo).  Now, as I sit here having just completed my sixth and probably final summer, I am in awe of the way God works. I have had six wonderfully sweet and refining summers. My kampers in Cabins 7 and 9 taught me so much about the heart of a child and maintaining that faith as we grow old. My term as Caleb and Claire Cooper’s babysitter was probably one of the sweetest months of my life. Oh how I love those kids and how I learned so much about motherhood and the selflessness that it requires. My term as a Unit Coordinator of Cabins 9-12 was instrumental in developing my passion for college ministry as I got to pour into staff as well as kids. My two summers as the Head Office Girl were probably some of the most fun as I got to witness the craziness of the Boys Office and the boys that came with it. I will never forget the washer dates with my favorite little boy kamper, goodies written from sweet little boys as they lost bets, frogs and bats left in hidden places to scare me, the constant teasing and of course the consistent smell of body odor. Hence why the boys office was referred to as the BO. Most of all though, those years were special because I got to hang out with the most precious office girls and draw near to the cross alongside them.

This summer, Game On 2011, was especially wonderful because of the women I got to work alongside as the girls scheduler. Very few people get to spend their workday with women that are not only friends but also women that you can look to as mentors, accountability partners and spiritual giants. This summer gave me such a privilege as this (a blog post to come soon on this very subject). Though it was one of the hardest and most refining summers I have had, it was definitely rich.

So, in summation, I have been incredibly blessed, shaped and challenged by my six summers within the gates of Kanakuk Kamps. The Lord could very well bring me back into those gates but I can’t help but feel as if He just might be planning something else. Who knows. What I do know is that so much of who I am today can be attributed to the impact of my summers there and I am forever grateful. As I close this chapter, and I say that with a grain of salt knowing God could change my plans, I am comforted by ending it with one word. My favorite word. Yep. Bittersweet.

Here is a compilation of some pictures, starting with some from this summer and ending with a little blast from the past 🙂 Enjoy!

Kanakuk. Where you can where whatever you want. Look as ridiculous as you want and it makes you that much cooler.

Kanakuk- a playground for the inner child.

Loving the Kountry Klub costumes. Everything…yes everything is with a K.

Here is a walk down memory lane of summers past.

First summer in 2006. Dressed and ready for our hillbilly party.

You knew there were fruits of the spirit but did you know there were vegetables? Now you do. Summer 2007.

Twins. Or so people thought. Dear sweet friend that I met the first night at kamp. Lifelong friend. Jenna Brendle.

Devo rappers during my UC term. Cheesy I know but pure awesomeness.

Sweet campers from my very first cabin. First summer- 2006- Cabin 7.

So blessed by this journey!!!! Looking forward to the next.


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