Saturday, May 16, 2015

For Your Consideration

The consideration of others is a lost art.

How easily we get angered at all the inconsiderate people in the world - the guy blocking traffic; the noisy neighbors; the lady holding up the line counting out change; the whiny child interrupting our phone call. Why don't they consider the needs of those around them? Don't they know we have our own lives to live, places to go, things we'd like to be doing, uninterrupted? How could they be so inconsiderate?

Or are we, perhaps, the ones who are being inconsiderate?

The guy blocking traffic may be helping someone across the street or protecting an injured animal. His car might have stalled. He could have gotten devastating news and it could have just hit him, sitting at a traffic light. He could be ill and in need of help. Would it be more beneficial to get angry not knowing the reason, or to hope the man is ok as you make your way through traffic?

The lady holding up the line could be counting out change from her purchase because that's all she has. Or perhaps her debit card didn't work and she's doing the best she can to pay for her purchase. Or maybe she has some sort of physical issue and is struggling just to pick up the coins. Why not assume she's doing her best and pray others would have patience with you should you be in a similar situation? Being upset with her won't help anyone. 

The whiny child could be ill or injured or just need to be heard. The child could be seeking attention, and that's ok, because that's what children do. What would happen if you paused your conversation and took twenty seconds to listen? More than likely you'd meet the child's needs and they would move on, allowing you to continue your conversation. 

Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the feeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other's nerves you don't snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.  1 Thessalonians 5:13-15

Friday, May 8, 2015

Spring Cleaning

A second mattress swiped from the other single bed and a memory foam mattress topper on top of that make the bed only slightly more bearable. My back spasms as I try to relax. Laughter wafts through the cabin walls as Enya serenades, well, only me, as everyone else has finally fallen asleep. 

Too tired from a day of homeschool co-op followed by five hours of driving, a delicious dinner at the Yankee Smokehouse, and then catching up with friends at Camp Calumet, I decided that my t-shirt and shorts would do for pajamas. After a run to the bathroom with a child in the 40 degree New Hampshire night, I soon regretted my choice. 

Battery operated tea lights flicker as I coax my body into a semi-comfortable position. Among other things, I pray for at least a couple hours of sleep to find me in preparation for the long day of work ahead of me. 

My toes burrow into the cool sand as the fog begins to lift from the lake. Just two weeks ago, we were told, ice still inhabited Lake Ossipee. Watching a pair of ducks diving after their breakfast, I breathe in the cold morning air and give thanks once again for this place. Picking up my crutches, I call to my children, encouraging them off the beach and toward breakfast. 

Staring on freezer number three, a walk-in freezer, after cleaning out and cleaning countless cabinets, shelves, and carts, I realize that my body is still functional and I'm not in agony, as I thought I'd be six hours into Work Day. Getting Camp ready for the Summer isn't an easy task by any means. It feels good to be working. 

Done early cleaning the Lakeside Dining Hall, we escape back to the cabin where children decide it's time to take the plunge. I grab a towel and a camera and we're off to the beach. The temperature just twelve hours ago was 36 degrees and the ice left the lake two weeks prior, but that doesn't stop my children from wading in. I giggle at the sight of my two Aspie children in the water wearing hoodies and gasp as Danger Girl dives in, completely submerging herself in the frigid water. 

Campfires are near the top of my favorite things at Camp, and this one surpasses every expectation. Joy and contentment permeate my being, driving out thoughts of the pain that wracks my body. It feels good to be here, to push beyond my limits for once, to contribute, to have fun... to be normal for a day. As the sky grows dark and the fire dies down, I close my eyes for a moment as we sing a round of Beautiful Savior. I love this place, these people. Two more months, I think. Two more months and we'll be back.

She sits on the bench, so sad. She's just realized we're leaving today and it tortures her entire being. She reluctantly makes her way to breakfast, where her sadness is short-lived as she greets friends, old and new.

The shed by the lake cleaned out, squirrel nest evicted, swimming area lines and buoys untangled, beach chairs set up, we head to worship. Every song I need to sing is included and the Message preached is just what I need to hear. My heart and soul are full as we sing a last chorus of "The Trees in the Field."

It's time to pack up and clean up our cabin. I feel sad, but at peace. We will return after getting our house in order, my mind more at rest for having done so.  I will have time to coax my body into better shape for hikes and kayaking and other camp fun. I give thanks, once again, for this place.