Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July gifts: church camp

Finally catching up on all the summer gifts to add to my 1000 gifts list. 

666. Visiting Blaze and Dreamer at church camp
Our church had a summer camp for kids for the first time this year, and the Snowy Range Lodge had just finished constructing a beautiful outdoor chapel for their daily chapel time. B. and I visited the girls for their chapel time in the middle of the week and afterwards the girls were excited to show up their cabin.

667. God's word is not chained
2 Tim 2:9:  Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained.

668. Practicing memory verses on long drive back and forth to Cheyenne
It's a 45 minute drive from Laramie to Cheyenne for my OA meetings, and after a while I get bored listening to music, so I've been working on my memory verses: Psalm 34, Psalm 84 and Psalm 19.

669. The twins swimming on their own
B's sister Monica invited us to join her and her extended family for their reunion in Winter Park, Colorado, which meant the kids had unlimited access to the resort swimming pool for a couple days. The twins (six years old) started out with water wings but so much time in the water, wasn't long before they were doggy paddling on their own

670. Blaze's "ride to music"
Blaze competed in the county fair horse show this year, placing in some of the English classes and an exciting 2nd & 3rd place in barrel racing and pole-bending. But the highlight for both of us was putting together her own "choreography" for the "ride to music" class. She started out side-passing, backing, and full-turn-on-the-quarters with her horse Spring to a slow piece of music (Hymne by Vangelis) and then switched to a fast song, Butterfly by Aqua), trotting and cantering patterns, picking up and swinging her prop (a big butterfly on stick) and finishing with jumping with her hands up in the air! 

671. Dreamer's "blue ribbon" poster for county fair

672. Gratitude is antidote to self pity
One of my friends at the OA meeting shared this saying.

673. Bunnies
We have seen an unusual number of rabbits this year, and there are baby rabbits in my parents' backyard that the girls love to try to "sneak up" on. 

674. Moose on my walk
On a twilight walk around my neighborhood, I noticed a couple police cars with flashing lights driving up and down our main street. One of them passed me, then stopped and warned me that there was a moose in the neighborhood and that I should get inside. There are actually more moose attacks than bear or mountain lion attacks, so I know it's wise to keep your distance from these giant animals. I was too far from home so I ended up on a neighbor's porch as we watched the young female moose trot right up the street past us, casually step over a fence and disappear over the hill behind the neighborhood.

675.  Expanding my comfort zone
I came across this post on the Zen Habits blog (not a religious blog) and it really made me think about how fear of discomfort can limit my opportunities and full experience of life.
Think about the major problems in your life — from anxiety to lack of regular exercise to a bad diet to procrastination and more.
Pretty much every one of these problems is caused by a fear of discomfort.
Discomfort isn’t intense pain, but just the feeling you get when you’re out of your comfort zone.
Eating vegetables for many people, for example, brings discomfort. So does sitting in meditation, or sitting with a hard task in front of you, or saying No to people, or exercising. (Of course, different people are uncomfortable with different things, but you get the idea.)
And most people don’t like discomfort. They run from it. It’s not fun, so why do it?
The problem is that when you run from discomfort all the time, you are restricted to a small zone of comfort, and so you miss out on most of life. On most of the best things in life, in fact. And you become unhealthy, because if eating healthy food and exercising is uncomfortable, then you go to comfort foods and not moving much. Being unhealthy, unfortunately, is also uncomfortable, so then you seek distractions from this (and the fact that you have debt and too much clutter, etc.) in food and entertainment and shopping (as if spending will solve our problems!) and this in turn makes things worse.
Amazingly, the simple act of being OK with discomfort can solve all these problems.
This is a discovery I made a few years back, when I was trying to change my life. I started by trying to quit smoking, but I hated the feeling of having an urge to smoke and not actually smoking. It was uncomfortable to resist that strong urge. My mind resisted, tried to make up all kinds of rationalizations for smoking. My mind tried to run from this discomfort, tried to seek distractions.
I learned to sit and watch the discomfort. And when I did, incredibly, it wasn’t too bad. My world didn’t end, nor did my mind implode. I was just uncomfortable for a bit, and then life moved on....
I repeated this process for changing my diet, for getting out of debt and not spending so much, for beating procrastination, and so on...  It's actually a good thing - when you are uncomfortable, you are trying something new, you're learning, you're expanding, you're becoming more than you were. Discomfort is a sign that you're growing.

676.  Where I Belong, by Building 429 - Dreamer fell in love with this song at church camp and actually memorized the whole song!

Sometimes it feels like I'm watching from the outside
Sometimes it feels like I'm breathing but am I alive
I won't keep searching for answers that aren't here to find

All I know is I'm not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong

So when the walls come falling down on me
And when I'm lost in the current of a raging sea
I have this blessed assurance holding me.

All I know is I'm not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong

When the earth shakes I wanna be found in You
When the lights fade I wanna be found in You

All I know is I'm not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong

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